Matthew Call

veski innovation fellow

Dr Matthew Call moved to Melbourne from Harvard Medical School, USA to take up the position of Laboratory Head within the Structural Biology Division of The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

Dr Call was awarded a veski innovation fellowship in March 2011.

Research project title:
Intramembrane mechanics of immunoreceptor activation

Research project description:
Cells of the immune system actively survey their surroundings for signs of infection or cancer to initiate an appropriate immune response.

Matthew's research focuses on the structure and function of the molecular sensors used by these cells to detect such dangerous events. Portions of these sensors are deeply embedded in the cell membrane where they are exceedingly difficult to study, yet these very domains likely perform crucial roles in transmitting environmental information to the cell interior and are thus excellent targets for developing new drugs.

He recently developed innovative biochemical and biophysical techniques that open a view into this 'blind spot' in immune signalling and discovered important features of receptor structure that were previously inaccessible.

With access to Victoria's world-class bioresearch facilities and potential collaborations with scientists such as Peter Colman who have a wealth of experience developing new pharmaceuticals using molecular structures, he will build upon these discoveries to push beyond static views of receptor structure and describe the molecular forces controlling immune activation.

This level of regulation in immune signalling is almost completely unstudied, and Matthew believe it will lead to entirely new therapeutics for controlling immune responses in a wide variety of disease states.

Key facts:

  • Matthew and his wife Melissa have been appointed Laboratory Heads within the Structural Biology Division at Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
  • He planned to go to medical school but decided on basic biology and found laboratory research to be more ‘fun’
  • Matthew grew up in Dallas, Texas and his parents are both retired public educators

“This veski fellowship will support innovative and cutting-edge research into new areas of immune regulation, creating new training opportunities in medical research, high-impact publications and the potential for development of an entirely new class of immunomodulatory therapeutics.”

Matthew Call

Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research