Prof. Alex Loukas
Prof. Alex Loukas was awarded a BSc Hons in 1990 and a PhD in 1995 from the University of Queensland. Since then, he has worked on the secretomes of parasitic helminths and their utility as vaccines and immunotherapeutics for most of his career. Vaccine antigens discovered by the Loukas group have completed phase 1 clinical trials for both hookworm disease and schistosomiasis, and are advancing through the clinical trials pathway in collaboration with US colleagues.
Alex conducted postdoctoral work from 1996-99 on helminth secreted proteins at The University of Edinburgh and was an Assistant Research Professor at George Washington University from 2001-04 where he led the antigen discovery group for the Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative. He has consistently held NHMRC fellowships since 2004 and is currently a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow (2017-21). In 2010 Alex relocated his group from QIMR-Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane to James Cook University (JCU) in Cairns, QLD, where he established the Centre for Biodiscovery and Molecular Development of Therapeutics. Alex’s laboratory at JCU was developed with a view to capturing the translational aspects of research on helminth-derived therapeutics for treating inflammatory diseases of humans, and this work underpins the formation of Macrobiome Therapeutics. Alex has published more than 300 peer reviewed articles, holds numerous patents for helminth vaccines and immunotherapeutics and his research is funded by NHMRC (program and project grants and fellowship), NIH (NCI), Austrade and numerous pharma companies.
Dr. Paul Giacomin
Dr. Paul Giacomin is a Senior Research Fellow in the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at JCU Cairns. Since completing his PhD studies at the University of Adelaide in 2008, his research interests have focused on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which immune responses to parasitic helminths (worms) are initiated and regulated. Dr. Giacomin underwent his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania between 2008 and 2012 in the laboratory of Dr. David Artis, where he was awarded fellowships from the American-Australian Association, as well as the NHMRC, to conduct his research. Dr. Giacomin continued his fellowship at JCU Cairns in 2012, was then awarded an Advance Queensland mid-career fellowship in 2015 and continues to investigate the key immune cells and cytokines involved in immunity to intestinal worms, as well as exploring the potential beneficial effects that worm infection may have in alleviating inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases.
Prof. Trent Munro
Advisory Board Member
Professor Trent Munro is currently Senior Vice President of Therapeutics at Microba Life Sciences. Professor Munro has over 25 years’ research and development experience, including with multinational biopharmaceutical company Amgen.
Professor Munro was based in California with Amgen for over six years, including in the role of Executive Director leading a global team. During this time, he played key roles in the translation of molecules from research, through clinical trials, regulatory approval, and global licensure. This included a diverse range of programs spanning novel biologics, small molecules, nucleic acid-based, cell-based and gene-based therapies across multiple therapeutic areas.
Professor Munro has also held several leadership roles in Australia including Director of the National Biologics Facility (NBF), Program Director of the CEPI funded Rapid Response Vaccine pipeline, Director of the ARC Centre for Biopharmaceutical Innovation (CBI) and Senior Group Leader at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at the University of Queensland.
Professor Munro completed postdoctoral studies in cell biology and developmental genetics at Harvard Medical School and the University of Cambridge, and has a PhD in Protein Biochemistry from the University of Queensland.
Dr. Matthew Moyle
Advisory Board Member
Led R&D groups at Boehringer Ingelheim, Amgen and Tanox
Adjunct professor at JCU, based in the US