Researcher biography

Dr Hamilton-Williams completed her PhD at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra in 2001 under the supervision of Dr Robyn Slattery. There she performed studies investigating the role of MHC class I expression and CD8+ T-cells in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. These two studies both published in PNAS, identified beta-2-microglobulin as a type 1 diabetes susceptibility gene and demonstated that direct killing of islet beta cells by CD8+ was a requirement for diabetes development but not initiation of autoimmunity. She then undertook postdoctoral training in Germany to further study the mechanisms of tolerance induction in CD8+ T-cells. In 2005, she was awarded a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) postdoctoral fellowship and moved to the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. There she continued to pursue her interest in the genetic control of CD8+ T-cell tolerance in type 1 diabetes. In 2012, she returned to Australia to set up her own laboratory at UQDI funded by the NHMRC and was recently awarded a Career Development Award from the JDRF.