Our people

Professor Graham Le Gros

CNZM, PhD, FRSNZ, FRCPA (Hon)

Director of Research, Allergic and Parasitic Diseases Programme Leader

Professor Graham Le Gros was appointed Research Director of the Malaghan Institute in 1994, following a three-year Fogarty Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Washington DC, and a five-year scientist position with Ciba-Geigy in Basel, Switzerland. 

In 2005 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in recognition of his research contributions to the fields of immunology and asthma. In 2010 he was awarded the Wellington Medical Research Foundation Gold Medal and in 2011 he won the Science and Technology category of the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards for his contribution to medical research in Wellington and New Zealand. 

In 2014 Prof Le Gros was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) and in June 2014 he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

In 2016 he received the Sir Geoffrey Peren Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award 2016 by Massay University Floreat Scientia.

In 2017 Prof Le Gros has been named a Paul Harris Fellow by The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.

Prof Le Gros is Chief Executive of the Malaghan Institute. He works closely with the trust board in their governance of the institute’s activities. He leads an active biomedical research programme in allergic and parasitic diseases.


Research interests

The long-term goal of my research programme is to develop vaccines against asthma, allergy and human hookworm.

Understanding the signals that trigger the initiation of asthma and allergy is critical for the identification of specific treatments that selectively suppress the allergic Th2 immune response. My research group is using murine models, immunological assays and structure/function analyses to generate much needed information in this poorly understood field. Important outcomes of this work will be the development of generally applicable vaccines and therapies for the treatment of individuals with established disease, and the identification of improved immunological markers for monitoring human airway inflammation and allergy.

The flip-side to allergic responses is that they are the ones that protect against parasitic diseases. Therefore, in parallel to my asthma and allergy research, I also have a parasitology research programme dedicated to the development of a vaccine against human hookworm, one of the great neglected tropical diseases that keeps over a billion people in a state of poor health. Using the rodent model of human hookworm, Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, in combination with cytokine and cell knockout murine models, we are looking for putative targets both for vaccine design and testing of vaccine efficacy in the field.

Research group

Allergic & Parasitic Diseases Programme
Programme Leader: Professor Graham Le Gros
Senior Research Officer: Mali Camberis
Melanie Prout
Research Fellow : Dr Kara Filbey
Dr Christophe Pellefigues
PhD Student: Karmella Naidoo
Masters Graduate: Kimberley Meijlink
Research Officer: Jodie Chandler

Publications

2017

Robinson MJ, Prout M, Mearns H, Kyle R, Camberis M, Forbes-Blom EE, Paul WE, Allen CDC, Le Gros G (2017) IL-4 Haploinsufficiency Specifically Impairs IgE Responses against Allergens in Mice. J Immunol.

2016

Schmidt A, Bouchery T, Le Gros G, Price KM (2016) Large Particle Sorting to Isolate Live Parasitic Nematode Eggs.Curr Protoc Cytom

Le Gros G, Kyle R (2016) The Differentiation and Function of Th2 and Th9 Cells.Encyclopedia of Immunobiology

Bouchery T, Camberis M, Le Gros G (2016) Dye Labeling of Live Nippostrongylus brasiliensis  Larvae for Visualization in Host Tissue.  Bio-protocol

Camberis M, Bouchery T, Le Gros G (2016) Isolation of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis Larvae from Mouse Lungs.Bio-protocol

Jang JC, Chen G, Wang SH, Barnes MA, Chung JI, Camberis M, Le Gros G, Cooper PJ, Steel C, Nutman TB, Lazar MA, Nair MG (2015) Macrophage-derived human resistin is induced in multiple helminth infections and promotes inflammatory monocytes and increased parasite burden.PLoS Pathog

2015

Hewitson JP, Filbey KJ, Bieren JE, Camberis M, Schwartz C, Murray J, Reynolds LA, Blair N, Robertson E, Harcus Y, Boon L, Huang SC-C, Yang L, Tu Y, Miller MJ, Voehringer D, Le Gros G, Harris N, Maizels RM (2015) Concerted Activity of IgG1 Antibodies and IL-4/IL-25-Dependent Effector Cells Trap Helminth Larvae in the Tissues following Vaccination with Defined Secreted Antigens, Providing Sterile Immunity to Challenge Infection.PLoS Pathog

Bouchery T, Kyle R, Camberis M, Shepherd A, Filbey K, Smith A, Harvie M, Painter G, Johnston K, Ferguson P, Jain R, Roediger B, Delahunt B, Weninger W, Forbes-Blom E, Le Gros G (2015) ILC2s and T cells cooperate to ensure maintenance of M2 macrophages for lung immunity against hookworms.Nat Commun

Hewitson JP, Filbey KJ, Esser-von Bieren J, Camberis M, Schwartz C, Murray J, Reynolds LA, Blair N, Robertson E, Harcus Y, Boon L, Ching-Cheng Huang S, Yang L, Tu L, Miller MJ, Voehringer D, Le Gros G, Harris N, Maizels RM.  (2015).  Concerted Activity of IgG1 Antibodies and IL-4/IL-25-Dependent Effector Cells Trap Helminth Larvae in the Tissues following Vaccination with Defined Secreted Antigens, Providing Sterile Immunity to Challenge Infection.  PLOS Pathogens

2014

Sotillo J, Sanchez-Flores A, Cantacessi C, Harcus Y, Pickering D, Bouchery T, Camberis M, Tang SC, Giacomin P, Mulvenna J, Mitreva M, Berriman M, Le Gros G, Maizels RM, Loukas A. (2014) Secreted Proteomes of Different Developmental Stages of the Gastrointestinal Nematode  Nippostrongylus brasiliensis.   Molecular & Cellular Proteomics.

Roediger B, Kyle R, Le Gros G, Weninger W. (2014) Dermal group 2 innate lymphoid cells in atopic dermatitis and allergy.  Curr. Op. Immunol. 

Ochiai S, Roediger B, Abtin A, Shklovskaya E,Fazekas de St Groth B, Yamane H, Weninger W, Le Gros G, Ronchese.F. (2014). CD326loCD103loCD11blo dermal dendritic cells are activated by Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin during contact sensitization in mice. J Immunol. 

Connor LM, Tang SC, Camberis M, Le Gros G, Ronchese F (2014)  Helminth–conditioned dendritic cells prime CD4+ T cells to IL-4 production in vivo.  J. Immunol. 

Ochiai S, Roediger B, Abtin A, Shklovskaya E, Fazekas de St Groth B, Yamane H, Weninger W‡, Le Gros G, Ronchese F (2014) CD326loCD103loCD11blo dermal dendritic cells are activated by Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin during contact sensitization in mice. J Immunol. (accepted)

Mearns H, Forbes-Blom EE, Camberis M, Tang SC, Kyle R, Harvie M, Kleinschek MA, Le Gros G (2014) IL-25 exhibits disparate roles during Th2-cell differentiation versus effector function. Eur J Immunol, (in press)

Connor LM, Tang SC, Camberis M, Le Gros G, Ronchese F (2014) Helminth–conditioned dendritic cells prime CD4+ T cells to IL-4 production in vivo.  J. Immunol. (accepted)

2013

Kim S, Karasuyama H, Lopez AF, Ouyang W, Li X, Le Gros G, Min B (2013) IL-4 derived from non-T cells induces basophil- and IL-3-independent Th2 immune responses.Immune Netw

Roediger B, Kyle R, Ho Yip K, Sumaria N, Guy TV, Kim BS, Mitchell AJ, Tay SS, Jain R, Forbes-Blom E, Chen X, Tong PL, Bolton HA, Artis D, Paul WE, Fazekas de St Groth B, Grimbaldeston MA, Le Gros G, Weninger W (2013) Cutaneous immunosurveillance and regulation of inflammation by group 2 innate lymphoid cells.Nat Immunol

Harvie M, Camberis M, Le Gros G (2013) Development of CD4 T cell dependent immunity against N. brasiliensis infection. Front Immunol

Camberis M, Prout M, Tang SC, Forbes-Blom E, Robinson M, Kyle R, Belkaid Y, Paul W, Le Gros G (2013) Evaluating the in vivo Th2 priming potential among common allergens.J Immunol Methods

2012

Robinson M, McConnell MJ, Le Gros G (2012) How epigenetic imprinting contributes to stabilizing the Th2 phenotype.Immunol Cell Biol

Herbst T, Esser J, Prati M, Kulagin M, Stettler R, Zaiss MM, Hewitson JP, Merky P, Verbeek JS, Bourquin C, Camberis M, Prout M, Maizels RM, Le Gros G, Harris NL (2012) Antibodies and IL-3 support helminth-induced basophil expansion.Proc Natl Acad Sci USA

Dickgreber N, Farrand KJ, van Panhuys N, Knight DA, McKee SJ, Chong ML, Miranda-Hernandez S, Baxter AG, Locksley RM, Le Gros G, Hermans IF (2012) Immature NKT cells pass through a stage of developmentally programmed innate IL-4 secretion.J Leukoc Biol

