Anna-Marie Fairhurst received her PhD in Immunology/Pharmacology at the William Harvey Research Institute at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, University of London in 2002. During her PhD she examined the roles of neutrophil-FcγRIIIb and tristetraprolin (TTP) expression in rheumatoid arthritis under the direction of Nicolas Goulding and Paul Wallace (Dartmouth, NH). From London she moved to the NIH, in Bethesda, Maryland, USA to undertake a postdoc with Peter Lipsky. Projects were focused on the mechanisms of the initiation and progression of autoimmunity. Her main directions were to examine innate regulation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the effects of IL-21 on B cell transcription factors.  In 2004, she moved to Dallas, TX, to continue studying SLE with Ward Wakeland. Her research focused on the genetic and immunological mechanisms which drive SLE pathogenesis using multiple murine models, specifically examining the role of IFNα and the TLRs. Anna-Marie joined A*STAR in March 2010 at the Singapore Immunology Network and transferred to IMCB in 2019.  The overall goal of her lab is to understand the mechanisms that maintain an effective balance in the immune system for efficient protection from infections, cancer and autoimmunity. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the archetypal autoimmune disease, whereby the host’s immune system develops reactivity to self, resulting in systemic inflammation and often, kidney pathology. By studying the immunological mechanisms driving this disease, the crucial mechanisms of immune tolerance and inflammation that are targets for therapy across multiple diseases can be understood. Her lab is translational, working with multiple animal models and clinical human samples. She has also retained a passion for advanced flow cytometry techniques and advancing women in STEM. In her spare time she enjoys running, swimming and chasing after her 3 young children.

Adjunct Positions

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, NTU, Singapore
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, NUS, Singapore

Research Focus

The global increase in the frequency of autoimmune diseases together with the emerging autoimmune-related side effects of cancer immunotherapy have led to a need for further understandings in breaches of tolerance and immune activation. Our research is focused on the mechanisms that maintain the balance of the immune system. Innate immune mechanisms are fundamental for an effective host response to potentially pathogenic organisms. However, dysregulation can result in susceptibility to infections or pathogenic inflammation and autoimmunity. Much of our work to date has focused on the roles of the endosomal innate tolllike receptors (TLR) in the regulation of the immune response in the archetypal autoimmune disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This is a systemic immunological disease whereby the host’s immune system develops reactivity to self, resulting in systemic inflammation and often, kidney disease. The mainstay of therapy since the 1950s has been non-specific immunosuppressants. While these are effective at treating symptoms and tissue manifestations of autoimmune diseases, their non-selective nature also causes broad toxicity profiles.

We are a translational lab, working with multiple animal models and clinical human samples to understand mechanisms leading to systemic autoimmunity so we can improve therapeutic interventions.

Lab Members

Research Officer
Tong Wei TAN


Publications_Anna-Marie Fairhurst (last updated 13 July 2023)