About

Cathy Rush is an Associate Professor, Immunology and member of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM).

Her principal research interest isunderstanding the immunological mechanisms underlying inflammatory and infectious diseases.

Our body's immune system protects us from severe infectious diseases, but if it becomes overactive it can drive diseases like inflammatory lung diseases , autoimmunity (e.g. Rheumatic Heart Disease) and type 2 diabetes. Although the triggers may be different, the same key immune cells and molecules are involved in all these conditions. An understanding of the basic principles, pathways and processes of our immune system is essential for devising strategies to fight infectious diseases or treat immune-mediated disorders.

Her research interests focus on this foundation: dissecting the immune mechanisms responsible for initiating and driving chronic inflammatory diseases and furthermore how these co-mordities impair the body's efforts to combat severe bacterial diseases including tuberculosis (TB).

Her expertise in mechanistic immunology and use of pre-clinical models to investigate drivers and interventions for different immune-mediated and infectious diseases has been sought across several multidisciplinary research programs. Her interests in TB and expertise in infectious disease immunology strongly align with JCUs tropical health and medicine agenda of addressing the significant health security threats facing northern Australia.

Teaching
  • BM1001: Introduction to Biomedicine (Level 1; TSV)
  • BM1022: Physiological Systems and Processes 2 (Level 1; TSV)
  • BM3000: Advanced Projects in Biomedicine (Level 3; TSV)
  • MD2011: Integrated Human System Pathophysiology Part 1 of 2 (Level 2; TSV)
  • MD3011: Introduction to Clinical Healthcare Part 1 of 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • MD3012: Introduction to Clinical Healthcare Part 2 of 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • MI2021: Introductory Infectious Diseases and Immunobiology (Level 2; TSV)
  • MI3061: Advanced Immunobiology (Level 3; TSV)
  • MI5061: Advanced Immunology (Level 5; TSV)
  • ML3102: Laboratory Management and Quality Assurance (Level 3; TSV)
  • ML4301: Clinical Biochemistry 1 (Level 4; TSV)
  • ML4302: Clinical Biochemistry 2 (Level 4; TSV)
  • ML4305: Immunohaematology (Level 4; TSV)
  • PC2201: Infectious Diseases and Immunology for Pharmacists (Level 2; TSV)
  • PP3201: Contemporary Research in Physiology (Level 3; TSV)
  • PP5201: Contemporary Research in Physiology (Level 5; TSV)
Interests
Research
  • Immunological mechanisms responsible for initiating and driving the chronic inflammatory diseases , Type 2 Diabetes, RHD and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Host-pathogen interactions in tuberculosis
  • Co-morbidities associated with tuberculosis susceptibility and progression.
Experience
  • 2016 to present - Associate Professor, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2012 to 2015 - Senior Lecturer Immunology, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2009 to 2011 - Lecturer Immunology, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2006 to 2009 - Senior Research Scientist, Vascular Biology Unit, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2000 to 2006 - Post-doctoral scientist, University of Glasgow (Glasgow, UK)
  • 1997 to 2000 - Post-doctoral scientist, University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK)
  • 1994 to 1996 - Post-doctoral scientist, University of Siena (Siena, Italy)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Awards
  • 2012-2015, NHMRC Project Grant (1026753), "Development of apreventive strategy for Rheumatic Heart Disease using an experimental model", $358,712, N Ketheesan & C Rush.
  • 2016, Advisor of the Year Awards, HDR Advisor Special Recognition Award
  • 2012, James Cook University, Faculty Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, N Ketheesan, C Rush & B Govan.
  • 2016, AITHM Capacity Building Grant, Tuberculosis in rural PNG: T cell biomarkers for diagnosis and monitoring treatment, $53,000.
  • 2012-2013, Pathology Queensland Scientific Services Study, Education and Research Trust Fund (SERTF), “Novel Immunomodulatory Strategies for the Management of Sepsis”, $69, 450, R. Norton, S. Simpson, N. Ketheesan, C. Rush, J. Morris, B. Govan
  • 2009-11, NHMRC Project Grant (540403), “Role of the tissue kallikrein-kinin system in abdominal aortic aneurysm formation and progression”, $439,745, J Golledge, C Rush, PE Norman, H Korner, J Ott, L Gera.
  • 2007-2009, The Townsville Hospital - Private Practice Fund Project grant, “Role of progenitor cells in aortic calcification”, $50,000, J Golledge, C Rush.
  • 2013, Advisor of the Year Awards, Advisory Panel of the Year Award with N Ketheesan and J Morris
  • 2016, JCU Development Grant, Immunotherapy for Rheumatic Heart Disease, $48,795
  • 2009-13, NHMRC Project Grant (540404), “Association between obesity, transforming growth factor beta, thrombospondin and small abdominal aortic aneurysm progression”, $487,500, J Golledge, PE Norman, C Rush, PJ Walker, R Dalman, J Ott.
  • 2009-11, NHMRC Project Grant (540405), “Angiopoietin-2, aortic inflammation and cardiovascular events”, $319,250, J Golledge, C Rush, PE Norman, J Ott.
Fellowships
  • Honorary Research Fellow, University of Glasgow
Memberships
  • Australian Cardiovascular Alliance
  • Australasian Society for Immunology
  • Society for Mucosal Immunology
  • Lung Foundation Australia
  • British Society for Immunology
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
More

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 68+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Catherine Rush from 1994 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

National Health & Medical Research Council - Northern Australia Tropical Disease Collaborative Research Programme

HOT NORTH - Pilot Project - Round 4 - Cooking smoke and indoor air pollution : Impaired immunity to Tuberculosis at Australian's northern border?

Indicative Funding
$35,000 (administered by Menzies School of Health Research)
Summary
Middle Fly region of PNG has very high rates of TB and pre-existing lung disease may play a significant role in the acquisition and development of TB disease. Our study will determine the burden and characteristics of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and investigate the resultant lung immune response defects in this community. In doing so we will build local capacity in lung function testing and laboratory analysis and optimise a pipeline of sample analysis of lung immune responses from PNG to JCU, Townsville. Such information will complement existing TB programmes in South Fly region of the Western Province.
Investigators
Catherine Rush and Jeffrey Warner in collaboration with John McBride, Gary Nolan, Jerry Minei and Anna Ralph (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, College of Medicine & Dentistry, Townsville Hospital and Health Service and Menzies School of Health Research)
Keywords
COPD; Papua New Guinea; Tuberculosis; Mycobacterium Tuberculosis; T-cell immunity

National Health & Medical Research Council - Project Grant

Interaction between parathyroid hormone, sclerostin and the wingless pathway in abdominal aortic aneurysm

Indicative Funding
$698,300 over 5 years
Summary
Approximately 5% of men and 1% of women aged over 60 years develop weakening of the main abdominal artery. Currently the management of artery weakening is focused on surgery with no effective medications available. In this study we will assess the role of a novel pathway in artery weakening. Improved understanding of the mechanisms causing artery degeneration is crucial to target the development of better ways to treat this common problem.
Investigators
Jonathan Golledge, Paul Norman, Catherine Rush, Phillip Walker, Craig Jeffrey, Reinhold Muller, Anthony Dear, Timothy Buckenham and Gabby Loots (College of Medicine & Dentistry, The University of Western Australia, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, The University of Queensland, Monash University, Christchurch Hospital and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
Keywords
Abdominal aortic aneurysm; Pathogenesis; Therapy; Patient management; Peripheral vascular disease; Cardiovascular Diseases
Supervision

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

Current
  • Mechanisms Driving Tuberculosis Susceptibility and Vaccine Efficacy in Type-2-Diabetes (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
Completed
Collaboration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:
jcu.me/catherine.rush

Email
Phone
Location
  • 87.032, Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences (Townsville campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Advisor Mentor
Find me on…
Icon for external homepage Icon for ResearcherID page Icon for Scopus Author page Icon for Google Scholar profile Icon for ResearchGate profile Icon for ORCID profile

Similar to me

  1. Dr Andreas Kupz
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  2. A/Prof Brenda Govan
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences
  3. Dr Tejas Singh
    College of Medicine & Dentistry
  4. Prof Alan Baxter
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences
  5. Dr Theophilus Emeto
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences