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Congrats Jamie on your Visiting Professor appointment at the University of Oxford

Welcome to the new RDM Visiting Professors

RDM warmly welcomes two new Visiting Professors this term:

  • Jamie Rossjohn joins the department as Visiting Professor of Structural Immunology, and
  • Martin Young joins as Visiting Professor of Cardiac Science.

Professor Rossjohn travelled over the border from Wales to undertake his undergraduate degree and PhD at Bath University. After pursuing his PhD where he was exposed to the world of X-ray crystallography, he was awarded a Royal Society Fellowship (1995) to work at St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research (SVIMR), Melbourne, Australia where he explored detoxifying enzymes and studied bacterial toxins like aerolysin and perfringolysin O (PFO); his work on PFO revealed the molecular mechanism of these toxins. In 2002, Prof Rossjohn moved to Monash University, establishing the Protein Crystallography Unit, which has grown to include over 100 researchers. He played a key role in designing and establishing a fully-automated crystallisation facility.

As a laboratory head and current NHMRC Investigator Fellow, Prof Rossjohn’s research is centred on understanding immunity. He has used structural biology to explain pre-T-cell receptor (TCR) self-association in T-cell development, and how the TCR specifically recognises polymorphic human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules in the context of viral immunity and aberrant T-cell reactivity. He has unearthed structural mechanisms of HLA polymorphism impacting on drug and food hypersensitivities, as well as Natural Killer cell receptor recognition. He has pioneered the molecular understanding of lipid-based immunity by T cells, revealing that it can differ fundamentally from peptide-mediated adaptive immunity.

Recently, he has provided a structural basis of how vitamin B metabolites can be presented and recognised by the immune system, revealing a new class of antigen. Collectively, he has published > 500 papers and mentored numerous researchers towards obtaining higher degrees and nationally competitive fellowships.

His multidisciplinary approach, supported by a broad network of collaborators has led to a fundamental advancement of knowledge in this field and his research leadership has been recognised by numerous national and international awards. In 2022, Prof Rossjohn was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and Associate Member of EMBO.

Professor Young received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and DPhil in Biochemistry at Oxford (Oriel College and Green College). Following postdoctoral training at Boston University and the University of Texas-Houston, he held faculty appointments at the University of Texas-Houston and Baylor College of Medicine, before joining the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2009 where he is currently a Professor of Medicine and the Jeanne V. Marks Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Disease.

Research in Prof Young’s laboratory is focused on understanding how environmental factors, such as time-of-day and nutrition, influence cardiometabolic and cardiovascular health. Regarding time-of-day, the laboratory has been actively exploring how an intrinsic time-keeping mechanism, known as the circadian clock, influences cardiac function. His pioneering studies have resulted in a new field, which intersects chronobiology with cardiovascular research.

In addition to his research success, Prof Young has remained firmly committed to training future generations of both physicians and scientists. This has been achieved, in part, through directing both medical school courses, as well as postdoctoral training programmes. As a Visiting Professor of Cardiac Science at RDM, Prof Young will lend his unique expertise in cardiovascular disease and circadian biology to augment both ongoing and nascent research programmes, as well as facilitate the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

 

Original article

Monash BDI researchers make Highly Cited list for the fourth consecutive year

Two Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) researchers have been recognised for their exceptional research performance, determined by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top one per cent by citations for a field and year.

Professor Jamie Rossjohn and Professor Charles Mackay have each been ranked as a 2021 Highly Cited Researcher in the prestigious list released in November by Clarivate Analytics.

Professor Rossjohn’s research focus is on understanding, at the molecular level, how the T cell receptor specifically recognises polymorphic Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) molecules in the context of protective immunity, autoimmunity and other adverse T cell reactivities. Further, he has pioneered the molecular understanding of lipid and metabolite based immunity by T cells that recognise HLA class-I like molecules, CD1 and MR1, respectively. This is the fourth consecutive year that Professor Rossjohn has appeared on the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher list.

Professor Mackay has forged a new understanding of the gut microbiome and the important role it plays in immune responses including allergies and in a number of diseases including type 1 diabetes. His research into how immune responses can be manipulated using ‘medicinal foods’, as well as novel gut microbial species, is attracting both clinical and public interest, with the latest research findings moving to clinical trials.

Professor Mackay was highly cited from 2005 to 2010 under what was then the Institute for Scientific Information citation, and has remained on the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher list since 2017.

The Highly Cited Researcher list, now in its eighth year, determines the ‘who’s who’ of influential researchers, drawing on data and analysis to identify the world’s leading researchers who have demonstrated significant and broad influence. See the full list of researchers on the Web of Science:  Nineteen researchers from Monash University were recognised this year.

Image: Professor Jamie Rossjohn and Professor Charles Mackay

Original article

Congrats Jamie: Highly Cited researcher again!

Congratulations to Jamie who is again on the Highly Cited Researchers 2021 list of the world’s most Highly Cited Scientists, which is published annually by Clarivate Analytics.

From Clarivate: Recognising the true pioneers in their fields over the last decade, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science™. Of the world’s scientists and social scientists, Highly Cited Researchers truly are one in 1,000.

Original article