Entry for:2018 Queensland Women in STEM Prize
1. Please provide a short summary of your research, project or technology.
Inflammation acts as our bodies alarm system in response to danger such as infection, injury or disease. Whilst essential for our protection, uncontrolled inflammation also contributes to chronic health conditions such as autoimmune diseases, cancer and cardiovascular disease. I focus on a cell in our immune system called the macrophage and my aim is to uncover how these cells turn inflammation on, so that we can develop new drugs to turn it off when undesirable. I have recently discovered an interaction between two proteins within macrophages and if we prevent this interaction using small molecule drugs we can reduce inflammation. This is particularly exciting because these types of drugs are already used in humans to treat certain cancers so we know that they are safe and well-tolerated. My hope is that this research will contribute to new anti-inflammatory therapies to treat debilitating diseases.