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Dr Olivier Gasser

Group Leader - Gasser Laboratory

Dr Olivier Gasser completed his postgraduate degree in Biomedical Research at the University of Basel (Switzerland) in 2004.

Following postdoctoral research at the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland (2004-2006), Harvard Medical School, USA (2006-2009) and back to the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland (2009-2011), Oli joined the Malaghan Institute in 2011 to become a Senior Research Fellow in the institute’s vaccine immunotherapy programme.

Oli leads the Gasser Laboratory, investigating relationship between environment, nutrition and the immune system.

"My research interests lie in the bidirectional communication between the immune system and host metabolism, with a strong emphasis on the gut and its resident microbes. My research group and I will ensure the Institute's research efforts will be a key pillar of the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge. In particular, my research will focus on novel mechanistic aspects of the human immune system that could provide immediate impact to the fields of immune health as it relates to cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases.

"In essence, the Gasser Laboratory will aim at revealing the immune system’s evolutionary role as an environmental sensor, not purely restricted to pathogens but incorporating signals and stressors of metabolic origin, providing a distinct and holistic approach to disease prevention and cure."

MSc (Strasbourg), PhD (Basel)




Tang JS, Stephens R, Li Y, Cait A, Gell K, Faulkner S, Grooby A, Herst PM, O'Sullivan D, Gasser O (2023). Polyphenol and glucosinolate-derived AhR modulators regulate GPR15 expression on human CD4+ T cells. J Nutr Biochem. 122:109456

Mules TC, Lavender B, Maclean K, Vacca F, Noble SL, Yumnam B, Te Kawa T, Cait A, Tang J, O'Sullivan D, Gasser O, Stanley J, Le Gros G, Camberis M, Inns S (2023). Controlled Hookworm Infection for Medication-free Maintenance in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis: A Pilot, Double-blind, Randomized Control Trial. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2023 Jun 15

Dasyam N, Sharples KJ, Barrow C, Huang Y, Bauer E, Mester B, Wood CE, Authier-Hall A, Dzhelali M, Ostapowicz T, Kumar R, Lowe J, Maxwell A, Burn OK, Williams GM, Carley SE, Caygill G, Jones J, Chan STS, Hinder VA, Macapagal J, McCusker M, Weinkove R, Brimble MA, Painter GF, Findlay MP, Dunbar PR, Gasser O, Hermans IF (2023). A randomised controlled trial of long NY-ESO-1 peptide-pulsed autologous dendritic cells with or without alpha-galactosylceramide in high-risk melanoma. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2023 Mar 7


van der Woude H, Hally KE, Currie MJ, Gasser O, Henry CE (2022). Importance of the endometrial immune environment in endometrial cancer and associated therapies. Front Oncol. 12:975201

Tang JS, Cait A, White RM, Arabshahi HJ, O’Sullivan D and Gasser O (2022). MR1-dependence of unmetabolized folic acid side-effects. Front. Immunol. 13:946713

Lovell AL, Eriksen H, McKeen S, Mullaney J, Young W, Fraser K, Altermann E, Gasser O, Kussmann M, Roy NC, McNabb WC, Wall CR (2022). "Nourish to Flourish": complementary feeding for a healthy infant gut microbiome-a non-randomised pilot feasibility study. Pilot Feasibility Stud. 8(1):103

Woods K, Cait A, Gell K, Naidoo K, Brown C, Carpenter E, Gasser O (2022). Goat milk-derived lipids restrain NKT cell-dependent eosinophilic inflammation in a murine model of atopic dermatitis. J Invest Dermatol. 14:S0022-202X(22)00200-7


Cait A, Mooney A, Poyntz H, Shortt N, Jones A, Gestin A, Gell K, Grooby A, O’Sullivan D, Tang JS, Young W, Thayabaran D, Sparks J, Ostapowicz T, Tay A, Poppitt SD, Elliott S, Wakefield G, Parry-Strong A, Ralston J, Beasley R, Weatherall M, Braithwaite I, Forbes-Blom E and Gasser O (2021). Potential Association Between Dietary Fibre and Humoral Response to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine. Front. Immunol. 12:765528

Tang JS, Cait A, Li Y, Abolins-Thompson H, Gell K, Herst PM, O'Sullivan D, Gasser O (2021). Practical Approach To Explore the Effects of Polyphenols on Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Regulated Immune Function. J Agric Food Chem. 69(31):8625-8633

Gasser O, Tang J, Cait A (2021). Commentary on "properties and reactivity of the folic acid and folate photoproduct 6-formylpterin" by Goossens et al. [Free radic. Biol. Med. (2021) May 6;S0891-5849(21)00283-5]. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Jul 8:S0891-5849(21)00405-6

Naidoo K, Woods K, Pellefigues C, Cait A, O'Sullivan D, Gell K, Marshall AJ, Anderson RJ, Li Y, Schmidt A, Prasit K, Mayer JU, Gestin A, Hermans IF, Painter G, Jacobsen EA, Gasser O (2021). MR1-dependent immune surveillance of the skin contributes to pathogenesis and is a photobiological target of UV light therapy in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis. Allergy. 76(10):3155-3170

Xie L, McKenzie CI, Qu X, Mu Y, Wang Q, Bing N, Naidoo K, Alam MJ, Yu D, Gong F, Ang C, Robert R, Marques FZ, Furlotte N, Hinds D, Gasser O; 23andMe Research Team, Xavier RJ, Mackay CR (2021). pH and Proton Sensor GPR65 Determine Susceptibility to Atopic Dermatitis. J Immunol. 207 (1) 101-109


Li Y, Woods K, Parry-Strong A, Anderson RJ, Capistrano C, Gestin A, Painter GF, Hermans IF, Krebs J, Gasser O (2020). Distinct Dysfunctional States of Circulating Innate-Like T Cells in Metabolic Disease. Front Immunol. 11:448

Lange J, Anderson RJ, Marshall AJ, Chan STS, Bilbrough TS, Gasser O, Gonzalez-Lopez C, Salio M, Cerundolo V, Hermans IF, Painter GF (2020). The Chemical Synthesis, Stability, and Activity of MAIT Cell Prodrug Agonists That Access MR1 in Recycling Endosomes. ACS Chem Biol. 15(2):437-445 

Tang JS, Compton BJ, Marshall A, Anderson R, Li Y, van der Woude H, Hermans IF, Painter GF, Gasser O (2020). Mānuka honey-derived methylglyoxal enhances microbial sensing by mucosal-associated invariant T cells. Food Funct. 1;11(7):5782-5787. doi: 10.1039/d0fo01153c. Epub 2020 Jul 3.PMID: 32618294

Li Y, Woods K, Parry-Strong A, Anderson RJ, Capistrano C, Gestin A, Painter GF, Hermans IF, Krebs J, Gasser O. (2020). Distinct Dysfunctional States of Circulating Innate-Like T Cells in Metabolic Disease. Front Immunol. 13;11:448. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00448. eCollection 2020.PMID: 32231670 


Compton BJ, Farrand KJ, Tang CW, Osmond TL, Speir M, Authier-Hall A, Wang J, Ferguson PM, Chan STS, Anderson RJ, Cooney TR, Hayman CM, Williams GM, Brimble MA, Brooks CR, Yong LK, Metelitsa LS, Zajonc DM, Godfrey DI, Gasser O, Weinkove R, Painter GF, Hermans IF (2019) Enhancing T cell responses and tumour immunity by vaccination with peptides conjugated to a weak NKT cell agonist. Org & Biomol Chem 17(5):1225-1237


Michelini S, Balakrishnan B, Parolo S, Matone A, Mullaney J, Young W, Gasser O, Priami C, Lombardo R, Kussmann M (2018) A reverse metabolic approach to weaning: In silico identification of immune-beneficial infant gut bacteria, mining their metabolism for prebiotic feeds and sourcing these feeds in the natural product space. Microbiome 6(1):171

Poyntz, HC, Jones A, Jauregui R, Young W, Gestin A, Mooney A, Lamiable O, Altermann E, Schmidt A, Gasser O, Weyrich L, Jolly CJ, Linterman MA, Le Gros G, Hawkins ED, Forbes-Blom E (2018) Genetic regulation of antibody responsiveness to immunization in substrains or BALB/c mice. Immunol & Cell Biol 97(1):39-53

Shortt N, Poyntz H, Young W, Jones A, Gestin A, Mooney A, Thayabaran D, Sparks J, Ostapowicz T, Tay A, Poppitt S, Elliott S, Wakefield G, Parry-Strong A, Ralston J, Gasser O, Beasley R, Weatherall M, Braithwaite I, Forbes-Blom E. (2018) A feasibility study: association between gut microbiota enterotype and antibody response to seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine in adults. Clin Trans Immunology. 

Gasser O, Sharples KJ, barrow C, Williams GM, Bauer E, Wood CE, Mester B, Dzhelali M, Caygill G, Jones J, Haman CM, Hinder VA, Macapagal J, McCuster M, Weinkove R, Painter GF, Brimble MA, Findlay MP, Dunbar PR, Hermans IF (2018) A phase I vaccination study with dendritic cells loaded with NY-ESO-1 & a-galactosylceramide: induction of polyfunctional T cells in high risk melanoma patients.Cancer Immunol Immunother 67(2):285-298

Salio M, Gasser O, Gonzalez-Lopez C, Martens A, Veerapen N, Gileadi U, Verter JG, Napolitani G, Anderson R, Painter G, Besra GS, Hermans IF, Cerundolo V (2018) Activation of Human Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells Induces CD40L-Dependent Maturation of Monocyte-Derived and Primary Dendritic Cells.J Immunol 199(8)2631:2638


Gasser O, Sharples KJ, Barrow C, Williams GM, Bauer E, Wood CE, Mester B, Dzhelali M, Caygill G, Jones J, Hayman CM, Hinder VA, Macapagal J, McCusker M, Weinkove R, Painter GF, Brimble MA, Findlay MP, Dunbar PR, Hermans IF. (2017) A phase I vaccination study with dendritic cells loaded with NY-ESO-1 and α-galactosylceramide: induction of polyfunctional T cells in high-risk melanoma patients. Cancer Immunol Immunother.

Salio M, Gasser O, Gonzalez-Lopez C, Martens A, Veerapen N, Gileadi U, Verter JG, Napolitani G, Anderson R, Painter G, Besra GS, Hermans IF, Cerundolo V. (2017) Activation of Human Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells Induces CD40L-Dependent Maturation of Monocyte-Derived and Primary Dendritic Cells. J Immunol.


Mester B, Bauer B, Wood CE, Hermans IF, Gasser O (2015) Expression of CD1a and Type-1 polarization are dissociated in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells. PLoS One

Anderson RJ, Compton BJ, Tang C, Authier-Hall A, Hayman CM, Swinerd GW, Kowalczyk R, Harris P, Brimble MA, Larsen DS, Gasser O, Weinkove R, Hermans IF, Painter GF.  (2015). NKT Cell-Dependent Glycolipid-Peptide Vaccines with Potent Anti-tumour Activity.  Chem. Sci.


Hunn MK, Bauer E, Wood CE, Gasser O, Dzhelali M, Ancelet LR, Mester B, Sharples KJ, Findlay MP, Hamilton DA, and Hermans IF.  (2014). Dendritic cell vaccination combined with temozolomide retreatment: Results of a phase I trial in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme . Journal of Neuro-Oncology. 

Anderson RJ, Tang C, Daniels NJ, Compton BJ, Hayman CM, Johnston KA, Knight DA, Gasser O, Poyntz HC, Ferguson PM, Larsen DS, Ronchese F, Painter GF, Hermans, IF (2014).   ‘A novel synthetic self-adjuvanting lipopeptide vaccine to induce cytotoxic T lymphocytes that suppress allergic disease’.   Nature Chemical Biology.  


Durovic B, Gasser O, Gubser P, Sigle J, Hirsch HH, Stern M, Buser A, Hess C. (2013) Epstein-Barr virus negativity among individuals older than 60 years is associated with HLA-C and HLA-Bw4 variants and tonsillectomy. J Virol. 

Gasser O, Brander C, Wolbers M, Brown NV, Rauch A, Günthard HF, Battegay M, Hess C; Swiss HIV Cohort Study. (2013) Expansion of interferon-g-secreting HIV-specific T cells during successful antiretroviral therapy. HIV Med. 


Henn MR, Boutwell CL, Charlebois P, Lennon NJ, Power KA, Macalalad AR, Berlin AM, Malboeuf CM, Ryan EM, Gnerre S, Zody MC, Erlich RL, Green LM, Berical A, Wang Y, Casali M, Streeck H, Bloom AK, Dudek T, Tully D, Newman R, Axten KL, Gladden AD, Battis L, Kemper M, Zeng Q, Shea TP, Gujja S, Zedlack C, Gasser O, Brander C, Hess C, Günthard HF, Brumme ZL, Brumme CJ, Bazner S, Rychert J, Tinsley JP, Mayer KH, Rosenberg E, Pereyra F, Levin JZ, Young SK, Jessen H, Altfeld M, Birren BW, Walker BD, Allen TM. (2012) Whole genome deep sequencing of HIV-1 reveals the impact of early minor variants upon immune recognition during acute infection. PLoS Pathog. 


