Dr Kate Lawlor, ARC Future Fellow

Dr Kate Lawlor heads the Cell Death and Inflammatory Signalling Group within the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases at the Hudson Institute. Dr Lawlor received her PhD in Medical Biology in 2004 at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and The University of Melbourne. After being awarded an NHMRC CJ Martin Overseas Biomedical Fellowship, she completed postdoctoral research at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge, UK and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, most recently in the laboratory of Dr James Vince. During this time, she established expertise in the molecular and cellular dissection of inflammatory signalling pathways, and the translation of these findings in vivo using models of autoimmune, inflammatory and infectious diseases. Since she was recruited to her current position in 2018, Dr Lawlor has been awarded an ARC Future Fellowship (2020-23) and NHMRC funding (CIC 2018-20, CIA 2019-21, CIA 2020-22).

Her recent work has transformed our understanding of programmed cell death in the context of inflammation, by revealing how distinct cell death pathways can activate pattern recognition receptors, called inflammasomes, to promote inflammation. This work has resulted in numerous publications in prestigious journals, including Nature, Nature Immunology, Nature Microbiology, ImmunityCell, Nature CommunicationsCell ReportsEMBO Reports and PNAS. Dr Lawlor is also actively engaged with industry, acting as a scientific consultant for a number of companies, including CSL, and is an inventor on a patent for an anti-inflammatory therapy, now under licence and in phase I clinical trials. She is currently a Deputy Editor for Immunology and Cell Biology.

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Selected publications

  • Vince JE*, De Nardo D, Gao W, Vince AJ, Hall C, McArthur K, Simpson D, Vijayaraj S, Lindqvist LM, Bouillet P, Rizzacasa M, Man SM, Silke J, Masters SL, Lessene G, Huang DCS, Gray DHD, Kile BT, Shao F, Lawlor KE* (2018) The Mitochondrial Apoptotic Effectors BAX/BAK Activate Caspase-3 and -7 to Trigger NLRP3 Inflammasome and Caspase-8 Driven IL-1b Activation. Cell Reports 25(9):2339-2353 * co-corresponding authors

  • Lawlor KE*‡, Feltham RL*, Yabal M*, Conos SA, Chen KW, Ziehe S, Graß C, Zhan Y, Nguyen TA, Hall C, Vince AJ, Chatfield SM, D’Silva DB, Pang KC, Schroder K, Silke J, Vaux DL, Jost PJ†, Vince JE†‡ (2017) XIAP Loss Triggers RIPK3 and Caspase-8-Driven IL-1b activation and Cell Death as a Consequence of TLR-MyD88-induced cIAP1-TRAF2 degradation. Cell Reports 20(3):668-682. *,† equal contribution; ‡ co-corresponding authors

  • Conos SA, Chen KW, De Nardo D, Whitehead L, Hara H, Vaux DL, Nùñez G, Masters SL, Murphy JM, Schroder K, Lawlor KE*, Lindqvist LM*, Vince JE*  *co-senior/corresponding authors (2017) Active MLKL triggers the NLRP3 inflammasome in a cell intrinsic manner. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 114:E961-E969.

     

  • Lawlor KE*, Khan N, Mildenhall A, Gerlic M, Croker BA, D’Cruz AA, Hall C, Spall S, Anderton H, Masters SL, Rashidi M, Wicks IP, Alexander WS, Mitsuuchi Y, Benetatos CA, Condon SM, Wong WW, Silke J†, Vaux DL† Vince JE*† (2015) RIPK3 promotes cell death and NLRP3 inflammasome activation in the absence of MLKL. Nature Communications 6:6282. *co-corresponding authors, † these authors jointly supervised this work.

  • Allam R*, Lawlor KE*, Yu EC, Mildenhall AL, Moujalled DM, Lewis RS, Ke F, Mason KD, White MJ, Stacey KJ, Strasser A, Alexander W, Kile BT, Vaux DL, Vince JE *Joint first authors (2014) Mitochondrial apoptosis is dispensable for NLRP3 inflammasome activation but non-apoptotic caspase-8 is required for inflammasome priming. EMBO Reports 15:982-990.

  • Lawlor KE, van Nieuwenhuijze A, Parker KL, Drake SF, Campbell IK, Smith SD, Vince JE, Strasser A, Wicks IP (2013)  Bcl-2 overexpression ameliorates immune complex-mediated arthritis by altering FcγRIIb expression and monocyte homeostasis. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 93: 585-597.

  • Lawlor KE, Smith SD, van Nieuwenhuijze A, Huang DC, Wicks IP (2011) Evaluation of Bcl-2 antagonist ABT-737 in collagen-induced arthritis. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 90:819-829.

     

  • Speir M, Lawlor KE (2020) RIP-roaring inflammation: RIPK1 and RIPK3 driven NLRP3 inflammasome activation and autoinflammatory disease. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology S1084-9521(19)30233-2.

  • Yabal M, Calleja DJ, Simpson DS, Lawlor KE (2019) Stressing out the mitochondria: Mechanistic insights NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 105(2):377-399.

  • Giogha C, Lawlor KE (2019) Sugar Fix Keeps RIPK3 at Bay. Immunity 50(3):539-541.

  • Lawlor, KE, Conos, SA, Vince, JE (2018) Pyroptosis. In Apoptosis and Beyond: The Many Ways Cells Die Radosevich J ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 317-342.  https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119432463.ch15.

  • Feltham R, Vince JE, Lawlor KE (2017) Caspase-8: not so silently deadly. Clinical and Translational Immunology 6(1):e124.

  • Lawlor KE, Vince JE (2014) Ambiguities in NLRP3 inflammasome regulation: is there a role for mitochondria? Biochimica et Biphysica Acta 1840(4):1433-1440.

  • Khan N*, Lawlor KE*, Murphy JM, Vince JE (2014) More to Life than death: molecular determinants of necroptotic and non-necroptotic RIP3 kinase signaling Current Opinion in Immunology 26:76-89 *co-first authors