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Translational Immunology

Programme Leader: Dr Olivier Gasser

Research Fellows: Dr Alissa Cait , Dr David O'Sullivan , Dr Jeffry Tang

The translational immunology research group, led by Dr Olivier Gasser, investigates ways to leverage communication between the immune system and metabolism, with an emphasis on nutrition and gut resident microbes to design new therapies to improve immune health as it relates to cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases.

In particular, they focus on investigating how metabolites generated by the microbiome spread throughout the body and influence the behaviour of immune cells in the brain, lung and skin. By obtaining a deeper understanding of how metabolites and gut microbes contribute to a healthy immune system, we can determine whether our immune responses can be optimised through certain dietary manipulations.

The translational immunology research group aims to reveal the immune system’s evolutionary role as an environmental sensor, not purely restricted to pathogens but also signals and stressors of metabolic origin, providing a distinct and holistic approach to disease prevention and cure. The translational immunology research group works to be a key pillar of the High-Value Nutrition Ko Ngā Kai Whai Painga National Science Challenge.