Dr John Miles
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Immunology, Virology and Medical Biotechnology
T-cells are an important group of white blood cells that belong to the immune system. In spite of their importance to our health and survival we still have many questions about how they work. For instance, we do not understand the details between T-cell “performance” and our chances of surviving an attack from an infectious disease or cancer. Dr Miles’ research examines these problems by looking at the immune response to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a dangerous carcinogen that infects over six billion people, causing glandular fever and cancer. A major focus of his work examines why some people get sick from this pathogen and others don’t. He is also investigating compounds that improve natural immunity against EBV and “engineer” T-cells with improved functions.
John helps with Laboratory Work Experience, hosting year 11-12 high school students in the laboratory for five day placement programs. He has assisted with video interviews which convey research breakthroughs for mainstream media distribution. While in the United Kingdom, he co-created www.Tcells.org, an information resource, for scientists and the public alike, which describes the function and workings of these important immune cells. Since its inception in 2010, the site receives around 20,000 unique IP hits each year.