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Kathy Davern

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Laboratory Management

Kathy Davern

Laboratory Head – Monoclonal Antibody (MAb) Facility

Laboratory Management

Kathy Davern

Laboratory Head – Monoclonal Antibody (MAb) Facility


Kathy Davern BAppSc, MSc moved to Western Australia in 2005 to establish and manage the world-class Monoclonal Antibody (MAb) Facility. This Facility currently employs five staff and provides antibody-related services to researchers, commercial and government groups throughout Australia as well as internationally. Kathy also holds a concurrent appointment as Research Manager of Perkins, overseeing research and management related aspects of the Institute. Prior to moving to WA, Kathy worked for over 20 years at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) in Melbourne, and at the Scripps Clinic Research Foundation, La Jolla, California.

During her time at WEHI, Kathy worked in the fields of immunology and immunoparasitology with Professors Sir Gustav Nossal, Graham Mitchell and Graham Brown. Kathy’s research with Graham Mitchell on schistosomiasis involved a collaboration of over 15 years with Prof Edito Garcia, Wilfred Tiu and colleagues at the College of Public Health in Manila, Philippines. This work resulted in the identification of an important schistosome antigen, Sj26, which is now used throughout the world as the basis of the pGEX fusion protein vectors.

Since its inception in 2005, the MAb Facility has attracted a wide range of projects and clients. Current projects include production of antibodies to molecules involved in cancer, diabetes and immune regulation, as well as development of novel approaches to detection and neutralisation of components in Australian snake venoms and cane toad toxin.

Research Interests

Antibody production and immunoassays.
Venoms and toxins.
Parasite immunology.
Vaccine development.

Selected Publications

Davern KM, Tiu WU, Samaras N, Gearing DP, Hall BE, Garcia EG, Mitchell GF. 1990. Schistosoma japonicum: monoclonal antibodies to the Mr 26,000 schistosome glutathione S-transferase (Sj26) in an assay for circulating antigen in infected individuals. Experimental Parasitology 70(3):293-304. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

Davern KM, Wright MD, Herrmann VR, Mitchell GF. 1991. Further characterisation of the Schistosoma japonicum protein Sj23, a target antigen of an immunodiagnostic monoclonal antibody. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 48(1):67-75. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

Biggs BA, Anders RF, Dillon HE, Davern KM, Martin M, Petersen C, Brown GV. 1992. Adherence of infected erythrocytes to venular endothelium selects for antigenic variants of Plasmodium falciparum. Journal of Immunology 149(6):2047-54. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

Reeder JC, Davern KM, Baird JK, Rogerson SJ, Brown GV. 1997. The age-specific prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum in migrants to Irian Jaya is not attributable to agglutinating antibody repertoire. Acta Tropica 65(3):163-73. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

Crabb BS, Cooke BM, Reeder JC, Waller RF, Caruana SR, Davern KM, Wickham ME, Brown GV, Coppel RL, Cowman AF. 1997. Targeted gene disruption shows that knobs enable malaria-infected red cells to cytoadhere under physiological shear stress. Cell 89(2):287-96. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

Reeder JC, Cowman AF, Davern KM, Beeson JG, Thompson JK, Rogerson SJ, Brown GV. 1999. The adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to chondroitin sulfate A is mediated by P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 96(9):5198-202. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

Waterkeyn JG, Wickham ME, Davern KM, Cooke BM, Coppel RL, Reeder JC, Culvenor JG, Waller RF, Cowman AF. 1999. Targeted mutagenesis of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 3 (PfEMP3) disrupts cytoadherence of malaria-infected red blood cells. EMBO Journal 19(12):2813-23. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

Depreter MGL, Blair NF, Gaskell TL, Nowell CS, Davern K, Pagliocca A, Stenhouse FH, Farley AM, Fraser A, Vrana J, Robertson K, Morahan G, Tomlinson SR, Blackburn CC. 2008. Identification of Plet-1 as a specific marker of early thymic epithelial progenitor cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 105(3):961-6. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

Kulawickrama S, O’Leary MA, Hodgson WC, Brown SGA, Jacoby T, Davern K, Isbister GK. 2010. Development of a sensitive enzyme immunoassay for measuring taipan venom in serum. Toxicon 55(8):1510-8. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

Jacoby-Alner TE, Stephens N, Davern KM, Balmer L, Brown SGA, Swindells K. 2011. Histopathological analysis and in situ localisation of Australian tiger snake venom in two clinically envenomed domestic animals. Toxicon 58(4):304-14. [NCBI PubMed Entry]