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Andrew Flies

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Andrew (Andy) Flies

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Immunology
Menzies Institute for Medical Research

Room 439-12, Medical Science 2 (MS2), Hobart CBD Campuses

Andy is a postdoctoral research fellow supported by the Morris Animal Foundation, and has joint appointments with the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and the University of South Australia. His primary research interest is developing an immunotherapy treatment for the Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease. He has also initiated parallel studies to develop immunotherapy treatments for cancer in pets. Additionally, he has initiated research on novel peanut allergy diagnostics and therapies at UniSA.

Biography

Andy's research career began as a laboratory technician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. He then moved to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA with Professor Lieping Chen. He subsequently completed a dual PhD in Zoology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behaviour at Michigan State University (2012), and his dissertation research focused on understanding the immune system of spotted hyenas. Andrew spent nearly a year living and working in Kenya to collect tissue samples and socio-ecological data about the hyena societies.

Following completion of his PhD Andy moved to Adelaide where his wife Emily Johnston is currently enrolled in a PhD program at the University of South Australia (UniSA). In 2014 Andrew was awarded a two-year postdoctoral fellowship from the Morris Animal Foundation to develop of treatment for the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumor (DFTD) disease. Whilst at UniSA Andrew was also the lead author on successful grants from the Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation and from the Ilhan Foundation to develop treatments for peanut allergies. In July 2015 Andy moved to Hobart to work at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research to being testing the monoclonal antibodies targeting CTLA4, PD-1, and B7-H1 that he has recently developed for treating the DFT disease.

Career summary

Qualifications

  • PhD, Michigan State University, USA. 2012 Thesis: Ecology and immune function in the spotted hyena, Crocuta crocuta
  • BS (Computer Science), Minnesota State University, Mankato, USA. 2002

Memberships

Professional practice

  • Australasian Society for Immunology (2014-2015)
  • Royal Society of South Australia (2014-2015)
  • Explorer's Club (2011-2013)
  • Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (2010-2015)
  • Sierra Club (2004-2015)
  • National Geographic Society (2006-2013)
  • National Wildlife Federation (2006-2014)
  • World Wildlife Fund (2010-2015)

Administrative expertise

Andy was the lab coordinator for a lab at Johns Hopkins University that employed over 20 people. He was also the manager of a remote field site and lead instructor for a study abroad course in Kenya. Andy was student president of the Michigan State University EEBB program.

Teaching

Immunology, wild immunity, T cells, antigen-specific B cells, co-signalling, cell surface molecule, PD-1, CTLA4, B7-H1, PD-L1, ecology, behavioural ecology, genetic engineering, plasmids, vectors, infectious disease

Teaching expertise

University of South Australia

Guest lecturer – Cancer Biology (BIOL 3033, 2 semesters)

Guest lecturer – IHBY Honours program (BIOL 4014, 1 semester)

Demonstrator – Human Physiology lab (HP100, 1 semester)

Michigan State University

Lead instructor - Behavioral Ecology of African Mammals study abroad in Kenya (ZOL 490, 1 semester)

Co-instructor - Behavioral Ecology of African Mammals study abroad in Kenya (ZOL 490, 1 semester)

Graduate Teaching Assistant – Cells and Development (ZOL 425, 2 semesters)

Graduate Teaching Assistant - Histology (ZOL 408, 3 semesters)

Graduate Teaching Assistant – Fundamental Genetics (ZOL 341, 1 semester)Graduate Teaching Assistant – Organisms and Populations laboratory (BS 110, 2 semesters)

Research Appointments

Andy is a reviewer for Nature Scientific Reports

View more on Dr Andy Flies in WARP

Expertise

  • Functional characterization of interactions among cell surface molecules
  • Costimulatory signalling in lymphocytes and how these signals can modulate immune function in relation to cancer, allergy, and autoimmune diseases
  • Development of recombinant protein and monoclonal antibody secreting hybridomas
  • Behavioural studies on large carnivores
  • How the ecology of an organism affects the development and maintenance of its immune system
  • Laboratory and field skills including but not limited to:
    • ELISA
    • flow cytometry (FACS)
    • Western blots
    • proliferation assays
    • cytotoxicity assays
    • gene cloning
    • bacterial transformation
    • mammalian cell transfection
    • animal handling
    • large animal immobilization
    • behavioural ecology studies
    • management of field research

Research Themes

Andy's research aligns to the University's research themes of Environment, Resources and Sustainability and also Better Health. Visitor's arriving in Tasmania via the Hobart airport will quickly notice the multitude of Tasmanian devil toys and souvenirs for sale. The iconic Tasmanian devil is an important part of Tasmanian culture and plays an important role of top native predator in Tasmanian ecosystems. However, the devil facial tumour disease (DFTD)  threatens the very existence of devils in the wild. Great efforts have been made to develop an insurance population of devils, but without an effective DFTD vaccine, conservation efforts and reintroduction efforts may be thwarted by the fatal disease.

In addition to developing a vaccine to save the devils, understanding how the DFTD evades the devil immune system can provide insight into how cancer in other animals, including humans, evades the immune system. Furthermore, the DFTD cells that move between individuals are essentially tissue transplants or grafts. Tissue transplants in humans usually require close genetic matches and powerful immunosuppressive drugs to avoid having the host immune system reject the tissue transplant. Understanding how the DFTD persists on hosts without the use of exogenously administered drugs and precise genetic matching may allow us to improve the success rate of tissue transplants in humans and other animals.

In order to make efficient use of resources and the better understand the DFTD, Andy is also performing parallel studies on the canine transmissible tumour, which has been circulating in dog populations for over 4,000 years! Comparative studies between the two tumours should help to focus our vaccine efforts and should also lead to the development of immunotherapy treatments for dogs. Anti-cancer drugs for dogs makes up the majority of the estimated twenty billion dollars spent on medicine for pets. Andy's joint appointment with the University of South Australia has also led to the initiation of a peanut allergy research project that could lead to better understanding of peanut allergies and new treatments to induce tolerance in allergic patients.

Collaboration

Andy's joint appointment with the UniSA has allowed him to form a strong collaboration between the Woods group at UTas and the Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory at UniSA. Additionally, Andy is working with Professor Michael Brown (Royal Adelaide Hospital) to develop new monoclonal antibodies for his oncology research.

Current projects

Andy's DFTD project was initially funded by a Dr Eric Guiler Tasmanian Devil Research Grant from the Save the Tasmanian Devil and a Sansom Institute grant to develop immunotherapeutics to treat Tasmanian devils that are infected with the devil facial tumour disease (DFTD). The approach they are taking is based on similar immunotherapeutics that have achieved unprecedented success in treating human cancer (Science Magazine Breakthrough of the Year, 2013). They have made great progress recently and have developed more than 23 new monoclonal antibodies that target the checkpoint molecules CTLA4, PD-1, and B7-H1. Andy is currently performing functional tests of these new antibodies to see if he can 'release the brakes' on the devil immune system and allow devil T cells to kill tumour cells. Andy's team are also making similar antibodies to study and treat canine cancers. Additionally, in collaboration with the UniSA, Andy has developed and is testing novel diagnostic and therapeutics for understanding and treating peanut allergies.

Fields of Research

  • Cellular Immunology (110704)
  • Animal Immunology (060804)
  • Veterinary Immunology (070705)
  • Tumour Immunology (110709)
  • Ecology (060299)
  • Veterinary Epidemiology (070704)
  • Immunology (110799)
  • Cancer Genetics (111203)
  • Genomics (060408)

Research Objectives

  • Immune System and Allergy (920108)
  • Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales (960805)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences (970111)
  • Infectious Diseases (920109)
  • Health (929999)
  • Cancer and Related Disorders (920102)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences (970106)

Publications

Andy has published six articles in the journal Blood, one article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and one article in The Journal of Immunology. More recently his work has been published in the fields of comparative veterinary immunology and ecology.

Total publications

19

Journal Article

(18 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Woods GM, Fox S, Flies A, Tovar CD, Jones M, et al., 'Two decades of the impact of Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD)', Integrative and Comparative Biology ISSN 1540-7063 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/icb/icy118 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Woods GM; Tovar CD; Jones M; Hamede R; Lyons AB; Bettiol S

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2017Flies AS, Blackburn NB, Lyons AB, Hayball JD, Woods GM, 'Comparative analysis of immune checkpoint molecules and their potential role in the transmissible Tasmanian Devil facial tumor disease', Frontiers in Immunology, 8 Article 513. ISSN 1664-3224 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00513 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Blackburn NB; Lyons AB; Woods GM

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2016Flies AS, Lyons AB, Corcoran LM, Papenfuss AT, Murphy JM, et al., 'PD-L1 is not constitutively expressed on Tasmanian devil facial tumor cells but is strongly upregulated in response to IFN-γ and can be expressed in the tumor microenvironment', Frontiers in Immunology, 7 Article 581. ISSN 1664-3224 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00581 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Lyons AB; Woods GM

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2016Flies AS, Mansfield LS, Flies EJ, Grant CK, Holekamp KE, 'Socioecological predictors of immune defences in wild spotted hyenas', Functional Ecology, 30, (9) pp. 1549-1557. ISSN 0269-8463 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12638 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: Flies EJ

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2016Flies EJ, Flies AS, Fricker SR, Weinstein P, Williams CR, 'Regional Comparison of Mosquito Bloodmeals in South Australia: Implications for Ross River Virus Ecology', Journal of Medical Entomology, 53, (4) pp. 902-910. ISSN 0022-2585 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/jme/tjw035 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5

Co-authors: Flies EJ

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2015Flies AS, Mansfield LS, Grant CK, Weldele ML, Holekamp KE, 'Markedly elevated antibody responses in wild versus captive spotted hyenas show that environmental and ecological factors are important modulators of immunity', PLoS One, 10, (10) Article e0137679. ISSN 1932-6203 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137679 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 7

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2015Luo L, Zhu G, Xu H, Yao S, Zhou G, et al., 'B7-H3 promotes pathogenesis of autoimmune disease and inflammation by regulating the activity of different T cell subsets', PLoS One, 10, (6) Article e0130126. ISSN 1932-6203 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130126 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 9

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2014Flies AS, Maksimoski MT, Mansfield LS, Weldele ML, Holekamp KE, 'Characterization of Toll-like receptors 1-10 in spotted hyenas', Veterinary Research Communications: An International Journal Publishing Topical Reviews and Research Articles on All Aspects of The Veterinary Sciences, 38, (2) pp. 165-70. ISSN 0165-7380 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11259-014-9592-3 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5

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2013Nelson KG, Engh AL, McKnight CA, Kiupel M, Wise AG, et al., 'Papillomavirus-associated Cutaneous Papillomas in a Population of Wild Spotted Hyenas (Crocuta crocuta)', Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 49, (3) pp. 627-631. ISSN 0090-3558 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.7589/2011-09-262 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

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2012Flies AS, Grant CK, Mansfield LS, Smith EJ, Weldele ML, et al., 'Development of a hyena immunology toolbox', Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology: An International Journal of Comparative Immunology, 145, (1-2) pp. 110-119. ISSN 0165-2427 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2011.10.016 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 7

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2008Azuma T, Yao S, Zhu G, Flies AS, Flies SJ, et al., 'B7-H1 is a ubiquitous antiapoptotic receptor on cancer cells', Blood, 111, (7) pp. 3635-3643. ISSN 0006-4971 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1182/blood-2007-11-123141 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 213Web of Science - 199

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2008Zhu G, Augustine MM, Azuma T, Luo L, Yao S, et al., 'B7-H4-deficient mice display augmented neutrophil-mediated innate immunity', Blood, 113, (8) pp. 1759-1767. ISSN 0006-4971 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1182/blood-2008-01-133223 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 55Web of Science - 48

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2007Goldberg MV, Maris CH, Hipkiss EL, Flies AS, Zhen L, et al., 'Role of PD-1 and its ligand, B7-H1, in early fate decisions of CD8 T cells', Blood, 110, (1) pp. 186-192. ISSN 0006-4971 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1182/blood-2006-12-062422 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 115Web of Science - 106

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2007Tsushima F, Yao S, Shin T, Flies AS, Xu H, et al., 'Interaction between B7-H1 and PD-1 determines initiation and reversal of T-cell anergy', Blood, 110, (1) pp. 180-185. ISSN 0006-4971 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1182/blood-2006-11-060087 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 125Web of Science - 114

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2007Zhu Y, Zhu G, Luo L, Flies AS, Chen L, 'CD137 stimulation delivers an antigen-independent growth signal for T lymphocytes with memory phenotype', Immunobiology: Experimental and Clinical, 109, (11) pp. 4882-4889. ISSN 0171-2985 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1182/blood-2006-10- 043463 [eCite] [Details]

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2006Anand S, Wang P, Yoshimura K, Choi I-H, Hillard A, et al., 'Essential role of TNF family molecule LIGHT as a cytokine in the pathogenesis of hepatitis', Journal of Clinical Investigation, 116, (4) pp. 1045-1051. ISSN 0021-9738 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1172/JCI27083 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 54Web of Science - 53

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2006Xu Y, Flies AS, Files DB, Zhu G, Anand S, et al., 'Selective targeting of the LIGHT-HVEM costimulatory system for the treatment of graft-versus-host disease', Blood , 109, (9) pp. 4097-4104. ISSN 0006-4971 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1182/blood- 2006-09-047332 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 46

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2004Luo L, Chapoval AL, Flies DB, Zhu G, Hirano F, et al., 'B7-H3 enhances tumor immunity in vivo by costimulating rapid clonal expansion of antigen-specific CD8+ cytolytic T cells', Journal of Immunology, 173, (9) pp. 5445-50. ISSN 0022-1767 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.173.9.5445 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 119Web of Science - 106

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Other Public Output

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2016Flies AS, Woods GM, 'Deadly disease can 'hide' from a Tasmanian devil's immune system', The Conversation (2016) [Magazine Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Woods GM

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Grants & Funding

  • National Science Week Grant – Science in the Pub Tasmania ($500 AUD), 2015
  • Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation ($45,000 AUD), 2015-2016                                                 
  • Channel 7 - Children's Research Foundation ($75,000 AUD), 2015-2016                                 
  • National Science Week Grant – Science in the Pub Adelaide ($1250 AUD), 2014
  • Royal Society of South Astralia – Science in the Pub Adelaide ($750 AUD), 2014
  • Morris Animal Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship ($99,360 USD), 2014-2016
  • Sansom Institute Small Grants Scheme ($10,000 AUD), 2013                                                  
  • University of Tasmania Foundation – Guiler Tasmanian Devil Research Grant ($20,000 AUD) , 2013 
  • Morris Animal Foundation – Veterinary Student Scholars Program ($2000 USD), 2011
  • Army Research Office (ARO) Short Term Innovative Research (STIR) Program ($25,000 USD), 2008
  • Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research ($500 USD), 2008                                                      
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship ($110,000 USD), 2007
  • American Society of Mammalogists (ASM) Grants-in-Aid of Research ($1,500 USD), 2007
  • Mayo Foundation Scholarship ($16,000 USD), 1997-2001
  • NIH Social Neuroscience Training Grant ($6000 USD), 2011
  • MSU EEBB Travel Grant ($400 USD), 2011                                                                             
  • MSU Zoology general departmental funds ($100 USD), 2009-2010
  • MSU EEBB Summer Research Fellowship ($1,800 USD), 2010
  • MSU Graduate School Dissertation Continuation Fellowship ($3,000 USD), 2009
  • MSU Graduate School Summer Support Fellowship ($4,350 USD), 2008
  • MSU EEBB Summer Research Fellowship ($1,700 USD), 2007
  • MSU Graduate Research Enhancement Award ($1,000 USD), 2007
  • MSU EEBB Wilderness Medicine Fellowship ($500 USD), 2007
  • MSU Zoology general departmental funds ($300 USD), 2007-2008
  • MSU EEBB Travel Grant ($400 USD), 2012                                                                     
  • MSU Dissertation Completion Fellowship ($5000 USD), 2011

Funding Summary

Number of grants

9

Total funding

$1,009,387

Projects

Tipping the Balance from Tolerance to Immunity for the Devil Facial Tumour (2018 - 2020)$365,058
Description
This project aims to develop of a single-shot vaccine for the Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease. The disease is an enigma because the transmissible tumours are simultaneously cancer, infections, and genetically mismatched tissue grafts. This project will focus on immune molecules that are revolutionising human oncology, and it will develop cutting edge techniques to understand and systematically test the function of these key molecules in Tasmanian devils. Understanding the role of these immune molecules will accelerate development of a vaccine to help save the devil and has the potential to shed light on general principles relating to how the immune system balances tolerance and immunity.
Funding
Australian Research Council ($365,058)
Scheme
Fellowship-Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS
Period
2018 - 2020
Grant Reference
DE180100484
Identification of devil facial tumour-associated antigens for vaccine development (2018 - 2019)$34,256
Description
The current DFTD vaccine can induce anti-DFTD immune responses, but the scalability and efficacy of the vaccine needs to be improved to deliver a broad conservation impact. This proposal builds on ongoing vaccine research to identify tumour-associated antigens that can be used to produce a highly replicable and scalable DFTD vaccine.
Funding
University of Tasmania Foundation Inc ($34,256)
Scheme
Grant-Dr Eric Guiler Tasmanian Devil Research Gran
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS; Woods GM; Lyons AB; Wilson RR
Period
2018 - 2019
Immunisation to protect against transmissible cancers in Tasmanian devils (2018 - 2020)$303,931
Funding
Australian Research Council ($303,931)
Scheme
Grant-Discovery Projects
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Woods GM; Lyons AB; Corcoran L; Hayball J; Murphy J; Flies AS
Period
2018 - 2020
Grant Reference
DP180100520
A live-attenuated vaccine (DFT-Off) to promote long-term anti-DFTD immunity (2017 - 2018)$35,000
Description
We have developed a system that allows us to switch genes on/off in devil facial tumour (DFT) cells. The DFT-Off cells have the potential to be used as a live-attenuated vaccine, which generally perform better than killed vaccines, that provides long-term protection against both forms of DFT disease (DFTD).
Funding
University of Tasmania Foundation Inc ($35,000)
Scheme
Grant-Dr Eric Guiler Tasmanian Devil Research Gran
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS; Woods GM; Lyons AB
Period
2017 - 2018
Investigation into an overlooked pathway towards anti-cancer immunity. Inhibitory motifs in the extracellular domains of immune checkpoint molecules (2017)$36,155
Description
Checkpoint molecule blockade immunotherapy (e.g. PD-1 monoclonal antibody) has achieved unprecedented success in treating several types of cancer, and ITIM and ITSM signalling play a key role in these treatment approaches. The cancer immunotherapy market reached $16.9 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow to $75 billion by 2022 (GBI 2016). This has greatly improved patient outcomes, but the cost to a single patient can exceed $100,000. The research proposed here has the potential to discover many new drug targets. Importantly, the targets are short peptide sequences, which open the door to using small molecule compounds instead that can be produced and formulated at a significantly lower cost than protein-based therapies. This will benefit cancer patients by reducing the cost for treatment and simultaneously help UTAS enter the rapidly expanding cancer immunotherapy market.
Funding
University of Tasmania Foundation Inc ($36,155)
Scheme
Grant-Cancer Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS; Guven N; Blackburn NR; Lyons AB
Year
2017
CRISPR screen to identify key genes driving DFTD (2017)$33,500
Description
We will apply leading genomic techniques to identify the genes essential for the proliferation of the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour. By systematically disrupting each gene in the cancer, we will also identify genes which help the tumour evade the immune system.
Funding
University of Tasmania Foundation Inc ($33,500)
Scheme
Grant-Dr Eric Guiler Tasmanian Devil Research Gran
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Hewitt A; Liu G; Woods GM; Flies AS; Cook AL
Year
2017
Evaluation of the role natural killer (NK) cells in protection against DFTD (2017)$26,487
Description
Natural Killer (NK) cells have a major role in the first line of defence against cancer. This project will investigate the presence and function of NK cells in the Tasmanian devil. The ultimate goal is to determine if NK cells are involved in the rejection of DFTD tumours.
Funding
University of Tasmania Foundation Inc ($26,487)
Scheme
Grant-Dr Eric Guiler Tasmanian Devil Research Gran
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Woods GM; Lyons AB; Flies AS
Year
2017
Translating human cancer immunotherapy techniques for use in pets and Tasmanian devils (2016 - 2017)$140,000
Description
Immunotherapeutics targeting PD-1 and CTLA4 have shown unprecedented success in treating human cancers. Surprisingly, little is known to date on the potential for translating these human immunotherapy approaches into cancer treatments for veterinary medicine. The Tasmanian devil facial tumours (DFTs) and canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) provide unique opportunities to assess immunotherapeutic treatment regimens for two naturally occurring tumours. Our ongoing work on the DFT has already developed ten anti-PD-1, nine anti-PD-L1 (aka B7-H1), and four anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that are highly specific for devil proteins. We have developed a system that can be used to rapidly generate new mAbs against additional target proteins. Importantly, this system can be readily applied to the production of antibodies that target proteins in other species. We have already begun cloning target genes in dogs, and will begin production of recombinant dog proteins, cell lines, and mAbs in 2016. The devil immunology group will develop dog-specific mAbs, and perform in vitro testing functional testing of the mAbs. The first batch of antibodies for PETization will be delivered to Nexvet in January, 2017. The initial functional testing of the antibodies performed by the devil immunology team will generate vital preliminary data to support planned ARC Linkage Project application in 2016-2017 in order to leverage funds for ongoing collaborative research. Establishing a solid connection between Nexvet and the devil immunology team prior to submission of the ARC Linkage Project application will greatly increase the probability receiving a Linkage Project award and leveraging funds. This research could help save an iconic Australian animal from extinction, develop immunotherapeutics to improve and extend the lives of pets around the world, and help to drive an emerging market for pharmaceuticals for pets.
Funding
Department of Industry and Science ($50,000); Nexvet Australia Pty Ltd ($90,000)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS; Woods GM; Lyons AB; Hayball J
Period
2016 - 2017
Improving the DFTD vaccine by targeting key immune signalling molecules (2016)$35,000
Description
We have discovered that our current vaccine approach of using interferon-gamma (IFNg) to make the DFTD tumour cells visible to the devil immune system also induces upregulation of molecules that inhibit anti-tumour immune responses. We are now modifying the vaccine to counteract the effects of the inhibitory molecules.
Funding
University of Tasmania Foundation Inc ($35,000)
Scheme
Grant-Dr Eric Guiler Tasmanian Devil Research Gran
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS; Woods GM; Lyons AB
Year
2016

Research Supervision

During Andy's PhD research he developed projects for six undergraduate students and supervised their work on a day-to-day basis. Five of these students went on to pursue medical or HDR degrees. At UniSA Andy unofficially supervised one honours student and three undergraduate students. Andy currently co-supervises a PhD project examining peanut allergies at the University of Adelaide.

Current

2

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
MastersInvestigation of Natural Killer Cells in Devil Facial Tumour Disease2017
PhDInsertion of Suicide Genes into DFTD Cancer Cells as Mechanism to Improve Vaccine Efficiency2017