Research Supervisor Connect

Regulation of host resistance and immune response to human pathogens


The laboratory of Immunology and Host Defense focuses on the immune mechanisms that regulate host resistance to pathogens of global importance. It currently offers multiple projects for interested postgraduate students. These projects (see below) span a range of fields, from innate signalling to T cell differentiation, cytokine regulation in vivo and human immunology. The ultimate goal of these studies is to develop strategies for the prevention and treatment of chronic infectious diseases in humans


Dr Carl Feng.

Research location

Camperdown - Central Clinical School

Program type



Infectious diseases are a major cause of the death globally. For example, one third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and 10% of these individuals will develop active tuberculosis disease in their lifetime. Tuberculosis is responsible for 1.5 million deaths annually and a leading killer of HIV patients. Lacking the knowledge of protective immune mechanism to infections hinders the development of vaccines against many human pathogens. Understanding the basic immunological mechanisms underlying host resistance and disease pathogenesis will ultimately reduce infection and transmission of the pathogens.
The laboratory of Immunology and Host Defense studies innate and adaptive immune functions in infection. While the majority of our work is focused on studying immune mechanisms in the animal models of mycobacterial and viral infections, we also examine host-pathogen interaction in human macrophages. Our major areas of research include: (1) Functions of interferons in infections in vivo; (2) Innate immune response to virulent intracellular pathogens; (3) Differentiation and effector functions of T helper 1 cells in intracellular infections; (4) Pulmonary immune response to respiratory mycobacterial and viral infections and (5) Host resistance and immune regulation in human tuberculosis. We are seeking highly motivated candidates with a strong interest in global health, immunology, infection and inflammation to participate in our work in these areas. The candidates will employ cutting-edge immunological, biochemical and molecular biology techniques to dissect host responses to infections in mice and humans. In addition, the candidates will have opportunities to collaborate with top immunologists at leading institutes dedicated to immunology research as well as clinicians in infectious disease hospitals caring for tuberculosis patients in developing countries.

Additional information

To inquire about current opportunities in the lab and to learn the details of the projects, please email the supervisor.

Want to find out more?

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 1712