New insights into the role of type I Interferons in regulating the innate immune response in infectious and inflammatory diseases

Professor Paul Hertzog is the Director of the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Disease; Deputy Director of the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. He is a Research Professor in the Dept. Molecular & Translational Sciences at Monash University, Senior Principal Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; and an Adjunct Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was educated at the University of Melbourne where he obtained his PhD then undertook postdoc positions in the USA at the Eppley Institute of Cancer Research in Omaha; then at the University of York in the UK. Paul’s research interests broadly concern the role of innate immune responses in inflammatory and infectious diseases and cancer. Specifically, this includes the role of interferons in innate immune signaling via pattern recognition receptors, structure-function of type I interferon receptors and signal transduction, negative regulation by SOCS proteins, characterization of their newly discovered interferon epsilon in mucosal immunity of the female reproductive tract and other organs and a systems biology approach to the innate immune response. This work resulted in him being awarded the international 2013 Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research by the ICIS. He has published over 200 research papers in reviews in prestigious journals including Cell, Science, Nature Immunology and Nature Medicine. He has had consistent funding from major national and international agencies including NIH, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and has longstanding interactions with industry. He is co-founder of the Victorian Infection and Immunity Network, its Industry Alliance Program and co-convenes the annual Lorne Infection and Immunity conference. He is currently on sabbatical as a distinguished visiting fellow at Christ’s College Cambridge and in the Biochemistry Dept. (with Prof. Nick Gay et al.) and Welcome Trust Sanger Institute ( with Trevor Lawley, Sam Forster and Gordon Dougan).