The Jiang Group - Personalised Medicine and Autoimmunity

The Jiang Group utilises a personalised medicine approach that recognises that the conventional approach to medicine often neglects the unique pathological processes which lead to disease in individual patients. Our work focuses on identifying genetic variants in individuals which predispose to autoimmunity and immune- or non immune-mediated kidney disease. We use cutting edge techniques, such as phenomic and transcriptomics analysis of impacted cell types, CRISPR-Cas9 generated cell lines or “personalised” animal models with patient variants, and machine learning (ML), to characterise the molecular and cellular mechanisms driving pathogenesis with the aim of personalising treatments.

This approach has already identified fundamental disease mechanisms, therapeutic targets and novel treatments for patients with complex autoimmunity and kidney disease. Our lab has also adapted this approach to understand the unique genetic and cellular causes of kidney and immune disease in Indigenous Australian communities with the aim of improving health outcomes.

Please contact us to discuss research opportunities in these domains.

Research interests

  • Genetic and phenomic basis of autoimmunity and kidney disease
  • Genetic basis of kidney and immune disease in Indigenous Australians
  • Application of machine learning to autoimmune kidney disease

Recent grants

  • NMRC Ideas Grant GNT $2,072,570.00, 2022-2026.
  • ANU Grand Challenge – Indigenous Health and Wellbeing $2,500,000, 2021-2025


Personalised medicine to resolve and treat complex autoimmunity

Autoimmune disease is typically chronic with a relapsing-remitting course. Immunosuppressive treatment is often lifelong and associated with significant toxicity. However, the genetic basis and pathophysiological mechanisms behind autoimmune diseases are often distinct for most individuals and their families. By examining the genomes of patients with complex or treatment-resistant autoimmune disease, using detailed characterisation of their peripheral lymphocytes and cytokine levels, we may develop individualised understanding of a patient’s pathophysiology and thus potentially offer novel therapeutic targets.

This project offers the opportunity to investigate the genetic and mechanistic basis of autoimmune disease in patients participating in personalised medicine. This includes projects investigating fundamental cellular processes, investigation of CRISPR-edited mouse avatars, and demonstration of pathogenic gene variants.

For more information, please contact

Genetic basis of kidney and immune disease in Indigenous Australians

Autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis are highly prevalent amongst Indigenous Australians. Furthermore, the rates of chronic kidney disease in Indigenous Australians are the highest recorded worldwide. It has been estimated that 60% of this risk may be related to genetic variation, yet very little study of this genetic variation has been performed. Utilising personalised and genomic medicine approaches, we aim to understand the genetic basis underpinning the development of highly prevalent chronic kidney disease in Indigenous Australians.

This project offers the opportunity to investigate the genetic and molecular basis of endemic autoimmune and kidney disease in Indigenous Australians. Several novel genetic candidates have been identified for further evaluation.

For more information, please contact or

Jiang SH, Mercan S, Papa I, Moldovan M, Walters GD, Koina M, Fadia M, Stanley M, Lea-Henry TN, Cook A, Ellyard JI, McMorran B, Sundaram M, Thomson R, Canete PF, Hoy W, Hutton H, Srivastava M, McKeon K, Athanasopoulos V, Field F, Mathews J, Cho E, Andrews TD, Kitching AR, Cook MC, Alarcon Riquelme M, Bahlo M, Vinuesa CG Deletions in VANGL1 are a novel risk factor for antibody mediated kidney disease. Cell Reports Medicine December 21, 2021

Jiang SH, Athanasopoulos V, Ellyard JI, Chuah A, Cappello J, Cook A, Prabhu SB, Cardenas J, Gu J, Stanley M, Roco JA, Papa I, Yabas M, Walters GD, Burgio G, McKeon K, Byers JM, Burrin C, Enders A, Miosge LA, Canete PF, Jelusic M, Tasic V, Lungu AC, Alexander SI, Kitching AR, Fulcher DA, Shen N, Arsov T, Gatenby PA, Babon JJ, Mallon DF, de Lucas Collantes C, Stone EA, Wu P, Field MA, Andrews TD, Cho E, Pascual V, Cook MC, Vinuesa CG. Functional rare and low frequency variants in BLK and BANK1 contribute to human lupus. Nat Comm. 2019 May 17;10(1):2201.

