Dr Laura Mackay

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University of Melbourne 

Immunology

Infections are generally acquired though barrier tissues such as the skin, gut and lungs. Combatting infection at the earliest stages, whilst pathogens are still localised to these body surfaces represents the best opportunity for successful immune intervention and disease prevention.

Dr Laura Mackay was involved in the identification of tissue-resident memory T cells, which reside in barrier tissues in the body. These immune cells are critical to combatting viral infection and can form an effective first line of defence. Her work has major implications for developing vaccine strategies to induce immune cells in tissues that protect locally against a wide range of infections.

Laura is also an active member of her Institute’s communications committee and played a major role in setting up an annual Vaccination Café, to engage with the public and promote vaccinations.