Dr Kate Schroder
Institute for Molecular Bioscience,
The University of Queensland
Inflammation, infection, immune responses
The innate immune system is the body’s front-line weapon against attack by microbes, and functions by mounting inflammatory responses. Inflammation is also now emerging as a major driver of other human diseases of epidemic proportions, such as cancer and diabetes. Dr Schroder’s laboratory characterises the fundamental pathways used by the body to detect microbes and launch anti-microbial defence programs, one called the ‘inflammasome’in particular. These are turned on to trigger inflammation and fight infection, but can also be inappropriately turned on in uninfected individuals, leading to diseases such as diabetes.
Kate’s research is helping us to understand exactly how the body fights infection and paves the way for the development of new anti-infective agents or vaccine formulations to combat infectious disease.
Kate has contributed to a secondary science textbook and discusses science research with school students at events such as ‘Hooked on Science’. She has also taken part in the Australian Medical Research Society (ASMR) Medical Research Week. She is also a science advocate with policy-makers, and often meets with politicians to discuss the challenges and opportunities of academic research.