The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Research Field: Inflammation/Medical Research

Seth Masters’ research investigates how our body works out what a bad infection is, as opposed to the normal healthy species that live in our gut and the harmless microbes we encounter in the world each day. They then try and work out the different signaling pathways that cause inflammation when a bad infection is noticed. Sometimes people are born with genetic mutations in these inflammatory pathways, and this means the body is always trying to fight an infection, even though there is nothing bad to fight. For these patients, understanding which pathway is mutated and activated is critical and when
this is determined, an appropriate anti-inflammatory agent can be life-saving. Seth finds new mutations that cause severe inflammation in young children, and investigate how to stop these pathways from getting activated to cause chronic inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis, Chrohn’s disease and even type 2 diabetes.

Seth is involved with giving talks at various hospitals and clinics, both nationally and internationally and interviews to print, television and online news services. Every year he speaks to undergraduates at the University of Melbourne who are interested in pursuing a career in academia. He is also involved in an effort to bring a ‘Science Gallery’ to Melbourne. The format of this installation will be to encourage
the public to engage with high level scientific concepts in a relaxed and informal environment. The first Science Gallery was established in Trinity College Dublin.