Dr Phillip Fromm

Research Fellow
ANZAC Research Institute, Concord Clinical School

Telephone +61 2 9767 9883/+61 2 9515 8483
Fax +61 2 9767 9883

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Biographical details

I combine immunology experience gained in mice during my PhD and now significant human preclinical and clincial immunology following my move to the Dendritic Cell Biology and Therapeutics Group, headed by Professor Derek Hart. I have recognized expertise in the field of flow cytometry and its application to novel scientific questions both in and outside mainstream immunology. I have established strong working collaborations with clinicians and researchers in the Haematology department at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH), that have already led to the publication of high quality research in leading journals (e.g Blood).
My personal vision is to advance the clinical translation of immunotherapy to promote patient outcomes, with a view to modulating immune checkpoints to synergise with other treatment modalities.

I have used my recognized expertise in flow cytometry as a tool to answer fundamental biological questions first in murine models dissecting the role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and its receptors in mediating monocyte and dendritic cell development and it impact on mediating immunity to the infectious parasite Leishmania major. This resulted in a major publication that was the first to describe the in vivo consequences of reverse signalling through membrane TNF via TNFR1 to promote monocyte differentiation and innate immunity to L. major infection (P11566704).

My interest in application of flow cytometry to cancer and particularly myeloma is evident by my contributions to both basic and translational science. I have published on the role that chemokine and chemokine receptors have on B cell activation and the affinity maturation of antibody and in dissecting the mechanism of uptake of novel heavy metal Ruthenium complexes as chemotherapeutic agents in malignant B cells. My translational interests have supported a recent description of trogocytosis as a novel means of immune evasion in MM.

I maintain strong ties with clinicians and participate actively in haematology journal clubs and present to the wider clinical audience of haematologists, registrars, nurses, and consumers including the Myeloma Foundation of Australia and the local community through media interviews with the local media, (Burwood Scene) on the translation of DC biology in the treatment of cancer.

Research interests

My current research focus is on understanding the ways that specialized immune cells called dendritic cell interact in the tumour environment to mediate anti-cancer immune responses . I am particularly interested in finding ways in which DC can be manipulated to treat disease and in the development of cellular vaccines that can retrain a patients immune system to fight cancer,

I have demonstrated experience in cellular immunology, including the use of flow cytometry for the isolation and analysis of rare dendritic cell (DC) subsets, having established clinical DC subset sorting at the ANZAC Research Institute for the generation of libraries for functional genetic analysis. I have set up clinical isolation of immune cell subsets, including rare DC subsets from diagnostic bone marrow biopsies at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital to provide insight on immune dysfunction patients. My experience in cellular immunology and translational research contributed to discovery of trogocytosis as a novel mechanism for immune evasion in multiple myeloma. I continue to lend my expertise to diagnostic multi-parameter flow cytometry providing training on panel design and technical aspects of experiment design and data analysis to both research and clinical students and staff.

I have been instrumental in the development of mRNA loading and of both primary and monocyte derived human dendritic cells and have developed nucleofection strategies that enable transfection of these difficult to transfect cells that result in strong antigen processing to autologous T cells.

My work on DC characterization has resulted in the identification of a novel CD56+ in vitro derived DC with capable of direct cytotoxic activity, which has direct clinical application in the development of dendritic cell vaccines for the treatment of haematological malignancies.

Teaching and supervision

I have been involved in the teaching of undergraduate medical and science students in the Faculty of Medicine at James Cook University in the discipline of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I have been involved in the supervision of undergraduate students as part of the Summer Research Studentship through the University of Sydney and have provided supervision for both honours and postgraduate students. I have been involved with broadening the application of flow cytometry to other disciplines including aquaculture marine biology and ecology, helping to establish flow cytometry analysis and sorting of dinoflagelates in corals from the great barrier reef.

International links

Australia

(Royal Prince Alfred Hospital) We work closely with academic haematologists and haematology diagnostics departments at RPA, working on projects based around the diagnosis and treatment of haematological malignancies, with a particular emphasis on the role of the immune system and particularly, dendritic as modalities to treat diseases including multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukemia through the use of immune therapies.

Belgium

(University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute (VAXINFECTIO), Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, Antwerp, Belgium,) We collaborate with Prof Zwi Berneman and Dr. Sebastien Anguille on the mRNA laoding of human dendritic cell as theraeputic vaccines for the treatment of haematological malignancies including leukemias, lymphomas and myeloma.

Selected grants

2014

  • EVOS FL Auto cell imaging system; Nicholson G, Clark G, Zhou H, Jessup W, Le Couteur D, McMahon A, McLachlan A, Allan C, Handelsman D, Hart D, Walters K, Kritharides L, Kockx M, Kennerson M, Cooper M, Seibel M, Verma N, Silveira P, Fromm P, Simanainen U, Cogger V, Zheng Y; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Equipment Grants.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Favaloro, J., Brown, R., Aklilu, E., Yang, S., Suen, H., Hart, D., Fromm, P., Gibson, J., Khoo, L., Ho, J., Joshua, D. (2014). Myeloma skews regulatory T and pro-inflammatory T helper 17 cell balance in favor of a suppressive state. Leukemia & Lymphoma, 55(5), 1090-1098. [More Information]
  • Wiede, F., Fromm, P., Comerford, I., Kara, E., Bannan, J., Schuh, W., Ranasinghe, C., Tarlinton, D., Winkler, T., McColl, S., et al (2013). CCR6 is transiently upregulated on B cells after activation and modulates the germinal center reaction in the mouse. Immunology and Cell Biology, 91(5), 335-339. [More Information]
  • Bryant, C., Suen, H., Brown, R., Yang, S., Favaloro, J., Aklilu, E., Gibson, J., Ho, J., Iland, H., Fromm, P., Hart, D., Joshua, D., et al (2013). Long-term survival in multiple myeloma is associated with a distinct immunological profile, which includes proliferative cytotoxic T-cell clones and a favourable Treg/Th17 balance. Blood Cancer Journal, 3, 1-7. [More Information]
  • Domingos, J., Fromm, P., Smith-Keune, C., Jerry, D. (2012). A robust flow-cytometric protocol for assessing growth rate of hatchery-reared barramundi Lates calcarifer larvae. Journal of Fish Biology, 80(6), 2253-2266. [More Information]
  • Brown, R., Karieshma, K., Favaloro, J., Yang, S., Joy Ho, P., Gibson, J., Fromm, P., Suen, H., Woodland, N., Nassif, N., Hart, D., Joshua, D. (2012). CD86+ or HLA-G+ can be transferred via trogocytosis from myeloma cells T cells and are associated with poor prognosis. Blood, 120(10), 2055-2063. [More Information]
  • Anguille, S., Lion, E., Tel, J., de Vries, I., Coudere, K., Fromm, P., Van Tendeloo, V., Smits, E., Berneman, Z. (2012). Interleukin-15-Induced CD56(+) Myeloid Dendritic Cells Combine Potent Tumor Antigen Presentation with Direct Tumoricidal Potential. PloS One, 7(12), 1-13. [More Information]
  • Fromm, P., Gottlieb, D., Bradstock, K., Hart, D. (2011). Cellular therapy to treat haematological and other malignancies: progress and pitfalls. Pathology, 43(6), 605-615. [More Information]
  • Pisani, M., Fromm, P., Mulyana, Y., Clarke, R., Korner, H., Heimann, K., Collins, J., Keene, F. (2011). Mechanism of cytotoxicity and cellular uptake of lipophilic inert dinuclear polypyridylruthenium(II) complexes. ChemMedChem: chemistry enabling drug discovery, 6(5), 848-858. [More Information]
  • Kling, J., Gollan, R., Fromm, P., Koerner, H. (2011). Redundancy of interleukin-6 in the differentiation of T cell and monocyte subsets during cutaneous leishmaniasis. Experimental Parasitology, 129(3), 270-276. [More Information]
  • Körner, H., McMorran, B., Schlüter, D., Fromma, P. (2011). The role of TNF in parasitic diseases: Still more questions than answers. International Journal for Parasitology, 40(8), 879-888. [More Information]
  • Hansen, E., Krautwald, M., Maczurek, A., Stuchbury, G., Fromma, P., Steele, M., Schulz, O., Garcia, O., Castillo, J., Korner, H., et al (2010). A versatile high throughput screening system for the simultaneous identification of anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective compounds. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 19(2), 451-464. [More Information]
  • Roomberg, A., Kling, J., Fromm, P., Korner, H. (2010). Tumor necrosis factor negative bone marrow-derived dendritic cells exhibit deficient IL-10 expression. Immunology and Cell Biology, 88(8), 842-845. [More Information]
  • Wiede, F., Roomberg, A., Cretney, E., Lechner, A., Fromm, P., Wren, L., Smyth, M., Korner, H. (2009). Age-dependent, polyclonal hyperactivation of T cells is reduced in TNF-negative gld/gld mice. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 85(1), 108-116. [More Information]

2014

  • Favaloro, J., Brown, R., Aklilu, E., Yang, S., Suen, H., Hart, D., Fromm, P., Gibson, J., Khoo, L., Ho, J., Joshua, D. (2014). Myeloma skews regulatory T and pro-inflammatory T helper 17 cell balance in favor of a suppressive state. Leukemia & Lymphoma, 55(5), 1090-1098. [More Information]

2013

  • Wiede, F., Fromm, P., Comerford, I., Kara, E., Bannan, J., Schuh, W., Ranasinghe, C., Tarlinton, D., Winkler, T., McColl, S., et al (2013). CCR6 is transiently upregulated on B cells after activation and modulates the germinal center reaction in the mouse. Immunology and Cell Biology, 91(5), 335-339. [More Information]
  • Bryant, C., Suen, H., Brown, R., Yang, S., Favaloro, J., Aklilu, E., Gibson, J., Ho, J., Iland, H., Fromm, P., Hart, D., Joshua, D., et al (2013). Long-term survival in multiple myeloma is associated with a distinct immunological profile, which includes proliferative cytotoxic T-cell clones and a favourable Treg/Th17 balance. Blood Cancer Journal, 3, 1-7. [More Information]

2012

  • Domingos, J., Fromm, P., Smith-Keune, C., Jerry, D. (2012). A robust flow-cytometric protocol for assessing growth rate of hatchery-reared barramundi Lates calcarifer larvae. Journal of Fish Biology, 80(6), 2253-2266. [More Information]
  • Brown, R., Karieshma, K., Favaloro, J., Yang, S., Joy Ho, P., Gibson, J., Fromm, P., Suen, H., Woodland, N., Nassif, N., Hart, D., Joshua, D. (2012). CD86+ or HLA-G+ can be transferred via trogocytosis from myeloma cells T cells and are associated with poor prognosis. Blood, 120(10), 2055-2063. [More Information]
  • Anguille, S., Lion, E., Tel, J., de Vries, I., Coudere, K., Fromm, P., Van Tendeloo, V., Smits, E., Berneman, Z. (2012). Interleukin-15-Induced CD56(+) Myeloid Dendritic Cells Combine Potent Tumor Antigen Presentation with Direct Tumoricidal Potential. PloS One, 7(12), 1-13. [More Information]

2011

  • Fromm, P., Gottlieb, D., Bradstock, K., Hart, D. (2011). Cellular therapy to treat haematological and other malignancies: progress and pitfalls. Pathology, 43(6), 605-615. [More Information]
  • Pisani, M., Fromm, P., Mulyana, Y., Clarke, R., Korner, H., Heimann, K., Collins, J., Keene, F. (2011). Mechanism of cytotoxicity and cellular uptake of lipophilic inert dinuclear polypyridylruthenium(II) complexes. ChemMedChem: chemistry enabling drug discovery, 6(5), 848-858. [More Information]
  • Kling, J., Gollan, R., Fromm, P., Koerner, H. (2011). Redundancy of interleukin-6 in the differentiation of T cell and monocyte subsets during cutaneous leishmaniasis. Experimental Parasitology, 129(3), 270-276. [More Information]
  • Körner, H., McMorran, B., Schlüter, D., Fromma, P. (2011). The role of TNF in parasitic diseases: Still more questions than answers. International Journal for Parasitology, 40(8), 879-888. [More Information]

2010

  • Hansen, E., Krautwald, M., Maczurek, A., Stuchbury, G., Fromma, P., Steele, M., Schulz, O., Garcia, O., Castillo, J., Korner, H., et al (2010). A versatile high throughput screening system for the simultaneous identification of anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective compounds. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 19(2), 451-464. [More Information]
  • Roomberg, A., Kling, J., Fromm, P., Korner, H. (2010). Tumor necrosis factor negative bone marrow-derived dendritic cells exhibit deficient IL-10 expression. Immunology and Cell Biology, 88(8), 842-845. [More Information]

2009

  • Wiede, F., Roomberg, A., Cretney, E., Lechner, A., Fromm, P., Wren, L., Smyth, M., Korner, H. (2009). Age-dependent, polyclonal hyperactivation of T cells is reduced in TNF-negative gld/gld mice. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 85(1), 108-116. [More Information]

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