Lea-Henry TN, Chuah A, Stanley M, Athanasopoulos V, Starkey M, Christiadi D, Kitching AR; Cook MC, Andrews TD, Vinuesa CG, Walters GD, Jiang SH Increased burden of rare variants in genes of the endosomal Toll-like receptor pathway in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus Lupus July 16, 2021.

He Y, Gallman A, Xie C, Shen Q, Ma J, Wolfreys F, Sandy M, Arsov T, Wu X, Qin Y, Zhang P, Jiang SH, Stanley M, Wu P, Tan J, Ding H, Xue H, Chen W, Xu J, A. Criswell, Nititham J, Adamski M, Cook MC, Cao L, Shen N, Cyster J, and Vinuesa CG P2RY8 variants in lupus patients uncover a role for the receptor in immunological tolerance J Ex Med 2022 219 (1):e20211004

Puri P., Yang Y, Jiang SH, Mackay F, Yu D Understanding SLE heterogeneity in the age of big data and artificial intelligenceRheumatology and Autoimmunity October 11, 2021

Easteal S, Arkell RM, Balboa RF, Bellingham SA, Brown, AD, Calma T, Cook MC, Davis M, Dawkins HJS, Dinger ME, Dobbie MS, Farlow, Ashley, Gwynne KG, Hermes A, Hoy WE, Jenkins MR, Jiang SH, Kaplan W, Leslie S, Llamas B, Mann GJ, McMorran BJ, McWhirter RE, Meldrum CJ, Nagaraj SH, Newman SJ, Nunn JS, Ormond-Parker L, Orr NJ, Paliwal D, Patel HR, Pearson G, Pratt GR, Rambaldini B, Russell LW, Savarirayan R, Silcocks M, Skinner JC, Souilimi Y, Vinuesa CG, The National Centre for Indigenous Genomics; Baynam G. Clinical and population genomic data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is crucial for equitable provision of expanded carrier screening in Australia Am J Hum Gen 2020 107(2); 175-182

Puri P, Walter GD, Fadia M, Koina M, Gibson KA, Jiang SH The impact of reclassification of C3 predominant glomerulopathies on diagnostic accuracy, outcome and prognosis in patients with C3 glomerulonephritis. BMC Neph 2020 21, 265 (2020).

Jiang SH, Stanley M, Vinuesa CG Rare genetic variants in systemic autoimmunity Immunol Cell Biol 2020 June 22

McKeon KP, Jiang SH Treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus Aus Presc 2020 June 2

Cameron GJM, Cautivo KM, Jiang SH, et. al., Starkey MR. Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells Are Redundant in Experimental Renal Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury. Front Immunol. 2019 Apr 16;10:826

Cameron GJM, Jiang SH, Loering S, Deshpande AV, Hansbro PM, Starkey MR. Emerging therapeutic potential of group 2 innate lymphoid cells in acute kidney injury. J Pathol. 2019 May;248(1):9-15.

Jiang SH, Kennard AL, Walters GD. Recurrent glomerulonephritis following renal transplantation and impact on graft survival. BMC Neprol 2018 Dec 3;19(1):344.

Kennard AL, Jiang SH, Walters GD. Increased glomerulonephritis recurrence after living related donation. BMC Nephrology 17; 18(1):25 (2017)

Jiang SH, Shen N, Vinuesa CG. Posttranscriptional T cell gene regulation to limit Tfh cells and autoimmunity. Current Opinion in Immunology, 37:21-7 (2015)

Ellyard, J. E., JerjenR., MartinJ.L., LeeA., FieldM.A., JiangSH., CappelloJ., NaumannS.K., Andrews T.D., ScottH.S., Casarotto M.G., Goodnow C.C., Chaitow J., PascualV., Hertzog P., Alexander S.I., CookM.C., Vinuesa C.G.. Identification of a Pathogenic Variant in TREX1 in Early-Onset Cerebral Systemic Lupus Erythematosus by Whole-Exome Sequencing. Arthritis and Rheumatology, 66(12)3382-3386 (2014)