Theme Member
Dr Stephen Blake

Stephen studied Immunology and Biochemisty at the University of Adelaide, graduating with first class honours in 2004. He continued his study in Adelaide, undertaking a PhD at the University of Adelaide and Hanson Institute. During this period he evaluated how tyrosine kinase inhibitors, an emerging therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia also can dampen host immune responses. In 2009 he moved to Brisbane to take up a University of Queensland Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Diamantina Institute. Here he worked to develop novel cancer therapies to enhance host immune responses against cancer cells. These included dual functional siRNA that could both inhibit oncogene expression in cancer cells and activate host immune responses through TLR7 signalling. He also evaluated the role of the T-cell checkpoint PD-1 in mediating T-cell tolerance and how blockade can enhance adoptive immunotherapy in tumor bearing mice. This interest in immunotherapy was continued as he moved to the QIMR-Berghofer institute in Brisbane. During this period his worked helped identify new members of the nectin interacting receptors as potential targets to enhance natural killer cell control of metastases. He was also involved in developing a pre-clinical model to test for toxicity and anti-tumor efficacy of novel immunotherapies before they are used in patients. Stephen moved back to Adelaide in 2016 to join David Lynn’s group at SAHMRI to investigate the how microbiome dysregulation can alter immune responses.


Liu, J., S. J. Blake, M. C. Yong, H. Harjunpaa, S. F. Ngiow, K. Takeda, A. Young, J. S. O'Donnell, S. Allen, M. J. Smyth and M. W. Teng.Improved efficacy of neoadjuvant compared to adjuvant immunotherapy to eradicate metastatic disease. Cancer Discovery. 2016 epub Sept. 23.

Ngiow, S. F., A. Young, S. J. Blake,G. R. Hill, H. Yagita, M. W. Teng, A. J. Korman and M. J. Smyth. Agonistic CD40 mAb-Driven IL12 Reverses Resistance to Anti-PD1 in a T-cell-Rich Tumor. Cancer Res. 2016 76(21): 6266-6277.

Blake, S. J*., W. C. Dougall*, J. J. Miles, M. W. Teng and M. J. Smyth. Molecular Pathways: Targeting CD96 and TIGIT for Cancer Immunotherapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2016 22(21): 5183-5188.

*Equal first author

Laetitia Le Texier, Katie Lineburg, Benjamin Cao, Cameron McDonald-Hyman, Lucie Leveque-ElMouttie, Jemma Nicholls, Michelle Melino, Blessy C Nalkurthi, Kylie Alexander, Bianca Teal, Stephen Blake, Fernando Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes, Christian Engwerda, Rachel Kuns, Steven Lane, Michele Teng, Charis Teh, Daniel Gray, Andrew Clouston, Susie Nilsson, Bruce R. Blazar, Geoffrey Hill, Kelli MacDonald.Autophagy-dependent regulatory T-cells are critical for the control of graft-versus-host disease. JCI Insight. 2016 1(15): e86850.

Arabella Young, Shin Foong Ngiow, Deborah S. Barkauskas, Erin Sult, Carl Hay, Stephen J. Blake, Qihui Huang, Jing Liu, Kazuyoshi Takeda, Michele W. L. Teng, Kris Sachsenmeier, Mark J. Smyth.Co-inhibition of CD73 and A2AR adenosine signaling improves anti-tumor immune responses. Cancer Cell. 2016 30(3): 391-403.

Jing Liu*, Stephen J. Blake*, Heidi Harjunpaa, Kirsten A. Fairfax, Michelle C. R. Yong, Stacey Allen, Holbrook E. Kohrt, Kazuyoshi Takeda, Mark J. Smyth, Michele WL Teng.Assessing immune-related adverse events of efficacious combination immunotherapies in preclinical models of cancer. Cancer Res. 2016 76(18): 5288-5301 *Equal first author

Fernando Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes, Stephen J Blake,Amani Makkouk, Cariad Chester, Holbrook E Kohrt, Mark J Smyth. Anti-CD137 enhances anti-CD20 therapy of systemic B-cell lymphoma with altered immune homeostasis but negligible toxicity. OncoImmunology. 2016 5(7): e1192740.

Blake, S. J., K. Stannard, J. Liu, S. Allen, M. C. Yong, D. Mittal, A. Roman Aguilera, J. J. Miles, V. P. Lutzky, L. Ferrari de Andrade, L. Martinet, M. Colonna, K. Takeda, F. Kuhnel, E. Gurlevik, G. Bernhardt, M. W. Teng and M. J. Smyth. Suppression of metastases using a new lymphocyte checkpoint target for cancer immunotherapy. Cancer Discovery. 2016 Apr;6(4):446-59

Stephen J.P. Blake*, Alan L.H. Ching*, Ryan Galea, Tony J. Kenna, Hideo Yagita and Raymond J. Steptoe. Blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 promotes adoptive T-cell immunotherapy in a tolerogenic environment. PLOSone. 2015 Mar 5;10(3):e0119483

*Equal first author

J Liu, SJ Blake, MJ Smyth, MWL Teng.Improved mouse models to assess tumour immunity and irAEs after combination cancer immunotherapies. Clinical & Translational Immunology. 2014 Aug 1;3(8):e22

SJ Blake, MWL Teng. Role of IL-17 and IL-22 in autoimmunity and cancer. Actas dermo-sifiliograficas. 2014 Oct; 105, 41-50

Norliana Khairuddin*, Stephen J Blake*, Farah Firdaus, Raymond J Steptoe, Mark A Behlke, Paul J Hertzog, Nigel AJ McMillan. In vivo comparison of local versus systemic delivery of immunostimulating siRNA in HPV-driven tumours. Immunol Cell Biol. 2014 Feb;92 (2), 156-163

*Equal first author

AB Lyons, SJ Blake and KV Doherty. Flow cytometric analysis of cell division by dilution of CFSE and related dyes. Current Protocols in Cytometry. 2013 Mar, 9.11. 1-9.11. 12.

Blake SJ, Hughes TP, Lyons AB. Drug interaction studies evaluating T cell proliferation reveal distinct activity of dasatinib and imatinib in combination with cyclosporine A. Exp Hematol. 2012 Aug;40(8):612-21

Blake SJ, Bokhari FF, McMillan NA. RNA interference for viral infections. Curr Drug Targets. 2012 Oct;13(11):1411-20.

Khairuddin N, Gantier MP, Blake SJ,Wu SY, Behlke MA, Williams BR, McMillan, N. A. siRNA-induced immunostimulation through TLR7 promotes antitumoral activity against HPV-driven tumors in vivo. Immunol Cell Biol. 2012 Feb;90(2):187-96

Fraser CK, Blake SJ,Diener KR, Lyons AB, Brown MP, Hughes TP, Hayball JD. Dasatinib inhibits recombinant viral antigen-specific murine CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses and NK cell cytolytic activity in vitro and in vivo, Exp Hematol 2009 37(2): 256-265.

Blake SJ, Lyons AB, Hughes TP. Nilotinib inhibits the Src-family kinase LCK and T-cell function in vitro. J Cell Mol Med 2009 13(3): 599-601.

Blake SJ, Bruce Lyons A, Fraser CK, Hayball JD, Hughes TP. Dasatinib suppresses in vitro natural killer cell cytotoxicity. Blood. 2008 Apr 15;111(8):4415-6.

Blake S, Hughes TP, Mayrhofer G, Lyons AB. The Src/ABL kinase inhibitor dasatinib (BMS 354825) inhibits function of normal human T-lymphocytes in vitro. Clin Immunol. 2008 June;127(3):330-9.

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SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna Nation.

The SAHMRI community acknowledges and respects the traditional owners, the family clans who are the Kaurna Nation from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia. We acknowledge the clans of the Kaurna Nation and the sacred knowledge they hold for their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna Nation, their ancestors and the descendants of these living family clans today.