Dr Anna Brooks

Research | Current

Multicolour Flow Cytometry

I currently manage the Flow Cytometry Centre at the School of Biological Sciences and much of my work is centred on developing multicolour flow cytometry panels to assess the phenotypic heterogeneity of digested tissues. The two main areas that I work in are human immunology and mesenchymal stem/stromal cells.


Human Immunology

  • Characterisation of antigen presenting cells in human blood and tissues (lymph nodes)
  • Characterisation of myeloid cell populations in human blood
  • T cell culture/cloning


Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal cells

  • Characterisation of adipose tissue progenitor cells: in search of the beige/brite fat precursor cells 
  • Characterisation of mesenchymal and vascular cell populations in human skin (dermis)
  • Characterisation of mesenchymal cell populations in the human lymph node




Nature webcast: Addressing the challenges of characterizing mesenchymal populations using multicolour flow cytometry:http://www.nature.com/webcasts/event/multicolour-flow-cytometry/


Postgraduate supervision

PhD students


Yu Yu (Joyce)  Ho: Molecular Programming of human CD8+ T cells​, (with Prof Rod Dunbar and Assoc Prof Roger Booth)

Ray Ge: Activation of immune system by a secreted viral toxin, (with John Taylor)

Daniel Verdon: Human T cell responses to cancer testis antigens, (with Prof Rod Dunbar and Dr. Hilary Sheppard)

Otto Strauss: Liver Antigen Presenting Cells, (with Assoc Prof Adam Bartlett, Assoc Prof Anthony Phillips, Dr Vaughan Feisst, Prof Rod Dunbar)


Anna Boss: The role of Mesenchymal stem cells in placental vasculogenesis: are these perturbed in
pregnancies affected by fetal growth restriction?
(with Dr Jo James and Prof Larry Chamley;  FMHS)

Alicia Didsbury: Molecular characterisation of co-stimulation in human T cells. (with Prof Rod Dunbar and Dr. Hilary Sheppard)

Elyce du Mez:  Can stimulation of human antigen presenting cells with TLR ligands improve their capacity to initiate a T-lymphocyte response to a vaccine targeting cancer. (with Dr. Catherine Angel, Dr. Julie McIntosh, Dr Scott Graham)

Sarah Meidinger: Understanding the role of stem cells in normal human skin, wound healing and disease (with Prof Rod Dunbar, Dr.Vaughan Feisst, Michelle Locke)

Elliott Dunn: Mesenchymal stem cell characterisation and growth from the human epidermis (with Prof Rod Dunbar, Dr.Vaughan Feisst)

Joanna Mathy: Multi-modal studies of macrophages & myeloid cells in the microenvironment of melanoma metastases (with Prof Rod Dunbar and Peter Shepherd)

Jennifer Eom: Human mesenchymal cells in health and disease (with Prof Rod Dunbar and Dr.Vaughan Feisst)

BioMed (Hons) Students


Sotaro Ochiai: A polarising protein in T-lymphocytes:Neuroserpin Expression in human cytotoxic T-cells​ (WIth Assoc Prof Nigel Birch)

Monica Boone: Creating the perfect killer​

Herman Cheung: Functional Characterisation of Progenitor Cells and Fibroblasts in Human Dermis, (with Dr.Vaughan Feisst and Dr Hilary Sheppard)

Katy Seddon: Presentation of tumour antigens to human T cells (with Prof Rod Dunbar).


Manager of the Flow Cytometry Centre

Areas of expertise

Flow Cytometry Manager

  • Multicolour flow cytometry
  • Cell sorting
  • Immune assays

Human Immunology

  • Dendritic cells
  • T cell culture
  • T cell cloning

Mesenchymal Stromal Cells



Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Tuck, N. L., Grant, R. C. I., Jackson, A., Brooks, A. E. S., & Consedine, N. S. (2016). Beyond Self-Report: Performance Measures of Emotional Competencies Predict Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety, Physical Symptoms, Self-Rated Health, and Immunoregulatory Molecules. Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 50 (6), 823-835. 10.1007/s12160-016-9809-5
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nathan Consedine
  • Lorenz, N., Loef, E. J., Kelch, I. D., Verdon, D. J., Black, M. M., Middleditch, M. J., ... Dunbar, P. R. (2016). Plasmin and regulators of plasmin activity control the migratory capacity and adhesion of human T cells and dendritic cells by regulating cleavage of the chemokine CCL21. Immunology and cell biology, 94 (10), 955-963. 10.1038/icb.2016.56
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Evert Jan Loef, Rod Dunbar, Scott Graham, Nigel Birch, David Greenwood, Martin Middleditch, Inken Kelch
  • Fromm, P. D., Kupresanin, F., Brooks, A. E. S., Dunbar, P. R., Haniffa, M., Hart, D. N. J., & Clark, G. J. (2016). A multi-laboratory comparison of blood dendritic cell populations. Clinical & translational immunology, 5 (4)10.1038/cti.2016.5
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rod Dunbar
  • Clark, G. J., Kupresanin, F., Fromm, P. D., Ju, X., Muusers, L., Silveira, P. A., ... Bryant, C. (2016). New insights into the phenotype of human dendritic cell populations. Clinical & translational immunology, 5 (1)10.1038/cti.2015.40
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rod Dunbar
  • Park, T. I.-H., Feisst, V., Brooks, A. E. S., Rustenhoven, J., Monzo, H. J., Feng, S. X., ... Graham, E. S. (2016). Cultured pericytes from human brain show phenotypic and functional differences associated with differential CD90 expression. Scientific reports, 610.1038/srep26587
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31263
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Maurice Curtis, Rod Dunbar, Richard Faull, Michael Dragunow, Scott Graham, Vaughan Feisst, Justin Rustenhoven, Thomas Park
  • McIntosh, J. D., Brimble, M. A., Brooks, A. E. S., Dunbar, P. R., Kowalczyk, R., Tomabechi, Y., & Fairbanks, A. J. (2015). Convergent chemo-enzymatic synthesis of mannosylated glycopeptides; targeting of putative vaccine candidates to antigen presenting cells. Chemical science, 6 (8), 4636-4642. 10.1039/c5sc00952a
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julie McIntosh, Rod Dunbar, Margaret Brimble
  • Brooks, A. E. (2015). Nature Webcast: Addressing the challenges of characterizing mesenchymal populations using multicolour flow cytometry. Nature.com. Related URL.
  • Lorenz, N., Loef, E. J., Verdon, D. J., Chen, C.-J. J., Mansell, C. J., Angel, C. E., ... Birch, N. P. (2015). Human T cell activation induces synaptic translocation and alters expression of the serine protease inhibitor neuroserpin and its target protease. Journal of leukocyte biology, 97 (4), 699-710. 10.1189/jlb.1a0814-392r
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30022
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rod Dunbar, Catherine Angel, Nigel Birch, Chun-Jen Jennifer Chen, Daniel Verdon, Evert Jan Loef

Contact details

Primary location

Level 2, Room 2001
New Zealand

Web links