Dr Anne Bruestle, Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU, Canberra.
Autoimmune diseases are chronic conditions that occur when the immune system mounts a response against the body’s own tissues, causing inflammation and damage. There are many autoimmune diseases, with symptoms ranging from mild to debilitating to life threatening. Th17 cells are a subgroup of immune cells known to be important drivers of autoimmune disease and have been associated with the development of inflammatory bowels disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and the neuroinflammatory diseases, multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica. We are using mouse models to investigate factors altering the encephalitogenic-potential of Th17 cells. Our aim is to understand how cell-intrinsic and tissue-specific environmental factors modulate Th17 cell-responses in the CNS.
Anne Bruestle completed her PhD at the Institute of Medical Microbiology, at Philipps-University in Marburg, Germany. She focused on investigating T helper (h) cell differentiation in the interferon regulatory factor (IRF) 4 deficient mouse. Her major accomplishment was the identification of IRF4 as a required transcription factor for the differentiation of Th17 cells. She spent the following years as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr Tak Mak's laboratory in Toronto, Canada, where she combined her experience in the field of T helper cell differentiation to related autoimmune disease mouse models, as well as extended her expertise into different aspects of immunology.
Anne was very recently recruited as a group leader in the Department of Pathogens and Immunity at JCSMR. Her research focus is on the pathogenesis of autoimmunity and inflammation; her goal is to combine in vitro findings with in vivo studies using animal models for multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), bacterial infections and psoriasis. Of particular interest to her are the mouse model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and its disease associated T cell subset Th17.