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Personal profile

Research Biography

Dr Claire Jessup is a medical researcher interested in harnessing the power of the immune system to modulate disease. Specific research projects examine the molecular activation of immune cells involved in the treatment of cancer and the development of autoimmune diseases (e.g. Type 1 diabetes).

Dr Jessup heads the Immunomodulation (iMOD) Laboratory within the College of Medicine and Public Health. Her group utilises techniques including flow cytometry, gene therapy, pancreatic islet isolation, immune assays, confocal microscopy and islet transplantation and diabetes models.

Recent research projects include:

  • Modulation of T lymphocyte activation during Type 1 diabetes and islet transplant rejection
  • Checkpoint inhibitors as an immunotherapy for cancer 
  • Investigating the interplay between vascular and endocrine cell types during islet transplantation

In addition to her research role, Dr Jessup teaches within the college and supervises PhD research students.

Dr Jessup acknowledges support from generous funding bodies including NHMRC, Diabetes Australia, Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation, FMC Foundation and Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology.

Research Interests

My group's research programme is focussed on harnessing the power of the immune system to modulate complex cellular interactions including those that occur during diabetes development, transplant rejection and oncogenesis. Our work demonstrated the potential of a cellular cotherapy (endothelial progenitor cells) in improving islet transplantation outcomes. We continue to utilize cellular and molecular techniques, diabetes and transplantation models, and confocal microscopy to probe the intricate interactions between insulin-producing beta cells and other cell types within the pancreatic islet. More broadly, projects strive to dissect the interplay between tissue microenvironment, vasculature and the immune system and examine how immunomodulation may be applied in the clinic.

Supervised Students Successes

  • Apr 2013 Ms Amy Hughes - PhD Dean's Commendation
  • Nov 2011 Ms Darling Rojas - Thomas E. Starzl Postdoctoral Fellowship in Transplantation Biology

Completed Supervisions

Associate Supervisions:
  • Dendritic cells, transplantation rejection and pancreatic islets (Univ Adelaide) (1)
  • Gene therapy, pancreatic islet transplantation and diabetes (Univ. Adelaide) (1)

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Flinders University

Award Date: 1 Dec 2005

External positions

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, University of Adelaide

2012 → …


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Molecular biosciences

Supervisory Interests

  • Diabetes
  • Corneal transplantation
  • Immunology
  • Vascular
  • Structure/function of vascular beds
  • Endothelial function
  • Beta cells
  • Insulin secretion
  • Islet transplantation
  • Cell signalling
  • Immune mechanisms


  • RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
  • RZ Other systems of medicine
  • QR180 Immunology


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