Dr Jazmina Gonzalez Cruz

Senior Research Fellow

Frazer Institute
Faculty of Medicine

Senior Research Fellow

Frazer Institute
Faculty of Medicine


I am an enthusiastic immunologist with strong background in molecular biology techniques, including transcriptional profiling and vaccine development (Cruz JL et al., J Virol, 2013; Cruz JL et al., PloS Pathogens, 2011). I have been developing my professional, research and project management skills, as well as contributing intellectually and technically on several diverse academic and industry-based projects, since I began my PhD.

During my Undergraduate Biology studies I was awarded an “Introduction to Research Fellowship” by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education, in order to allow me to join the laboratory of Dr León Barrios and Dr Pérez Galdona at the University of La Laguna. In 2006, I received my Bachelor Degree in Biology Summa Cum Laude (with highest honours), which was followed by postgraduate training at The National Centre of Biotechnology, Spain. I obtained a 4-year PhD Scholarship from the Community of Madrid where I worked in the development of genetically modified vaccines to protect against viral diseases in collaboration with Pfizer®’s animal healthcare division (Cruz JL et.,Virus Res, 2010). In parallel, I described a novel mechanism employed by RNA viruses to evade host innate immunity and modulate the host anti-viral transcriptional profile (Cruz JL et al.,PloS Pathogens, 2011; Cruz et al, J Virol, 2013). During this time I published 6 papers, 3 as a first author in highly rated journals, such as PLOs Pathogens and J. Virology. In 2011, I received my PhD in Molecular Biology with highest grades (Summa Cum Laude).

In 2013, I was awarded a 2-year fellowship from the Bayer-Humboldt Foundation to work as a researcher at the Heinrich Pette-Institute of Experimental Virology (HPI), Germany. I focused on mechanisms that govern the initiation of the adaptive immune response at the natural portal of entry of human viruses, such as the respiratory tract (influenza A virus, IAV) and the skin surface (Rift Valley Fever virus, RVFV), work that led to two publications, including a J. Immunology and one as a first author in the European J. of Immunology. ([…] Cruz JL, et al.,J Immunol, 2014; Cruz et al., Europ J Immunol, 2016).

In 2015, I joined the Wells Group at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, were I was awarded with a 3-year UQ early career fellowship. My research was focused on the development of novel immunotherapies/vaccines for virally associated cancers by regulating the function of cytotoxic T-cells. In 2016, I was awarded with the 3-year UQ-postdoctoral fellowship. During my time at the institute I have received the UQ Travel Award (2016), the UQDI Early career Travel Award (2017) and the Keystone Symposium Travel Award (2017).

In 2019, under the mentorship of Professor Ian Frazer, Dr. Cruz was awarded a 4-year Garnet Passe & Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation grant to develop her research program focused on uncovering mechanisms involved in the immune suppression of cancer patients. Currently, Dr. Cruz leads the Cancer Immunology and Therapy group at the Translational Research Institute and believes that understanding those cancer-led immunosuppression processes in a subset of Head and Neck cancer, Oropharyngeal Squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) and cutaneous SCC, is key to provide new focal points for the development of therapeutic strategies aimed at supporting immune function in H&N patients. To unveil these pathways, her team is profiling the blood and tumours of patients with high-throughput technologies, such as 10X Genomics Spatial Visium, Nanostring DSP GeoMX, Phenocycler and multiparametric flow cytometry. Dr. Cruz group foresees that, the correlation of each patient’s disease profile with their clinical history will help to predict the likelihood of future patients to respond to treatment and will assist in the selection of tailored approaches based on each patient’s own disease characteristics.

I successfully collaborate on interdisciplinary projects in Australia and overseas, including professional collaborations with Dr. Fiona Simpson (Translational Research Institute, Brisbane), with Dr. Roberta Mazzieri and Prof. Richardo Dolcetti (TRI, Brisbane), with Prof. Nicole La Gruta (Monash University, Melbourne), with A/Prof. Scott Byrne (Sydney Medical School), with Prof. Sine Reker Hadrup (National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen), with Juan Carlos Oliveros and Dr. Silvia Gutierrez (National Centre of Biotechnology, Madrid), and an industrial collaboration with Jingang and Vaxxas (Brisbane).

I am an active member of the scientific community at the University of Queensland participating as member of several committees, such as SBMS honours student, TRI BRF committees and Deputy Chair of the animal Ethics committee and I externally contribute by acting as an expert in the evaluation of Spanish research projects.

I collaborate with Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation (ACCF) acting as an awareness ambassador and I volunteer for Precious Paws Animal Rescue (PPAR) providing a home to dogs in need until they find their FURever family.

Research Impacts

Publication Quality

To date, I have published 24 indexed journal articles, with 2 publications in the top 5% and 1 publication in the top 10% most cited publications worldwide (field-weighted) (SciVal, May 2022). I am the first (5/24) or co-first (3/24) author on 40% of my papers and senior (last) author in 3 recent paper, recognising my major contributions and evidencing my leadership of the research from project design, data analysis and write-up. Multi-author papers are common in my field, evidencing the large collaborative and multidisciplinary effort required to produce impactful research outputs. In these papers published in prestigious journals such as Cell, Scientific Reports or Journal of Leukocyte Biology, I have significantly contributed as an expert in the fields of molecular and cellular biology and animal models for experimentation and test of the group’s hypothesis.

My research is consistently published in respected high-quality journals with ~95% of my publications in journals rated in Q1 journal percentile (SciVal, Dec/2022); I have published in Cell as a co-first author, the highest ranked journal in the SJR category of Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (1/271). Collectively, my publications have been cited >650 times and in the period 2009-2022, my average citation rate was 27 per journal article, which exceeds that of the average molecular & cell biologist researcher with a similar amount of opportunity working at UQ (14.2 average citation) and Go8 (14.3 average citation) (Scopus, Dec 2022).

My yearly citations have quintupled from 23 in 2018 to 136 citations in 2022 (Scopus, Dec/2022). I have published in the prestigious Journal of Immunology – the most frequently cited immunological journal, and in PloS Pathogens – the 2nd most relevant journal in the Virology category (2/78; SJR;) and 10th in Immunology (10/204; SJR). In the past two years, I have published in two of the top 10 journals in the SJR category of Multidisciplinary: Scientific Reports – (9/145; SJR) and Science Advances – (3/145; behind Nature and Science).

I have also published across multiple disciplines, including three papers in Journal of Virology (SJR Virology, 4/73), International Journal of Cancer (SRJ Oncology; 43/367), and Journal of Leukocyte Biology(SRJ Hematology 22/76). Thematically, my work is also cited broadly by 19 different subject categories ranging from my main areas of Medicine, Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology to Veterinary Science and Neuroscience – this demonstrates the ability of my work to translate into different disciplines. My work has been cited by researchers working in over 55 countries, with the largest concentrations in Europe, the USA, China and Canada. In addition, my research has demonstrated longevity with publications from over 10 years ago still being cited as recently as 202 (Scopus, Dec 2022).

My work has been cited by researchers working in 160 institutions including many prestigious universities, research institutions, government departments and medical centres, such as National Institutes of Health (NIH), University of Oxford, Wuhan University and Imperial College London. My increasing international presence is further evidenced by a track record of over 60% of my publications involving international collaborators across academia and industry (SciVal, May 2022).

Research Income

I have secured a total of $2.2M in competitive funding as an investigator, including $785k as the lead investigator. My aggregate grant income has shown a consistent upward trajectory, increasing from $132K in 2013-2015 to $371K in 2016-2018 to $1.7M in 2019-2026.


  • Doctor of Philosophy


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Tan, Xiao, Causer, Andrew, Vo, Tuan Quang Anh, Ma, Ning, Cheikh, Bassem Ben, Genovesi, Laura, Gonzalez-Cruz, Jazmina, Nguyen, Quan and Braubach, Oliver (2023). Applying spatial omics and computational integrative analyses to study drug responses and cancer immune cell interactions. AACR Annual Meeting 2023, Orlando, FL United States, 14-19 April 2023. Philadelphia, PA United States: American Association for Cancer Research. doi: 10.1158/1538-7445.am2023-4703

  • Wright, Q., Sinha, D., Gonzalez-Cruz, J., Frazer, I. and Leggatt, G. (2022). Targeting of immune regulatory proteins through locoregional delivery of mAbs augments CD8 T cell mediated anti-tumour responses in vivo. ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress 2022, Geneva, Switzerland, 7-9 December 2022. Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.iotech.2022.100289

  • He, Xuzhi, Gonzalez Cruz, Jazmina , Simpson, Finoa and Wells, James (2016). Preclinical modeling of EGFR-specific mAb and immune pathways that impact immunotherapics for squamous cell carcinoma. Joint meeting of the Australasian Wound and Tissue Repair Society (AWTRS) and the Molecular & Experimental Pathology Society of Australasia (MEPSA), Melbourne, Australia, 7-9 November 2016. Hoboken, NJ, United States: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Bridge, Jennifer A., Overgaard, Nana H., Cruz, Jazmina L. G., Veitch, Margaret, Frazer, Ian H., Steptoe, Raymond J. and Wells, James W. (2016). Novel regulators of CD8 T-cell functions in the skin. Joint meeting of the Australasian Wound and Tissue Repair Society (AWTRS) and the Molecular and Experimental Pathology Society of Australasia (MEPSA), Melbourne, Australia , November 7–9, 2016. Hoboken, NJ, United States: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. doi: 10.1111/wrr.12489

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision