Christopher C. Goodnow

Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Election Year: 2013
Primary Section: 43, Immunology and Inflammation
Secondary Section: 41, Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology
Membership Type: Member


Chris Goodnow is an NHMRC Australia Fellow, Distinguished Professor of Immunology, and Chief Scientific Officer of the Australian Phenomics Facility at the Australian National University's John Curtin School of Medical Research. He is known particularly for research using mouse molecular genetics that has illuminated how the body's immune system learns to distinguish 'self' from 'not-self' so that it does not attack our own body or cause cancer while fighting off infections. With an American father and Australian mother, Goodnow grew up in Washington DC before moving to Sydney, Australia as a teenager. He trained in Veterinary medicine and surgery, immunochemistry, and immunology at the University of Sydney and in molecular biology at Stanford University. After doctoral studies in Sydney, he joined the faculty of Stanford University as a Howard Hughes Assistant Investigator in 1990, and moved to his current professorial position in Canberra in 1997. His research contributions have been recognized by a number of awards, including Pharmingen Investigator Award, AAI Distinguished Lecturer, Gottschalk Medal, Health Minister's Prize, Centenary Medal, Ramaciotti Medal, GSK Award for Research Excellence, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Fellow of the Royal Society, and Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Goodnow employs genome-wide mutation analysis as a principle tool to understand self-nonself discrimination by the immune system and illuminate the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, allergic diseases, immune deficiency diseases and cancer.  In inbred laboratory mice, he and his collaborators conduct large-scale genetic screens to reveal new genes and mechanisms of immune disease, successfully integrating whole exome and whole genome sequence analysis with cellular immunology. Recently, he and his collaborators have successfully initiated a parallel approach to analyze immunological disease in humans, taking into account the much higher rate of mutations by integrating whole exome sequence analysis with immune cell analysis and the capacity to test disease causation and mechanisms in mice.

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