Associate Professor Alexandra Sharland
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Associate Professor Alexandra Sharland

Associate Professor
Surgery, Central Clinical School
+61 2 9351 2897
+61 2 9036 7083
Associate Professor Alexandra Sharland

Basic and translational research in transplantation.

Our research focuses on understanding the mechanisms which determine the fate of alloreactive T cells following antigen encounter, and the outcomes of organ or tissue transplantation. Gene transfer of donor MHC class I molecules to the recipient liver is a robust and powerful strategy for transplant tolerance induction, which is effective even in the presence of pre-existing anti-donor immunity. Tolerance induction depends on the direct recognition of intact donor MHC class I molecules, along with their endogenous peptide cargo. Recently, we have identified a number of specific peptide-MHC (pMHC) epitopes recognised by directly alloreactive T cells, and are using this information to develop methods for the detection, tracking and immunophenotyping of these cells. Cloning and sequencing the alloreactive T cell receptors (TCR) identified in this way will form the basis for detailed studies of the TCR-pMHC interaction.

Approaches we use in our research include preclinical models of transplantation and related conditions, gene transfer using adeno-ascociated viral vectors, multiparameter flow, spectral and mass cytometry, histology and immunostaining, mass spectrometry and computational analysis (via a collaboration with the immunoproteomics group at Monash), PCR, tissue culture, ex-vivo assays of T cell activation, cellular and molecular cloning.

Immunology for Surgeons

Transplantation Immunobiology

Research Methods - best practice in preclinical study design

Studies of the endogenous peptide repertoire in allorecognition and transplant tolerance induction

(Eric Son)

Factors determining the fate and function of alloreactive T cells (Moumita Paul-Heng)

Preclinical Studies of MHC gene transfer for transplant tolerance induction (Mario Leong)

Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand

The Transplantation Society

Australasian Society for Immunology

European Society of Transplantation

Australasian Society for Cell and Gene Therapy


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Selected Grants


  • Opening the black box - studies of the major histocompatibility complex class I immunopeptidome in allorecognition and transplant tolerance induction, Sharland A, Mifsud N, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Ideas Grant


  • Perkin Elmer Mantra microscopy workstation , Sharland A, Abendroth A, New E, Alexander S, McLennan S, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Equipment Grant
  • Refrigerated Incubator and Analytical Apparatus, McCaughan G, Gorrell M, Sharland A, Haber P, Church W, Bertolino P, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Equipment Grant