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 the immune system are produced in appropriate numbers and with appropriate functional properties so they can 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 to generate functional molecules. We are also interested in understanding the regulation of the microRNA machinery.

Key achievements

2023-current   Editorial Board, Scientific Reports

2019 – current  Editorial Advisory Board member, Immunology and Cell Biology

2019-2023   Section Editor & Editorial Board, The Journal of Immunology

2019-2022    President, Immunology Group of Victoria

2017   NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship

2017 – current   Editorial Advisory Board, Heliyon

2011   Career Development Award, NHMRC (gratefully declined); QEII Fellowship, ARC

2008   Helen and Martin Kimmel Senior Stem Cell Fellowship

2004   Cancer Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship

2002   The CASS Foundation, Australian Health and Medical Research Congress; Campion-Ma-Playoust Memorial Award, ASMR; New Investigator Award, Australasian Society for Immunology

2001   Cleveland Young Investigator Award, Royal Melbourne Hospital; Australian Diabetes Society Travel Award

2000   Australian Postgraduate Award, Australian Government

Selected publications

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. doi: 10.1038/ni.3293

Kirigin FF, Lindstedt K, Sellars M, Ciofani M, Low SL, Jones L, Bell F, Pauli F, Bonneau R, Myers RM, Littman DR & Chong MMW (2012), Dynamic microRNA gene transcription and processing during T cell development, J Immunol, 188(7):3257-67.doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1103175.

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(17):1951-60. doi: 10.1101/gad.1953310

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. doi: 10.1101/gad.1901610

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. doi: 10.1084/jem.20081219

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(4):475-87. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(03)00078-5.