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Head, Inflammation

BSc (Hons) MSc PhD

Professor Hart joined the Institute in 2003, following positions at The University of Queensland, Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, The University of Melbourne and Flinders University.

At the Telethon Institute, Professor Hart's team focuses on the effects of ultraviolet radiation and vitamin D3 on the immune system with their ground-breaking work showing that UV irradiation of mice, with doses equivalent to a short period in the midday sun, can be protective against developing autoimmune conditions and respiratory diseases.

The research is now looking at teasing out the protective mechanisms and the role of vitamin D and other UV-induced molecules with the goal of one day being able to use UV light in safe doses or vitamin D3, or other agonists, to prevent and/or treat immune cell-driven conditions. Professor Hart leads an NHMRC-funded team giving narrow band UVB phototherapy to people with an early form of multiple sclerosis. It is hoped that the UVB may prevent or deviate the development of the disease. This research reflects a strong collaboration with neurologists to translate her preclinical research into patient treatment.

Professor Hart also has significant interest in the mechanisms by which interleukin 4 may limit the activity of the immune cells driving chronic inflammation.

Professor Hart is a Principal Research Fellow and an Adjunct Professor at UWA.