Dolcetti Laboratory: Clinical and Translational Immunotherapy
Professor Riccardo Dolcetti
03 8559 8769
View Professor Dolcetti's latest PubMed publications listing here.
The Dolcetti lab performs pre-clinical and clinical research aimed at improving the applicability and efficacy of cancer immunotherapy with particular focus on antigen-specific strategies. The lab has particular expertise in the identification and functional validation of immunogenic tumour antigens, which are exploited within novel immunotherapeutic approaches (cancer vaccines, cell-based immunotherapy) and in clinically applicable immunoassays to monitor tumour-specific immune responses in cancer patients.
The research activities of the lab focus on breast cancer, melanoma, primary and metastatic brain tumours and virus-driven malignancies. To overcome immunotherapy resistance and local immunosuppression typically associated with tumour progression, the lab is also exploring novel combination therapies, including cell- and gene- based strategies for the tumour targeted delivery of biomolecules to restore anti-tumour immunity. Proof of feasibility, efficacy, and safety, as well as insights into therapy induced immune modulation are provided using both murine and humanised models of primary and metastatic tumours. The lab is located in the VCCC Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy on Level 13 of the VCCC building.
Main research themes in our laboratory include:
- Pre- clinical exploitation of a novel nanoparticle-based vaccination platform targeting cross-presenting Clec9A+ dendritic cells in vivo, particularly in combination with checkpoint modulators and CAR T cell therapies.
- Identification and characterisation of novel classes of tumour neo-antigens to improve cancer immunotherapy.
- Identification and pre-clinical exploitation of novel immunotherapeutic targets for the treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumours.
- Clinical application of advanced assays to monitor anti-tumour immune responses in cancer patients enrolled in immunotherapy trials.
- Development of an engineered monocyte-based platform for efficient intra-tumour delivery of biomolecules able to revert local immunosuppression.
- Development of new strategies to overcome immunotherapy resistance.
- Development and application of humanised mouse models to investigate the in vivo immunogenicity of human tumour antigens and the efficacy of immunotherapeutic strategies.
Dr. Roberta Mazzieri, Senior Scientist
Dr. Bijun Zeng, Senior Post-Doctoral fellow
Mr. Davide Moi, Senior Research Assistant
Ms. Ritu Bhatt, Senior Research Assistant
Professor Joseph Trapani, The University of Melbourne and Director, Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Associate Professor Paul Neeson, The University of Melbourne and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Associate Professor Michael Kershaw, The University of Melbourne and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Dr Clare Slaney, The University of Melbourne and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Dr Nicole Haynes, The University of Melbourne and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Dr Mohamed Fared, The University of Melbourne and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Professor Sudha Rao, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane
Professor Kum Kum Khanna, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane
Sunil Lakhani, University of Queensland
Dr Jodi Saunus, University of Queensland
Professor Nikolas Haass, University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Associate Professor Fiona Simpson, University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Dr Fernando Guimaraes, University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Dr Snehlata Kumari, University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Dr Jazmina Gonzalez Cruz, University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Professor Brian Gabrielli, Mater Research Institute, Brisbane
Associate Professor Chamindie Punyadeera, Queensland University of Technology
Associate Professor Paul Leo, Queensland University of Technology
Associate Professor Pilar Blancafort, University of Western Australia
Associate Professor Daniel Kolarich, Griffith University
Professor Antony Purcell, Monash University
Dr Pouya Faridi, Monash University
Associate Professor Erica Sloan, Monash University
Professor Arnaldo Caruso, University of Brescia, Italy
Professor Antonio Rosato, University of Padova, Italy
Professor Anita De Rossi, University of Padova, Italy
Dr Stefania Zanussi, CRO-National Cancer Institute, Aviano, Italy
Dr Valli De Re, CRO-National Cancer Institute, Aviano, Italy
2021-2023 National Breast Cancer Foundation, Investigator Initiated Scheme. Exploitation of the immunogenicity of CEP55 to enhance the efficacy of immunotherapy for triple-negative breast cancer. (PI: KK Khanna, Co-I: R. Dolcetti and R. Mazzieri) Awarded $310,497.39
2020-2023 NHMRC Ideas Grant. Reprogramming anti-tumour therapy responses by locus-selective manipulation of the epigenome in breast cancer. (CIA: P. Blancafort; CIB: R. Dolcetti, CIC: R. Mazzieri). Awarded $1,438,750
2020-2023 National Breast Cancer Foundation. New immunotherapeutic options for triple-negative and brain metastatic breast cancer: next-generation cancer vaccines exploiting alternative classes of tumour antigens. (PI: R. Mazzieri, CoI: R. Dolcetti). Awarded $1,000,000
2019-2021 Cancer Council Queensland. (APP1165064). Strategies to overcome immune-resistance to cancer vaccines. (Role: CIA: R. Dolcetti, CIB: R. Mazzieri). Awarded $200,000
2018-2022 National Breast Cancer Foundation, Investigator Initiated Scheme. New strategies to improve personalised immunotherapy of breast cancer. (PI: R. Dolcetti, CoI: R. Mazzieri). Awarded $1,007,713
This research project is available to PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.
- Project 1. Development of improved cancer vaccines to enhance the efficacy of immunotherapy combination strategies
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact Head of Laboratory Professor Riccardo Dolcetti
Department / Centre
Unit / Centre
MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.