Dr Axel Kallies


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Division: Molecular Immunology

Research Overview

  1. Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of peripheral lymphocyte differentiation
  2. The transcriptional network constraining B cell leukaemia development.

Our lab is interested in understanding the molecular events that regulate late lymphocyte differentiation. This process is central to the immune system as it generates the effector populations that determine the ability of our body to control pathogens such as HIV or plasmodium (malaria) and to generate protective immunity after vaccination.

However, the process of lymphocyte differentiation is also intimately linked to autoimmune pathology and leukaemia development. Thus, a thorough understanding of the key molecules involved the peripheral differentiation of B and T cells, the main lymphocytic lineages, is central to any therapeutic approach aimed at treating immunodeficiencies, blood cell-derived cancers or autoimmunity.

Our lab utilises a number of transgenic and knock-out mouse models such as green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based transcription factor reporter mice as well as infection models such as influenza and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). We are utilising a broad range of molecular techniques including next-generation sequencing, microarrays, real-time PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP).

Research Interests

  • Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of effector and memory T cell differentiation
  • Molecular determinants of effector regulatory T cell (Treg) differentiation
  • Unravelling the role of Id and E-proteins in B cell to plasma cell differentiation
  • Indentifying the distinct roles of transcription factors in B cell leukaemia development.

Applications for PhD and postdoctoral positions are welcome.

Selected Publications

  1. Kallies A, Hasbold J, Tarlinton DM, Dietrich W, Corcoran LM, Hodgkin PD, Nutt SL. Plasma cell ontogeny defined by quantitative changes in Blimp-1 expression. J Exp Med. 2004 Oct 18;200(8):967-77. PMID: 15492122
  2. Kallies A, Hawkins ED, Belz GT, Metcalf D, Hommel M, Corcoran LM, Hodgkin PD, Nutt SL. Transcriptional repressor Blimp-1 is essential for T cell homeostasis and self tolerance. Nat Immunol. 2006 May;7(5):466-74. PMID: 16565720
  3. Kallies A, Hasbold J, Fairfax K, Pridans C, Emslie D, McKenzie BS, Lew AM, Corcoran LM, Hodgkin PD, Tarlinton DM, Nutt SL. Initiation of plasma cell differentiation is independent of Blimp-1. Immunity. 2007 May;26(5):555-66. PMID: 17509907
  4. D'Costa K, Emslie D, Metcalf D, Smyth GK, Karnowski A, Kallies A, Nutt SL, Corcoran LM. Blimp1 is limiting for transformation in a mouse plasmacytoma model. Blood. 2009 Jun 4;113(23):5911-9. PMID: 19329782
  5. Kallies A, Xin A, Belz GT, Nutt SL. Blimp1 Is Required For The Differentiation Of Protective Effector CD8+ T Cells And Memory Responses. Immunity. 2009 Aug 21;31(2):283-95. PMID: 19664942
  6. Kallies A. Distinct regulation of effector and memory T cell differentiation. Immunol Cell Biol. 2008 May-Jun;86(4):325-32. PMID: 18362944
  7. Zotos, D, Coquet, JM, Light, A., D'Costa, K, Kallies, A, Corcoran, LM, Godfrey, DI, Smyth,MJ, Nutt, SL, Tarlinton, DM. 2010. IL-21 Regulates Germinal Center B Cell Differentiation and Proliferation Through a B Cell-Intrinsic Mechanism. J Exp Med. 2010 Feb 15;207(2):365-78. PMID: 20142430
  8. Belz GT, Kallies A. Effector and Memory CD8+ T cell differentiation: Towards a Molecular Understanding of Fate Determination. Curr Opin Immunol. 2010 Jun;22(3):279-85. PMID: 20434894
  9. Cretney E, Xin A, Shi W, Minnich M, Masson F, Miasari M, Belz G, SmythGK, Busslinger M, Nutt SL, Kallies A. The transcription factors Blimp1 and IRF4 jointly control differentiation and function of effector regulatory T cells. Nat Immunol. 2011 Apr;12(4):304-11. PMID: 21378976
  10. Linterman MA, Pierson W, Lee SK, Kallies A, Kawamoto S, Rayner TF, Srivastava M, Divekar DP, Beaton L, Hogan JJ, Fagarasan S, Liston A, Smith KGC, Vinuesa, CG. FoxP3+ follicular regulatory T cells control T follicular helper cells and the germinal center response. Nat Med. 2011 Jul 24;17(8):975-82. PMID: 21785433

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Current Laboratory Members

Faculty Member: Axel Kallies, PhD Free University Berlin

Postdoctoral Fellow: Klaas van Gisbergen

Postdoctoral Fellow: Ajithkumar Vasanthakumar

PhD Student: Kevin Man, BSc(Hons) Melb

PhD Student: Tom Sidwell, BSc(Hons) Monash

Research Assistant: Renee Gloury, BSc (Hons) Melb

Research Assistant: Shoukat Afshar-Sterle, PhD Adelaide