Jewell Named 2021 Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Melbourne

BIOE Professor will spend year collaborating on new vaccine technologies with immunologists at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute).

Christopher Jewell

Fischell Department of Bioengineering and Minta Martin Professor of Engineering Christopher Jewell was named an Australian laureate for 2021. Jewell will be appointed as the Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Melbourne, where he will spend the year working on new vaccine technologies at the Doherty Institute, a joint venture partnership between the University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship program enables outstanding international scholars to make an extended visit to the University of Melbourne, contributing to the university’s research, academic, intellectual, and cultural life. During his appointment, Jewell will launch a collaboration with several researchers, including the Doherty Institute and the University of Melbourne’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology Professor Thomas Gebhardt, a leading immunologist whose work has produced exciting new insights into the regulation of immune cell functions during infection and cancer.

“I’m extraordinarily honoured to have this opportunity, and to collaborate with the world-class immunologists at the Doherty Institute on new vaccine and immunotherapy technologies,” Jewell said. “We’ll be bringing together cutting-edge biomaterial strategies with some of the best immunology, disease models, and research tools available.”

As a Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Jewell will present a public lecture titled “Harnessing Nanotechnology to Study and Control the Immune System.” He will also deliver a mini-series on mentoring, creativity in research, and tackling tough problems, designed for a diverse audience of trainees, students, and community members around the Melbourne campus.

A faculty member with the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices and a Research Biologist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Jewell’s work focuses on integrating immunology and biomaterials to decipher the interactions between synthetic materials and immune tissues. His Immune Engineering Lab is using this unique expertise to design therapeutic vaccines for cancer and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes.

Some of Jewell’s other honours include selection as a Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator, being honoured with the White House Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), receipt of the University of Maryland Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year and Research Communicator Impact Awards, and appointment as a scientific advisor for Science Translational Medicine. Jewell is also a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).