Dr Rehana Hewavisenti
Research Associate

Dr Rehana Hewavisenti

BSc (Vision Science), BSc (Animal and Veterinary Bioscience), PhD (Medicine)

Medicine & Health
The Kirby Institute

Dr Rehana Hewavisenti is an early career researcher with interests in cellular immunology and cancer immunology, with a passion for understanding the roles of T cells in cancer and viruses. Dr Hewavisenti completed her PhD at the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology and the University of Sydney, where she conducted research focusing on the phenotypic and functional characteristics of tissue-resident T cells in human disease. In 2020, she undertook a Research Officer role at the Children’s Cancer Institute, where her work concentrated on better understanding the immune microenvironment in neuroblastoma and glioblastoma.

Dr Hewavisenti’s main goal is to continue her work in virology and cancer immunology, to better understand how we can harness the immune system to prevent disease establishment, and in the context of cancer, to halt tumour progression and metastasis, and subsequently improve patient survival. Dr Hewavisenti’s research experience to date has allowed her to develop a strong multidisciplinary profile in T cell biology, virology, and cancer immunology, where she has gained expertise in numerous methodologies such as multi-parameter flow cytometry and multiplex immunohistochemistry.

She was recently recruited to the  Immunovirology and Pathogenesis Program within The Kirby Institute, where her work revolves around translational immunology, T cell biology and HPV virally-driven cancer.

+61 (2) 9348 0827
  • Journal articles | 2021
    Hewavisenti RV; Ferguson AL; Gasparini G; Ohashi T; Braun A; Watkins TS; Miles JJ; Elliott M; Sierro F; Feng CG; Britton WJ; Gebhardt T; Tangye S; Palendira U, 2021, 'Tissue-resident regulatory T cells accumulate at human barrier lymphoid organs', Immunology and Cell Biology, vol. 99, pp. 894 - 906, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imcb.12481
    Journal articles | 2021
    Michniewicz F; Saletta F; Rouaen JRC; Hewavisenti RV; Mercatelli D; Cirillo G; Giorgi FM; Trahair T; Ziegler D; Vittorio O, 2021, 'Copper: An Intracellular Achilles’ Heel Allowing the Targeting of Epigenetics, Kinase Pathways, and Cell Metabolism in Cancer Therapeutics', ChemMedChem, vol. 16, pp. 2315 - 2329, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cmdc.202100172
    Journal articles | 2020
    Hewavisenti R; Ferguson A; Wang K; Jones D; Gebhardt T; Edwards J; Zhang M; Britton W; Yang J; Hong A; Palendira U, 2020, 'CD103+ tumor-resident CD8+ T cell numbers underlie improved patient survival in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma', Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2019-000452
    Journal articles | 2018
    Edwards J; Wilmott JS; Madore J; Gide TN; Quek C; Tasker A; Ferguson A; Chen J; Hewavisenti R; Hersey P; Gebhardt T; Weninger W; Britton WJ; Saw RPM; Thompson JF; Menzies AM; Long GV; Scolyer RA; Palendira U, 2018, 'CD103+ tumor-resident CD8+ T cells are associated with improved survival in immunotherapy-naïve melanoma patients and expand significantly during anti-PD-1 treatment', Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 24, pp. 3036 - 3045, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-2257
    Journal articles | 2016
    Hewavisenti RV; Morris KM; O'Meally D; Cheng Y; Papenfuss AT; Belov K, 2016, 'The identification of immune genes in the milk transcriptome of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)', PeerJ, vol. 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1569