Special Interest Groups
The ASM is organised into 4 Division each of which contains one or more Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The SIGs cover the major sub disciplines of microbiology and organise meetings according to their needs. The SIGS also help plan symposia and workshops for the Annual Scientific Meetings.
Division 1 - Medical & Veterinary Microbiology
Dr John Merlino
Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Concord NSW 2139
Tel: (02) 9767 6658
Dr. John Merlino is the current Convenor and Chair of the Australian Society for Microbiology Antimicrobial Special Interest Group with 923 ASM members within the Antimicrobial Group. He is a Committee member of the Clinical Standing Committee National Branch Australian Society for Microbiology; Committee member of the Pathology Association Council of Australia and ASM Workforce Committee; Member of the Editorial Board of the ASM journal - Microbiology Australia.
Honorary Associate in the Faculty of Medicine of the Sydney Medical School - Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology of the University of Sydney. A Senior Scientist in the Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Concord Hospital – Sydney South West Area Health Service with over 30 years experience in laboratory practice. Past and present positions include Scientific Adviser to the Commonwealth Government – Australian Government – Medicare MBS - Pathology Service Table Committee Department of Health and Ageing. Reviewer and referee for peer-review journals – RCPA-Pathology, JAC, JCM, AAC, EJCMID, DRUGS, World Health Organisation Bulletins, Microbiology Australia, AIMS Journal. Executive Member of the International Society of Chemotherapy (ISC) and member of ESCMID. His interests include antimicrobial resistance detection and identification, pathogenesis and epidemiology.
Clinical Serology and Molecular
Centre for Infectious Diseases & Microbiology Laboratory Services
Level 3, ICPMR, Westmead Hospital
Westmead NSW 2145
Tel: (02) 9845 6861
Fax: (02) 9633 5314
After completing a Bachelor of Science majoring in microbiology and biochemistry at the University of Sydney, I joined the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR) at Westmead Hospital in 1978 in cytology. In 1981 I joined virology working with tissue cultures and immunofluorescent techniques. I moved to bacteriology in 1986 when I took over leptospirosis diagnostics after the transfer of tests from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at the University of Sydney. In this laboratory I introduced toxoplasma ELISA kits, developed in-house legionella IFAT serology, in-house Lyme borreliosis IFAT, EIA and Western immunoblots, in-house rickettsia and cat scratch IFAT.
In 1995 I finished a Master of Public Health at the University of Sydney with a treatise in tick typhus caused by Rickettsia australis in NSW. Soon after I was made section manager of Serology, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Laboratory Services, ICPMR, combining hepatitis, HIV, bacterial, STD, viral serology and later arbovirus laboratories.
I have been treasurer of the Australian Society for Microbiology NSW Serology special interest group since it’s inception in 1990 and still hold the position of secretary / treasurer. I was a member of the NSW branch committee of ASM from 1991 to 2002 including the last 4 years as chairman. Since 2004 I have been national convenor of the ASM Clinical Serology and Molecular SIG. I also continue to be a standing committee member and scientific adviser for the RCPA serology QAP and a NATA assessor both since 2000.
Dr Sushil Pandey (PhD, MBA)
Myobacterium Reference Laboratory
Clinical and Statewide Services Division | Queensland Health
Tel: (07) 3636 0032
Fax: (07) 3636 1336
A/Prof. Wieland Meyer
Molecular Mycology Research Laboratory
Sydney Medical School-Westmead Hospital
University of Sydney
ICPMR, CIDM, Westmead Hospital
Level 2 Room 3114A
Westmead NSW 2145
Tel: (02) 9845 6895
Prof Steven P. Djordjevic
The ithree Institute
University of Technology, Sydney
PO BOX 123, Broadway
Tel: (02) 95144127
Steven P. Djordjevic is Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Technology, Sydney. His research has been focussed on the identification and functional analyses of surface proteins for vaccine development. He has also examined mechanisms for delivery of subunit recombinant antigens including adjuvant formulation, inoculation route (mucosal and parenteral), and live attenuated versus subunit vaccine antigen delivery.
More recently his research has been directed towards characterising protein surface topography. He pioneered studies directed towards understanding how surface adhesins are modified posttranslationally and championed the concept that Mycoplasmas can regulate their surface topology by endoproteolytic processing. His group have shown that processing events are critical to the generation of functional domains that interact with a variety of host extracellular matrix and circulatory molecules and are important for colonisation of the host. These concepts have been applied to the study of a number of Mycoplasma species and extended to other important bacterial pathogens. More recently his group have applied methods to interrogate the protein surface topography using non-biased systems approaches. Results of these studies have been published in MBio, Molecular Microbiology, Cellular Microbiology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, Journal of Proteome Research, Infection & Immunity, Journal of Bacteriology, Proteomics, Microbiology, Veterinary Microbiology, Microbial Pathogenesis and the Australian Veterinary Journal. Dr Djordjevic has been a member of the IOM since 1994. He is a recipient of the Iowa State University Veterinary Research Prize (2000). He was Team Leader for Porcine Mycoplasma Group of the International Research Program for Comparative Mycoplasmology; Chairman of the Awards Committee (2010) and is an active member of the Scientific Program Committee.
Brien Holden Vision Institute
School of Optometry and Vision Science
University of New South Wales
Level 5, North Wing, Rupert Myers Building
Gate 14 Barker Street
UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052
Tel: (02) 9385 7536
Dr. Hua Zhu is a Senior Research Fellow and Project Manager at the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Sydney, Australia. She was awarded her PhD degree from the University of Sydney, Australia. After joining in the Brien Holden Vision Institute (formerly the Institute for Eye Research), she has been responsible for the projects investigating the virulence factors of ocular pathogens and pathogenic mechanisms of corneal infections and inflammations associated with contact lens wear. Over the years in the field, she has obtained extensive knowledge and substantial research experience in ocular microbiology and ocular infectious diseases. Hua has been a major contributor to the Institute’s efforts in the identification and development of novel antimicrobial agents used in biomaterials (i.e. contact lenses, lens storage cases and catheters) and contact lens care systems. Hua is also a Visiting Fellow at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Australia, and is supervisor of several postgraduate research students. She is a regular reviewer for a range of international journals, has over 50 peer reviewed publications, has contributed to four book chapters and three patents, and has made over 80 presentations at conferences.
Her current research interests include development of new strategies to limit microbial contamination of contact lenses, lens cases and lens care systems during use, and in aiming to control the contact lens-related adverse responses. She is also interested in investigation of bacterial resistance to antibiotics and disinfectants, as well as finding out the possible role of infection in the development of meibomian gland dysfunction.
Parasitology and Tropical Medicine
Dr Andrew Butcher
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
PO Box 14 Rundle Mall
Adelaide SA 5000
Tel: (08) 8222 3534
Mobile: 0401 674 067
Public Health Microbiology
Miss Kerrie Stevens
Microbiological Diagnostic Unit
24 Evelina Street
BALWYN VIC 3103
Work Phone: 03 8344 5713
Other Phone: 03 9347 0244
Veterinary Preclinical Centre
University of Melbourne
Parkville Vic 3052
Tel: (03) 8344 7342
Women's and Children's Microbiology
Ms Anna Maria Costa
Senior Medical Scientist
Royal Children's Hospital
Microbiology And Infectious Diseases
C/o Bio21 Institute
30 Flemington Road
PARKVILLE VIC 3052
Work Phone: 03 8345 3673
Division 2 – Virology
Prof Suresh Mahalingam
Professor of Virology and Principal Research Leader
Institute For Glycomics
SOUTHPORT QLD 4222
Tel: 07 5552 7178
Fax: 07 55528098
Prof Mahalingam has an international reputation in the field of viral pathogenesis and has spent the last 15 years investigating the interactions between viruses and their hosts. He obtained his PhD from the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University. He is currently Principal Research Leader and Professor of Virology at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University and head of the Emerging Viruses and Inflammation Research Group.
Research interest: Investigating mechanisms of how mosquito-borne viruses cause arthritis; Investigating mechanisms of how respiratory viruses exacerbates asthma; Investigating mechanisms of how viruses evade the immune system; Investigating viral factors that enable arboviruses to adapt in mosquitos; Designing and developing antivirals against viruses.
Division 3 - General, Applied and Environmental Microbiology
AQUASIG (Water Microbiology) CURRENTLY INACTIVE
ACT Government Analytical Laboratories
Micro Section, Locked Bag 5
Weston Creek ACT 2611
Tel: (02) 6205 8701
Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals
AMS Laboratories Pty Ltd
8 Rachael Close
Silverwater NSW 2216
Tel: (02) 9704 2300
Paul gained his initial education and training in England, studying at the Universities of Portsmouth, Reading and University College, London where he obtained his PhD in 1980. He migrated to Australia in 1980 to take up a Post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Western Australia.
His professional life has included work in government, research and industrial laboratories, including non-sterile and sterile manufacturing operations. His main interests have been in therapeutic products, both human and animal. For more than 20 years he has worked as a consultant microbiologist and in 1996 founded AMS Laboratories, a Sydney based contract testing laboratory.
He has been active in various committees associated with the Australian Society for Microbiology, Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, Standards Australia and ACCORD (industry association). He is currently national convenor for CAPSIG, a special interest group for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals professionals and is a member of the Council of NATA.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Oxoid Australia Pty Ltd
20 Dalgleish Street
Thebarton SA 5031
Tel: 1800 33 11 63
Culture Media SIG member since 1992, National Secretary (2000-2006) and National Convenor (2006-present).
A contributing member to the first Guidelines on assuring quality of microbiological media, released in 1996.
Co-author of subsequent Guidelines released in 2004.
Senior author and editor of the revised new editions of the Guidelines completed in 2012.
Parasitology and Tropical Medicine SIG, Victorian State Convenor (1996-2004) and National Convenor (2000-2002).
SA Branch committee member 2007, Scientific meetings Convenor 2008-2012.
Tri-State 2011 Scientific Program Convenor.
ASM representative Standards Australia FT-024-01/FT-035, 2008 - present.
Chapter co-author, Manual of Clinical Microbiology, ASM Press, 9th and 10th editions.
Dr. Danilla Grando
PO Box 71
Bundoora VIC 3083
Tel: (03) 9925 7135
Dr. Mark Turner
Senior lecturer in Food Microbiology
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences and Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI)
University of Queensland
St. Lucia Campus, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, 4072
Tel: (07) 33657364
Fax: (07) 33651177
Mark is a Senior Lecturer in food microbiology at the University of Queensland. He teaches food microbiology, safety and biotechnology and leads a research group working in areas of food microbiology including lactic acid bacteria genetics, genomics and applications and dairy sporeformer molecular diagnostics. He is currently a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Food Protection.
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
University of Tasmania
Sandy Bay, TAS 7005
Tel: (03) 6233 6380
Dr Torsten Thomas
School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences
The University of New South Wales
Sydney, NSW 2052
Tel: + 61 (0) 2 938 53467
Mob: +61 (0) 410159525
Fax: + 61 (0) 2 938 51779
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences and School of Veterinary Science
The University of Queensland, Gatton Campus, Lawes, Queensland, 4343, Australia
Tel: (07) 5460 1302
Mitch is a late-phase Doctoral candidate with The University of Queensland School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, undertaking research in Veterinary Microbiology. His research interests include the surveillance of zoonotic and antimicrobial resistant bacteria in food-producing, companion and performance animals in Australia. Concurrent to his PhD commitments, Mitch also assists with microbiological research and teaching at the UQ School of Veterinary Science. He has been actively involved with the ASM Student SIG since 2011.
Probiotics & Enteric Microbial Diversity
University of Queensland
PO Box 3780
Rhodes NSW 2138
Division 4 - Microbial Genetics, Physiology and Pathogenesis
A/Prof Peter Lewis
School of Environmental & Life Sciences
University of Newcastle
Callaghan NSW 2308
Tel: 02 4921 5701
A/Prof Peter Lewis is a molecular microbiologist in the School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Newcastle. Peter moved to Newcastle following a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford. He is interested in fundamental aspects of microbial cell biology and has worked on chromosome replication, cell division, differential gene expression, translation and transcription. His main area of research focus is now on transcription and it’s regulation. The laboratory is interested in how transcription factors modulate transcription, and how the interactions between transcription factors and RNA polymerase can be exploited in the development of new antibiotics. Extensive use is made of model systems such as Escherichia coli (Gram negative) and Bacillus subtilis (Gram positive) as well as important pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter spp.). The laboratory is funded by the ARC and NHMRC, and collaborates with groups within Australia, UK, the Netherlands, France and the Czech Republic, and has recently completed a pan-European collaboration as part of the European Union 6th Framework BaSysBio consortium.