Dr Tom Brodnicki

Immunology and Diabetes Unit
St Vincents Institute

+61 3 9288 2502

Research Activities

Research in our laboratory is focused on how genetic variation and infection affect susceptibility to autoimmune disease. During the course of evolution, it might be assumed that alleles conferring susceptibility for autoimmune disease would undergo negative selection. Such alleles, however, are often found to be common in the human population based on recent genome-wide association studies. It is postulated that these seemingly deleterious alleles are maintained in the population because they provide resistance to infectious disease. Alternatively, the hygiene hypothesis suggests that certain infections may temper the immune system and decrease the risk for developing autoimmunity in genetically at-risk individuals. Testing these overlapping hypotheses in humans is difficult. Instead, our principal research strategy is to use different mouse models that are susceptible or resistant to infectious and autoimmune disease. A combination of genetic mapping, genomic profiling and cellular immunology is being used to identify candidate disease genes, as well as determine if certain types of infections can prevent autoimmune disease.


Genetic mapping of susceptibility loci for infectious and autoimmune diseases
Genomic and expression profiling of disease candidate genes
High-throughput genotyping techniques (mouse and human)
Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenesis
Transposon mutagenesis
RNA/protein interactions In vitro and in vivo cellular analyses of immune and autoimmune responses
Histopathology (pancreas, salivary glands, kidney)


Prof Glen Browning, The University of Melbourne
Prof Katharina Gaus, University of New South Wales
Dr Sylvie Lesage, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Center & University of Montreal, Canada
Dr Meredith O'Keeffe, The Burnet Institute
Dr Pablo Silveira, ANZAC Research Institute
Prof Dick Strugnell, The University of Melbourne
Dr Odilia Wijburg, The University of Melbourne
A/Prof Ashley Mansell

Disease Models

Mouse models of infection: Listeria monocytogenes, Mycoplasma pulmonis
Mouse models of autoimmunity: type 1 diabetes, Sjogren's syndrome

Genetically Modified Organisms

Transposon mutant NOD mouse strains (eg Serinc1, Slc16a10)
Congenic NOD mouse strains for Chr4, Chr13
Knockout mouse strains for novel disease candidate genes (AK005651, Serinc1, Slc16a10)

Other Lab Members

Colleen Elso, Postdoctoral Fellow
Leanne Mackin, Senior Research Assistant
Edward Chu, PhD student
May Alsayb, PhD student

Other members with similar research interests

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Dr Ashraful Haque

Immunology QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Ins SEE FULL PROFILE >

Ms Christelle Buffet

Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital/Western Hospital) University of Melbourne SEE FULL PROFILE >

Dr Gabrielle Belz

Molecular Immunology Division Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research SEE FULL PROFILE >

Upcoming Events

  • Aug 24

    IgV Annual Scientific Meeting

    Balgownie Estate REGISTER | MORE INFO
  • Sep 25

    Global Virus Network Meeting 2017

    Doherty Institute, Melbourne, Australia MORE INFO
  • Oct 16

    LISSSD 2017

    Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa MORE INFO