Dr Kate Keech: Celebrating 25 years of service

Congratulations to Kate Keech from the Dept of Microbiology & Immunology (DMI) on reaching this significant milestone in her career.

Dr Kate Keech has just clocked up 25 years of service – and its something she is immensely proud of. She has a long history with the University - and particularly the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI).

But before becoming the Strategic Operations Manager for DMI, Kate was a Research Fellow in Prof James McCluskey’s lab where she focused on autoimmunity and coeliac disease building on from her PhD research.

In the McCluskey lab Kate’s key research interest in autoimmunity and tolerance, saw her involved in the development and commercialisation of an improved diagnostic test for anti-nuclear autoantibodies in lupus.

Together with other members of the research group, Kate also made a significant contribution to the development of a transgenic mouse model of coeliac disease which supported the pre-clinical assessment of an immunotherapy for coeliac disease that is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials.

In 2006, the DMI needed a new building and the idea emerged of bringing together the Department, including the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory, and parts of the Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital), with the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s VIDRL, WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, VICNISS Coordinating Centre and the Victorian Infectious Diseases Service. And so the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection & Immunity was born.

Successfully moving 350+ scientists in the DMI to their new home is definitely one of my career highlights

Professor Andrew Brooks, Head of Department of Microbiology & Immunology, said over her tenure Kate had given an exemplary level of service, work ethic and commitment, providing strategic and operational support for the academic, teaching, research and technical services of the DMI.

Please join us in congratulating Kate on achieving this milestone.