Comparative Genomics Centre
Molecular Sciences Bldg 21, James Cook University,
Townsville, 4811, Queensland, Australia
Telephone: 61-7-4781 6265 Fax:  61-7-4781 6078

Email: heinrich.korner@jcu.edu.au



The first stage of an immune response is the inflammatory response where unspecific mechanisms confine and destroy invading pathogens. An efficient defence can only be achieved when inflammatory cells can be recruited fast and efficiently to the site of the invasion. This recruitment depends on the presence of adhesion molecules and chemokines and is regulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines. Over the last years we have been interested in the molecular mechanisms involved in regulating this inflammatory cell migration.

Specifically, our work is focused on the TNF-mediated maturation of dendritic cells and the secondary maturation-dependent migration of these cells. This aspect of immunity is studied in the experimental model of a parasitic infection, the murine cutaneous leishmaniasis.

A second project is the analysis of B cell migration to the follicles of spleen and lymph node that is regulated by different TNF and LT-induced chemokines in gene deficient mouse strains.

These projects investigate the interaction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and local mediators on a cellular level. They are designed to deepen our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate efficient cell migration of inflammatory cells from the periphery to the site of inflammation and back to the secondary lymphoid organs.


Group Head:

Research Staff: Postgraduate Students: Undergraduate Students:


Students interested in undertaking a PhD or Masters project in the Cellular Immunology Group should contact Heinrich Körner to discuss projects of mutual interest. Most higher degrees students would be expected to eligible for a scholarship through the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scheme, the James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship or an equivalent national or international scholarship.

The Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (JCUPRS) are open to applicants with, or who expect to hold, a first class honours degree or equivalent by the end of the year and who wish to undertake full-time research Masters or PhD program. In 2003 the stipends for an APA were $18,006 pa (full time) or $9620 (part-time). APA applicants must be Australian citizens or have been granted permanent resident status and lived in Australia continuously for 12 months prior to 31 October 2001; Information and application forms can be obtained from the Research Scholarships Officer, or from the following website: http://www.jcu.edu.au/office/grs/scholarships/index.html
Closing Date: 31 October of each year

Students who have completed their undergraduate training in a BSc, BBiomedSc, BMedlabSc or equivalent program and are interested in participating in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Honours Program are encouraged to contact Heinrich Körner for a description of currently available projects. Honours studies require a full-time commitment for one year (two semesters) and can start in either February or August.

There are two main opportunities for undergraduates to participate in the ongoing research of the Cellular Immunology Group.

Students enrolled in BC3203 (Special Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - second semester) could ask that they undertake their research project in the Cellular Immunology Laboratory. Research projects will be in the area of molecular biology, cellular immunology.

Students can apply for a Comparative Genomics Centre Vacation Scholar Award. The successful applicants receive instruction in the latest recombinant DNA and cellular immunology techniques, receiving a stipend of $200 per week for a full-time commitment of between 6 and 10 weeks over the summer break. Applications for the 2004 CGC Vacation Studentships will be announced later in the year and will close in late October. Contact Heinrich Körner for further details.



Cellular Immunology Research Group, Autoimmunity Research Group, Comparative Genomics Centre,  Key words: immune, immunology, immunity, infection, leishmania, MS, multiple sclerosis, science, biology.