Dr Rehana Hewavisenti

Dr Rehana Hewavisenti

Research Associate

BSc (Vision Science), BSc (Hons 1; Animal and Veterinary Bioscience), PhD (Medicine)

Medicine & Health
The Kirby Institute

Dr Rehana Hewavisenti is an early career researcher with broad research interests in human translational immunology, with special interests in understanding the immune responses in virally-induced cancer, sepsis and pancreatitis.  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.

Dr Hewavisenti’s main goal is to continue her work in virology, infectious disease and cancer immunology, to better understand how we can better harness the immune system to prevent persistent disease and cancer development. Dr Hewavisenti’s research experience to date has helped develop a strong multidisciplinary profile in translational immunology, T cell biology, molecular biology, and HPV-driven malignancies, where she has gained experience in numerous methodologies such as multi-parameter flow cytometry, multiplex immunohistochemistry and spatial transcriptomics.

Within the Immunovirology and Pathogenesis Program at The Kirby Institute, her work revolves around translational immunology, T cell biology and HPV virally-driven cancer in immunocompromised individuals.

+61 (2) 9348 0827
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Hewavisenti RV; Arena J; Ahlenstiel CL; Sasson SC, 2023, 'Human papillomavirus in the setting of immunodeficiency: Pathogenesis and the emergence of next-generation therapies to reduce the high associated cancer risk', Frontiers in Immunology, 14, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2023.1112513
    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, 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, 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, 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, 24, pp. 3036 - 3045, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-2257
    Journal articles | 2018
    Edwards J; Wilmott JS; Madore J; Hewavisenti R; Ferguson A; Britton W; Menzies AM; Hong A; Long GV; Scolyer RA; Palendira M, 2018, 'The critical role of tumour-resident cytotoxic T cells in human malignancies', Pathology, 50, pp. S47 - S47, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pathol.2017.12.113
    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, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1569

2023-2024    Triple I SPHERE UNSW Theme Seed Grant Scheme

2023              Kirby Institute Emerging Investigator Award

2022              UNSW Research Infrastructure Grant Scheme