Research project: Characterisation of the marsupial Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)


Start date:

Museum investigators

External investigators

  • Dr Kathy Belov, University of Sydney

Funded by

  • Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (ARC)


The MHC (Major Histocompatibility Complex) is arguably one of the most important regions of the genome because it plays a pivotal role in disease resistance/susceptibility, autoimmunity, transplantation acceptance/rejection and avoidance of inbreeding through mate choice. Yet there is still a great deal we do not understand about MHC structure and function, especially in marsupials.

During this project, we will characterize the MHC in Australia's model marsupial - the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). By sequencing this region and studying gene expression and diversity, we will make discoveries about the evolution of gene organization in mammals and will develop tools to assess the immunological fitness of marsupial populations, aiding conservation.

Dr Mark Eldridge , Principal Research Scientist
Last Updated: