Dr Laura Cook

Senior Research Officer
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Melbourne

l.cook@unimelb.edu.au

Latest News

Cook Let al. (2021). Induction of stable human FOXP3+ Tregs by a parasite-derived TGF-beta mimic. Immunol Cell Biol99(8):833-847 - Featured article in https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/toc/10.1111/(ISSN)1440-1711.Canadian-Immunology

Ramzy A…Cook L, et al. (2021). Implanted pluripotent stem cell-derived pancreatic endoderm cells secrete glucose-responsive C-peptide in patients with type 1 diabetes. Cell Stem Cell. 28(12):2047-2061.e5. PMID: 34861146

Marwaha AK… Cook L, et al. (2021). A phase 1b open-label dose-finding study of ustekinumab in young adults with type 1 diabetes. Immunother Adv. 2(1):ltab022. PMID: 35072168

Kennedy AE*, Cook L*, et al. (2021). Lasting changes to circulating leukocytes in people with mild SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Research Activities

Dr Laura Cook studies human immunology, focused on the role of CD4+ T cells, particularly regulatory T cells, in infectious and autoimmune diseases. Dr Cook completed her PhD with Prof Tony Kelleher at the Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales in 2014 where she developed an assay to isolate human antigen-specific CD39+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) and identified that, in coeliac disease patients, gluten-specific CD39+ Tregs have a functional defect that may contribute to disease. Dr Cook completed 6 years postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada with Prof Megan Levings, a world-expert in human Tregs, and Prof Ted Steiner, an infectious diseases specialist. Dr Cook’s postdoctoral research focused on the therapeutic potential of ex vivo and induced human regulatory T cell subsets and characterising CD4+ T cell responses to bacterial flagellin (in inflammatory bowel disease), insulin antigens (in Type 1 diabetes) and C. difficile toxins (during infection) in cohort studies and clinical trials. Dr Cook commenced her current position at the Doherty Institute in Oct 2020 and is building a research group within Jose Villadangos' laboratory. She holds an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Investigator grant and is pursuing studies of immune paralysis in critical illness in collaboration with the Royal Melbourne Hospital ICU and functional studies of regulatory T cells in the development of immune memory. 

Techniques/Expertise

Immune monitoring studies for Clinical Trials
T cell functional assays
High parameter Spectral and Traditional Flow Cytometry
Human regulatory T cell isolation and culture
Treg suppression assays

Collaborations

A/Prof Adam Deane
Dr Alex Wood
A/Prof Yugeesh Lankadeva
Prof Antoine Roquilly
Dr Annette Fox
Prof Megan Levings
Prof Ted Steiner
A/Prof Jason Tye-Din

Disease Models

Human intestinal organoids
Sepsis and Trauma clinical cohort samples (PBMCs and plasma)

Other Lab Members

Willem Cornelissen
Laraib Amir Ali

Other members with similar research interests

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Upcoming Events

  • Oct 7

    VIIN Young Investigator Scientific Presentation Skills Workshop

    Online REGISTER | MORE INFO
  • Oct 9

    DC2022: 16th International Symposium on Dendritic Cells 2022

    Pullman Cairns International REGISTER | MORE INFO
  • Nov 16

    VIIN Young Investigator Symposium 2022

    Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences MORE INFO