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O'Keeffe Lab research

CollaborationsStudent research projects | Publications

About Associate Professor Meredith O'Keeffe

Associate Professor Meredith O'Keeffe is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Laboratory of Dendritic Cell Driven Immunity in Health and Disease. Meredith received her PhD from Monash University in 1998. She has spent the following 20 years investigating dendritic cell biology, with positions at WEHI, Melbourne, Bavarian-Nordic GmbH, Munich, Germany and the Burnet Institute, Melbourne. Meredith's current research interests include investigating the regulation of dendritic cell activation in disease and the role of interferon-lambda in influencing this.

Our research

Current projects

  1. Interferon-lambda: Understanding its role in dendritic cell biology & metabolism
  2. The role of checkpoint inhibitors in dendritic cell activation
  3. The response of dendritic cells to clinical isolates of antibiotic-resistant pathogens

Visit Associate Professor O'Keeffe's Monash research profile to see a full listing of current projects.

Research activities

1. Checkpoint regulation of dendritic cell function

PD-1 blocking on dendritic cells & T cells leads to maximal anti-tumour effects.

The current dogma:

PD-1 blocking immunotherapy targets T cells and leads to the T cell again amenable to co-stimulation/Ag presentation and activation by antigen presenting cells and capable of antigen recognition of and cytotoxicity towards tumour cells.

Our hypothesis:

PD-1 blocking immunotherapy directly targets dendritic cells as well as T cells. This directly enhances their ability to stimulate T cells. It also enhances their ability to produce certain soluble factors.

2. Dendritic cells at the centre of interferon-related autoimmune disease

We are investigating the production of different classes of interferons by dendritic cells and how these interferons regulate dendritic cell development and function.

3. Altered dendritic cell responses coincident with onset of antibiotic resistance

Bacterial antibiotic resistance is often mitigated, at least in part, by changes in the bacterial cell wall. As cell wall components are major sources of danger signals to dendritic cells we are investigating dendritic cell responses to clinical isolates of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacterial strains that are resistant to antibiotics including Daptomycin.

Dendritic cell engulfing Staphylococcus aureus.


We collaborate with many scientists and research organisations around the world. Some of our more significant national and international collaborators are listed below. Click on the map to see the details for each of these collaborators (dive into specific publications and outputs by clicking on the dots).


Professor Anton Peleg, Monash University
Dr Jhih-Hang Jiang, Monash University
Dr Julian Vivian, Monash University,
Prof Paul Hertzog, Hudson Institute for Medical Research
Dr Nicole de Weerd, Hudson Institute for Medical Research


Prof Rune Hartmann, Aarhus University, Denmark
Dr Katharina Lahl, Lund University, Sweden
Professor Li Wu, Tsinghua University, China
Ass Prof Amanda Gavin, Scripps Research Institute, USA
Prof Hubertus Hochrein, Bavarian Nordic, Munich, Germany

Student research projects

The O'Keeffe Lab offers a variety of Honours, Masters and PhD projects for students interested in joining our group. There are also a number of short term research opportunities available.

Please visit Supervisor Connect to explore the projects currently available in our Lab.