Associate Professor Nigel Waterhouse


Senior Research Fellow


About me

After graduating from University College Dublin, Ireland in 1998, Associate Professor Waterhouse moved to the sunnier climes of Australia. With support from Dianne Watters and Martin Lavin at the QIMR he completed his PhD on ‘Proteolysis in apoptosis’, and then moved to Doug Green’s laboratory at La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology in San Diego to investigate how mitochondria regulate caspase activation in apoptosis. He received a Peter Doherty Fellowship from the NHMRC to return to Joe Trapani’s Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne to investigate the role of mitochondria in cell death induced by cytotoxic lymphocytes; cells of the immune system that protect the body from disease by seeking out and killing cancer or virus infected cells. This work continued with the support of an RD Wright Fellowship and a CDA level 2 from the NHMRC and afforded him the opportunity to begin his own group with the support of Ricky Johnstone and Grant McArthur in the Cancer Therapeutics Program at the Peter Mac. The Apoptosis and Natural Toxicity Laboratory was dedicated to understanding cancer cell death by cytotoxic drugs and natural killer cells, how cancer cells avoid cell death, and how we can use therapeutic drugs to kill cancer cells by restoring cell-specific defects in death pathways. This theme is continued in their current research in the Apoptosis and Cytotoxicity Group at Mater Research  which was started in 2009 with the support of an Australian Research Council Futures Fellowship and Mater Foundation.

Research fields

Cell Death, Apoptosis, Mitochondria, Caspases, Granzymes, CTL, NK cells, Microacopy