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Dr Kristie Jenkins

Leader, Immune Resilience Future Science Platform


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I have 20 years research experience in immunology and genome engineering which I have focused primarily on health applications. During my PhD I studied the innate immune response in chickens, characterising the toll-like receptors involved in their antiviral immune response. Following my PhD, I studied the human RIG-like helicase pathway and characterised a novel negative regulator of this innate immune pathway. My work in the regulation of immune pathways continued in my second post-doctoral position in which I studied the role of microRNAs in immune cell development and regulation. I then began work as a research scientist in a team that developed transgenic chickens resilient to avian influenza using an RNAi approach. My work using genome engineering for animal health application has continued including the establishment of appropriate challenge models for which I often draw on my immunology background.
In addition to my research experience, I have eight years formal leadership experience. I began my current role as team leader for Genome Engineering in 2014. The overarching goal of my team is to apply our platform genome engineering technologies to the impact areas of:
- Animal health
- Sustainable production
- Food safety

Current Roles

  • Program Leader, Immune Resilience Future Science Platform
    The Immune Resilience FSP (IR-FSP) aims to build CSIRO’s capability at the cutting edge of immune-based technologies, positioning CSIRO to achieve real-world impact. A key objective is to exploit the fundamental understanding of the immune system to develop and test novel strategies to build resilience against pathogens and parasites in animals, including people. The IR FSP will work across three interconnected research focus areas including vaccines, resilience technologies and therapeutics/diagnostics.

Academic Qualifications

  • 2003- 2006

    Doctor of Philosophy
    The University of Melbourne