Vaccines and immunotherapies against viral infections and cancer depend upon effective T cell responses, the promotion of antibody-producing B cells, and the establishment of immunological memory.

The VISION of the Groom lab is to understand lymphoid positioning and cellular interactions as key leverage points that direct the outcomes of immune responses. Our aim is to continuously apply these fundamental insights to drive the generation of new therapies for the prevention and treatment of immunological and infectious disease and cancer. In achieving these impacts, the Groom lab will continue to build rich collaborative networks and mentor the next generation of curious, creative immunologists to take on new challenges to improve human health.

Our lab uses a multi-disciplinary approach to dissect the cellular interactions that underpin immune protection and disease. Our major interests are:

  • identifying factors that promote cell migration, and determining how this influences responses to acute and chronic infections, cancer and successful vaccination.
  • determining the spatial niches where cell differentiation decisions occur and long-term memory resides.
  • transcriptionally dissecting the cellular conversations that mediate flexible immune responses and understanding how these are altered during vaccination and infection, in immunodeficiency, asthma, autoimmunity and during immune-related adverse immunotherapy events.
  • determining how to promote immune cell interactions, for example within the tumour microenvironment.
    identifying pathways to target these processes to strategise vaccine design for long-lived protection, and for the development of treatments for inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Systems we use include:

  • advanced imaging methods including whole 3D organ imaging and time-lapse imaging of cell location and migration decisions.
  • diverse vaccination platforms (mRNA-LNP, DC-targeting, Ferritin nanoparticles), infection models (viral, bacterial, helminth and fungal) and cancer models (breast, colon, melanoma) and healthy and patient tissue samples to study flexible immune responses in health and disease.
  • development and analysis of reporter and conditional knockout models to identify how new factors regulate immune protection and memory responses.
  • gene expression profiling of cells based on cellular interactions and spatial distribution.


Selected publications from A/Prof Joanna Groom

Horton MB, Cheon H, Duffy KR, Brown D, Naik SH, Alvarado C, Groom JR, Heinzel S, Hodgkin PD. Lineage tracing reveals B cell antibody class switching is stochastic, cell-autonomous, and tunable. Immunity. 2022 Oct 11;55(10):1843-1855. PMID: 36108634

Tan HX, Juno JA, Esterbauer R, Kelly HG, Wragg KM, Konstandopoulos P, Alcantara S, Alvarado C, Jones R, Starkey G, Wang BZ, Yoshino O, Tiang T, Grayson L, Opdam H, D’Costa R, Vago A, Austin Liver Transplant Perfusionist Group, Mackay LK, Gordon CL, Masopust D, Groom JR, Kent SJ, Wheatley AK. Lung-resident memory B cells established after pulmonary influenza infection display distinct transcriptional and phenotypic profiles. 2022. Science Immunology 7 (67). PMID: 35089815

Dalit L, Alvarado C, L Küijper, Kueh AJ, Weir A, D’Amico A, Herold MJ, Vince JE, Nutt SL, Groom JR. CXCL11 expressing C57BL/6 mice have intact adaptive immune response to viral infection. 2022 Immunol Cell Biol 100(5):312-322. PMID: 35233830

Alexandre YO, Schienstock D, Lee HK, Gandolfo JC, Williams CG, Devi S, Pal, B Groom JR, Cao W, Christo SN, Gordon CL, Starkey G, D’Costa R, Mackay LK, Haque A, Ludewig B, Belz GT, Mueller SN. A diverse fibroblastic stromal cell landscape in the spleen directs tissue homeostasis and immunity. 2022. Science Immunology 7 (67). PMID: 34995096.

Jacquelot N, Seillet C, Wang M, Pizzolla A, Liao Y, Hediyeh-zadeh S, Grisaru-Tal, Louis C, Huang A, Schreuder J, Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes F, de Graaf CA, Thia K, Macdonald S, Camilleri M, Luong K, Zhang S, Chopin M, Molden-Hauer T, Nutt SL, Umansky V, Ciric B, Groom JR, Foster PS, Hansbro PM, McKenzie ANJ, Gray DHD, Behren A, Cebon J, Vivier E, Wicks IP, Trapani JA, Munitz A, Davis MJ, Shi W, Neeson PJ, Belz GT. PD-1 unleashes ILC2-dependent anti-tumor immunity in melanoma. 2021 Nat Immunol 22(7):851-864. PMID: 34099918

Duckworth DC, Lafouresse F, Wimmer VC, Broomfield BJ, Alexandre YO, Sheikh AA, Qin RZ, Alvarado C, Mielke LA, Pellegrini M, Mueller SN, Boudier T, Rogers KL, Groom JR. Effector and stem-like memory cell fates are imprinted in distinct lymph node niches directed by CXCR3 ligands. Nat Immunol 2021 Apr;22(4):434-448. PMID: 33649580

Kelly HG, Tan HX, Juno JA, Esterbauer R, Ju Y, Jiang W, Wimmer VC, Duckworth BC, Groom JR, Caruso F, Kanekiyo M, Kent SJ, Wheatley AK. Self-assembling influenza nanoparticle vaccines drive extended germinal center activity and memory B cell maturation. JCI: Insight 2020 May 21:5(10)e:136653. PMID: 32434990

Sheikh AA, Cooper L, Feng M, Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes F, Lafouresse F, Duckworth BC, Huntington ND, Moon JJ, Pellegrini M, Nutt SL, Belz GT, Good-Jacobson KL, Groom JR. Context-Dependent Role for T-bet in T Follicular Helper Differentiation and Germinal Center Function following Viral Infection. Cell Rep. 2019 Aug 13;28(7):1758-1772. PMID: 31412245

Denton A, Innocentin S, Carr EJ, Bradford B, Lafouresse F, Mabbott N, Mörbe U, Ludewig B, Groom JR, Good-Jacobson K, Linterman M. Type I interferon induces CXCL13 to support ectopic germinal center formation. J Exp Med 2019 Mar 4;216(3):621-637. PMID: 30723095

Marsman C, Lafouresse F, Liao Y, Baldwin TM, Mielke LA, Hu Y, Mack M, Hertzog PJ, de Graaf CA, Shi W, Groom JR. Plasmacytoid dendritic cell heterogeneity is defined by CXCL10 expression following TLR7 stimulation. Immunol Cell Biol. 2018 Nov;96(10):1083-1094. PMID: 29870118

Lab research projects

Interested in supporting our research?

Your support will help WEHI’s researchers make discoveries and find treatments to ensure healthier, longer lives for you and your loved ones.

Contact our friendly team to find out how you can help.