DR Alexandra Corbett

DR Alexandra Corbett


  • Mucosal Associated Invariant T cells



  • Dr Alexandra Corbett has a long-term interest in immunology and immune-microbe interactions. She completed her B.Sc (Hons) at the University of Melbourne in 1998, and her PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in 2004, followed by postdoctoral research positions at the University of Western Australia and the Bio21 Institute. Her research has included the areas of MHC antigen presentation, viral immune evasion and vaccine targeting. Since joining the Doherty Institute in 2012, Alex's work has focused on Mucosal Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells, an innate-like population of T cells restricted by the non-polymorphic non-classical MHC class I-like receptor (MR1). She has made major contributions to recent breakthroughs in the MAIT cell field including the identification of the vitamin-based molecules that activate MAIT cells, and development of MR1-tetramer reagents to specifically identify MAIT cells in humans and mice. Alex is currently an ARC Future Fellow and holds 2 NHMRC Project Grants aiming to understand the range of MR1-bound ligands that can activate or inhibit MAIT cells, and the role of MAIT cells in infection.   


Member of

  • Society for Mucosal Immunology. ordinary member 2015 -
  • Victorian Infection and Immunity Network. member 2014 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Current grants and fellowships: ARC Future Fellowship. FT160100083. NHMRC Project 1120467. (CIA 2017-19). MAIT cells in bacterial infection. Friend or Foe? NHMRC Project 1125493. (CIC, 2017-20). A structural, chemical and functional investigation into MAIT cell receptor recognition. Previous grants and fellowships: NHMRC Project 1062889. (CIA, 2014-16) MAIT cells in health and disease. NHMRC Project 1063587. (CIB, 2014-16). MAIT cell recognition of vitamin B metabolites. ECR Grant, University of Melbourne (CIA 2010). HLA-B27-associated autoimmune disease Establishment Grant for Future Fellow (CIA 2016), The University of Melbourne Career Interruption Fellowship (CIA, 2010), The University of Melbourne Kilimanjaro Ascent Grant, Arthritis Australia (CIA, 2010). HLA-B27-associated autoimmune disease. WA & MG Saw Medical Research Fellowship (2005-6), University of Western Australia    


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 2004
  • BSc (Hons), University of Melbourne 1998

Awards and honors

  • AAI Young Investigator Award at the 10th CD1/MR1 Workshop, American Association of Immunologists, 2017
  • Career Interruption Fellowship, The University of Melbourne, 2010
  • Charlie Loke Busary (Travel Award), Society for Natural Immunity, 2007
  • WA & MG Saw Medical Research Fellowship, The University of Western Australia, 2005
  • Competitive Studentship, CRC-Vaccine Technology, 2001
  • APA - for PHD studies, Australian Government, 2000
  • Peter J Doos Award - Top student in Microbiology, The University of Melbourne, 1997
  • Honours Scholarship, The University of Melbourne, 1997
  • Top student in Microbiology at The University of Melbourne - 3rd Year, Australian Society for Microbiology, 1997
  • Top student in Microbiology at The University of Melbourne - 2nd Year, Australian Society for Microbiology, 1996



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I currently co-supervise 4 PhD students and 2 MRes students on projects related to various aspects of MAIT cell biology.