2011

van Panhuys N, Prout M, Forbes E, Min B, Paul WE, Le Gros G (2011) Basophils are the major producers of IL-4 during primary helminth infection. J Immunol, 186:2719-28

2010

Connor LM, Harvie MC, Rich FJ, Quinn KM, Brinkmann V, Le Gros G, Kirman JR (2010) A key role for lung-resident memory lymphocytes in protective immune responses after BCG vaccination. Eur J Immunol, 40:2482-92

Harvie M, Camberis M, Tang SC, Delahunt B, Paul W, Le Gros G (2010) The lung is an important site for priming CD4 T-cell-mediated protective immunity against gastrointestinal helminth parasites. Infect Immun, 78:3753-62 

Forbes E, van Panhuys N, Min B, Le Gros G (2010) Differential requirements for IL-4/STAT6 signalling in CD4 T-cell fate determination and Th2-immune effector responses. Immunol Cell Biol, 88:240-3

Kim S, Prout M, Ramshaw H, Lopez AF, Le Gros G, Min B (2010) Basophils are transiently recruited into the draining lymph nodes during helminth infection via IL-3 but infection-induced Th2 immunity can develop without basophil lymph node recruitment or IL-3. J Immunol, 184:1143-7

2008

Douwes J, Cheng S, Travier N, Cohet C, Niesink A, McKenzie J, Cunningham C, Le Gros G, von Mutius E, Pearce N (2008) Farm exposure in utero may protect against asthma, hay fever and eczema. Eur Respir J, 32:603-11

Forbes EE, Groschwitz K, Abonia JP, Brandt EB, Cohen E, Blanchard C, Ahrens R, Seidu L, McKenzie A, Strait R, Finkelman FD, Foster PS, Matthaei KI, Rothenberg ME, Hogan SP (2008) IL-9- and mast cell-mediated intestinal permeability predisposes to oral antigen hypersensitivity. J Exp Med, 205:897-913 & Nature Rev Immunol, 8:321

Le Gros G, Ben-Sasson SZ, Seder R, Finkelman FD, Paul WE (2008) Generation of interleukin 4 (IL-4)-producing cells in vivo and in vitro: IL-2 and IL-4 are required for in vitro generation of IL-4 producing cells. J Immunol, 181:2943-51

Shen T, Kim S, Do JS, Weng L, Lantz C, Urban JF, Le Gros G, Min B (2008) T cell-derived IL-3 plays key role in parasite infection-induced basophil production but is dispensable for in vivo basophil survival. Int Immunol 20:1201-9

van Panhuys N, Le Gros G, McConnell MJ (2008) Epigenetic regulation of Th2 cytokine expression in atopic diseases. Tissue Antigens, 72:91-7

van Panhuys N, Tang S-C, Prout M, Camberis M, Scarlett D, Roberts J, Hu-Li J, Paul WE, Le Gros G (2008) In vivo studies fail to reveal a role for IL-4 or STAT6 signalling in Th2 lymphocyte differentiation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 105:12423-8

Wang L, van Panhuys N, Hu-Li J, Kims S, Le Gros G, Min B (2008) Blimp-1 induced by IL-4 plays a critical role in suppressing IL-2 production in activated CD4 T cells. J Immunol, 181:5249-56

2007

Douwes J, Travier N, Huang K, Cheng S, McKenzie J, Le Gros G, von Mutius E, Pearce N (2007) Lifelong farm exposure may strongly reduce the risk of asthma in adults. Allergy, 62:1158-65

Oh K, Shen T, Le Gros G, Min B (2007) Induction of Th2 type immunity in a mouse system reveals a novel immunoregulatory role of basophils. Blood, 109:2921-7

2006

Harris NL, Watt V, MacLenachan S, Diehl S, Marsland BJ, Rincon M, Le Gros G (2006) Nuclear factor of activated T (NFAT) cells activity within CD4+ T cells is influenced by activation status and tissue localisation. Microbes Infect 8:232-7

Min B, Le Gros G, Paul WE (2006) Basophils: a potential liaison between innate and adaptive immunity. Allergol Int, 55:99-104

2005

Harris NL, Holloway J, Fitzharris P, McDonald M, Camberis M, Fazekas de St Groth B, Ronchese F, Le Gros G (2005) Tissue localization and frequency of antigen-specific effector CD4 T cells determines the development of allergic airway inflammation. Immunol Cell Biol, 83:490-7

Marsland BJ, Camberis M, Le Gros G (2005) Secretory products from infective forms of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis induce a rapid allergic airway inflammatory response. Immunol Cell Biol, 83:40-7

van Panhuys N, Perret R, Prout M, Ronchese F, Le Gros G (2005) Effector lymphoid tissue and its crucial role in protective immunity. Trends Immunol, 26:242-7

