Researcher biography

I am an early career immunologist in Professor Di Yu's group at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute. I was awarded my PhD in late 2017 by Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University. Through combinatorial methodologies of Biochemistry and Immunology, my research focuses on the molecular mechanisms controlling T-cell-mediated immunity: 1. The action of T cells is required in antibody responses for suppressing viral infection or tumour growth and to confer protection upon vaccination. In particular, follicular helper T (Tfh) cells, a specialised subset of CD4+ T cells, essentially instruct the B cells to produce long-lived antibody protection. The knowledge of Tfh cells has fundamentally enabled vaccine development and therapy design for autoimmune diseases. 2. T cell-derived cytokines play pivotal roles in both humoral and cellular immunity. Particularly, interleukin-21 (IL-21) is essential for supporting germinal centre (GC) reaction, where the B cell memory and long-lived antibody responses are generated. Besides, IL-21 is also the only known cytokine to maintain the functionalities of CD8+ T cells in the context of chronic infections or cancers by preventing a loss-of-function program termed 'exhaustion'. I contributed to multiple cutting-edge discoveries in the field, producing publications as 1st or joint 1st authors in top-tier journals.