Autoimmune and Autoinflammatory Diseases

Researchers at TRI are working towards better management and treatment of patients with autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases including:

Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Research in UQ Professor Ranjeny Thomas's team research focusses on autoimmune disease and restoration of tolerance. Their projects span from understanding dendritic cell function through analysis of signaling pathways, in vivo studies of tolerance, through to clinical trials of tolerance in autoimmunity, and clinical studies of risk factors in rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes. Through this work, Prof Thomas developed and tested the first rheumatoid arthritis vaccine which is now in early stage clinical trials. She has also contributed major insights into the pathogenesis of spondyloarthropathy and autoimmune diabetes, leading to the development of disease biomarkers and therapeutic strategies. 

Professor Thomas is founder and a director of the spin-off company based at TRI, Dendright, which is developing vaccines to suppress autoimmune diseases.

Type 1 Diabetes

UQ Professor Raymond Steptoe and his team are studying behaviour modulation in T-cells in autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, and immune tolerance.


QUT Professor Tony Kenna's research focusses on systemic sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus. He and his team are currently evaluating a new and specific protein for treatment of these conditions, that targets a protein in the immune system that controls inflammation. 

Ankylosing Spondylitis 

Akylosing spondylitis is an immune-mediated inflammatory arthritis that can lead to fusion of the spine and pelvic joints, causing significant pain and disability. QUT Professor Matt Brown and his team is investigating genes that contribute to development of AS.  

Key Researchers
Jessica Whyte
Matthew Arthur Brown
Tony Kenna
Emma Hamilton-Williams
Ranjeny Thomas
Raymond John Steptoe
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Professor Ranjeny Thomas explains her research on autoimmune diseases
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