Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Brigette is a third year PhD student in the lab of Dr Joanna Groom at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), Australia. Her research employs cutting-edge light-sheet microscopy to reveal the spatial determinants of T cell fate decisions within lymph nodes. Her recent work has demonstrated that T cell fate is imprinted in distinct lymph node niches following viral infection, directed by the chemokine receptor CXCR3. Specifically, CXCR3 directs effector differentiation in the lymph node periphery, while in the absence of CXCR3, T cells remain confined to the lymph node centre and alternatively differentiate into stem-like memory precursors (Duckworth et al. Nature Immunology 2021). These findings have important implications for understanding the establishment and maintenance of immune memory.
Brigette completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine Degree with Honours at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2016. During her undergraduate degree, she undertook a research placement at WEHI under the supervision of Professor Gabrielle Belz and Dr Lisa Mielke, studying the transcriptional regulation of T cell differentiation. Brigette continued her Honours-level research with Professor Belz, studying the clonal regulation of memory T cell fate. She worked as a research assistant for two years before commencing her PhD studies in 2019. Brigette’s work has been recognized by the David McFarlane PhD Award (2020) and a Rotary Club of Melbourne Victorian Young Achievers Award (2018).