Our Division uses a range of techniques from molecular genetics and biochemistry to clinical trial design to better understand the dynamic interplay between host defence mechanisms and viral and microbial determinants. These studies have exposed novel determinants of host protection against HIV-AIDS virus, and revealed how the virus depends upon key components of cell biology such as those that direct cell division. We examine what fails when host defence mechanisms mistakenly target uninfected tissues, causing autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Type I diabetes, and ask how such mechanisms respond to tumours.
One major focus is on a refined understanding of the function and turnover of monocytes; another on the characterization of a novel lymphoid stress-surveillance response; and a third on the nature of T cell dysregulation that underpins MHC-restricted autoimmune diseases. We actively consider practical approaches to enhancing host responses to pathogens and to limiting autoimmunity, and we contribute to clinical trials novel approaches to measuring disease course and treatment outcome.