Professor Stephen Nutt

Professor Stephen Nutt



Professor Stephen Nutt in the lab



BSc(Hons) Sydney PhD Vienna

Laboratory Head


My laboratory studies how the development of immune cells is controlled. This process is critical to protect us against the many potentially harmful micro-organisms in the environment. Developing immune cells have many decisions to make, from deciphering the early signals that initiate their formation from rare blood stem cells, through to strategic responses in the body about whether to ignore or attack foreign organisms. These decisions are important as errors in the immune system result in diseases such as autoimmunity and leukaemia. 

My research aims to decipher how these cellular decisions are made and the consequences for our protective immunity.

Research interest

My laboratory studies the lineage-defining transcription factors that control the development and function of the immune system. Deregulated expression or function of these transcriptional regulators results in autoimmunity and malignancies such as leukaemia and multiple myeloma.

My research aims to investigate how master regulators function on a cellular and molecular level to program the immune system. To address these questions we use:

  • Genetics
  • High-throughput genomic technologies
  • Infectious disease models 
  • Cell culture 

These approaches will help us to better understand the normal functioning of the immune system as well as to highlight new targets for therapeutic intervention to selectively promote or dampen immune responses.

Specific research interests include:

  • How progenitors undergo commitment to particular cellular fates
  • Deciphering the gene regulatory network controlling late B cell differentiation
  • Understanding the programming of the dendritic cell diversity
  • Defining the genetic program and function of helper T cell subsets


Three researchers standing outside a building

Researchers have found a potential new treatment for asthma that works by targeting the cause of the disease, rather than just masking its symptoms.

Eureka prize winning researchers, standing

Meet our Eureka Prize winning B cell researchers

Microscopy image of dendritic cells in the skin

Our research has revealed an unanticipated secret about the cells that form the first line of defence in the body’s fight against infection