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Sarah Young

Executive Dean - Science

Amo Matua, Pūtaiao

Faculty of Science

17 October 2023

About Professor Sarah Young  

At the University of Canterbury, NZ, reporting directly to the vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Young leads the Faculty of Science as Executive Dean. Prior to this Prof. Young ran the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney, where she holds an adjunct professorial position. She is also the current Board Chair of ESR, one of NZs Crown Research Institutes.



  • PhD, University of Otago, NZ, 2000
  • BSc (Hons) I, University of Otago, NZ, 1996


(2013) Fulbright NZ Senior Scholar Award
(2008) Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship (HRC)

Research interests

Sarah is an academic Immunologist and her current research involves the development of immune therapies (incl vaccines and cell therapies) primarily against cancer. In addition, she has smaller research projects on autoimmunity (IBD and AS). She has experience in both human and mouse models of immunology. Approximately 20% of her academic research activity is associated with contract-based commercial research which cannot be published.


Recent publications

Book Chapters

1.     Neumann S, Shields, N, Peyroux E, Woodall M, Young S, Pattison S. The influence of microbial metabolites in the gastrointestinal microenvironment on anti-cancer immunity "Understanding Tumour Microenvironments", Current Cancer Treatment. ISBN 978-1-78985-654-5.

2. Invited Chapter from book entitled Delivery of Sub-unit Vaccines. The use of Virus-like particles as vaccines. SL Young, B Donaldson, F al Barawani and VK Ward. June 2013. Springer NY, USA.


Refereed Journal Articles

1. Shields NJ, Peyroux EM, Ferguson AL, Steain M, Neumann S, Young SL. 2023. Late state MC38 tumours recapitulate features of human colorectal cancer-implications for appropriate timepoint selection in preclinical studies. Front Immunol. 14: 1152035.

2. Nguyen HV, Campbell K, Painter GF, Young SL, Walker GF. 2022. Effect of carrier molecular weight on physiochemical properties and the in vitro immune-stimulatory activity of the CpG-dextran conjugates. In J Pharmaceutics. In press.

3. Shields NJ, Peyroux EM, Campbell K, Mehta S, Woolley AG, Neumann S, Young SL. 2022. Calpains released from necrotic tumor cells enhance antigen cross-presentation to activate CD8+ T cells in vitro. J. Immunol. In press

4. Turner PR, McConnell M, Young SL, Cabral JD. 2022. 3D regenerative dressing improves healing and modulates immune response in a thermal injury model. Tissue Engineering. in press.

5. Spijkers-Shaw S, Campbell K, Shields NJ, Miller JH, Rendle PM, Jiao W, Young SL, Zubkova OV. 2022. Synthesis of novel glycolipid mimetic of heparin sulfate and their application in colorectal cancer treatment in a mouse model. Chemistry-An Asian Journal. E202200028.

6. Neumann S, Campbell K, Woodall MJ, Evans M, Clarkson AN, Young SL. 2021. Obesity has a systemic effect on immune cells in naïve and cancer-bearing mice. Int J Mol Sc. 22 (16), 8803.

7. Campbell K, Young VL, Donaldson BC, Woodall MJ, Shields NJ, Walker GF, Ward VK, Young SL. 2021. Delivering two tumour antigens surviving and mucin-1 on virus-like particles enhances anti-tumour immune responses. Vaccines. 9 (5) 463.

8. Nguyen HV, Campbell K, Painter GF, Young SL, Walker GF. 2021. Data on the uptake of CpG-loaded amino-dextran nanoparticles by antigen-presenting cells. Data in Brief. 35, 106883.

9. Dowlath S, Campbell K, Al-Barwani F, Young VL, Young SL, Walker GF, Ward VK. 2021. Dry formulation of virus-like particles in electrospun nano-fibres. Vaccines. 9 (3) 213.

10.  Robert C, Tsiampali J, Fraser-Miller S, Neumann S, Maciaczyk D, Young SL, Maciaczyk J, Gordon KC. 2021. Molecular monitoring of glioblastoma’s immunogenicity using a combination of Raman spectroscopy and chemometrics. Spectrochemica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy. 252, 119534.

