The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Demelza Ireland

Dr Demelza Ireland

Research Fellow
Biomedical Sciences, School of

Contact details
School of Biomedical Sciences
The University of Western Australia (M504)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6458 1333
BSc PhD W.Aust.
Dr Demelza Ireland completed her Bachelor of Science (with Honours in Microbiology) at UWA. She also holds a Diploma of Modern Languages in German. Her PhD studies were completed in 2006 at UWA and focussed on the role of regulatory T cells in tumour development. She worked part-time from 2007-2012, continuing her interest in regulatory T cells within tumours, as a post-doctoral scientist developing and evaluating novel immunotherapies for cancer at UWA. During this time, she was also instrumental in the establishment of a research team to examine the anti-cancer potential of tea tree oil – particularly focussed on responses. In August 2012, Demelza joined the School of Women’s and Infants’ Health at UWA to broaden her interest in immunology into the field of pregnancy and the prevention of preterm birth.
Key research
Prevention of preterm birth
• Efficacy of novel anti-inflammatories and/or antibiotics to prevent preterm birth
• Maternal immune responses to Ureaplasma Spp.
Immunotherapies for cancer
• Mechanisms of tumour-induced immunosuppression
• Multi-targeted anti-tumour immunotherapies
Tea tree oil as a potential anti-cancer agent
• Development of tea tree oil as a topical chemotherapeutic
• The immune-modulatory effects of tea tree oil
• The ability of tea tree oil to protect against or repair UV-induced DNA damage
Ireland DJ, Greay SJ, Hooper CM, Kissick HT, Filion P, Riley TV, Beilharz MW. Topically applied Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil causes direct anti-cancer cytotoxicity in subcutaneous tumour bearing mice. J Dermatol Sci. 2012 Aug;67(2):120-9.

Kissick HT, Ireland DJ, Krishnan S, Madondo M, Beilharz MW. Tumour eradication and induction of memory against murine mesothelioma by combined immunotherapy. Immunol Cell Biol. 2012 Feb 21. doi: 10.1038/icb.2012.2. [Epub ahead of print]

Ireland DJ, Kissick HT, Beilharz MW. The Role of Regulatory T Cells in Mesothelioma. Cancer Microenviron. 2012 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Kissick HT, Ireland DJ, Greay SJ, Beilharz MW. Mechanisms of immune suppression exerted by regulatory T-cells in subcutaneous AE17 murine mesothelioma. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2010 Nov;30(11):829-34.

Greay SJ, Ireland DJ, Kissick HT, Heenan PJ, Carson CF, Riley TV, Beilharz MW. Inhibition of established subcutaneous murine tumour growth with topical Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2010 Nov;66(6):1095-102.

Greay SJ, Ireland DJ, Kissick HT, Levy A, Beilharz MW, Riley TV, Carson CF. Induction of necrosis and cell cycle arrest in murine cancer cell lines by Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and terpinen-4-ol. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2010 Apr;65(5):877-88.

Kissick HT, Ireland DJ, Beilharz MW. Combined intratumoral regulatory T-cell depletion and transforming growth factor-β neutralization induces regression of established AE17 murine mesothelioma tumors. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2009 Apr;29(4):209-15.

Ireland DJ, Kissick HT, Beilharz MW. Alpha-Tocopheryl succinate: toxicity and lack of anti-tumour activity in immuno-competent mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Feb;46(2):508-12.

Needham DJ, Lee JX, Beilharz MW. Intra-tumoural regulatory T cells: a potential new target in cancer immunotherapy. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 May 12;343(3):684-91.
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Dr Ireland is the deputy-convenor and sponsorship coordinator of the WA ASMR branch. She is also a member of the WA ASI branch committee. Dr Ireland is a co-supervisor for 2 PhD students (UWA, PaLM).
Funding received
Assistant Professor Demelza Ireland 2011, 'Optimisation of a Triple Immunotherapy for Malignant Mesothemlioma - Steps Towards 100% Tumour Cure in 100% of Mice', UWA Research Development Award Scheme.

Associate Professor Manfred Beilharz, Professor Thomas Riley, Dr Sara Greay, Assistant Professor Demelza Ireland, Dr Christine Carson 2009, 'Antitumour Mechanisms of Action and Prophylactic Activity of Tea Tree Oil (TTO)', Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation.

Associate Professor Manfred Beilharz, Assistant Professor Demelza Ireland 2008, 'The Development and Evaluation of an Improved Combined Immunotherapy for Mesotheliomas', Workers Compensation Dust Diseases Board (NSW)
Industrial relevance
Novasel Pty Ltd (Industry Partner)
Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)
Australasian Society for Immunology (ASI)
American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
Australasian Society for Dermatology Research (ASDR)
Honours and awards
2012 American Association of Immunologists Early Career Faculty Travel Award
2010 Nomination UWA Excellence in Teaching Award
2010 UWA Supplementary Travel Award for New Academic Staff
2006 UWA School of Surgery and Pathology Student Presentation Prize, Australian Society of Medical Research Symposium, Perth
2006 Student Presentation Prize, School of Biomedical Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences Research Forum, UWA
2006 Cancer Council of WA Conference Registration Grant
2003 Australian Postgraduate Award
Previous positions
Research Assistant Professor - UWA School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Novasel Australia Pty Ltd, Thomas Riley, Manfred Beilharz, Christine Carson, Sara Rooney, Demelza Ireland, Haydn Kissick. Compositions and methods for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Provisional Australian Patent, 2008.
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

This Page

Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM