Professor Delia Nelson
- Vascular and metabolic disorders
- Inflammation, infectious disease and wounds
- Neurodegenerative disorders
Delia is an immunologist with qualifications in microbiology and organic chemistry, whose research is helping us better understand the immune system’s role in cancers.
In particular, Delia is interested in how the immune system interacts with progressing solid tumours and the use of immune, gene and vascular-based therapies to treat them.
In alignment with CHIRI’s focus on age-associated diseases, as well as the fact that many cancers including lung cancer and mesothelioma emerge in older patients, Delia is also examining why our immune cells change as we age and whether they can be targeted to restore immune function in the elderly.
Our immune system plays a crucial role in eliminating cancerous cells, yet immune function usually deteriorates as we age. Very few studies have examined the role of key immune cells known as macrophages and dendritic cells in cancer and during immunotherapy treatment in the elderly, an issue which Delia and her team are working to change.
Delia recently co-authored a paper on research that found possible links between increased aggression and growth of mesothelioma tumours with age. Understanding how nutrition, in particular lipids, minerals and metals, contribute to healthy and anti-tumour immunity is also an important part of her research.
Research interests – immune system interaction with progressing solid tumours; using immune-based therapies, gene therapies and/or vascular-targeting therapies to treat solid tumours; impact of nutrition on healthy and anti-tumour immunity.