I undertook my PhD in the Medical Genomics Group, JCU, under the supervision of Prof Alan Baxter. Here, I used mouse models of autoimmune diseases, congenic dissection of genetic linkage regions, gene expression microarray analyses, QPCR and sequencing as tools to identify genes contributing to NKT cell development, as well as genes contributing to experimental autoimmune gastritis. The function of two of these genes was subsequently confirmed through transgenic and knockout models and their identification could potentially be used as therapeutic targets for autoimmune diseases. I was subsequently awarded the prestigious NHMRC/MSRA Betty Cuthbert fellowship, focussing my research on genes involved in the serious neurological disease, Multiple Sclerosis. I am now currently employed as a Senior Research Fellow and continue applied basic research to uncover neurological networks and pathways that may contribute to MS and other neurologiacal diseases and autoimmune disease. This immunogenomics approach involves both human-based studies and mouse models of disease. 

I have recent research support with grants from Australian Health Research Alliance Women’s Health Research, Translation and Impact Network (WHRTN), a Single Cell Access grant from Centre for Tropical Bioinformatics & Molecular Biology (CTBMT) and been successful in obtaining industry support from 10X Genomics & Millenium Science, with their "Start Single Cell" Fellowship Program. Since obtaining the prestigious NHMRC/MSRA Betty Cuthbert Early Career Research Fellowship, I have been a CI and AI on Category 1 research project grants from Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia (MSRA) and NHMRC and had a seed grant from the Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre (TAAHC). I have attracted research funding from the Faculty Grant Scheme for Early Career Researchers (Faculty of Medicine, Health and Molecular Sciences, JCU), the Rebecca L Cooper foundation, Rising Stars Research Grant from James Cook University, as well as a Competitive Research Incentive grant (CRIG) and JCUConnect Research Grant, as well as several equipment grants. I been named on > 15 previous category 1 grants, including one based on research from my PhD. I have received 10 Travel awards for national and international meetings from Australasian Society of Immunology (ASI), Neuroimmunolgy Australia, Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF), Australasian Microarray Associated Technologies Association (now AGTA), the Logan Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, JCU Faculty travel grants and the International Congress of Genetics (ICG).

I publish my research findings in high-impact, international journals. I have delived >38 conference presentations and produced around 100 conference abstracts. I have been invited to speak at National and International meetings, including Immunology World Forum (IWF), Copenhagen, Denmark, 2021 (unable to attend due to Covid-19), Annual International Congress of Genetics (ICG), Dalian, Peoples Republic of China, 2016 and again in 2021 (unable to attend due to Covid-19), International Congress of Neuroimmunology (ISNI), Brisbane, 2018, Brisbane Immunology Group meetings (BIG; 2009, 2017) and an African Genetics Society Symposium, Johannesburg, South Africa. I review grant applications for NHMRC, Diabetes Australia Research Trust, the Logan Foundation, RL. Cooper Foundation and MSRA. I have been an abstract reviewer for Congress of the Immunology of Diabetes Society, ASI, BIG, Townsville Hospital Health Symposium. I review for Scientific Journals, such as ISCIENCE, CTI, JIG, and J Vet Animal Science and have examined PhD and Honours’ theses and Research and Travel grants for post graduate students. I am a society member of ASI, ISNI, AAI and AGTA and an ASI committee member for QLD. I am/was an organizer of BIG 2021, 2019, ASI, 2017, serving on the Scientific Program Committee, Scientific Program committee member of ICG, China, 2016 and involved in organising Autoimmunity workshops in Sydney and the Whitsundays. I was a judge of the Student Research Presentations at the Townsville Health Symposium, 2015, 3MT thesis contests for several years and judged the Science Communications Prize at ASI, 2017. I have been invited each year to present a talk to laboratory-based Science Post Graduate students and a research based talk to Medical students with an elective in research. In collaboration with Corbett Research, I helped develop the chemistry used today by the Qiagen nucleic acid extraction robot. 

In addition, I have 11.5 years experience as a Medical Scientist in Cytogentics becoming expert in identifying chromosome anomalies in human blood, bone-marrow, amniotic fluid and CVS samples. I established/cryopreserved and deposited human EBV-transformed cell lines in Coriell Cell Repositories; extracted DNA for population studies of peoples of Sub-Saharan origin; prepared centomeric probes and chromosome paints. I was instrumental in establishing the Fluorescent in situ Hybridisation (FISH) division within the Cytogenetics Unit, S.A.I.M.R. which facilitated further research of patient samples to better define translocations and the interphase analysis of numerical anomalies.

