Dr Rebecca Ambrose is a postdoctoral scientist in the fields of cell biology and host-pathogen interactions. She completed her PhD in virology at La Trobe University in 2013 under the supervision of Professor Jason Mackenzie.

Following a short postdoctoral stint at the University of Melbourne, she moved to the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong as an OCE Postdoctoral Fellow. At CSIRO, she played a fundamental role in the team that discovered the new human gene, C6orf106. C6orf106 acts by switching off the innate immune response through blocking the production of type I interferons and the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor, two factors essential in our body’s fight against infectious disease.

In 2018, Dr Ambrose joined the Host-Pathogen Interactions group in the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases at Hudson Institute with Dr Jaclyn Pearson.

Dr Ambrose’s research is primarily driven towards understanding how intracellular host-pathogen interactions contribute to disease pathology and how this can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes. Her work has characterised the viral manipulation of the ER stress response to benefit virus replication, and uncovered a novel link between stress signalling and innate immune responses. Her current studies investigate the role of intracellular stress pathways in the gastrointestinal tract during bacterial and viral infections.

Selected publications

  • Ambrose RL, Liu YC, Adams TE, Bean AGD, Stewart CR (2018) C6orf106 is a novel inhibitor of the interferon-regulatory factor 3-dependent innate antiviral
    response. J Biol Chem May 25. pii: jbc.RA117.001491. doi:

  • Liebscher S, Ambrose RL, Aktepe TE, Mikulasova A, Prier JE, Gillespie LK, Lopez-Denman AJ, Rupasinghe TWT, Tull D, McConville MJ, Mackenzie JM (2018) Phospholipase A2 activity during the replication cycle of the flavivirus West Nile virus. PLoS Pathog 14(4):e1007029.

  • Ambrose RL, Mackenzie JM (2015) Conserved amino acids within the N-terminus of the West Nile virus NS4A protein contribute to virus replication, protein stability and membrane proliferation. Virology 481:95-106.

  • Ambrose RL, Mackenzie JM (2013) ATF6 signaling is required for efficient West Nile virus replication by promoting cell survival and inhibition of innate immune responses. J Virol 87(4):2206-14.

  • Ambrose RL, Mackenzie JM (2011) A conserved peptide in West Nile virus NS4A protein contributes to proteolytic processing and is essential for replication. J Virol 85(21):11274-82.

  • Ambrose RL, Mackenzie JM (2011) West Nile virus differentially modulates the unfolded protein response to facilitate replication and immune evasion. J Virol 85(6):2723-32.