Mehling M, Hilbert P, Fritz S, Durovic B, Eichin D, Gasser O, Kuhle J, Klimkait T, Lindberg RL, Kappos L, Hess C. (2011) Antigen-specific adaptive immune responses in fingolimod-treated multiple sclerosis patients. Ann Neurol. 

Daikeler T, Tzankov A, Hoenger G, Gasser O, Tyndall A, Gratwohl A, Hess C. (2011) Minimal T-cell requirements for triggering haemophagocytosis associated with Epstein-Barr virus-driven B-cell proliferation: a clinical case study. Ann Rheum Dis.

Durovic B, Zenhaeusern G, Hoenger G, Gasser O, Schaub S, Hess C. (2011) Allo-induced acute-phase response; IL-6 identifies a subset of individuals at risk for graft injury. Scand J Immunol. 

Gasser O, Zenhaeusern G, Hönger G, Brander C, Hess C. (2011) Immunosuppressive drugs asymmetrically impact circulating T cell counts and function. Scand J Immunol. 

Daikeler T, Hoenger G, Oehri I, Tyndall A, Gratwohl A, Brander C, Klimkait T, Gasser O, Hess C. (2011) Dominant Epstein-Barr virus-specific T-cell responses are maintained during moderate and intense immunosuppressive treatment. Ann Rheum Dis.


Zenhaeusern G, Gasser O, Hönger G, Durovic B, Stern M, Hess C. (2009) Regulatory allospecific NK cell function is differentially associated with HLA C allotypes. Am J Transplant. 

Zenhaeusern G, Hönger G, Gasser O, Steiger J, Schaub S, Hess C. (2009) CD56(bright) natural killer cells expand and contract irrespective of CD25 antibody treatment in kidney allograft recipients. Scand J Immunol. 

Gasser O, Bihl F, Sanghavi S, Rinaldo C, Rowe D, Hess C, Stablein D, Roland M, Stock P, Brander C. (2009) Treatment-dependent loss of polyfunctional CD8+ T-cell responses in HIV-infected kidney transplant recipients is associated with herpesvirus reactivation. Am J   Transplant. 

Zenhaeusern G, Gubser P, Eisele P, Gasser O, Steinhuber A, Trampuz A, Handschin C, Luster AD, Hess C. (2009) A high-mobility, low-cost phenotype defines human effector-memory CD8+ T cells. Blood. 


Gasser O, Berger C, Zenhaeusern G, Elsässer H, Oehri I, Schaub S, Hess C. (2008) Testing the "cytokine-ome" theory: a longitudinal pilot study in renal transplant recipients. Transplantation. 

Eken C, Gasser O, Zenhaeusern G, Oehri I, Hess C, Schifferli JA. (2008) Polymorphonuclear neutrophil-derived ectosomes interfere with the maturation of monocyte-derived dendritic cells. J Immunol. 


Gasser O, Wolbers M, Steffen I, Hirsch HH, Battegay M, Hess C. (2007) Increased Epstein-Barr virus-specific antibody-levels in HIV-infected individuals developing primary central nervous system lymphoma. AIDS. 

Gasser O, Bihl FK, Wolbers M, Loggi E, Steffen I, Hirsch HH, Günthard HF, Walker BD, Brander C, Battegay M, Hess C; Swiss HIV Cohort Study. (2007) HIV patients developing primary CNS lymphoma lack EBV-specific CD4+ T cell function irrespective of absolute CD4+ T cell counts. PLoS Med. 

Zenhaeusern G, Gasser O, Saleh L, Villard J, Tiercy JM, Hess C. (2007) Investigation of alloreactive NK cells in mixed lymphocyte reactions using paraformaldehyde-silenced target cells. J Immunol Methods. 




Horakova E, Gasser O, Sadallah S, Inal JM, Bourgeois G, Ziekau I, Klimkait T, Schifferli JA. (2004) Complement mediates the binding of HIV to erythrocytes. J Immunol. 

Gasser O, Schifferli JA. (2004) Activated polymorphonuclear neutrophils disseminate anti-inflammatory microparticles by ectocytosis. Blood.