Profiles

Andrew Flies

UTAS Home Senior Research Fellow Andrew (Andy) Flies

Andrew (Andy) Flies

ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow
Menzies Institute for Medical Research

Room 439-12 , Medical Science 2 (MS2)

+61 3 6226 4614 (phone)

Andy.Flies@utas.edu.au

Andy is an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research. He leads the Wild Immunology group and works closely with the Devil Immunology Group. His primary research interest understanding how the immune system interacts with cancer cells to facilitate better cancer immunotherapies and vaccines. His primary focus is developing and vaccine to protect Tasmanian devils from the devil facial tumour diseases. This has led to novel findings for human and veterinary medicine and demonstrates how natural disease models can be used to better understand human disease.

Biography

In 2002 Andy obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, with concentrations in math and chemistry. Following his interests back to biology, his 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 was pursuing her PhD. In 2014 Andrew was awarded a two-year postdoctoral fellowship from the Morris Animal Foundation to develop of treatment for the Tasmanian devil facial tumour (DFT) disease. In 2015 he was award an Entrepreneurs' Programme – Research Connections grant for additional work on DFT treatments and canine cancer. In 2016 he won a prestigious Australian Research Council – Discovery Early Career Research Fellowship.

Andrew enjoys running in his spare time and has run many marathons and ultramarathons, including The North Face 100 and the Heyson 105.

Career summary

Qualifications

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 2006-2012
  • Dual Ph.D. in Zoology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEBB)
  • Concentration: Disease Ecology and Conservation Medicine
  • Dissertation: Ecology and Immune Function in the Spotted Hyena, Crocuta crocuta
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 2004-2006
  • Advanced Academic Programs - Environmental Sciences
Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN 1997-2002
  • B.S. in Computer Science
  • Minors: Math, Chemistry

Memberships

Professional practice

  • International Society of Developmental and Comparative Immunology (2018-present)
  • Australasian Society for Immunology (2014-present)
  • Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (2010-present)
  • Royal Society of South Australia (2014-2015)
  • Explorer’s Club (2011-2013)
  • National Geographic Society (2006-2013)

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

Laboratory management

Teaching expertise

  • Human Physiology (HP100, 1 semesters)
  • Behavioral Ecology of African Mammals study abroad - Kenya (ZOL 490, 1 semester)
  • Cells and Development (ZOL 425, 2 semesters)
  • Histology (ZOL 408, 3 semesters)
  • Fundamental Genetics – online (ZOL 341, 1 semester)
  • Organisms and Populations laboratory (BS 110, 2 semesters)

Research Appointments

  • ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow (2018-2020)
  • Morris Animal Foundation postdoctoral research fellow (2014-2016)

Research Invitations

  • Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute - 2019
  • United States Department of Agriculture – National Wildlife Research Center - 2019
  • San Diego Zoo - 2019
  • Royal Hobart Hospital - Haematology, oncology, palliative care lunchtime meeting - 2019
  • Guest lecture at Peppermint Bay (Tasmania) - 2018
  • School of Natural Sciences seminar series (UTAS) - 2018
  • Day of Immunology (Royal Hobart Hospital) - 2018
  • Host competence workshop (Deakin University) - 2018
  • University of the Third Age (U3A) – Tasmania - 2017
  • NextCure, Inc (Maryland) - 2016
  • Ultrarunning and Education –Rotary Club of Mt. Barker, South Australia - 2014
  • Maasai Mara Basecamp - Maasai Mara, Kenya - 2009

View more on Dr Andy Flies in WARP

Expertise

  • Recombinant protein production
  • Chimeric antibodies
  • Cytokine development and testing
  • 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
    • 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.

In addition to developing a vaccine to save the devils, understanding how the DFT evades the devil immune system can provide insight into how cancer in other animals, including humans, evades the immune system. Furthermore, the DFT 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 DFT 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.

Awards

  • Vice-chancellor's award for Community Engagement (2017)

Current projects

  • Development of an oral bait vaccine for Tasmanian devil facial tumours
  • Intercellular protein transfer
  • Wild and comparative immunology
  • Rapid development of immunology tools

Fields of Research

  • Animal immunology (310905)
  • Cellular immunology (320404)
  • Veterinary immunology (300906)
  • Tumour immunology (320409)
  • Immunology (320499)
  • Medical biotechnology diagnostics (incl. biosensors) (320602)
  • Infectious diseases (320211)
  • Animal cell and molecular biology (310902)
  • Veterinary epidemiology (300905)
  • Ecology (310399)
  • Rural clinical health (320224)
  • Applied immunology (incl. antibody engineering, xenotransplantation and t-cell therapies) (320402)
  • Biological oceanography (370801)
  • Cancer genetics (321103)
  • Host-parasite interactions (310407)
  • Infectious agents (310702)
  • Transplantation immunology (320408)
  • Health psychology (520304)
  • Innate immunity (320407)
  • Behavioural ecology (310301)
  • Conservation and biodiversity (410401)
  • Cancer therapy (excl. chemotherapy and radiation therapy) (321104)
  • Genomics (310509)

Research Objectives

  • Clinical health (200199)
  • Terrestrial biodiversity (180606)
  • Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences (280102)
  • Expanding knowledge in the health sciences (280112)
  • Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences (280101)
  • Expanding knowledge in the biomedical and clinical sciences (280103)
  • Veterinary diagnostics (241602)
  • Other health (209999)
  • Public health (excl. specific population health) (200499)
  • Health status (incl. wellbeing) (200407)
  • Efficacy of medications (200102)
  • Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments (180602)
  • Treatment of human diseases and conditions (200105)
  • Fisheries - aquaculture (100299)
  • Veterinary biological preventatives (241601)
  • Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response) (200404)

Publications

Total publications

35

Highlighted publications

(7 outputs)
YearTypeCitationAltmetrics
2020Journal ArticleFlies AS, 'Rewilding immunology', Science, 369, (6499) pp. 37-38. ISSN 1095-9203 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1126/science.abb8664 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 9

Tweet

2020Journal ArticleFlies AS, Darby JM, Lennard PR, Murphy PR, Ong CEB, et al., 'A novel system to map protein interactions reveals evolutionarily conserved immune evasion pathways on transmissible cancers', Science Advances, 6, (27) Article eaba5031. ISSN 2375-2548 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba5031 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 6

Co-authors: Darby JM; Lennard PR; Murphy PR; Pinfold TL; Lyons AB; Woods GM; Patchett AL

Tweet

2020Journal ArticleFlies AS, Flies EJ, Fox S, Gilbert A, Johnson SR, et al., 'An oral bait vaccination approach for the Tasmanian devil facial tumor diseases', Expert Review of Vaccines, 19, (1) pp. 1-10. ISSN 1476-0584 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/14760584.2020.1711058 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 8

Co-authors: Flies EJ; Liu G-S; Lyons AB; Patchett AL; Pye RJ

Tweet

2019Journal ArticlePatchett AL, Coorens THH, Darby J, Wilson R, McKay MJ, et al., 'Two of a kind: transmissible Schwann cell cancers in the endangered Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)', Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 77 pp. 1847-1858. ISSN 1420-682X (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-019-03259-2 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 8

Co-authors: Patchett AL; Darby J; Wilson R; Pye RJ; Lyons AB; Woods GM; Tovar C

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2017Journal ArticleFlies 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 - 10Web of Science - 11

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

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2016Journal ArticleFlies 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 - 21Web of Science - 22

Co-authors: Lyons AB; Woods GM

Tweet

2016Journal ArticleFlies 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 - 18Web of Science - 16

Co-authors: Flies EJ

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Journal Article

(31 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2021De Luca AJ, Lyons AB, Flies AS, 'Cytokines: Signalling improved immunotherapy?', Current Oncology Reports, 23 Article 103. ISSN 1534-6269 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11912-021-01095-x [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Lyons AB

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2021Ong CEB, Patchett AL, Darby JM, Chen J, Liu G, et al., 'NLRC5 regulates expression of MHC-I and provides a target for anti-tumor immunity in 3 transmissible cancers', Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 147, (7) pp. 1973-1991. ISSN 0171-5216 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.06.274720 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Patchett AL; Darby JM; Liu G; Lyons AB; Woods GM

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2021Wong C, Darby JM, Murphy PR, Pinfold TL, Lennard PR, et al., 'Tasmanian devil CD28 and CTLA4 capture CD80 and CD86 from adjacent cells', Developmental and Comparative Immunology, 115 Article 103882. ISSN 0145-305X (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.dci.2020.103882 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Darby JM; Murphy PR; Pinfold TL; Woods GM; Lyons AB

Tweet

2020Flies AS, 'Rewilding immunology', Science, 369, (6499) pp. 37-38. ISSN 1095-9203 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1126/science.abb8664 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 9

Tweet

2020Flies AS, Darby JM, Lennard PR, Murphy PR, Ong CEB, et al., 'A novel system to map protein interactions reveals evolutionarily conserved immune evasion pathways on transmissible cancers', Science Advances, 6, (27) Article eaba5031. ISSN 2375-2548 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba5031 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 6

Co-authors: Darby JM; Lennard PR; Murphy PR; Pinfold TL; Lyons AB; Woods GM; Patchett AL

Tweet

2020Flies AS, Darby JM, Murphy PR, Pinfold TL, Patchett AL, et al., 'Generation and Testing of Fluorescent Adaptable Simple Theranostic (FAST) Proteins', Bio-protocol, 10, (13) pp. 1-49. ISSN 2331-8325 (2020) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3696 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Darby JM; Murphy PR; Pinfold TL; Patchett AL; Lennard PR

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2020Flies AS, Darby JM, Murphy PR, Pinfold TL, Patchett AL, et al., 'Generation and testing of Fluorescent Adaptable Simple Theranostic (FAST) Proteins', Bio-protocol, 10, (13) Article e3696. ISSN 2331-8325 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3696 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Darby JM; Murphy PR; Pinfold TL; Patchett AL; Lennard PR

Tweet

2020Flies AS, Flies EJ, Fox S, Gilbert A, Johnson SR, et al., 'An oral bait vaccination approach for the Tasmanian devil facial tumor diseases', Expert Review of Vaccines, 19, (1) pp. 1-10. ISSN 1476-0584 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/14760584.2020.1711058 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 8

Co-authors: Flies EJ; Liu G-S; Lyons AB; Patchett AL; Pye RJ

Tweet

2020Patchett AL, Flies AS, Lyons AB, Woods GM, 'Curse of the devil: molecular insights into the emergence of transmissible cancers in the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)', Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 77, (13) pp. 2507-2525. ISSN 1420-682X (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-019-03435-4 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4

Co-authors: Patchett AL; Lyons AB; Woods GM

Tweet

2019Flies AS, Woods GM, 'Editorial: Wild Immunology - The answers are out there', Frontiers in Immunology, 10 Article 126. ISSN 1664-3224 (2019) [Letter or Note in Journal]

DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00126 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Woods GM

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2019Martin LB, Addison B, Bean AGD, Buchanan KL, Crino OL, et al., 'Extreme competence: keystone hosts of infections', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 34, (4) pp. 303-314. ISSN 0169-5347 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2018.12.009 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 16Web of Science - 17

Co-authors: Hamede R; Ruiz Aravena M

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2019Ong CEB, Lyons AB, Woods GM, Flies AS, 'Inducible IFN-γ expression for MHC-I upregulation in devil facial tumor cells', Frontiers in Immunology, 9 Article 3117. ISSN 1664-3224 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.03117 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5

Co-authors: Lyons AB; Woods GM

Tweet

2019Patchett AL, Coorens THH, Darby J, Wilson R, McKay MJ, et al., 'Two of a kind: transmissible Schwann cell cancers in the endangered Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)', Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 77 pp. 1847-1858. ISSN 1420-682X (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-019-03259-2 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 8

Co-authors: Patchett AL; Darby J; Wilson R; Pye RJ; Lyons AB; Woods GM; Tovar C

Tweet

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, 58, (6) pp. 1043-1054. ISSN 1540-7063 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3

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

Tweet

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 - 10Web of Science - 11

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

Tweet

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 - 21Web of Science - 22

Co-authors: Lyons AB; Woods GM

Tweet

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 - 18Web of Science - 16

Co-authors: Flies EJ

Tweet

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 - 10Web of Science - 11

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 - 12Web of Science - 12

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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 - 27Web of Science - 25

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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 - 2Web of Science - 2

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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 - 11Web of Science - 10

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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 - 315Web of Science - 302

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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 - 64Web of Science - 58

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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 - 153Web of Science - 144

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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 - 167Web of Science - 156

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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', Blood, 109, (11) pp. 4882-4889. ISSN 0006-4971 (2007) [Refereed Article]

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

Citations: Scopus - 68Web of Science - 67

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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 - 59Web of Science - 56

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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 - 49

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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 - 136Web of Science - 126

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Contract Report, Consultant's Report

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2020Zosky GR, Norris K, Woods G, Flies A, 'RTA in a COVID-19 Environment', Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), Tasmania, Australia (2020) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Zosky GR; Norris K; Woods G

Other Public Output

(3 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2020Flies AS, Patchett AL, Lyons B, Woods G, 'We developed tools to study cancer in Tasmanian devils. They could help fight disease in humans', The Conversation, online, 2 July 2020 (2020) [Magazine Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Patchett AL; Lyons B; Woods G

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2017Flies AS, 'Spotted hyenas rarely die from disease: we set out to discover why', The Conversation, Australia, April 17 (2017) [Magazine Article]

[eCite] [Details]

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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

Funding Summary

Number of grants

18

Total funding

$2,488,067

Projects

Cancer Research to Help Tasmanian Devils (2021 - 2024)$312,960
Description
The high conservation of key proteins and central cancer pathways suggests that higher vertebrates display common cancer development and progression mechanisms, allowing for similar treatment strategies across species boundaries. This opened a new therapeutic avenue and an important contribution to ongoing efforts to understand how the devil immune system recognizes and kills transmissible cancers.
Funding
University of Veterinary Medicine ($312,960)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS; Bergthaler A; Morrigl R
Period
2021 - 2024
Select Foundation Senior Research Fellowship - Immunology (2021 - 2025)$625,000
Funding
The Select Foundation ($625,000)
Scheme
Fellowship-Senior Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS
Period
2021 - 2025
ICG - GREYSCAN PTY LTD (2020)$259,020
Description
With GreyScan will repurpose the ETD-100 trace explosives system to detect viruses and create a new product range, TVD 1
Funding
GreyScan Pty Ltd ($259,020)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Breadmore MC; King AE; Karupiah G; Flies AS; Wilson CR; Flies E; Gell DA
Year
2020
Advice to the AAD (PMU) re RTA in a COVID19 Environment (2020)$10,000
Description
Literature review and recommendations to the Australian Antarctic Division regarding the Return to Australia for current Antarctic Expeditioners in a COVID19 environment.
Funding
Australian Antarctic Division ($10,000)
Scheme
Consultancy
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Zosky GR; Flies AS; Woods GM; Norris K
Year
2020
Rapid antibody development for improved cancer immunotherapy diagnostics (2019)$9,841
Description
Development of tools such as monoclonal antibodies to study the immune system can be time consuming, costly, and technically challenging. Recently, a technique called phage-assisted continuous evolution (PACE) was developed to harness the rapid evolution of bacteriophages to produce novel biomolecules1,2. We have recently established the PACE system here at Menzies, and we will now apply this system to the development of monoclonal antibodies. We will use the PACE system to produce single-domain antibodies (sdAb, aka Nanobodies). sdAbs are derived from the variable coding region of heavy-chain only antibodies from the camelid family (e.g. camels, llamas, alpaca). The unique heavy chain only antibodies from camels are simpler to produce than antibodies from other species because they require only one protein-coding gene sequence (e.g. the variable region), whereas other species require at least a heavy chain variable region, a light chain variable region, and in most cases the heavy and light chain constant regions. sdAbs have been shown to a protein binding capacity similar to traditional antibodies, but have the added benefit of being very small, which facilitates their use in applications that require small proteins. Importantly, the ability of a single gene to produce a high-affinity antibody lends itself to the PACE system because only one gene needs to be evolved, thus eliminating complications of matching heavy and light chain genes to produce a functional antibody. We will initially reproduce a published sdAb that targets a key immune molecule3 to demonstrate our capacity to make sdAbs. Then we will produce a phage library that represents the germline heavy chain only variable regions encoded in the camels, llamas, and alpaca genome. We can then allow the phages to compete for binding to target antigens and allow evolution to produce a high-affinity sdAb in a few weeks. Traditional monoclonal antibodies take 2-6 months to produce.
Funding
Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation ($9,841)
Scheme
Grant-Incubator
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS; Hewitt A; Nott LM
Year
2019
Development of a devil facial tumour bait-vaccine for landscape-level distribution (2019)$9,952
Description
This project aims to develop a devil facial tumour (DFT) disease vaccine based on a highly-successful rabies virus vaccine platform. The bait-vaccine approach works by incorporating tumour antigens (i.e. proteins or peptides) into a non-replicating adenovirus in the laboratory, and then packaging the virus into 'blister packs' that are distributed in the landscape for target animals (i.e. devils) to eat. The virus then infects the animal when the blister pack breaks open in the animal's mouth and induces an immune response against the virus and the tumour antigens. To achieve our bait-vaccine goals we need to bring together teams diverse sets of skills, including but not limited to immunologists, geneticists, and ecologists. This research complements our existing devil immunology research but will require the cross-disciplinary expertise of Rick Liu's genetic engineering team to develop the adenovirus-based vaccine platform. The genetic engineering team will harness existing collaborations with the Children's Medical Research Institute to produce the adenoviruses for the devil team's pilot studies. Long-term development of this project will include veterinarians and ecologists from the School of Natural Sciences and DPIPWE. We will apply for funding from the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal to develop the field-based aspects of the project. This is likely the only approach that has the potential to eradicate DFT disease from Tasmania.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($9,952)
Scheme
Grant-Research Enhancement Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS; Liu R; Lyons AB; Patchett AL; Pye RJ
Year
2019
Identification of host-tumour interactions driving immune evasion and survival of devil facial tumor disease (2019)$12,951
Description
This project will use sequencing to generate gene profiles of immune cells in healthy and diseased Tasmanian devils. These datasets will enable identification of immune cell subsets in the Tasmanian devil, and will be mined to detect changes to immune function in diseased devils.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($12,951)
Scheme
Grant-Research Enhancement Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Patchett AL; Lyons AB; Flies AS
Year
2019
Analytical flow cytometer (2019)$100,000
Description
Purchase of a 5 laser Cytoflex LX flow cytometer. This equipment has the ability to examine the full range of fluorescent proteins used in advanced molecular biology and in complex analyses which are not possible using our current instruments.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($100,000)
Scheme
null
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS; Lyons AB; Pinfold T
Year
2019
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, Science, Energy and Resources ($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
Investigation of cancer immunotherapy for the Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease (2014 - 2016)$138,956
Description
Cancer is the worst-case scenario in the minds of most people, and this scenario now applies to an entire species, the Tasmanian devil. An 85% decline has already occurred in the critically endangered wild Tasmanian devil population due to the transmissible devil facial tumor disease (DFTD). Immunotherapy targeting cell surface signalling molecules has recently yielded unprecedented response rates in human cancer clinical trials, yet this immunotherapy technique has not yet been evaluated for the DFTD. By translating the proven human immunotherapies into immunotherapies to treat the DFTD, we will be able to rapidly test new treatments for DFTD that could alleviate the suffering caused by the DFTD, and help to maintain genetic diversity and behavioral patterns in wild devil populations.
Funding
Morris Animal Foundation ($138,956)
Scheme
Grant-Established Investigator
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies AS
Period
2014 - 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.

  • *Ahab Ndabigaye Kayigwe (University of Tasmania – PhD)  2019-present
  • Alana De Luca (University of Tasmania – PhD)  2019-present
  • Anna Avaliani  (University of Tasmania – volunteer) 2019-present
  • *Chrissie Ong (University of Tasmania - Honours 2016, PhD 2017-present) 2016-present
  • Geordie Free (University of Tasmania – UROP) 2018
  • Anuk Kruawan (University of Tasmania – UROP, Honours)  2018-present
  • *Peter Murphy (University of Tasmania – UROP, Honours) 2017-2019
  • *Candida Wong (University of Tasmania – Honours) 2018
  • *Gerardo Lacapra (University of Tasmania – Honours) 2018
  • Katherine Erickson (Scripps College, USA - Undergraduate)  2018
  • Ayda Issa (University of Tasmania - UROP) 2017-2018
  • Jack Fennel (University of Tasmania - UROP) 2018-present
  • Sambavi Singarasa (University of Tasmania – UROP) 2018
  • *Patrick Lennard (University of Tasmania, Undergraduate, Honours 2017-present) 2016-2017
  • Weijia Jiang (University of Tasmania - PhD) 2016-2017
  • Mahalia Kingsley (University of Tasmania - UROP) 2017
  • Kris Nand (University of Tasmania - UROP) 2017
  • Nirdesh Poudel (University of Tasmania) 2016-2017
  • Brad Cowen (University of Tasmania - Honours 2016) 2015-2016
  • Sandon James (University of Tasmania - UROP) 2016
  • https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=s1_82IAAAAAJ&hl=enSandon Lowe (University of Tasmania - UROP) 2015

Current

5

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDInsertion of Suicide Genes into DFTD Cancer Cells as Mechanism to Improve Vaccine Efficiency2017
PhDNovel Approaches to Treat Viral Pneumonia2018
PhDRegulation of Effector Function and Immune Checkpoint Molecules Expression by Cytokines in Tasmanian Devils2019
PhDIdentification of Devil Facial Tumour-Associated Antigens for Vaccine Development2019
PhDSingle-cell Immunophenotypic Analysis of Peripheral Blood Cells and Metastatic Tumour Cells2020