Dr Michele Grimbaldeston, The Centre of Cancer Biology, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA.
Michele Grimbaldeston received her PhD in 2002 under the mentorship of Prof Prue Hart at Flinders University. She then spent 5 years as a postdoctoral NHMRC CJ Martin Fellow in the laboratory of Prof Stephen Galli at Stanford University, USA. She returned in 2008 to the Centre for Cancer Biology in Adelaide, where she established the Mast Cell Laboratory.
Dr Grimbaldeston is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow and was recently appointed Associate Professor at the University of South Australia. Her research extends from basic discovery in mouse models through to drug development for clinical settings. She has a long-standing career as a mast cell biologist with recognition internationally for her seminal contributions in the field. Mast cells are specialised immune cells resident in tissues and have primarily gained notoriety as the drivers of excessive inflammation associated with debilitating and life-threatening maladies including allergy, anaphylaxis, stroke and cancer. Importantly, her work has led to a paradigm shift in the field and shown that far from their unrestrained pro-inflammatory exertions, mast cells provide essential anti-inflammatory functions in certain settings of acquired and innate immunity. This has opened up a new area of mast cell-dependent immunoregulation enabling her research team in partnership with biotech companies to investigate novel therapeutic strategies to modulate the immune system and improve human health.