2004

Douwes J, Le Gros G, Gibson P, Pearce N (2004) Can bacterial endotoxin exposure reverse atopy and atopic disease? J Allergy Clin Immunol, 114:1051-4

Marsland BJ, Harris NL, Camberis M, Kopf M, Hook SM, Le Gros G (2004) Bystander suppression of allergic airway inflammation by lung resident memory CD8+ T cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 101:6116-21

Marsland BJ, Kopf M, Le Gros G (2004) Viral infection and allergy. Letter to Nature Immunol. 5:865

Marsland BJ, Le Gros G (2004) CD8+ T cells and immunroregulatory networks in asthma. Springer Semin Immunopathol, 25:311-23

Marsland BJ, Scanga CB, Kopf M, Le Gros G (2004) Allergic airway inflammation is exacerbated during acute influenza infection and correlates with increased allergen presentation and recruitment of allergen-specific T-helper type 2 cells. Clin Exp Allergy, 34:1299-306

Min B, Prout M, Hu-Li J, Zhu J, Jankovic D, Morgan ES, Urban JF, Dvorak AM, Finkelman FD, Le Gros G, Paul WE (2004) Basophils produce IL-4 and accumulate in tissues after infection with a Th2-inducing parasite. J Exp Med, 200:507-17

Sayers I, Severn W, Scanga C, Hudson J, Le Gros G, Harper JL (2004) Suppression of allergic airway disease using mycobacterial lipoglycans. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 114:302-9

2003

Hook S, Camberis M, Prout M, Le Gros G (2003) Absence of preproenkephalin increases the threshold for T cell activation. J Neuroimmunol, 140:61-8

Sayers I, LeGros G, Harper JL (2003) From hygiene hypothesis to novel allergic asthma therapeutics. Cur Med Chem-Anti-Inflamm Anti-Allergy Agents, 2:143-155

2002

Beasley R, Shirtcliffe P, Harper JL, Holt S, Le Gros G (2002) Mycobacterium-based vaccines for the prevention of allergic disease: a progress report. Clin Exp Allergy, 32:1128-30

Camberis M, Le Gros G, Urban Jr J (2002) Animal models of Nippostronglyus brasiliensis and Heligmosomoides polygyrus. Curr Protocols Immunol, in press

Conze D, Krahl T, Kennedy N, Weiss L, Lumsden J, Hess P, Flavell RA, Le Gros G, Davis RJ, Rincon M (2002) c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK)1 and JNK2 have distinct roles in CD8(+) T cell activation. J Exp Med, 195:811-23

Harris N, Watt V, Ronchese F, Le Gros G (2002) Differential T cell function and fate in lymph node and non-lymphoid tissues. J Exp Med, 195:317-26

2001

Shirtcliffe PM, Easthope SE, Cheng S, Weatherall M, Tan PL, Le Gros G, Beasley R (2001) The effect of delipidated deglycolipidated (DDMV) and heat-killed Mycobacterium vaccae in asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 163:1310-4

2000

Conze D, Lumsden J, Enslen H, Davis RJ, Le Gros G, Rincon M (2000) Activation of p38 MAP kinase in T cells facilitates the immune response to the influenza virus. Mol Immunol, 37:503-13

Holloway JW, Dunbar R, Riley G, Sawyer G, Fitzharris P, Pearce N, Le Gros G, Beasley R (2000) Association of ß2-adrenergic receptor polymorphisms with severe asthma. Clin Exp Allergy, 30:1097-103

Hook S, Prout M, Camberis M, Konig M, Zimmer A, Van Heeke G, Le Gros G (2000) Th2-dependent airway eosinophilia is regulated by preproenkephalin. J Neuroimmunol, 107:59-65

Kirman J, Zakaria Z, McCoy K, Delahunt B, Le Gros G (2000) The role of eosinophils on the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium bovis BCG infection in interferon-? receptor deficient mice. Infect Immun, 68:2976-8

Scanga CB, Le Gros G (2000) Development of an asthma vaccine: research into BCG. Drugs, 59:1217-21

1999

Erb KJ, Hou S, Hyland L, Kirman J, Moll H, Le Gros G (1999) Constitutive expression of interleukin 4 in vivo does not lead to the development of T helper 2 type CD8+ T cells secreting interleukin 4 or interleukin 5. Immunol Lett, 68:383-90

Erb K, Kirman J, Delahunt B, Le Gros G (1999) Infection of mice with M. bovis BCG induces both Th1 and Th2 immune responses in the absence of Interferon-? signalling. Eur Cytokine Netw, 10:147-54

