Dr Tom Brodnicki

Research Unit



Head, Immunogenetics Laboratory
[email protected]
P +61 3 9288 2502

Professional Experience

1991              BS, St Johns University, Minnesota, USA
1997              PhD, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, USA
1998-2002     Postdoctoral training, The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Parkville, Australia


1997              Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Postdoctoral Fellowship
1997              New Investigator Award, Immunology Group of Victoria
1999              National Institutes of Health USA, Postdoctoral Fellowship
2004              Syme Fellowship
2009              Mary Jane Kugel Award, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Research Interests

My research group is focused on how genetic and environmental factors increase one's risk for developing autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes. During the course of evolution, it might be assumed that genetic variation conferring susceptibility for autoimmune diseases would undergo negative selection and be removed from the population. One explanation for the continued presence of particular alleles that confer autoimmune susceptibility is that they provide increased resistance to infectious diseases. On the other hand, the hygiene hypothesis suggests that certain childhood infections may temper the immune system and decrease the risk for developing autoimmunity in genetically at-risk individuals. To study this paradox, my group uses a combination of genetic methods, genomic analyses, immunological techniques, and mouse models to facilitate the identification of disease genes, as well as determine if infection can modulate the immune system and prevent autoimmune disease.

Selected Publications

  1. N Wang, C Elso, L Mackin, SI Mannering, RA Strugnell, OL Wijburg, TC Brodnicki (2014) Congenic NOD mice reveal genetic epistasis and overlapping loci for autoimmune diabetes and listeriosis. Immunogenetics 66: 501-506
  2. N Wang, RA Strugnell, O Wijburg, TC Brodnicki (2014) Systemic infection of mice with Listeria monocytogenes to characterize host immune responses. In Methods in Molecular Biology: Mouse Models of Innate Immunity, 1031: 125-144
  3. A-N Pelletier, F Guimont-Desrochers, M Ashton, TC Brodnicki, S Lesage (2012) The size of the plasmacytoid dendritic cell compartment is a multigenetic trait dominated by a locus on mouse chromosome 7.  Journal of Immunology 188: 5561-5570
  4. J Liu, MP Ashton, H Sumer, MK O’Bryan, TC Brodnicki, PJ Verma (2011) Generation of stable pluripotent stem cells from non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse tail-tip fibroblasts.  Diabetes  60: 1393-1398
  5. N Wang, L Mackin, RA Strugnell, O Wijburg, TC Brodnicki (2011) Measuring bacterial load and immune cells in mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes.  Journal of Visual Experiments 54 (  doi: 10.3791/3076)
  6. KLI Tan, L Mackin, N Wang, AT Papenfuss, C Elso, M Ashton, F Quirk, B Phipson, M Bahlo, TP Speed, G Smyth, G Morahan, TC Brodnicki (2010) A recombination hotspot leads to sequence variability within a novel gene (AK005651) and contributes to type 1 diabetes susceptibility.  Genome Research 20: 1629-1638
  7. Burt RA, L Walkins, IKL Tan, N Wang, L Mackin, F Quirk, P Morgn, J-G Zang, G Morahan, SP Berzins, TC Brodnicki (2010) An NZW-derived interval on chromosome 7 moderates sialadenitis, but not insulitis in NOD mice.  Journal of Immunology 184: 859-868
  8. MC Jawahar*, TC Brodnicki*, F Quirk, YM Wilson, M Murphy (2008) Behavioural analysis of congenic mouse strains confirms stress-responsive loci on chromosomes 1 and 12.  Behavior Genetics 38:407-416 (*MC Jawahar and TC Brodnicki are co-first authors)
  9. TC Brodnicki  (2007) Somatic Mutation and Autoimmunity.  Cell 131: 1220-1221
  10. DKY Ang*, TC Brodnicki*, WE Wilson, P Silveira, BL Gliddon, MA Jordan, AG Baxter, IR van Driel  (2007) Two Genetic Loci Independently Confer Susceptibility to Autoimmune Gastritis.  International Immunology 19: 1135-1144.  (*DKY Ang and TC Brodnicki are co-first authors)
  11. N Armstrong, TC Brodnicki, TP Speed (2006) Mind the Gap:  Analysis of Marker-Assisted Breeding Strategies for Inbred Mouse Strains.  Mammalian Genome 17: 273-287
  12. TC Brodnicki, K O’Donnell, F Quirk, DM Tarlinton (2006) Congenic NOD Mouse Strains Fail to Confirm Linkage of a Marginal Zone B Lymphocyte Phenotype to the Idd11 Locus on Chromosome 4.  Journal of Immunology 176: 701-702