Prof La Gruta completed her BSc(Hons) and PhD research at Monash University in 2000, investigating the role of CD4+ T cells in autoimmune disease. She completed 2 years of postdoctoral research in the Department of Immunology at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, investigating T cell receptor signaling. In 2002 she returned to the University of Melbourne to join the laboratory of Laureate Prof Peter Doherty. Since 2007, Prof La Gruta has maintained an independent research program investigating determinants of effective antiviral CD8+ T cell responses with grant support from the NHMRC and University of Melbourne, and Fellowship support from the NHMRC and Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation. She recently relocated her laboratory to Monash University in April 2016.