Professor Paul Gatenby

Professor Emeritus
ANU College of Health and Medicine

Areas of expertise

  • Autoimmunity 110703
  • Rheumatology And Arthritis 110322
  • Immunology 1107
  • Clinical Sciences 1103
  • Education Not Elsewhere Classified 139999

Research interests

Systemic Autoimmune disease: Lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, the antiphospholipid syndrome and ANCA associated vasculitis. My interests range from collaborative studies examining the immunopathogenesis of these conditions through to clinical trials of new agents in these conditions. I am also interested in natural history over time of these conditions.

Medical Education: My interests lie in development of organisations to deliver medical and health science education and the intersection between organisations who see their role in education as primary, those who regard research as primary and those engaged primarily in clinical service delivery. In many countries these are increasingly combined in Academic Medical Centres. This concept unfortunately appears to be floundering in Australia.

Religious Fundamentalism and Medical Ethics: From my practice of medicine as a physician and teaching medical students I have become aware of a growing clash between canonical medical ethics and the fundamentalist religious beliefs of a small number of recent graduates. This is of particular concern in the area of denial of legal services because of religion based conscientious objection.


I graduated from the University of Tasmania in 1971 and have worked largely in academic medical centres for most of my career. After an internship at the Royal Hobart Hospital I moved to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital adjacent to the University of Sydney and commenced training in internal medicine. I completed this in Immunology and Immunopathology in 1979 with Fellowships from both the RACP and RCPA. From 1976-1979 I worked in the laboratory of  Anthony Basten at the University of Sydney and obtained a PhD. My thesis title: “Immunology and Immunotherapy of Murine Sarcomas”. I never worked with mice again. My post-doctoral years were at Stanford University in the laboratory of Edgar Engleman where I worked on human immunoregulation. I was supported by the NHMRC applied health science fellowship. I returned to a faculty position at RPAH and the University of Sydney and worked on the immunogenetics and immunopathology of systemic autoimmune diseases such as SLE, scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis. Much of this work was done in collaboration with Sue Serjeantson from the JCSMR. I also worked in AIDS as I was responsible for the development of an HIV service at RPAH. During these years, the 1980s and early 1990s I combined clinical service, teaching and research. In 1988 I spent a sabbatical in Cambridge, England in the laboratory of Peter Lachmann. In 1994 I came to Canberra for the University of Sydney as foundation Associate Dean of the Canberra Clinical School. In 2002 I was appointed foundation Dean of the ANU Medical School, a position I held until 2008. From the point of view of research these were pretty empty years, although in 2007 I had another sabbatical in Cambridge working with David Jayne and Ken Smith, particularly on ANCA associated vasculitis. From 2008 until 2012  I was Director of Research in ACT Health, responsible for research governance within ACT Health. Since 2013 I have been an Emeritus Professor at ANU.

Researcher's projects

My current interests are in systemic vasculitis and SLE. I am involved in clinical trials of rituximab and belimumab in these diseases. This includes pharma sponsored and investigator sponsored trials. I am a member of the epidemiology and aetiology sub-committee of EUVAS. I am an investigator in a large data collection aimed at refining the definitions and diagnostic criteria of vasculitides - NCDORM-VAS. 

Past student projects

Role of the internet in providing information about food allergy

Mastocytosis: a 10 year experience in a single institution

Immunodeficiency in Sarcoidosis

Dual positivity for proteinase 3 and myeloperoxidase specific antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  24 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers