Program Governance

The Bonn and Melbourne Research and Graduate School is governed by the program committee that consists of both program leads, PIs, diversity- and external representatives, program coordinators and students from each location.

The program committee oversees operational activities and is responsible for defining program objectives, developing program identity, implementing strategic goals and adherence to the IRTG research training policy. 

The training policy for the Bonn and Melbourne Research and Graduate School is governed by the joint PhD framework between both Universities under the Graduate Researcher Agreement in accordance with the Agreement for the Jointly Awarded Doctoral Research Degree signed by the parties dated 1 January 2020 (‘Head Agreement’). The purpose of the Graduate Researcher Agreement is to confirm the agreed arrangements for the joint award of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).


Program Director - Melbourne

Professor Sammy Bedoui, MD

Principal Lecturer and Laboratory Head in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Immunology Theme Leader at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, The University of Melbourne. Sammy has previously held positions at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, the National Institute of Neuroscience in Tokyo and the Hannover Medical School. Sammy is Co-Director of the Bonn and Melbourne Research and Graduate School.

His research has defined how particular types of T cells protect the host from Salmonella infections, uncovering that these responses are regulated through the stimulation of protein complexes within dendritic cells, the so-called inflammasomes. His work on virus infections has identified how different dendritic cell types contribute to the initiation of virus-specific immunity and has delineated how specific viral fragments augment these responses. Ongoing work interrogates the mechanisms by which T cells ‘help’ dendritic cells in driving immune responses. Sammy’s work has shed new light into understanding how dendritic cells integrate multiple signals into protective immunity against infections.

For more information visit Sammy's profile on the Peter Doherty Institute website.

Program Director - Bonn

Professor Christian Kurts, MD

Professor Kurts is the Director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Experimental Immunology at the University of Bonn. Christian has previously spent 3 years working at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne where he worked alongside Professor Jacques Miller. He then returned to Germany and was appointed Assistant Professor within the Department of Nephrology and Immunology at the University of Aachen. In 2003 Christian relocated to the University of Bonn where he was appointed Professor within the Molecular Immunology Department.

Christian is the Co-Director of the Bonn and Melbourne Research and Graduate School. His research examines the mechanisms governing antigen presentation and the ensuing immune response in the defence against infection and in immune-mediated disease. His work focuses on the mechanisms of antigen cross-presentation to cytotoxic CD8 T cells, peripheral immune tolerance of T and B lymphocytes against self-antigens, and the role of dendritic cells in diseases, especially in kidney disease.

For more information please visit the Institute of Experimental Immunology website or Christian's profile

Coordinator - Melbourne

Dr Marie Greyer

Marie is the program coordinator in Melbourne. She completed her MSc in Integrated Immunology at the University of Oxford before commencing her PhD in 2012 in the Laboratory of Prof Sammy Bedoui at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne. During her PhD Marie studied the mechanisms by which T cells ‘help’ DC to integrate multiple signals for the initiation of a protective immune response against viral infection.

In 2016 Marie completed her PhD and joined the Bonn and Melbourne Research and Graduate School as the program coordinator. Marie successfully established many of the international joint PhD program policies and procedures between both Universities and oversees the graduate research candidature management processes for our PhD candidates. Marie ensures that program objectives are met and implemented in accordance with core strategic goals. 

In 2018 Marie and Sammy received the ‘Excellent Award for Internationalisation of Research’ to acknowledge the success and positive impact of the joint PhD program between Bonn and Melbourne University.

Coordinator Bonn

Lucie Delforge

Lucie Delforge is the Bonn-based coordinator of the program. With a BA in Business Administration she started her occupational career in 2009 within the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Experimental Immunology, University of Bonn. In December 2017 she completed her MSc in Public Management at the University of Kassel with a focus on Gender and Academic Science.

Lucie has been vital for the establishment of the joint PhD program in early 2016, and continues to plays a key role in determining overall program goals and objectives. Lucie is responsible for the implementation of core strategic measures for the program in adherence with guidelines of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the University of Bonn. Together with the coordination office in Melbourne she is also closely involved in the coordination between participating principles investigators, students and the IRTG Steering Committee. Her main responsibilities include the coordination of the training program, administrative support for exchange students and overseeing adherence to graduate guidelines of the University of Bonn.