Monash Central Clinical School research team recognized

28 January 2014

A Monash University Central Clinical School research team led by Professor Fabienne Mackay has been recognized by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) as one of its “Ten of the Best Research Projects 2013” from among the thousands of NHMRC funded medical research projects underway in Australia.

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This annual selection of outstanding biomedical research “highlights outstanding dedication in the pursuit of an idea, innovation in seeking to expand the boundaries of knowledge and discovery, and novel ways for tackling ill health.”
Professor Fabienne Mackay and her team have been recognized by the NHMRC for their work toward understanding the complexities of the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
In autoimmune diseases, the immune system produces antibodies that instead of protecting the body against infection, can actually turn against our body’s own healthy cells.  For some people with SLE, these rogue antibodies attack their kidneys, lungs, heart, blood vessels, and even the brain.
Our immune system has a built-in quality control process, allowing good immune cells to be retained while discarding defective immune cells. This constant regulation helps prevent autoimmune disease; however, it is not a perfect system and some potentially defective or harmful immune cells can populate our immune system.
The work of the Monash University team led by Fabienne Mackay into improving understanding the quality control process of B lymphocyte cells has been important in guiding the development of exciting new treatments.
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