Dendritic Cell Research > About The Laboratory
The Dendritic Cell Research (DCR) group is directed by Associate Professor Georgina Clark.
They discover key immune markers and biological processes which will provide new diagnostic and therapeutic products for improving patient care.
The immune system controls and regulates our internal and external environmental reactions. It responds by up-regulating or activating cellular and soluble components to fight infection and cancer.
Dendritic cells (DC) are unique white blood cells that exist as different subsets throughout the body. They are responsible for initiating and directing immune responses.
As one of the pioneering groups in this field, the DCR is continuing to define human DC subsets and elaborate their function. The group studies DC surface molecules to determine how these molecules influence DC function and how antibodies targeting them might be used in clinical practice.
“If we understand how the dendritic cell starts or stops immune response, then we may be able to controls them for therapeutic purposes. We can increase their activity for vaccination and dampen their activity to allow tissue transplantation and control autoimmune disease” Professor Derek NJ Hart, early 1980s.
DCR was established at the ANZAC Research Institute, University of Sydney by Professor Derek Hart and Associate Professor Georgina Clark in 2010. They continued their research into the cell surface phenotype of human dendritic cells, developing monoclonal antibody (mAb) based therapeutics as immune therapies for the treatment of haematological malignancies and solid organ cancers. As a translational research laboratory, DCR hosts postdoctoral fellows, clinical and basic science PhD students and a strong administrative team. Their intellectual property is managed by DendroCyte BioTech Pty Ltd providing support through commercialisation. DCR works in close collaboration with haematologists and oncologists through Royal Prince Alfred, Concord Repatriation General Hospitals and Lifehouse.
In December 2017, unable to overcome cancer himself, the DCR sadly lost Professor Hart. DCR now continues their work to ensure his legacy will be DC based therapies to treat those with cancer.