A/Prof Mark Chong

Research Unit

Genomics & immunology


Head, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory
Honorary Principal Research Fellow, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne
Senior Research Fellow, National Health and Medical Research Council

Professional Experience

1999     BA University of Melbourne, Australia
1999     BSc(Hons) University of Melbourne, Australia
2004     PhD, University of Melbourne, Australia
2004-9  Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University School of Medicine, USA


2000    Australian Postgraduate Award, Australian Government
2001    Cleveland Young Investigator Award, Royal Melbourne Hospital
2001    Australian Diabetes Society Travel Award
2002    Australian Diabetes Society Travel Award
2002    The CASS Foundation, Australian Health and Medical Research Congress
2002    Campion-Ma-Playoust Memorial Award, ASMR
2002    New Investigator Award, Australasian Society for Immunology
2003    Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International Travel Award
2003    Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies International Travel Award
2004    Immunology of Diabetes Society International Travel Award
2004    Cancer Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship
2004    International Congress of Immunology International Travel Award
2008    Helen and Martin Kimmel Senior Stem Cell Fellowship
2011    Career Development Award, NHMRC (gratefully declined)
2011    QEII Fellowship, ARC
2015    Editorial Board, Heliyon
2017    Senior Research Fellowship, NHMRC
2018    Associate Professor, University of Melbourne
2018    Associate Editor, The Journal of Immunology
2018    Editorial Board Immunology and Cell Biology

Research Interests

My laboratory has two general research interests. Firstly, we are interested in the molecular mechanisms that control immune cell development. We wish to understand how the cells of immune system are produced in appropriate numbers and with appropriate functional properties in order to protect against pathogens without causing autoimmunity. We are particularly interested in the differentiation of T cells in the thymus and of haematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow. Secondly, we are interested in the biogenesis and function of non-coding RNAs. We study how these RNAs are transcribed and processed in order to generate functional molecules. We are also interested in understanding the regulation of the microRNA machinery.

Selected Publications

  1. Koay HF, Gherardin NA, Enders A, Loh L, Mackay LK, Russ BE, Nold-Petry C., Nold MF, Bedoui S, Chen Z, Corbett AJ, Eckle SBG, Meehan B, d'Udekem Y, Konstantinov I, Lappas M, Liu L, Goodnow CC, Fairlie DP, Rossjohn J, Chong MMW, Turner SJ, Kedzierska K, Berzins SP, Belz GT, McCluskey J, Uldrich AP, Godfrey DI & Pellicci DG (2016), Thymic precursors to the Mucosal-Associated Invariant T cell lineage, Nat Immunol, 17:1300-11.
  2. Johanson TJ, Keown AA, Cmero M, Yeo JHC, Kumar A, Lew AM, Zhan Y & Chong MMW (2015), Drosha controls dendritic cell development by cleavage of messenger RNAs encoding inhibitors of myelopoiesis, Nat Immunol, 16:1134-41.
  3. Knuckles P, Vogt M, Lugert S, Milo M, Chong MMW, Hautbergue GM, Wilson SA, Littman DR & Taylor V (2012, Drosha regulates neurogenesis by controlling Neurogenin2 expression independent of microRNAs, Nat Neurosci, 15:962-9.
  4. Kaneko H, Dridi S, Tarallo V, Fowler BJ, Gelfrand BD, Cho WG, Kleinman ME, Ponicsan SL, Hauswirth WW, Chiodo VA, Karikó K, Yoo JW, Lee D, Hadziahmetovic M, Song Y, Misra S, Chaudhuri G, Buaas FW, Braun RE, Hinton DR, Zhang Q, Grossniklaus HE, Provis JM, Madigan MC, Milam AH, Justice NL, Albuquerque RJC, Blandford AD, Bogdanovich S, Hirano Y, Witta J, Fuchs E, Littman DR, Ambati BK, Rudin CM, Chong MMW, Provost P, Kugel J, Goodrich JA, Dunaief JL, Baffi JZ & Ambati J (2011), DICER dysregulation induces cytotoxic Alu RNA accumulation in age-related macular degeneration, Nature, 471:325-30.
  5. Collins A, Hewitt SL, Chaumeil J, Sellars M, Micsinai M, Allinne J, Parisi F, Nora E, Bolland DJ, Corcoran AE, Kluger Y, Bosselut R, Ellmeier W, Chong MMW, Littman DR & Skok JA (2011), RUNX-mediated association of Cd4 and Cd8 enables coordinate gene regulation, Immunity, 34:303-14.
  6. Chong MMW, Zhang G, Cheloufi S, Neubert TA, Hannon GJ & Littman DR (2010), Canonical and alternate functions of the microRNA biogenesis machinery, Genes Dev, 24:1951-60.
  7. Cheloufi S, Dos Santos CO, Chong MMW & Hannon GJ (2010), A Dicer-independent miRNA biogenesis pathway that requires Argonaute catalysis, Nature, 465:584-9.
  8. Chong MMW, Simpson N, Ciofani M, Chen G, Collins A & Littman DR (2010) Epigenetic propagation of CD4 expression is established by the Cd4 proximal enhancer in helper T cells, Genes Dev, 24:659-69.
  9. Rudra D, Egawa T, Chong MMW, Treuting P, Littman DR & Rudensky AY (2009) Runx-CBFb controls Foxp3 expression in regulatory T cells, Nat Immunol,10:1170-7.
  10. Chong MMW, Rasmussen JP, Rudensky AY & Littman DR (2008) The RNaseIII enzyme Drosha is critical in T cells for preventing lethal inflammatory disease, J Exp Med, 205:2005-17.
  11. ​​​Zhou L, Lopes JE, Chong MMW, Ivanov II, Min R, Victora GD, Shen Y, Du J, Rubtsov YP, Rudensky AY, Ziegler SF & Littman DR (2008), TGF-b-induced Foxp3 inhibits Th17 cell differentiation by antagonizing RORgt function, Nature, 453: 236-40.
  12. Chong MMW, Cornish AL, Darwiche R, Stanley EG, Purton JE, Godfrey DI, Hilton DJ, Starr, R, Alexander WS & Kay TWH (2003), Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling-1 is a Critical Regulator of Interleukin-7-Dependent CD8+ T cell Differentiation, Immunity, 18:475-87.