Dr Dodie Pouniotis


Lecturer, Laboratory Medicine

School /
Work Unit

Medical Sciences

Contact Details

+61 3 9925 6680



Building: 201
Level: 10
Room: 10

Bundoora West Campus


Science, Engineering & Health

Summary of responsibilities

NHMRC Postdoctoral research fellow and lecturer


  • B.Appl.Sci (Human Biology), RMIT University, 1999
  • B.Sc (Hons), Uni Melb, 2000
  • PhD (Pathology), Uni Melb, 2004
  • Grad Cert Clin Trial Mangt, Uni Canberra, 2004

Honorary Lecturer, Immunology, Monash University
Research Associate, Burnet Institute
Research Associate, Institute of Breathing and Sleep
Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Austin Health

Teaching responsibilities

As Lecturer in Pathology, I coordinate and teach into General and Systemic Pathology courses undertaken by students from various programs. I have also coordinated and taught into a number of pathology, histology, immunology and anatomy courses at Victoria University, Southern School of Natural Therapies and Australian College of Natural Medicine.

Research interests

My research interests are in cancer research, specifically in the areas of cellular immunology and vaccine development. I have come to RMIT with a NHMRC Peter Doherty fellowship to pursue my interest in the tumour biology and understanding the role of the tumour microenvironment in tumour growth and metastases. I also have a number of clinical research projects investigating the role of immune cells such as macrophages and T cells in lung and endometrial cancer. I have close collaborations with the Burnet Institute, Mercy Hospital for Women, Austin Health and the Institute for Breathing and Sleep. I also have experience supervising postgraduate students including honours, MD and PhD.

Industry / profession / community involvement

  • Australian Society of Immunology
  • Thoracic Society of Victoria
  • Immunology Group of Victoria
  • VCOG Gynaecological Cancer Committee

Research publications

Plebanski M, Proudfoot O, Pouniotis DS, Flannery G, Coppel R, Apostolopoulos V. Immunogenetics of human responses to Plasmodium Falciparum and vaccine design. Journal of Clinical Investigation 110(3):295 (2002).

Pouniotis DS, Proudfoot O, Bogdanoska V, Fifis T, Apostolopoulos V, Plebanski M. Dendritic cells interaction with parasitised erythrocytes induce specific immunity and long-lasting protection against blood-stage malaria. Infection and Immunity, 72(9):5331 (2004).

Van Spriel AB, Puls KL, Sofi M, Pouniotis DS, Plebanski M, Wright MD. A regulatory role for CD37 in T cell proliferation. Journal of Immunology, 172(5):2953 (2004).

Pouniotis DS, Plebanski M, Apostolopoulos V. On or off, up or down: altered peptide ligand in biology. Res. Adv. in Medicinal Chem. 1:1 (2004).

Pouniotis DS, Proudfoot O, Plebanski M. Immune regulation by T cells in health and disease. J Postgrad Med, 50(1):30 (2004).

Pouniotis DS, Proudfoot O, Minigo G, Hanley JL and Plebanski M. A new boost for vaccines. Trends Parasitol, 20(4): 157 (2004).

Pouniotis DS, Halton J, Apostolopoulos V. Peptide based vaccines for Cancer Immunotherapy. Letters in Drug Design & Discovery, 1:203 (2004).

Apostolopoulos V, Hu XF, Pouniotis DS and Xing PX. MUC1: A molecule of many talents. Current Trends in Immunology, 6:39 (2004)

Pouniotis DS, Proudfoot O, Bogdanoska V, Plebanski M. Selectively impaired CD8+ but not CD4+ T cell cycle arrest during priming as a consequence of dendritic cell interaction with plasmodium-infected red cells. Journal of Immunology, 175(6): 3525 (2005).

Pouniotis DS, Plebanski M, Apostolopoulos V, McDonald CM. Alveolar macrophage function is altered in patients with primary lung cancer. Clinical Experimental Immunology. 143(2): 363 (2006).

Pouniotis DS, Apostolopoulos V, Pietersz G. Penetratin tandemly linked to a CTL peptide induces anti-tumor T cell responses via a cross-presentation pathway. Immunology. 117(3): 329 (2006).

Pouniotis DS*, Apostolopoulos V*, VanMannen P, Andriessen R, Xing PX, Loveland B, Pietersz G, IntMUC1 proteins/peptides induce cellular immune responses. (* equal contribution). Vaccine. 12(24): 3191 (2006).

Sheng KC, Pouniotis DS, Wright MD, Pietersz G, Apostolopoulos V. Mannan derivatives induce phenotypic and functional maturation of mouse dendritic cells. Immunology, 118: 372. (2006).

Apostolopoulos V, Pietersz GA, Tsibanis A, Tsikkinis A, Drakaki H, Loveland BE, Plebanski M, Pouniotis DS, Alexis MN, McKenzie IFC, Vassilaros S. Pilot Phase III immunotherapy study in early stage breast cancer patients using oxidized mannan-MUC1. Breast Cancer Research. 18;8(3):R27. (2006).

Pietersz G, Pouniotis DS, Apostolopoulos V. Design of Peptide-Based Vaccines for Cancer. Medicinal Chemistry, 13(5): 1591 (2006)

Pouniotis DS, McDonald CF, Apostolopoulos V. Lung cancer and alveolar macrophage function. Modern Aspects of Immunobiology 20, 2-3, (2006).

Pietersz GA, Pouniotis DS, Apostolopoulos V. Design of peptide-based vaccines for cancer. Curr Med Chem,13(14):1591-607. (2006)

Tang, CK, Lodding J, Minigo, G, Pouniotis DS, Plebanski M, Scholzen A, McKenzie IFC, Pietersz GA, Apostolopoulos V. Mannose-receptor mediated gene delivery for cancer immunotherapy. Immunology. 120(3):325-35. (2007).

Sheng KC, Kalkanidis M, Pouniotis DS, Esparon S, Tang CK, Apostolopoulos V, Pietersz GA. Delivery of antigen using a novel mannosylated dendrimer potentiates immunogenicity in vitro and in vivo. Eur J Immunol. 38(2):424-36. (2008).

Proudfoot O, Pouniotis D, Sheng KC, Loveland BE, Pietersz GA. Dendritic cell vaccination. Expert Rev Vaccines. 6(4):617-33 (2007).

Tang CK, Sheng KC, Pouniotis D, Esparon S, Son HY, Kim CW, Pietersz GA, Apostolopoulos V. Oxidized and reduced mannan mediated MUC1 DNA immunization induce effective anti-tumor responses. Vaccine. 23;26(31):3827-34. (2008).


  • Starfingers Postgraduate Scholarship, 2000
  • Best Scientist Prize, Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, 2005
  • Travel Grant, Institute of Breathing & Sleep, 2005
  • Peter Doherty Award, Brisbane Immunology Group, 2005
  • Cass Foundation Limited, Postdoctoral Travel Grant, 2006
  • Australian Society of Immunology (ASI), Postdoctoral Travel Award, 2006
  • Ian McKenzie Travel Award, Burnet Institute, 2006
  • NHMRC Peter Doherty Postdoctoral Fellowship – 2008-2011