Villadangos Group

“We are elucidating how the immune system carries out the process of Antigen Presentation to detect, seek and destroy pathogens and tumour cells.  Our discoveries have direct application to the design of vaccines and therapies against infection, autoimmunity and cancer.” – Professor Jose Villadangos


Jose Villadangos is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the Bio21 Institute, and Microbiology and Immunology at the Doherty Institute.  His work straddles biochemistry, cell biology and immunology.  He studies the cells and molecules that capture, process and present antigens, mechanisms that underpin every activity of the adaptive immune system.

Research Projects:

  1. Mechanisms of antigen presentation by classical and non-classical MHC molecules
  2. Development and function of Dendritic Cells, Macrophages and other antigen presenting cells
  3. Mechanisms of Trogocytosis
  4. Immunity against cancer
  5. Anti-viral immunity
  6. Immunosuppression post-sepsis or trauma
  7. Regulation of membrane proteostasis by ubiquitination
  8. Immunometabolism and O-GlcNAcylation
  9. COVID-19
  10. RNA vaccines and immunotherapies


Immunology, cell biology, and biochemistry techniques including: animal models of viral, bacterial and malaria infection, cancer and autoimmunity, CRISPR/Cas-9 gene editing, transcriptomics (pooled and single-cell RNA sequencing, etc), purification and characterisation of immune cells, microscopy, analysis of protein trafficking, subcellular fractionation, protein biochemistry and proteomics.


Group Leader

Professor Jose Villadangos

Laboratory Manager

Jo Pooley

Postdoctoral Scientists

Dr Hamish McWilliam

Dr Laura Cook

Dr Adam Balic

Dr Jieru Deng

Dr Anouk Becker

PhD Students

Atefeh Yaftiyan

Laraib Amir Ali

Shi Liang Bjorn Wee

Atieh Mousavizadeh

Xiaoyue Zhang

Laura Almagro Puente

Leonardo Arpesella

Vaughn Ticar

Michael Harvie

Laura Bahr

Honours Students

Dong Li

Alexander Harvey


Charlene Yong-Yu Chen


Jose obtained his PhD from the Universidad Autónome de Madrid in 1994.  Subsequently he trained at MIT (USA), Harvard Medical School (USA), and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI, Australia).  He started his own laboratory in 2001 and moved to The University of Melbourne in 2010.  Jose has authored over 160 papers that have received ~20,000 citations (h-index 61).  He has received funding from the NHMRC, ARC, NIH, HFSP, LLS, CRI and the Anti-Cancer Council, among others.  Jose is past Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Immunology and inaugural Editor-in-Chief of Current Research in Immunology.  He is an Honorary Life Member and recipient of the Derek Rowley Medal of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology.