Professor Barbara Fazekas de St Groth
Professor Barbara Fazekas de St Groth heads an immunology research group within the Centenary Institute in Sydney. Her work is aimed at understanding how basic immune functions contribute to a range of human conditions in the areas of transplantation, cancer, allergy and autoimmunity.
Prof Fazekas de St. Groth graduated in medicine with first class honours from the University of Sydney and worked as a Professorial Intern and Resident at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney before completing a PhD with JFAP Miller at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne. She then undertook postdoctoral training with Mark Davis at Stanford University. She returned to Sydney in 1991 to set up a laboratory at the Centenary Institute, where she was appointed Associate Professor in 2000 and Professor in 2007.
She established an international reputation for her work using T cell receptor transgenic mouse models and multiparameter flow cytometry to define fundamental immune processes, including those involved in graft rejection and autoimmunity. Her focus on the role of regulatory T cells in mice and humans led to the discovery of the gold-standard phenotyping strategy that allows pure populations of human regulatory T cells to be isolated and manipulated for use in the therapy of graft versus host disease and organ graft rejection, in addition to autoimmune disease and allergy. Her most recent studies have uncovered how regulatory T cells control dendritic cell costimulation, fine-tuning the T cell stimulation threshold to prevent autoimmunity and graft versus host disease.