11.  Nguyen HV, Campbell K, Painter GF, Young SL, Walker GF. 2020. Nanoparticle system based on amino-dextran as a drug delivery vehicle. Pharmaceutics. 12(12):1150.

12.  Woodhall MJ, Neumann S, Campbell K, Pattison ST, Young SL. 2020. The effects of obesity on anti-cancer immunity and cancer immunotherapy. Cancers 12 (5), 1230.

13.  Evgin L, Huff AL, Wongthida P, Thompson J, Kottke T, Tonne J, ….Young SL, Archer G, Sampson J, Pulido J, Sanchez Perez L, Vile RG. 2020. Oncolytic virus-derived type I interferon restricts CAR T cell therapy. Nat Comm. 11 (1), 1-15.

14.  Neumann S, Boothman-Burrell L, Gowing EK, Jacobsen TA, Ahring P, Young SL, Sandager-Nielsen, K, Clarkson AN. 2019. The delta-subunit selective GABAa receptor modulator, DS2, improves stroke recovery via an anti-inflammatory mechanism. Frontiers Neuroscience.13:1133

15.  Kramer K, Young SL, Walker GF. 2019. Data on the uptake of reducible antigen-adjuvant conjugates by dendritic cells. Data in Brief. 23, 103759.

16.  Kramer K, Al-Barwani F, Baird MA, Young VL, Larsen DS, Ward VK, Young SL. 2019. Functionalisation of virus-like particles enhances anti-tumour immune responses. Journal of Immunology Research, vol. 2019, Article ID 5364632

17.  Donaldson B, Lateef Z, Young V, Walker GF, Young SL, Ward VK. 2018. Virus-like particle vaccines: Immunology and formulation for clinical translation. Expert Rev. Vaccines. Sep 17(9):833-849.

18.  F Mainini, SL Young, G Webster, M Eccles. 2018. MIS416 as an siRNA delivery system with the ability to target antigen presenting cells. Nuc Acid Therapeutics. 28:225-232.

19.  MA Evans, R Lim, HA Kim, H Chu, CV Gardiner-Mann, KWE Taylor, CT Chan, VH Brait, S Lee,ON Dinh, AnVinh, TG Phan, VK Srikanth, TV Arumugam, DY Fann, P Luting, W Kwan, LTeo, JABourne, S Neumann, SL Young, EK Gowing, GR Drummond, AN Clarkson, EM Wallace, CG Sobey, BRS Broughton. 2018. Acute or delayed systemic administration of human amnion epithelial cells improves outcome after stroke. Stroke. 49(3): 700-709.

20.  Li K, Donaldson B, Jackson C, Young V, Ward V, Baird MA, Young SL. 2017. Adoptive cell therapy with CD4+ T helper cells and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells enhance complete rejection of an established tumour, leading to generation of endogenous memory response to non-targeted tumour epitopes. Clinical and Translational Immunology. Oct 20;6(10):e160. doi: 10.1038/cti.2017.37. eCollection 2017 Oct.

21.  B Donaldson, F Al-Barwani, SJ Pelham, K Young, VK Ward, SL Young. 2017. Multi-target chimaeric VLP as a therapeutic vaccine in a model of colorectal cancer. Journal of Immunotherapy of Cancer. 2017 Aug 15;5(1):69. doi: 10.1186/s40425-017-0270-1.

22.  M Grant, A Bonato, S Neumann, N Shields, K Kramer, C Jackson, MA Baird, SL Young. 2017. Combining Dendritic Cells & B Cells Enhances Presentation of Oxidised Tumor Antigens. Clinical and Translational Immunology. Jul 7;6(7):e149. doi: 10.1038/cti.2017.28. eCollection 2017 Jul.

23.  Kramer K, Poppe V, Young SL, Walker GW. 2017. Comparative study of 5′- or 3’-linked CpG-Antigen conjugates for the induction of cellular responses. ACS OMEGA. 2(1), 227-235.

24.  Kramer K, Shields NJ, Poppe V, Young SL*, Walker GW*. 2017. Intracellular cleavable CpG oligodeoxynucleotide – antigen conjugate enhances anti-tumour immunity. Mol Therapy. 25:62-70. *These two authors contributed equally. SY corresponding author.

