Dr. Hamish McWilliam

Hamish McWilliam is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the Doherty Institute, The University of Melbourne. He leads a team investigating how the human immune system communicates with commensal and pathogenic bacteria by a protein called ‘MR1’. The highly conserved MR1 protein is a non-classical antigen presenting molecule that captures and presents small microbial metabolites to highly clonal T cells, called MAIT cells. Hamish has used immunology, cell biology, chemical biology, and biochemistry techniques to understand how MR1 operates at the molecular level and maintains homeostasis with our microbiota, with the aim to ultimately improve human health. He has been the recipient of competitive awards and grants including an NHMRC Ideas grant, an ARC DECRA, a VESKI Victoria Fellowship and an AMP Tomorrow Maker award.