Professor Si Ming Man

Group Leader, Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease
College of Health & Medicine
T: +61 612 56793

Areas of expertise

  • Innate Immunity 110707
  • Immunology 1107
  • Microbiology 0605
  • Medical Microbiology 1108
  • Medical Bacteriology 110801
  • Medical Infection Agents (Incl. Prions) 110802
  • Bacteriology 060501
  • Infectious Diseases 110309
  • Infectious Agents 060502
  • Gastroenterology And Hepatology 110307
  • Cancer Cell Biology 111201
  • Tumour Immunology 110709
  • Oncology And Carcinogenesis 1112
  • Medical Biochemistry And Metabolomics 1101

Research interests

Our lab investigates the role of innate immunity in infectious diseases and cancer. Pattern-recognition receptors are germ-line encoded innate immune sensors which detect pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). These receptors activate signalling pathways and mediate the production of inflammatory cytokines, type I interferons and other anti-microbial molecules. We use cutting-edge technology to study the mechanisms by which host sensors recognise bacteria, viruses and parasites, and how these sensors shape the overall immune response to infection. We investigate the role of disease-fighting immune proteins in destroying multidrug resistant pathogens. We also study the molecular basis by which uncontrolled inflammation can lead to the development of cancer, autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases.


Si Ming received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2013 for his work on inflammasomes in the host defence against Salmonella infection. He obtained his postdoctoral training from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA, where he studied immune signalling pathways in the host response to infection and cancer. Currently, he is an NHMRC R.D. Wright Career Development Fellow at the Australian National University, Australia, where his laboratory focuses on innate immunity in the host defence against infectious diseases and the development of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Si Ming was a recipient of the Pfizer-Showell Award (2019) and the Thermo Fisher Trainee Achievement Award (2016) from the American Association of Immunologists, the Milstein Young Investigator Award from the International Cytokine & Interferon Society (2016), the Jim Pittard Early Career Award from the Australian Society for Microbiology (2017), the Royal Society of NSW Edgeworth David Medal (2019), the Eppendorf Edman Early Career Award from the Australian Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (2020), the Australian Society for Medical Research Peter Doherty Leading Light Award (2020), an NHMRC Research Excellence Award for the highest-ranked Early Career Fellowship (2015) and an NHMRC Research Excellence Award for the highest-ranked Career Development Fellowship Biomedical Level 1 (2019). He also received the 2019 Commonwealth Health Minister's Medal for Excellence in Health and Medical Research and the 2021 CSL Centenary Fellowship.

Si Ming is a Clarivate™ Highly Cited Researcher, recognised for producing, in the last decade, multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science™.

Researcher's projects

We welcome applications from undergraduate, Honours, PhD, research assistant and Postdoctoral applicants. We offer Summer Scholarships and Short Projects (e.g. Advanced Studies Course/ASC). E-mail Si Ming ( for further information regarding project details and position availability.

Some of the possible project areas we have available include:

  • Uncovering how host cells recognise and kill human pathogens, including bacteria and viruses.
  • Unravelling the molecular mechanisms of inflammasome formation.
  • Understanding the role of innate immune sensors in regulating the development of cancer and the composition of the gut microbiota.
  • Identifying novel activators and inhibitors of the innate immune system to prevent and treat infection, autoinflammatory diseases and cancer.

Current or past theses of PhD students:

  • Microbial activators of the inflammasome, 2017-2021.
  • Guanylate-binding proteins as mediators of inflammasome activation in response to bacterial infection, 2018-2022.
  • Inflammasomes in tumourigenesis, 2018-2022.
  • The role of cytosolic nucleic acid sensors in colitis and colorectal cancer, 2018-2022.
  • Identification of novel innate immune pathogen-recognition receptors of bacterial pathogen-associated molecular patterns, 2019-2023.

Current or past theses of Honours students:

  • Molecular mechanisms of inflammasome activation by enterotoxins of the foodborne pathogen Bacillus cereus, 2018, Awarded First Class Honours.
  • Transmembrane regions of the pore-forming toxin Haemolysin BL are required for inflammasome activation but not membrane binding, 2019, Awarded First Class Honours and the University Medal.
  • Clostridium perfringens is a novel activator of the NLRP3 inflammasome, 2019, Awarded First Class Honours and the University Medal.




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Updated:  02 March 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers