Immune Health Priority Research Programme
Dr Olivier Gasser
Olivier is the Translational Immunology Group Leader at the Malaghan Institute in Wellington and principal investigator of the Challenge Immune Health programme. His research interests lie in the bidirectional communication between the immune system and host metabolism, with a strong emphasis on the gut and its resident microbes.
|Dr Olivier Gasser||Malaghan Institute||https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8235-2274|
|Dr Odette Shaw||Plant and Food Research||https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7158-1074|
|Dr Roger Hurst||Plant and Food Research||https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4097-1368|
|Dr Angela Jones||Victoria University of Wellington|
|Dr Aurelie Gestin||Malaghan Institute||https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0232-678X|
|Dr Yanyan Li||https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8416-6654|
|Dr Janine Cooney||Plant and Food Research||https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2547-0100|
|Irene Braithwaite||Medical Research Institute of New Zealand||https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5327-3027|
|Richard Beasley||Medical Research Institute of New Zealand||https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0337-406X|
|Mark Weatherall||Medical Research Institute of New Zealand||https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0051-9107|
|Dr Wayne Young||AgResearch||https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0464-2062|
|Professor Sally Poppitt||University of Auckland||https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2214-8378|
|Dr Audrey Tay|
|Dr Elizabeth Forbes-Blom|
|Dr Anna Mooney||Victoria University of Wellington||https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7044-7017|
|Dr Gregory Sawyer||Plant and Food Research||https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8784-9327|
|Dr Karmella Naidoo||https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2505-5222|
Principal Investigator: Dr Oli Gasser, Malaghan Institute
Collaborating Organisations: Plant and Food Research, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, AgResearch
In the past 5 years, the HVN Immune Health programme focused on gaining a wider understanding of the influence of diet on lung health, mediated either directly by food bioactives or indirectly via changes to the gut microbiota. Air pollution and associated threats to general health and productivity, including severe influenza disease and increased risks of metabolic and cardiovascular disease, are of significant importance to Chinese consumers. The Immune Health programme successfully established the role of NZ food and beverage (F&B) constituents in diminishing influenza-driven lung disease, either by direct antiviral activity of food-derived bioactives or by enhancing the immunological responsiveness to the influenza-vaccine. The active participation of gut microbes in the response to influenza vaccination has been confirmed in the context of a clinical study, where >120 healthy vaccinees were followed and assessed over the course of 6 months after administration of the seasonal influenza vaccine. The specific mechanism underlying this important microbe-vaccine interaction, which could be relevant for other vaccines, including in early life, is currently being investigated. The programme further established the beneficial effect of different foods and food-derived bioactives to combat air pollution-driven inflammation, which highlights the opportunity of the NZ F&B industry to engage in this emerging and substantial market.
An important task of the Immune Health programme is to establish an immunological analysis platform which can be used by the other HVN health themes. Leveraging the comprehensive banking of samples from the completed human vaccine study, we successfully profiled, at a very high degree of specificity, the immune status of each vaccinee and are now creating an analysis pipeline to understand the complex relationship between food, the microbiome and the human immune system. This depth of analysis has never been achieved before and attests to the science excellence we have been building over the years, in collaboration with various HVN partner institutions such as AgResearch and Plant and Food Research, as well as the NZ F&B industry.
At the end of tranche 1, the HVN Immune Health programme is moving seamlessly into the specific tranche 2 preparations, which include setting up a human trial platform in China, very close interaction with NZ F&B industry partners and finalizing the immunological tools which will be used to support the scientific and industry goals of HVN in the next 5 years.
Poyntz, H., Jones, A., Jauregui, R., Young, W., Gestin, A., Mooney, A., Lamiable, O., Altermann, E., Schmidt, A., Gasser, O., Weyrich, L., Jolly, C., Linterman, M., LeGros, G., Hawkins, E. & Forbes-Blom, E. (2019). Genetic regulation of antibody responsiveness to immunization in substrains of BALB/c mice. Immunology & Cell Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/imcb.12199
Schortt, N., Poyntz, H., Young, W., Jones, A., Gestin, A., Mooney, A., Thayabaran, D., Sparks, J., Ostapowicz, T., Tay, A., Poppitt, S., Elliott, S., Wakefield, G., Parry-Strong, A., Ralston, J., Gasser, O., Beasley, R., Weatherall, M., Braithwaite, I. & Forbes-Blom, E. (2018). A feasibility study: association between gut microbiota enterotype and antibody response to seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine in adults. Clin Transl Immunology. https://doi.org/10.1002/cti2.1013
Immune Health highlights
HVN Challenge Director Joanne Todd highlighted three prominent studies - kiwifruit, wagyu beef and greenshell mussels - conducted as part of the Challenge when recently speaking at the Healthy Ageing APAC Summit. The High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge is...
The High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge has today announced a $22.4 million research investment funding for four successful Priority Research Programmes; which are all science and business collaborations, and will each receive research investment over the...
Foodomics 2019, hosted by the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge team from the University of Auckland, will provide a platform for the country’s researchers and businesses taking premium foods for health and wellbeing to the world to gather to collaborate and learn about the latest research and opportunities.