Mintern Group

"My laboratory investigates the underlying mechanisms that ensure effective immunity to fight pathogens and tumours."  - Senior Lecturer and Laboratory Head, Dr. Justine Mintern


Vaccination currently represents the most effective strategy for eliminating infectious disease. While many vaccines are in use worldwide, for several pathogens our current vaccines fail with ensuing uncontrolled disease. This is the case for HIV, malaria and tuberculosis resulting in disease and devastation worldwide. Vaccines also have the potential to prevent and/or treat cancer, however this is currently not a clinical reality. Exploiting the immune system for immunotherapeutics to treat a variety of diseases, including cancer, has exciting potential.  To advance immunotherapy and vaccine design, we require a more comprehensive understanding of the cell biology involved. A key question in immunobiology is what are the molecular mechanisms that generate immune responses. My research investigates molecular pathways that promote effective immunity in settings of vaccination, infection and tumour immunity.

The Mintern Lab is currently recruiting PhD students. Follow this link to learn about available PhD projects.


Our projects utilize a wide range of experimental approaches including: application of novel DNA-based fluorescent probes, immunofluorescent microscopy, flow cytometry, CRISPR-cas9 genomic knock-outs and screens, proteomics and experimental models of vaccination, inflammation, infection and cancer.

Group Members

Group Leaders

Justine Mintern

Professor Jose Villadangos

Research Assistant

Geraldine Healey

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Nishma Gupta

PhD Student

Alan (Li Hao) Ching

Haiyin Liu

Patrick Shriek

Ilknur Spring

Annabelle Blum

Kayla Wilson

Honours Students

Hayley Cron

Fadzai (Victor) Makota

Lauren Francis

Emma Masterman

Undergraduate Students

Jade Taylor

William Chiang

Laura Colin

Medical Student

Alexander Fagarasan


Dr Justine Mintern is a Senior Lecturer and Laboratory Head in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Melbourne and the Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute. Justine received her PhD from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. She undertook postdoctoral research as a NHMRC CJ Martin Fellow in the laboratory of Prof Hidde Ploegh at Harvard Medical School, Boston and Whitehead Institute for Medical Research, Boston, USA. She returned to Australia in 2006, to work with Prof Peter Doherty and Prof Stephen Turner at The University of Melbourne. In 2008, she joined the laboratory of Dr Jose Villadangos at WEHI and was awarded an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship in 2010. She was appointed Senior Lecturer (continuing) in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2015.

Follow this link for publications arising from the Mintern group.