Prof Stephen Kent

Laboratory Head
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Melbourne

Contract research opportunities

Immunity studies in COVID, HIV and Influenza. We have worked with major pharmaceutical groups to evaluate aspects of vaccine-induced immunity in both humans and non-human primates.

Research Activities

An HIV vaccine is urgently needed and improved vaccines against influenza are needed. The Kent lab is working towards these goals. A better understanding of effective immunity will expand the pipeline to novel treatment and prevention strategies.

Current projects:
  • Immunity to COVID
  • COVID vaccines
  • Covid monoclonal Abs
  • ADCC responses to HIV and Influenza and COVID
  • B cell responses to Influenza and COVID
  • Germinal Centre B cells and Tfh cells in H/SIV and influenza and COVID
  • Nanoparticle vaccines
  • gamma-delta T cells, NKT, MAIT cells and CD1-restricted T cells and H/SIV


To further understand how immune responses can control HIV, we have developed multiple assays to measure immunity and the effect these immune responses have on the virus. We recently developed new techniques to measure antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). We developed a very simple assay on small volumes of blood to measure ADCC responses and are now studying how useful it is in people with HIV and whether it forces the virus to mutate to escape this potentially important response. Although T cell immunity is effective against the virus, immune escape is a hallmark of effective T cell immunity.  


Dr Miles Davenport, University of NSW
Dr Dale Godfrey, University of Melbourne
Dr Andrew Brooks, University of Melbourne
Dr Frank Caruso, University of Melbourne
ARC Centre of Excellence in Bio-Nano Science
NHMRC program grant on HIV
WHO centre for Influenza
Dr Amy Chung
Prof Katherine Kezierska

Disease Models

COVID, HIV/SIV and Influenza immunology and virology
Human clinical trials of COVID, HIV and Influenza immunity

Other Lab Members

Ms Thakshila Amarasena (Technical Assisant)
Dr Adam Wheatley
Dr Jane Batten (Research support)
Ms Robyn Esterbauer, Research Assistant
Ms Ester Lopez, Research Assistant
Dr Hyon-Xhi Tan
Dr Jennifer Juno
Dr Isaac Barber-Axthelm, PhD student
Dr Wen Shi Lee
Ms Samantha Davis, PhD student
Ms Mai Vu, PhD student
Dr Marios Koutsakos
Dr Emily Pilkington
Ms Kirsty Field, PhD student
Ms Devaki Pilapitiya, PhD student
Ms Julie Nyugen
Mr Andrew Kelly

Research Images

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Upcoming Events

  • Jun 7

    VIIN Careers Evening 2023

    Walter and Eliza Hall Institute MORE INFO
  • Jun 20

    VIIN Young Investigator Project Management as a Scientist Workshop

  • Nov 9

    VIIN Young Investigator Symposium 2023