Leukocyte Trafficking Group

Hickey group
2022 Hickey Group L-R: Michael Hickey, Pam Hall, Lucinda Jenkins, Ursula Norman

About the Leukocyte Trafficking Group

Leukocytes play critical roles in protective responses to infection and injury. However, these same cells are also major contributors to inappropriate, damaging responses in inflammatory diseases. Our laboratory studies the actions of leukocytes in models of inflammatory disease, using state-of-the-art imaging systems such as multiphoton microscopy to directly visualise leukocytes in vivo during their recruitment from the bloodstream, and following their entry into tissues.

The recruitment of leukocytes via interactions with the endothelial vascular lining and the subsequent actions of these cells drives inflammatory injury, and is a common pathway to tissue injury in inflammatory diseases.  Studying these processes in real time in living tissues allows mechanisms of injury to be defined and new therapies developed.

Group Head

Professor Michael Hickey

After completing his PhD at the University of Melbourne in 1996, Director, Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, Professor Michael Hickey underwent postdoctoral training in the Immunology Research Group at the University of Calgary in Canada (1996-1999) and the Baker Heart Research Institute (2000-2001), before joining the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases at Monash University in August 2001.

Find out more about Professor Michael Hickey.

Graduate Research Projects

Our staff


Other staff and students

Pam Hall
Ms Pam Hall
Research assistant
Jucinda Jenkins photo
Ms Lucinda Jenkins
Honours student

Research interests

Research interests of the lab include:

  • Mechanisms of Leukocyte Recruitment
  • Immune cell interactions in the inflamed glomerulus
  • Regulatory T cell recruitment and function in inflammatory skin disease

Find out more about our research.


Leukocyte Trafficking Group – highlighted publications since 2010

Westhorpe CLV, Bayard JE, O’Sullivan KM, Hall P, Cheng Q, Kitching AR, Hickey MJ.  In vivo imaging of inflamed glomeruli reveals dynamics of neutrophil extracellular trap formation in glomerular capillaries. Am. J. Pathol. (2017) 187: 318-331.

Finsterbusch M, Hall P, Li A, Devi S, Westhorpe CLV, Kitching AR, Hickey MJ.  Patrolling monocytes promote intravascular neutrophil activation and glomerular injury in the acutely-inflamed glomerulus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2016) 113: E5172-81.

Snelgrove SL, Lo C, Hall P, Lo CY, Alikhan MA, Coates PT, Holdsworth SR, Hickey MJ*, Kitching AR*.  Activated renal dendritic cells cross present intrarenal antigens after ischemia reperfusion injury. Transplantation (2017) 101: 1013-1024. *Co-senior authors.

Abeynaike LD, Deane JA, Westhorpe CLV, Chow Z, Alikhan MA, Kitching AR, Issekutz A, Hickey MJ.  Regulatory T cells dynamically regulate selectin ligand function during multiple challenge contact hypersensitivity. J. Immunol. (2014) 193: 4934-4944.

Chow Z, Mueller SN, Deane JA*, Hickey MJ*.  Dermal regulatory T cells display distinct migratory behavior that is modulated during adaptive and innate inflammation. J. Immunol. (2013) 191: 3049-3056. *Co-senior authors.

Devi S, Li A, Westhorpe CLV, Lo CY, Abeynaike LD, Snelgrove SL, Hall P, Ooi JD, Sobey CG, Kitching AR, Hickey MJ. Multiphoton imaging reveals a novel leukocyte recruitment paradigm in the glomerulus. Nat Med (2013) 19: 107-12.

Deane JA, Abeynaike LD, Norman MU, Wee JL, Kitching AR, Kubes P, Hickey MJ. Endogenous T regulatory cells adhere in inflamed dermal vessels via ICAM-1 – association with regulation of effector leukocyte adhesion. J. Immunol (2012) 188: 2179-88.

Cheng Q, McKeown SJ, Santos L, Santiago FS, Khachigian LM, Morand EF, Hickey MJ. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor increases leukocyte-endothelial interactions in human endothelial cells via promotion of expression of adhesion molecules. J. Immunol. (2010) 185: 1238–1247.

Kitching AR, Hickey MJ. Immune cell behaviour and dynamics in the kidney - insights from in vivo imaging. Nat. Rev. Nephrol. (2022) 18: 22-37. doi: 10.1038/s41581-021-00481-9.

Norman MU, Chow Z, Snelgrove SL, Prakongtham P, Hickey MJ. Dynamic regulation of the molecular mechanisms of regulatory T cell migration in inflamed skin. Front. Immunol. (2021) 12: 655499. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.655499.

Yeung L, Anderson JML, Wee JL, Demaria MC, Finsterbusch M, Liu YS, Hall P, Smith BC, Dankers W, Elgass KD, Wicks IP, Kwok HF, Wright MD, Hickey MJ. Leukocyte tetraspanin CD53 restrains  3 integrin mobilization and facilitates cytoskeletal remodelling and transmigration in mice. J. Immunol. (2020) 205:521-532. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1901054.

Snelgrove SL, Abeynaike LD, Thevalingam S, Deane JA, Hickey MJ. Regulatory T cell transmigration and intravascular migration undergo mechanistically distinct regulation at different phases of the inflammatory response. J. Immunol. (2019) 203: 2850-2861. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1900447.

Westhorpe CLV, Norman MU, Hall P, Snelgrove SL, Finsterbusch M, Li A, Lo C, Tan ZH, Li S, Nilsson SK, Kitching AR, Hickey MJ. Effector CD4 + T cells recognize intravascular antigen presented by patrolling monocytes. Nat. Commun. (2018) 9: 747. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03181-4