Discovering novel therapies for major human pathogens

Discovering novel therapies for major human pathogens

Project details

Intracellular pathogens manipulate host cell survival to facilitate their persistence and dissemination. Our lab investigates these interactions to identify genetic and/or pharmacological strategies of sensitising infected cells to die. Potential targets are tested using cutting-edge imaging techniques and pre-clinical models to determine the effectiveness and feasibility of translation to patients.

Students will have the opportunity to utilize genetically modified pre-clinical models to investigate how immune responses and genetically-programmed cell survival/cell death pathways influence the ability of the host to clear infections. Results from this project will have real-world applicability and can be translated to setting of important respiratory infections, such as tuberculosis and SARS-CoV-2.

In our lab, students will become adept in understanding and applying CRISPR, pre-clinical infection models, FACS, live-cell imaging, histology, molecular biology and tissue culture.

About our research group

The Pellegrini Lab is interested in chronic infectious diseases, particularly from the perspective of the host. There are many unknowns that surround the failure of the immune system in this setting, which manifests as the death and/or dysfunction of immune cells.

We work on a diverse range of human pathogens, and have had great success in our highly novel endeavors to utilise different therapeutic agents to enhance the clearance of infected cells. We are also interested in coordinating these approaches with genetic or pharmacological strategies to prevent the premature death of immune cells. We believe that combinatorial approaches such as these will be essential for the cure or long-term remission of chronic infectious diseases, such as TB, but also for short term interventions for acute infections such as SARS-CoV-2.


Email supervisors



Professor Marc Pellegrini

Professor Marc Pellegrini in the lab
Joint Division Head

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