Fraser H, Rincon M, McCoy K, Le Gros G (1999) CTLA4 ligation attenuates AP-1, NFAT and NF-kB activity in activated T cells. Eur J Immunol, 29:838-44

Hook S, Camberis M, Prout M, Konig M, Zimmer A, Van Heeke G, Le Gros G (1999) Preproenkephalin is a Th2 cytokine but is not required for Th2 differentiation in vitro. Immunol Cell Biol, 77:385-90

Hook S, Cheng P, Holloway J, Riley G, Sawyer G, Le Gros G, Beasley R (1999) Analysis of two IL-4 promoter polymorphisms in a cohort of atopic and asthmatic subjects. Exp Clin Immunogen, 16:33-5

Kirman J, McCoy K, Hook S, Prout M, Delahunt B, Orme I, Frank A, Le Gros G (1999) CTLA-4 blockade enhances the immune response induced by mycobacterial infection but does not lead to increased protection. Infect Immun, 67:3786-92

1998

Erb K, Holloway J, Sobeck A, Moll H, Le Gros G (1998) Infection of mice with Mycobacterium bovis-Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) suppresses allergen induced airway eosinophilia. J Exp Med, 187:561-569

Erb K, Kirman J, Delahunt B, Chen W, Le Gros G (1998) IL-4, IL-5 and IL-10 are not required for the control of M. bovis BCG infection in mice. Immunol Cell Biol, 76:41

Erb K, Kirman J, Woodfield L, Wilson T, Collins DM, Watson JD, Le Gros G (1998) Identification of potential CD8+ T-cell epitopes of the 19 kDa and AHPC proteins from Mycobacterial tuberculosis - no evidence for CD8+ T-cell priming against the identified peptides after DNA-vaccination of mice. Vaccine, 16:692

Holloway J, Dunbar R, Riley G, Sawyer G, Fitzharris P, Pearce N, Le Gros G, Beasley R (1998) Association of b 2-adrenergic receptor polymorphisms with severe asthma. Amer J Resp Crit Care Med, in press

Kirman J, Le Gros G (1998) Which is the true regulator of Th2 cell development in allergic immune responses? Clin Exp Allergy, 28:908-10

McCoy K, Le Gros G (1998) The role of CTLA-4 in the regulation of T cell immune responses. Immunol Cell Biol (in press)

1997

Harris N, Campbell C, Le Gros G, Ronchese F (1997) Blockade of CD28/B7 co-stimulation by mCTLA4-Hgamma1 inhibits antigen-induced lung eosinophilia but not Th2 cell development or recruitment in the lung. Eur J Immunol, 27:155-61

Harris N, Peach R, Naemura J, Linsley PS, Le Gros G, Ronchese F (1997) CD80 costimulation is essential for the induction of airway eosinophilia. J Exp Med, 185:177-82

1996

Coyle AJ, Bertrand C, Tsuyuki S, Pircher H, Walti S, Le Gros G, Erard F (1996) IL-4 differentiates naïve CD8+ T cells to a "Th2-like" phenotype: a link between viral infections and bronchial asthma. Ann NY Acad Sci, 31:97-103

Erb KJ, Holloway JW, Le gros G (1996) Mast cells in the front line: Innate immunity. Curr. Biol. 6:941-2

Erb KJ, Le Gros G (1996) The role of Th2 type CD4+ T cells and Th2 type CD8+ T cells in asthma. Immunol Cell Biol, 74:206-8

Le Gros G, Schultze N, Walti S, Einsle K, Finkelman F, Kosco-Vilbois MH, Heusser C (1996) The development of IgE+ memory B cells following primary IgE immune responses. Eur J Immunol, 26:3042-7

1995

Coyle AJ, Erard R, Bertrand C, Walti S, Pircher H, Le Gros G (1995) Virus-specific CD8+ cells can switch to interleukin 5 production and induce airway eosinophilia. J Exp Med, 181:1229-33

Coyle AJ, Le Gros G, Bertrand C, Tsuyuki S, Heusser CH, Kopf M, Anderson GP (1995) Interleukin-4 is required for the induction of lung Th2 mucosal immunity. Am J Respir Cel Mol Biol, 13:54-9

Kopf M, Le Gros G, Coyle AJ, Kosco-Vilbois M, Brombacher F (1995) Immune responses of IL-4, IL-5, IL-6 deficient mice. Immunol Rev, 148:45-69

Seder RA, Le Gros G (1995) The functional role of CD8+ T helper type 2 cells. J Exp Med, 181:5-7

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