Dr Catherine Elizabeth Angel

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

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Senior Lecturer

Research | Current

Antigen presenting cells (APCs) are the sentinel cells of the immune system. APCs have the capacity to detect invading pathogens and stimulate a tailored immune response. APCs are therefore often considered as potential therapeutic targets.

My team’s research focus is the study of the APC populations in human tissues e.g. blood, skin, lymph node and the tissues of the central nervous system. We aim to determine the precise role that human APC subsets have in initiating and mediating immune responses, in particular T-lymphocyte responses to pathogens or vaccines.

We are also interested in the human lymph node; APCs drain from peripheral tissues into lymph nodes and it is here that they encounter and stimulate blood derived T-lymphocytes. We study how the cellular architecture of the lymph node (e.g. the fibroreticular and endothelial networks) helps orchestrate an immune response. In addition to these core projects, we are involved in related research programmes that we have established with collaborators.

We conduct our research using cells isolated from human tissue. This enables us to generate valuable human data relevant to immunologists and the pharmaceutical industry. We utilise a wide variety of techniques including novel cell isolation and culture procedures, fluorescent immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry.

Current projects

  • Determining how human antigen presenting cells respond to foreign pathogens
  • Characterisation of antigen presenting cells in human skin
  • Antigen presentation to human T-lymphocytes - in collaboration with Prof. Rod Dunbar (SBS, UoA)
  • Structural components of the human lymph node - in collaboration with Prof. Rod Dunbar (SBS, UoA)
  • Identification of Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2) positive immune cells in multiple sclerosis lesions in the human brain and investigation of physiological function of CB2 in disease - in collaboration with Dr Scott Graham (FMHS, UoA)
  • Determining how inflammatory mediators influence human endothelial cells - in collaboration with Dr Scott Graham (FMHS, UoA)

Teaching | Current

BIOSCI101 - Cell and Molecular Biology (1st Semester)

BIOSCI356 - Developmental Biology and Cancer (1st Semester)

BIOSCI759 - Cellular and Molecular Biomedicine (Co-ordinator) (2nd Semester)

Postgraduate supervision

PhD students

Elyce du Mez

Akshata Anchan (with Dr ES Graham, FMHS)

Rebecca Johnson (with Dr ES Graham, FMHS)


BBiomedSc (Hons) student

Laverne Robilliard (with Dr ES Graham, FMHS)



Director, BSc Biomedical Science

Areas of expertise


Human immunology

Cell Biology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)


Contact details

Office hours

Mon, Tues, Wed (4hrs) and Thurs.

Primary office location

Level 2, Room 2018
New Zealand

Web links