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 obtained her PhD in 2020 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, cancer immunology, clinical immunology, and molecular biology, where she has gained expertise in numerous methodologies such as multiparameter 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-induced cancer.