  • BC3102: Molecular Basis of Disease (Level 3; TSV)
  • BC5102: Advanced Molecular Basis of Disease (Level 5; TSV)
  • PC2204: Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics for Pharmacists (Level 2; TSV)
  • PC3301: Integrated Therapeutics 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE)
  • Autoimmunity
  • Autoimmune Gastritis
  • Immunology
  • Genomics
  • Immunogenetics
  • Genetics of Immune Regulation
  • 2014 to present - Human Ethic Monitor, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2014 to present - Senior Research Fellow, CGC, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2013 to present - Honours co-ordinator (Molecular and Cell Biology), James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2019 - National Somatic Variant Curation training, Queensland Genomic Health Alliiance (Brisbane, Australia)
  • 2015 to 2019 - AEC Member, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2018 - Cultural Practice Program Training, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2015 to 2018 - Director of Research (Molecular and Cell Biology), James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2003 to 2013 - Research Fellow, CGC, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 1998 to 2003 - Research Assistant, Centenary Institute for Molecular Biology and Cancer Research (Sydney, Australia)
  • 1997 to 1998 - Hospital Scientist, New Childrens's Hospital (Sydney Australia)
  • 1997 - Cytogeneticist, Sydney Genetics (Sydney, Australia)
  • 1986 to 1997 - Medical Scientist, South African Institute for Medical Research (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Research Disciplines
  • 2021 - Australian Health Research Alliance-Women's Health Research Translation Network (WHRTN)
  • 2019 to 2022 - ASI Travel Award
  • 2020 to 2021 - Single Cell Access grant from CTBMT
  • 2019 to 2020 - TAAHC grant
  • 2016 to 2020 - MSRA (Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia) Project grant
  • 2019 - Travel award to attend Brisbane Immunology Group Meeting, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane
  • 2016 - International travel award from ICG (International congress genetics) to attend ICG, 2016, Dalian, People's Republic of China
  • 2014 to 2016 - AI on NHMRC grant #1061580 (Novel posttranscriptional pathways that control Tfh cell numbers. CIA Prof Carola Vinuesa CIB Dr Julia Ellyard, ANU $626 226.00
  • 2014 to 2015 - Rising Stars ECR Leadership Program grant
  • 2014 - Rebecca L. Cooper Research Foundation Grant
  • 2013 - Wellcome Trust international travel award to attend The Genomics of Common Diseases conference, Oxford, UK.
  • 2013 - ASI Travel grant to attend ICI (International congress of immunology), Milan, Italy 2013
  • 2013 - JCU MHMS Faculty travel grant to attend “Science Pathways” Conference, 17-18 October 2013, AMREP Education Centre, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2013 - Equipment grant
  • 2013 - Competitive Research Incentive grant (CRIG)
  • 2012 to 2013 - FAIG (Medicine, Health & Molecular Sciences Grants Scheme 2012 (Early Career Researchers)
  • 2010 - AMATA Travel award
  • 2009 - FIMSA/ASI Travel award
  • 2007 - ASI-BIG Medal for Best Poster Presentation
  • 2007 - Logan Foundation Travel Scholarship
  • 2006 - Townsville festival of Life Sciences Poster prize
  • 2006 - ASI-BIG Medal for Best Poster Presentation
  • 2006 - ASI International Travel Award
  • 2006 - JDRF Travel award
  • 2006 - Science Communicators Award for Best Oral Presentation, ThymOz
  • 2005 - ASI National Travel award
  • 2021 - START Single Cell Fellowship (10x Genomics and Millenium Science)
  • 2013 to 2016 - NHMRC/MSRA Betty Cuthbert Fellowship
  • 2021 - Member of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
  • 2018 - Member of International society of Neuroimmunolgy
  • 2014 to 2020 - Human Ethics Research monitor
  • 2012 to 2020 - ASI Queensland commitee member
  • 2010 to 2020 - Member of Australian Microarray Associated Technologies Association (AMATA) now AGTA (Australian Genome Technologies association)
  • 1998 to 2020 - Member of the Australasian Society for Immunology
  • 2015 to 2019 - Animal Ethics Committee member
  • 1986 to 1997 - Member of the South African Society for Human Genetics
  • 2021 - Supervisor to Honours' student
  • 2019 - Invited speaker for Genetics & Genetic Engineering, Paris (unable to attend due to Covid-19)
  • 2011 - Editorial responsibilities with Clinical and Experimental Immunology Journal
  • 2021 - Invited speaker Annual International Congress of Genetics- Dalian, Peoples Republic of China (postponed due to Covid-19)
  • 2021 - Invited speaker for Immunology World Forum (IWF), Copenhagen, Denmark, 2021 (unable to attend due to Covid-19)
  • 2015 to 2020 - Grant reviewer for HDRES student research grants
  • 2015 to 2020 - Judge of “3MT Thesis contest”, JCU
  • 2014 to 2020 - Grant reviewer for National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • 2013 to 2020 - Grant reviewer for Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia (MSRA)
  • 2019 - Scientific committee member and organiser of Brisbane Immunology Group meeting, Sunshine Coast, QLD
  • 2019 - Session chair for BIG Plenary Lecture, BIG conference, Sunshine Coast, QLD
  • 2018 - Invited speaker, International Congress of Neuroimmunology, Brisbane
  • 2014 to 2018 - Grant reviewer for Rebecca L Cooper foundation
  • 2017 - Session chair for Autoimmunity Session, ASI conference, Brisbane
  • 2017 - Judge of “Science Communication Award”, ASI, Brisbane
  • 2015 to 2017 - Scientific committee member and Organiser of Australain Society for Immunology (ASI) meeting, Brisbane, QLD, 2017
  • 2014 to 2017 - Organizer of "Day of Immunology" events, Townsville
  • 2016 - Invitation to deliver an oral presentation at ICG, Dalian, People's Republic of China
  • 2012 to 2016 - Grant reviewer for Diabetes Australia Research Trust ( DART)
  • 2015 - Judge for oral presentations: Townsville Health Symposium, Townsville Hospital
  • 2014 - Selected as NHMRC project grant panel observer
  • 2014 - Session chair for ECR session BIG conference, Gold Coast
  • 2012 to 2014 - Faculty representitive of the Gender Equity Working Group (GEWG)
  • 2013 - Invited speaker MS Angels event, Brisbane, November, 2013
  • 2013 - Invited speaker MS Angels event, Brisbane, April, 2013
  • 2009 - Invited speaker BIG (Brisbane Immunology Group) meeting, Brisbane, QLD
  • 1986 to 1998 - Registration with the Medical Scientist Association

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
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 34+ research outputs authored by Dr Margaret Jordan from 1995 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Health Research Alliance - Women's Health Research Translation Network (WHRTN)

Elucidating gene pathways and their interactive networks, important in Multiple Sclerosis

Indicative Funding
$15,000 over 1 year
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, debilitating diseases affecting young adults in Western society, particularly women in their child-bearing years. While we know that there is both a genetic and environmental component to the disease, we still do not know the cause and there is no cure. My research is to uncover knowledge on the genetics of disease to pinpoint targeted treatments, ensuring fewer side effects, and the hope to prevent disease in the future. This grant would provide seed funding to help develop a ground-breaking method and provide preliminary knowledge to attract funding for a more intensive study.
Margaret Jordan (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Multiple Sclerosis; Transcritpomics; Single cell sequencing; Immunology; Neuroscience; Central Nervous System

Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Limited - Contract Research

Genomics of lung cancer in Indigenous people of North Queensland

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 1 year
Cancer genomic profiling is a major determinant of chemotherapy selection for non-small cell lung cancer and is widely used internationally. Indigenous genomes carry ~10X more uncharacterised DNA sequence variation than people of European heritage. THHS is currently trialling the use of whole exome sequencing, instead of the existing 4 gene panel, to base choice of targeted therapies in lung cancer. This creates an opportunity to study whether the cancer-associated variation currently being used to select therapies is adequate, and if not, these data will form the foundation for an NHMRC funding application to identify improved markers.
Alan Baxter, Sabe Sabesan, Martin Nakata, Margaret Jordan, Justin Lee and Letitia Smith in collaboration with Matt Brown and Trevor Prior (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Townsville Hospital and Health Services, Indigenous Education & Research Centre and Queensland University of Technology)
Cancer; Non-small cell lung cancer; Genomics; Whole exome sequencing; Indigenous health care; Closing The Gap

Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia - Project Grant

An immune transcriptional regulatory network approach to Multiple Sclerosis

Indicative Funding
$240,000 over 4 years
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease resulting from a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. In an attempt to understand the integration of both sets of risk factors, we have compared mRNA transcripts between relapsing/remitting (RR) MS patients and healthy controls in 5 leukocyte subsets: CD4 and CD8 T cells, B cells, NK cells and monocytes. A gene co-expression network was generated based on correlation of expression levels across >700 gene expression microarrays, and a major co-ordinately regulated sub-network (module) of mRNA transcripts that is differentially expressed in the monocytes of RR-MS patients was identified. This project validates, characterizes and attempts to manipulate this transcriptional module in human cells ex-vivo and in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of central nervous system (CNS) autoimmunity. These results should provide greater explanatory power than the analyses of individual risk factors separately and may provide a multi-faceted target for intervention.
Alan Baxter, Margaret Jordan, Helmut Butzkueven and Louise Laverick in collaboration with Letitia Smith (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and The University of Melbourne)
Autoimmunity; Cellular Immunology; Immunogenetics; Multiple Sclerosis; mouse models; humans

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.

  • Causes of Multiple Sclerosis: A Functional Genomics Approach. (PhD , Primary Advisor)

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)

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