Dr. Paul Giacomin is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at JCU Cairns. Since completing his PhD studies at the University of Adelaide in 2008, his research interests have focussed on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which immune responses to parasitic helminths (worms) are initiated and regulated. Dr. Giacomin underwent his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania between 2008 and 2012 in the laboratory of Dr. David Artis, where he was awarded fellowships from the American-Australian Association, as well as the NHMRC, to conduct his research. Dr. Giacomin continued his fellowship at JCU Cairns in 2012, where he continues to investigate the key immune cells and cytokines involved in immunity to intestinal worms, as well as exploring the potential beneficial effects that worm infection may have in alleviating inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases.

  • Immunity to gastrointestinal helminths
  • Epithelial regulation of Type 2 inflammatory responses to parasites and allergens
  • Therapeutic roles for helminths and helminth-derived proteins for treating allergic or autoimmune diseases
  • 2016 to 2019 - Advance QLD Mid-Career Fellow, James Cook Univers (Australia)
  • 2012 to 2015 - NHMRC CJ Martin Research Fellow, James Cook University, Cairns (Australia)
  • 2010 to 2012 - NHMRC CJ Martin Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania (USA)
  • 2009 - Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania (USA)
  • 2008 to 2009 - Sir Keith Murdoch Fellow, University of Pennsylvania (USA)
  • 2003 to 2008 - PhD candidate, University of Adelaide (Australia)
  • 2002 - BSc (Hons), University of Adelaide (Australia)
  • 1999 to 2002 - BSc (Biomedical Science), University of Adelaide (Australia)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2010 to 2014 - NHMRC CJ Martin Fellow
  • 2008 to 2009 - Sir Keith Murdoch Fellow, American Australian 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

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 70+ research outputs authored by Dr Paul Giacomin from 2002 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Preclinical evaluation of novel drug lead compounds discovered from Wet Tropics plant

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 1 year
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects 1 in 250 Australians including the people living in Far North Queensland (FNQ). There is no cure for this debilitating disease. Inspired by the Wet Tropics, we have isolated two compounds that demonstrated strong in vitro anti-inflammatory activity. A provisional patent has been approved for these two compounds. To further develop them into the marketable drug lead candidates, this proposed project will endeavor to achieve preclinical evaluation of these two novel compounds using the two commonly used animal models of IBD- Trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) and T cell transfer models of colitis.
Phurpa Wangchuk, Karma Yeshi and Paul Giacomin (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Wet Tropics; Biodiscovery; Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Anti-inflammatory drug lead; Natural products; Drug leads

CRC for Developing Northern Australia - Grant

Novel therapeutics for diabetes sourced from Northern Australian biota.

Indicative Funding
$1,192,109 over 2 years (administered by Macrobiome Therapeutics)
he aim of this project is to develop lead diabetes drug candidates from hookworm saliva and build a package for multinational commercial investment. The project aims to deliver the following outcomes: 1. Screen a synthetic hookworm library (consisting of hundreds of hookworm proteins) for anti-inflammatory activity and express lead candidates using pharmaceutical industry standard techniques. 2. Assess efficacy of leads in mouse models of diet-induced T2D. 3. Understand the mechanism of lead drug action and prioritize candidates for progression into clinical development. 4. Set the scene for a burgeoning biotech industry in Northern Australia that is differentiated from those in the south, and indeed globally, by capitalizing on the unique biodiversity of the region and the therapeutic opportunities it presents.
Paul Giacomin and Alex Loukas (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Diabetes; Hookworm Library; Hookworm saliva

Coeliac Australia - Exploratory Grant

Exploring new therapeutic approaches for coeliac disease based on biological effects of hookworm treatment.

Indicative Funding
$45,455 over 2 years
We hypothesise that hookworm infection creates an anti-inflammatory environment in the small intestine that favours improved gluten intolerance in coeliac disease, and undersstanding the biological mechanisms that lead to improved gluten intolerance will advance the development of novel theraplies that will not require being infected with live worms. The overall aim of this project is to comprehensively profile the biological responses in the gut and faeces using innovative, complementary techniques (RNA-sequencing, transcriptomic imaging and microbiome analyses) and correlate these changes with improved coeliac disease outcomes.
Paul Giacomin, John Croese, Graham Radford Smith, Nathan Subramaniam, Tony Rahman and Alex Loukas (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, The Prince of Wales Hospital, Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital, Queensland University of Technology, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Coeliac Disease; Microbiome; Inflammation; Hookworm; Inflammation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Grant

Laser based diagnostics for STH infections

Indicative Funding
$43,000 over 2 years (administered by The University of Queensland)
Developing novel laser based methods for rapid diagnosis and quantification of parasitic worm infection in various animal and human biological tissue samples, with the end goal of a point-of-care, rapid and sensitive diagnostic,
Maggy Lord, Ricardo Soares Magalhaes and Paul Giacomin (The University of Queensland and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Helminth; Parasite

National Health & Medical Research Council - Development Grant

Hookworm peptide therapeutic for oral treatment of IBD

Indicative Funding
$732,700 over 2 years
We intend to develop an orally delivered peptide that can modulate the immune system and be developed as a therapeutic for inflammatory bowel disease. We have identified a peptide, derived from a hookworm protein, that alleviates the clinical symptoms of experimental colitis when orally administered to mice. The peptide has bioactivity with human cells ex vivo and displays desirable drug-like properties. The aim of this project is to acquire further data on the mechanism of action and formulation conditions to facilitate formal product development prior to licensing and clinical trials.
Alex Loukas, Norelle Daly, Paul Giacomin, John Miles, Roland Ruscher, Keith Dredge, Istvan Toth, Mariusz Skwarczynski, Matthew Moyle, Ashley Waardenberg, John Croese, Matt Field and Tony Rahman (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, The University of Queensland and The Prince Charles Hospital)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Peptide; therapeutic; Hookworm; Oral delivery

National Health & Medical Research Council - Project Grant

Hookworm therapy for Coeliac Disease: A randomised, double blink, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Indicative Funding
$865,000 over 5 years
Parasitic worms have an amazing ability to manipulate the immune system, and our research group recently discovered how they may hold the key for treating inflammatory diseases such as Coeliac Disease. The aim of this research is to further develop this novel therapy in a clinical trial and study the mechanism of how worms control the immune response, including identifying the molecules that the worm produces that could be produced as a pill-based medication for treating coeliac disease.
John Croese, Paul Giacomin, Graham Radford-Smith, Tony Rahman and Louise Marquart (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, QIMR Berghofer and The Prince Charles Hospital)
Autoimmunity; Parasite; Inflammation

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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.

  • Airway Resident Memory T Cell Development and Persistence: The Key to Induction of Sterile Immunity against Pulmonary Tuberculosis? (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The Role of Intestinal T Cells in Gut Homeostasis and Disease (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Novel type 2 diabetes therapeutics from recombinant human hookworm secretome (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Understanding Immunogenicity, Safety and Protective Efficacy of next-generation Vaccines for Tuberculosis (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Hookworm Extracellular Vesicle microRNAs target Mammalian Host Genes involved in Inflammation (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Identifying the Antigenic Targets of Protective Immunity in Human Subjects Vaccinated with Irradiated Hookworm Larvae (Masters , Secondary 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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Similar to me

  1. Dr Phurpa Wangchuk
    Biomedical Sciences and Molecular Biology
  2. Dr Karma Yeshi
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences
  3. Prof Norelle Daly
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  4. Prof Alex Loukas
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  5. Dr Roland Ruscher
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine