My lab research is focused on molecular analysis of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. We use murine and human experimental systems and apply ‘omics’ technologies in order to improve understanding of disease pathogenesis, find better biomarkers and develop targeted therapeutics.

Our primary focus has been on rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but we’ve found that experimental systems and techniques used to study RA are relevant to many other inflammatory diseases, and we now have active research programs in vasculitis, myositis and lupus. We also have a strong interest in developing therapeutic antibodies and several of these have gone into clinical trials. In addition to engineered antibodies, we have formed a collaboration with Australian Red Cross Lifeblood to study the naturally occurring human antibody repertoire in hemolytic disease of the newborn.

A major research theme of my lab is to investigate how the cytokines G-CSF and GM-CSF promote inflammatory diseases. This has led to collaborations with the biotechnology sector (CSL, MedImmune and Kiniksa) and the development of antibody-based therapies to the G- and GM-CSF receptors that are currently in clinical trials.

Skills and expertise:

  • Human inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases, including clinical trials
  • Experimental models of inflammatory diseases
  • Antibody-based therapies


Selected publications from Prof Ian Wicks

GM-CSF primes cardiac inflammation in a mouse model of Kawasaki disease.
Stock AT, Hansen JA, Sleeman MA, McKenzie BS, Wicks IP. J Exp Med 2016

Targeting GM-CSF in inflammatory diseases. Wicks IP & Roberts AW. Nature Reviews Rheumatology 2016

A cytotoxic anti-IL3R a antibody targets key cells and alters cytokines implicated in systemic lupus erythematosus. Shereen Oon, Huy Huynh, Tsin Yee Tai, Milica Ng, Katherine Monaghan, Mark Biondo, Gino Vairo, Eugene Maraskovsky, Andrew D. Nash, Ian P Wicks*, Nicholas J. Wilson*. JCI Insight 2016 *co-senior authors

Dysregulated IL-1β-GM-CSF Axis in Acute Rheumatic Fever That Is Limited by Hydroxychloroquine. Kim ML, Martin WJ, Minigo G, Keeble JL, Garnham AL, Pacini G, Smyth GK, Speed TP, Carapetis J, Wicks IP. Circulation. 2018

Therapeutic Effects of a TANK-Binding Kinase 1 Inhibitor in Germinal Center-Driven Collagen-Induced Arthritis. Louis C, NgoD, D’Silva DB, Hansen J, Phillipson L, Jousset H, Novello P, Segal D, Lawlor KE, Burns CJ, Wicks IP. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019

NK cell-derived GM-CSF potentiates murine autoantibody-induced inflammatory arthritis and is negatively regulated by CIS. Louis C, Guimaraes FSF, Yang Y, D’Silva DB, Kratina T, Dagley LF, Hediyeh-zadeh S, Rautela J, Davis MJ, Babon JJ, Ciric B, Vivier E, Alexander WS, Huntington ND*, Wicks IP*. J Exp Med. 2020. *co-senior authors

Efficacy and safety of mavrilimumab in giant cell arteritis: a phase 2, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Maria C Cid, Sebastian H Unizony, Daniel Blockmans, Elisabeth Brouwer, Lorenzo Dagna, Bhaskar Dasgupta, Bernhard Hellmich, Eamonn Molloy, Carlo Salvarani, Bruce C Trapnell, Kenneth J Warrington, Ian Wicks, Manoj Samant, Teresa Zhou, Lara Pupim, John F Paolini. Ann Rheum Dis 2022

mTOR inhibition prevents coronary artery remodeling in a murine model of Kawasaki disease. Angus. T. Stock, Sarah Parsons, Damian. B. D’Silva, Jacinta. A. Hansen, Varun. J. Sharma, Fiona James, Graham Starkey, Rohit D’Costa, Claire. L. Gordon & Ian. P. Wicks. Arth Rheum 2022

Targeting necroptosis in muscle fibers ameliorates inflammatory myopathies. Mari Kamiya, Fumitaka Mizoguchi, Kimito Kawahata, Dengli Wang, Masahiro Nishibori, Jessica Day, Cynthia Louis, Ian Wicks, Hitoshi Kohsaka, and Shinsuke Yasuda. Nature Communications 2022

CD98 controls the metabolic flexibility of low-density neutrophils mobilized by granulocyte colony stimulating factor. Katherine R Martin, Jessica A Day, Jacinta A Hansen, Damian B D’Silva, Huon L Wong, Peter Hickey, Alexandra Garnham, Daniela Zalcenstein, Belinda Lee, Tracey Baldwin, Shalin H. Naik, Pradeep Rajasekhar, Jarrod J Sandow, Brunda Nijagal, Tracy L. Putoczki, Nick Wilson, Ian P. Wicks. Clinical and Translational Medicine 2023

Lab research projects

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