Christopher C. Goodnow

Garvan Institute of Medical Research


Primary Section: 43, Immunology and Inflammation
Secondary Section: 41, Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology
Membership Type: Member (elected 2013)

Biosketch

Chris is Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, holds The Bill and Patricia Ritchie Foundation Chair as Head of the Immunogenomics Laboratory at Garvan, and is Professor and Director of the Cellular Genomics Futures Institute UNSW Sydney. Chris trained in veterinary medicine and surgery, immunochemistry, and immunology at Sydney University and in DNA technology at Stanford University. Chris is recognised for discovering and establishing the concept of sequential immune tolerance checkpoints to prevent the immune system attacking “self” while fighting off “foreign” infections, laying the scientific foundation for the recent success of checkpoint inhibitor drugs to activate immune destruction of “altered self” cancer cells. He pioneered the use of mammalian genome sequencing to reveal how the body’s phenotype results from its’ genotype – “phenomics”. Most recently his team have used single cell genomics to discover that rogue immune cells bypass immune tolerance checkpoints to cause autoimmune disease through mutation pathways that also cause lymphoma. Chris’ awards include the AAI Pharmingen Award, Gottschalk Medal, Health Minister’s Prize, Centenary Medal, Ramaciotti Medal, GSK Award for Research Excellence, William E Paul Award, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Fellow of the Royal Society, and Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Chris’ research focuses on understanding the cause of autoimmune diseases and the control mechanisms that normally guide formation of antibodies with desirable specificity, affinity and solubility. His team integrates genetics and genomics technologies with single cell analysis of immune cells and antibodies in people and in mouse models. A key focus is on identifying germline and somatic mutations that allow cells to circumvent immune tolerance checkpoints and produce autoantibodies. His research interests extend to the pathogenesis and targeted therapies for lymphoma and leukemia, and identifying immune tolerance checkpoint inhibitors for cancer immunotherapy.

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