O'Neill Lab - Stem cells and immunology

Migrating kidney cell

Research in the O'Neill Group is focused on the following:

  • Hematopoiesis and microenvironments supporting stem cell differentiation
  • Spleen as a site for extramedullary hematopoiesis
  • Development and function of dendritic cells in normal and disease states.



Helen O'Neill

Helen O'Neill
Helen O’Neill's research encompasses immunology and stem cell biology. She has published in viral and tumour immunology, T cell...

PhD Student

Visiting Fellow

Visiting Scholar


Open to students

Group Leader Helen O'Neill is not currently taking students. Visit the Potential projects page for a list of all available projects.


Selected publications

  • Petvises, S., Talaulikar, D. and O’Neill, H.C. (2015) Delineation of a novel dendritic-like subset in human spleen. Cellular and Molecular Immunology, In press 1.2.15.

    Abbey, J.L., Karsunky, H., Serwold, T., Papathanasiou, P., Weissman, I.L. and O’Neill, H.C.  (2015) Expression of TCR-Vbeta peptides by murine bone marrow cells does not identify T cell progenitors. Journal Cellular Molecular Medicine, In press 29.1.15.

    Ji, J., Griffiths, K., Milburn, P., Hirst, T.R. and O’Neill, H.C. (2015) EtxB alters the activation state of mature dendritic cell subsets. Journal Cellular Molecular Medicine. In press 18.3.15.

    O’Neill, H.C. Delineation of a novel dendritic-like subset in human spleen. (2015) Cellular and Molecular Immunology, In press 1.2.15.

  • Petvises, S. and O’Neill, H.C. (2014) Distinct progenitor origin distinguishes a lineage of dendritic-like cells in spleen. Frontiers in Immunology, 4, Article 501, pp1-11. Doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2013.00501.

    Petvises, S. and O’Neill, H.C. (2014) Characterisation of dendritic cells arising from progenitors endogenous to murine spleen. Plos One 9(2): e88311. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088311.

    O’Neill, H.C., Griffiths, K., Periasamy, P., Hinton, R.A., Petvises, S., Hey, Y.Y. and Tan, J. (2014) Splenic stroma maintains hematopoietic progenitors and supports longterm hematopoiesis. Current Stem Cells Research and Therapy 9(4), 354-363.

    Griffiths, K., Tan, J.K.H. and O’Neill, H.C. (2014) Characterisation of the effect of LPS on DC subset discrimination in spleen. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 18(9), 1908-1912.

    Periasamy P, O'Neill HC. Stroma-dependent development of two dendritic-like cell types with distinct antigen presenting capability. Exp Hematol. 2013;41(3):281-92. (PDF, 1391KB)

    Periasamy, P. and O’Neill, H.C. (2013) In vitro hematopoiesis reveals a novel dendritic-like cell also present in murine spleen. Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 8(5), 365-369. Invited review.  Periasamy P, O'Neill HC. Stroma-dependent development of two dendritic-like cell types with distinct antigen presenting capability. Exp Hematol. 2013;41(3):281-92. (PDF, 1391KB)

  • Periasamy P, Petvises, O'Neill HC. Development of two distinct dendritic-like APCs in the context of splenic stroma. Front Immunol. 2013; doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2013.00073. (PDF, 2013KB)

  • Periasamy P, Tan JK, O'Neill HC. Novel splenic antigen-presenting cells derive from a Lin(-) c-kit(lo) progenitor. J Leukoc Biol. 2013;93(1):63-9. (PDF,1230 KB)
  • O'Neill HC, Griffiths KL, Periasamy P, et al. Spleen as a site for hematopoiesis of a distinct antigen presenting cell type. Stem Cells Int. 2011;doi: 10.4061/2011/954275. (PDF, 3122KB)
  • Tan JK, Periasamy P, O'Neill HC. Delineation of precursors in murine spleen that develop in contact with splenic endothelium to give novel dendritic-like cells. Blood. 2010;115:3678-85. (PDF, 1615KB)
  • Tan JKH, Quah BJC, Griffiths KL, Periasamy P, Hey,Y-Y, O’Neill HC. Identification of a novel antigen cross-presenting cell in spleen: a counterpart to cells produced in long-term culture. J Cell Mol Med. 2011;15(5):1189-99. (PDF, 892KB)
  • Tan JKH, O’Neill C. Investigation of spleen as a niche for hematopoiesis. Transplantation. 2010;89(2):140-5. (PDF, 985KB)
  • Periasamy P, Tan JK, Griffiths KL, et al. Splenic stromal niches support hematopoiesis of dendritic-like cells from precursors in bone marrow and spleen. Exp Hematol. 2009;37:1060-71. (PDF, 1024KB)
  • Tan JK, O'Neill HC. Concise review: Dendritic cell development in the context of the spleen microenvironment. Stem Cells. 2007;25:2139-45. (PDF, 2356KB)
  • Despars G, O'Neill HC. Splenic endothelial cell lines support development of dendritic cells from bone marrow. Stem Cells. 2006;24:1496-504.(PDF, 533KB)
  • O'Neill HC, Wilson HL, Quah B, et al. Dendritic cell development in long-term spleen stromal cultures. Stem Cells. 2004;22:475-86. (PDF, 209KB)
  • Quah B, Ni K, O’Neill HC. In vitro hematopoiesis produces a distinct class of immature dendritic cells from spleen progenitors with limited T cell stimulation capacity. Int Immunol. 2004;16: 567-77. (PDF, 436KB)
  • Despars G, Ni K, Bouchard A, et al. Molecular definition of an in vitro niche for dendritic cell development. Exp Hematol. 2004;32:1182-93. (PDF, 339KB)
  • Wilson HL, O'Neill HC. Identification of differentially expressed genes representing dendritic cell precursors and their progeny. Blood. 2003;102:1661-9. (PDF, 137KB)
  • Wilson H, Ni K, O’Neill HC. Identification of progenitor cells in long term stromal cultures that produce immature dendritic cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2000; 97:4784-89. (PDF, 295KB)

All publications

News & events


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Staff of RSB have been awarded eleven ARC Discovery Grants, two LIEF (Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities) grants and four DECRA (Discovery Early Career Researcher Award) Fellowships.


Helen O'Neill

ANU Inspiring Women feature: Helen O'Neil

Medical research is always portrayed to the public in terms of diseases and the search for cures and exciting new therapies. However, Professor Helen O’Neill admits that the process of research is tough and much more esoteric
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Student profile: Hong Kiat Lim

“The approach of the ANU is a lot about thinking out of the box,” explains Hong Kiat Lim, who completed Honours in immunology.

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