Dr Daniel Pellicci awarded 2019 CSL Centenary Fellowship
Our congratulations to Dr Daniel Pellicci (Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Doherty Institute) for being awarded a 2019 CSL Centenary Fellowship last Thursday, 11 October 2018.
Dr Pellicci will use his Fellowship to fund his research on using specialist white blood cells known as 'unconventional T cells' to fight tuberculosis (TB). He hopes his work will help people suffering from TB by leading the way to an improved tuberculosis vaccine as well as other new immune therapies.
"The benefits of 'unconventional T cells' is they're the same from person to person, so if we can develop strategies to treat human diseases [they] will be effective in everyone. One of the unusual features of these cells [is] when they see an infectious organism, like TB, they can rapidly respond even within minutes to hours. They can release molecules and help wipe out an invading pathogen," said Dr Pellicci.
"TB is a major problem. It affects billions of people worldwide. It's still responsible for over one million deaths per year. So my group is looking at how these 'unconventional T cells' can recognise TB and in the long term, what we want to do is expand that research and how we can use these cells to actually fight TB.
It's absolutely tremendous to be a recipient of the CSL Centenary Fellowship. It's such a prestigious honour. It really allows me to advance my research and, at a much faster pace, to treat disease. It's amazing to be able to use these tools that have generated in the last few years in terms of saving lives."
2019 CSL Centenary Fellowship winners: Dr Daniel Pellicci (University of Melbourne) and Dr Connie Wong (Monash University)
About the CSL Centenary Fellowships
The Fellowships are competitively selected, high value grants available to mid-career Australians who wish to continue a career in medical research in Australia. Two individual, five-year, AUD$1.25 million fellowships are awarded each calendar year. The program was established in 2016 to support mid-career Australian scientists to pursue world-class medical research.