School of Paediatrics and Child Health

Royce Ng


Royce Ng

School of Paediatrics & Child Health
The University of Western Australia
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children
PO Box D 184, Subiaco
WA 6840

Phone (+61) 9340 8606
Fax (+61) 9388 2097


  • Professor Prue Hart
  • Associate Professor Deborah Strickland
  • Dr Shelley Gorman

Start Date

May 2009

Submission Date

September 2013

Royce Ng


UV-irradiation of skin alters haematopoietic progenitors within the bone marrow and induces the differentiation of regulatory dendritic cells.


The ultraviolet radiation (UVR) component of sunlight is an important environmental factor. It has several biological effects including skin pigmentation, skin aging and systemic suppression of the immune system. The latter can have detrimental consequences including facilitating the development of skin cancer or positive effects such as improving the clinical expression of chronic immune diseases (e.g. asthma, multiple sclerosis). Chronic immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and asthma exhibit positive latitude gradients, that is, have increased incidence of disease with increasing latitude. The involvement of UVR exposure in the prevention of these diseases may be attributed to the ability of UVR to suppress systemic immune responses. However, the mechanism by which UVR dampens systemic immunity is not clearly defined. Our laboratory is focused on investigating novel mechanisms by which UVR causes systemic suppression of the immune system. 

Why my research is important

We have determined that exposure to UVR results in alterations in the function of immune cell progenitors within the bone marrow. The bone marrow acts as a reservoir for immune cell progenitors in the body. 

Furthermore, we have identified that when these bone marrow-derived immune cell progenitors replenish the cells within the body (there is continual turnover of cells), they are able to mediate a reduced immune response to inflammatory insults. We propose this is a mechanism of UVR-induced systemic immune suppression that has yet to be described.  Our future studies aim to translate this knowledge to improve the outcomes of chronic immune diseases such as asthma and multiple sclerosis.


  • Australian Postgraduate Award
  • Stan and Jean Perron Award
  • Telethon Kids Institute Scholarship
  • University of Western Australia Scholarship

School of Paediatrics and Child Health

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Monday, 1 September, 2014 3:14 PM