Dr Marcela Montes de Oca


Research Associate

Role at Hull York Medical School

I am an Academic Researcher at the Centre for Immunology and Infection.


I am an immunology & infectious diseases researcher, passionate about understanding how immune responses are generated. My research has largely focused on understanding cell intrinsic and extrinsic factors that regulate CD4+ T cell responses, particularly during the context of infection and inflammation. If we can understand how immune responses are generated and regulated, this presents an ideal opportunity to target them for therapeutic advantage. I have extensive experience in multi-colour flow cytometry, cell-based assays (human and mouse), fluorescence microscopy and expertise with pre-clinical models of infectious diseases, including malaria and leishmaniasis.


Identified the establishment of immunoregulatory networks upon first exposure to parasite during controlled human malaria infections (in collaboration with James McCarthy and Q-Pharm, Brisbane, Australia).


Selected publications

Patrick T. Bunn, Marcela Montes de Oca (joint first author), Fabian de Labastida Rivera, Rajiv Kumar, Chelsea L. Edwards, Rebecca J. Faleiro, Susanna S. Ng, Meru Sheel, Yulin Wang, Fiona H. Amante, Ashraful Haque and Christian R. Engwerda, Galectin-1 Impairs the Generation of Anti-Parasitic Th1 Cell Responses in the Liver during Experimental Visceral Leishmaniasis, Immunol. 2017, 8:1307. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01307.

Ping Zhang, Jason S. Lee, Kate H. Gartlan, Iona S. Schuster, Iain Comerford, Antiopi Varelias, Ashik Ullah, Slavica Vuckovic, Motoko Koyama, Rachel D. Kuns, Kelly R. Locke, Kirrilee J. Beckett, Stuart D. Olver, Luke D. Samson, Marcela Montes de Oca, Fabian de Labastida Rivera, Andrew D. Clouston, Gabrielle T. Belz, Bruce R. Blazar, Kelli P. MacDonald, Shaun R. McColl, Ranjeny Thomas, Christian R. Engwerda, Mariapia A. Degli-Esposti, Axel Kallies, Siok-Keen Tey and Geoffrey R. Hill, Eomesodermin promotes the development of type 1 regulatory T (TR1) cells, Science Immunology, 2, eaah7152 (2017) 7 April 2017.

Jessica R. Loughland, Gabriela Minigo, Derek S. Sarovich, Matt Field, Peta E. Tipping, Marcela Montes de Oca, Kim A. Piera, Fiona H. Amante, Bridget E. Barber, Matthew J. Grigg, Timothy William, Michael F. Good, Denise L. Doolan, Christian R. Engwerda, Nicholas M. Anstey, James S. McCarthy & Tonia Woodberry, Plasmacytoid dendritic cells appear inactive during sub-microscopic Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage infection, yet retain their ability to respond to TLR stimulation, Scientific Reports, 2017 Jun 1;7(1):2596. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02096-2.

Marcela Montes de Oca, Michael F. Good, James McCarthy and Christian R. Engwerda, The Impact of Established Immunoregulatory Networks on Vaccine Efficacy and the Development of Immunity to Malaria, J Immunol. 2016 Dec 15;197(12):4518-4526.

Ismail Sebina, Kylie R. James, Megan S. F. Soon, Lily G. Fogg, Shannon E. Best, Fabian de Labastida Rivera, Marcela Montes de Oca, Fiona H. Amante, Bryce S. Thomas, Lynette Beattie, Fernando Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes, Mark J. Smyth, Paul J. Hertzog, Geoffrey R. Hill, Andreas Hutloff, Christian R. Engwerda, Ashraful Haque, IFNAR1-Signalling Obstructs ICOS-mediated Humoral Immunity during Non-lethal Blood-Stage Plasmodium Infection, PLoS Pathog 12(11): e1005999. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1005999.

Marcela Montes de Oca, Rajiv Kumar, Fabian de Labastida Rivera, Fiona H. Amante, Meru Sheel, Rebecca J. Faleiro, Patrick T. Bunn, Shannon E. Best, Lynette Beattie, Susanna S. Ng, Chelsea L. Edwards, Glen M. Boyle, Ric N. Price, Nicholas M. Anstey, Jessica R. Loughland, Julie Burel, Denise L. Doolan, Ashraful Haque, James S. McCarthy and Christian R. Engwerda, Type I Interferons Regulate Immune Responses in Humans with Blood-Stage Plasmodium falciparum Infection, Cell Reports 17, 399–412, October 4, 2016.

Marcela Montes de Oca, Rajiv Kumar, Fabian de Labastida Rivera, Fiona H Amante, Meru Sheel, Rebecca J. Faleiro, Patrick T. Bunn, Shannon E. Best, Lynette Beattie, Susanna S. Ng, Chelsea L. Edwards, Werner Muller, Erika Cretney, Stephen L. Nutt, Mark J. Smyth, Ashraful Haque, Geoffrey R. Hill, Shyam Sundar, Axel Kallies and Christian R. Engwerda, Blimp-1-Dependent IL-10 Production by Tr1 Cells Regulates TNF-Mediated Tissue Pathology, PLoS Pathog 12(1): e1005398. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005398.

Rebecca J. Faleiro, Rajiv Kumar, Patrick T. Bunn, Neetu Singh, Shashi Bhushan Chauhan, Meru Sheel, Fiona H. Amante, Marcela Montes de Oca, Chelsea L. Edwards, Susanna S. Ng, Shannon E. Best , Ashraful Haque, Lynette Beattie, Louise M. Hafner, David Sacks, Susanne Nylen, Shyam Sundar and Christian R. Engwerda, Combined Immune Therapy for the Treatment of Visceral Leishmaniasis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 10(2): e0004415. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004415.

Meru Sheel, Lynette Beattie, Teija C. M. Frame, Fabian de Labastida Rivera, Rebecca J. Faleiro, Patrick T. Bunn, Marcela Montes de Oca, Chelsea L. Edwards, Susanna S. Ng, Rajiv Kumar, Fiona H. Amante, Shannon E. Best, Shaun R. McColl, Antiopi Varelias, Rachel D. Kuns, Kelli P. A. MacDonald, Mark J. Smyth, Ashraful Haque, Geoff R. Hill and Christian R. Engwerda, IL-17A–Producing γδ T Cells Suppress Early Control of Parasite Growth by Monocytes in the Liver, J Immunol. 2015, Dec 15; 195(12): 5707–17.

Chelsea L. Edwards, Shannon E. Best, Sin Yee Gun, Carla Claser, Kylie R. James, Marcela Montes de Oca, Ismail Sebina, Fabian de Labastida Rivera, Fiona H. Amante, Paul J. Hertzog, Christian R. Engwerda, Laurent Renia and Ashraful Haque, 2014, Spatio-temporal requirements for IRF7 in mediating Type I IFN-dependent susceptibility to blood-stage Plasmodium infection, Eur J Immunol. 2014 Oct 16; doi: 10.1002/eji.201444824.

  • Professor Christian Engwerda (Brisbane, Australia)
  • Professor James McCarthy (Brisbane, Australia)
  • Associate Professor Ashraful Haque (Brisbane, Australia)
  • Professor Axel Kallies (Melbourne, Australia)
  • Professor Geoffrey Hill (Brisbane, Australia)
  • Professor Nicholas Anstey (Darwin, Australia)
  • Professor Ric Price (Darwin, Australia)
  • Professor Jude Uzonna (Winnipeg, Canada)
Honours and awards
  • 2018: QIMR Berghofer SEED Grant
  • 2017: Bridge Program Scholarship and Travel Award – QUT and MTP Connect
  • 2015: QIMR Berghofer International Travel Award
  • 2014: Peter Doherty Medal
  • 2012 – 2015: Australian Postgraduate Award