Saoirse Benson

BSc
  • Flinders University
Saoirse Benson

Saoirse studied Immunology at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland for her Honours undergraduate degree. Following this, she moved to Sydney to join the Lymphocyte Signalling Group at UNSW as a research assistant under Prof Katharina Gaus. In 2018 she moved to Adelaide to join the Computational and Systems Biology program in SAHMRI under Prof. David Lynn. She began as a RA but in 2019 began her PhD under Prof. Lynn's supervision at Flinders University where she aims to characterise the mechanisms by which antibiotic exposure in early life modulates immune responses to vaccination. Saoirse and Prof. Lynn recently published a keystone review of this topic in Nature reviews Immunology (Lynn et al. Nature Reviews Immunology 2022). Saoirse has extensive experience in the use of both preclinical mouse models (both specific pathogen free and germ free) and clinical projects (the Antibiotics and Immune Responses (AIR) study, BCG Vaccination to Reduce the Impact of COVID-19 in Healthcare Workers (BRACE) Trial etc).

Beyond her research, Saoirse has also a passion for many topics including the climate crisis, social justice and promoting equity in STEM. She was President of the SAHMRI Student Association in 2021 which involved coordinating events and representing students to the SAHMRI Research Executive Committee. Saoirse is a founding member of the EMBL Australia Student Committee which aims to connect students in the EMBL Australia network and aims to make connections to European EMBL students to foster collaborations. In 2020, she co-ordinated the first virtual EMBL Australia Postgraduate Symposium and chaired the Immunology session.