25.  Jemon, K., Leong C-M, Ly K., Young S.L., McLellan A.D. and Hibma, M.H. 2016. Suppression of the CD8 T cell response by human papillomavirus type 16 E7 occurs in Langerhans cell-depleted mice. Scientific Reports Oct 6; 6:34789.

26.  Li K, Baird MA, Jackson C, Ronchese F, Young SL. 2016. Conditions for the generation of cytotoxic CD4 Th cells that enhance CD8 CTL-mediated tumour regression. Clinical and Translational Immunology. Aug 12;5(8):e95. doi: 10.1038/cti.2016.46.

27.  Mainini F, Larsen D, Webster G, Young SL, Eccles M. 2015. Bridging small molecules to modified bacterial particles using a disulphide linkage: MS416 as a cargo delivery system. PloS One. Dec 22;10(12):e0145403

28.  Kim D, Young SL, Grattan DR, Jasoni CL. 2014. Obesity during pregnancy disrupts placental morphology, lipid accumulation, proliferation and inflammation in a sex-specific manner across gestation in the mouse.  Biol Reprod 2014 Jun 90(6); 130

29.  Al Barwani, F, Young SL, Baird M, Larsen D, Ward V. 2014. Manosylation of virus-like particles enhances internalisation by antigen-presenting cells. PloS One   2014. 14:9(8) e104523.

30.  Al-Barwani F, Donaldson B, Pelham S, Young S, Ward V. 2014 Antigen delivery by virus-like particles for immunotherapeutic vaccination. Invited review for Therapeutic Delivery.   5(11): 665-676.

31.  Jemon K, Young V, Wilson M, McKee S, Ward V, Baird M, Young S, Hibma M. 2013. An enhanced heterologous virus-like particle for Human Papillomavirus Type 16 tumour immunotherapy. PloS One Jun 14;8(6):e66866.

32.  Li K, Peers-Adams A, Win S, Scullion S, Wilson M, Young VL, Ward VK, Baird MA, Young SL. 2013. Antigen incorporated in Virus-like particles is delivered to specific dendritic cell subsets that induce an effective anti-tumour immune response in vivo. J Immunotherapy. 36:11-19.

33.  McKee S,Baird MA, Young V, Hayman, C, Hermans I, Young SL, Ward VK. 2012. Virus-like particles and a-galactosylceramide form a self-adjuvanting composite particle that elicits anti-tumour responses. J. Controlled Release.159:338-45.

34.  Tang R, Li K, Wilson M, Both G, Taylor JA, Young SL. 2012. Potent anti-tumour immunity in mice induced by vaccination with an ovine atadenovirus vector. J. Immunotherapy. 35:32-41.

35.  Win SJ, McMillan D, Erington-Mais F, Ward VK, Young SL, Baird MA, Melcher AA. 2012. Enhancing the immunogenicity of tumour lysate-loaded dendritic cell vaccines by conjugation to virus-like particles. Brit. J. Cancer 106:92-98.

36.  Roberts RL, Van Rij AM, Phillips LV, Young S, McCormick SP, Merriman TR, Jones GT. 2011. Interaction of the inflammasome genes CARD8 and NLRP3 in abdominal aortic aneurysms. Artherosclerosis. 218:123-126.

37.  Win SJ, Ward VK, Dunbar PR, Young SL*, Baird MA*. 2011. Uptake and cross-presentation of virus-like particles by dendritic cells requires non-specific endocytosis and MHC-I recycling pathway. Immunol Cell Biol. 89:681-688. *denotes joint equal author.

38.  SL Young, Slobbe LJ, Peacey M, Gilbert S, Buddle BM, Buchan GS. 2010. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of mycobacterial DNA vaccines against Mycobacterium bovis. Immunol Cell Biol. 88:651-657.

39.  Buchan GS, Lee R, Wilson M, Slobbe L, Buddle BM, Young SL. 2010. Strains of Mycobacterium avium differentially activate human dendritic cells. Immunol Cell Biol. 88:95-98.

40.  Lateef Z, Baird M, Wise L, Young S, Mercer A, Fleming S. 2010. The chemokine binding protein encoded by the poxvirus orf virus inhibits recruitment of dendritic cells to sites of skin inflammation and migration to peripheral lymph nodes. Cell Micro. 12:665-676.

41.  Peacey M, Wilson S, Ward V, Ronchese F, Perret R, Young S, Baird M. 2008. Virus-like particles from Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus can induce an anti-tumor response. Vaccine. 26:5334-5337

42.  Williman J, Young SL, Pang, T, Slobbe L, Wilson M, Buchan G, Baird MA. 2008. DNA fusion vaccines incorporating IL-23 or RANTES for use in immunisation against influenza. Vaccine. 26:5153-5158

43.  Sutherland TJ, Cowan JO, Young S, Goulding A, Grant AM, Williamson A, Brassett K, Herbison GP, Taylor DR. 2008. The association between obesity and asthma: interactions between systemic and airway inflammation. Am J.Resp.Crit.Care Med. 178:469-475

44.  Sherwin S, Broadbent R, Young S, Worth J, McCaffrey F, Medlicott N, Reith D. 2008. Utility of IL-12 and IL-10 in comparison with other cytokines and acute phase reactants in the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis. Am J. Perinatol. 25:629-636

45.  Young SL, Slobbe L, Wilson R, Buddle BM, De Lisle G, Buchan GS. 2007. Environmental strains of Mycobacterium avium interfere with immune responses associated with BCG vaccination. Infect Immun.75(6) 2833-2840

46.  Young SL, Wilson M, Wilson S, Beagley KW, Ward VK, Baird MA. 2006. Transcutaneous vaccination with virus-like particles. Vaccine 24(26):5406-5412

47.  Young SL, Buchan G, Slobbe LJ, Williman J, Wilson M, Ward V, Franken M, Baird M. 2004. Novel vaccine formulations to enhance Type 1 immune responses. Immunology 2004. 1:555-563

48.  Young SL, Murphy M, Zhu XW, Harnden P, Selby PJ, James K, Jackson AM. 2004. Cytokine-modified Mycobacterium smegmatis as a novel anticancer immunotherapy. Intl.J. Cancer 112:653-66.

49.  Young SL, Simon MA, Baird MA, Tannock GW, Bibiloni R, Spencely K, Lane JM, Fitzharris P, Crane J, Town I, Addo-Yobo E, Murray CS, Woodcock A. 2004. Bifidobacterial species differentially affect expression of cell surface markers and cytokines of dendritic cells harvested from cord blood. Clin. Diag. Lab. Immunol. 11:686-690

50.  Baird M, Wilson R, Young L, Williman J, Young S, Wilson M, Slobbe L, Lockhart, E and Buchan, G. Bystander help, within a polyepitope DNA vaccine, improves immune responses to influenza antigens. (2004) Scand J Immunol 60:363-371.

51.  Mears R, Craven RA, Hanrahan S, Totty N, Upton C, Young SL, Patel P, Selby PJ, Banks RE. (2004) Proteomic analysis of melanoma-derived exosomes by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D PAGE) and mass spectrometry. Proteomics 4:4019-4031.

52.  Young SL, O’Donnell MA, Buchan GS. (2002) Interleukin 2 secreting recombinant BCG can overcome a Type 2 immune response and corticosteroid induced immunosuppression to elicit a Type 1 immune response. Int. Immunol. 14:793-800.

53.  Young SL, O’Donnell M, Lockhart E, Buddle B, Slobbe L, Luo Y, De Lisle GW, Buchan GS. (2002) Manipulation of immune responses to Mycobacterium bovis by vaccination with IL-2 and IL-18 secreting recombinant BCG. Immunol. Cell. Biol. 80:209-215.

54.  Baird MA, Young SL, Buchan GS. (2001) Improving Vaccine Formulation: Looking for the X-Factors. Modern Aspects of Immunology. 1:256-258.

55.  Buchan GS, Young SL, Lockhart EA, Wales J, Faulkner L, Slobbe L, Baird, MA. Targeting early events in T cell activation to construct improved vaccines. Mol. Immunology. (2000). 37:545-552.


LinkedIn link

Sarah Young - Chair of the Board of Directors - ESR – Science and Research | LinkedIn

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