Professor Dena Lyras is an ARC Future Fellow located in the Department of Microbiology at Monash University. Her research team has developed new and innovative ways by which disease-causing clostridial species can be genetically manipulated and they have used these tools to understand the role played by regulatory and virulence factors encoded by this group of bacteria. Her studies are focussed on gut pathogens, particularly those involved in antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, and examine how these pathogens interact with the host and cause disease. Using these research outcomes, her team is developing specific immunotherapeutic products for the prevention and treatment of these infections. Antibiotic resistance and DNA mobility are also studied in her laboratory, in the context of gut pathogens and antibiotic-associated diarrhoeal disease.
Prof Roy Robins-Browne | Immediate Past President
Professor Roy Robins-Browne began his research career after studying medicine, specialising in pathology, in South Africa. He migrated to Australia in 1982 to take up a position as Reader in Microbiology at the University of Melbourne. Professor Robins-Browne has worked as a clinical microbiologist in hospitals in South Africa and Australia. He was Director of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Royal Children's Hospital and was the inaugural Professor/Director of Microbiological Research at the Royal Children's Hospital and the University of Melbourne.
Professor Robins-Browne currently holds one of two Chairs of Microbiology and Immunology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, the University of Melbourne. He is also an honorary research professor of medicine at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.
Professor Robins-Browne has had a long career of research into antimicrobial chemotherapy and the pathogenesis of bacteria that cause gastroenteritis, particularly E. coli . He has authored or co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles on these topics. Professor Robins-Browne is also a major contributor to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and learning in medical microbiology at the University of Melbourne.
Dr Kate Seib | Vice President, Scientific Affairs
Dr Seib is a Group Leader at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University (Gold Coast). She completed a PhD in microbiology in 2004 from the University of Queensland, spent several years at Novartis Vaccines (Siena, Italy), and returned to Australia in 2012. Herresearch is currently focused on understanding the processes involved in host colonisation and disease, with the aim to identify therapeutic targets of bacterial pathogens including Neisseriagonorrhoeae (causes the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhoea, which can lead to infertility), Neisseriameningitidis (causes sepsis and meningitis)and Moraxellacatarrhalis and non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (causes middle ear infections and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
Dr Rebecca LeBard | Vice President, Communications
Dr Rebecca LeBard as a lecturer in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular sciences at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). She completed a BSc (hons) later completed her PhD, both at the University of Sydney, on the molecular characterisation of mechanisms maintaining multi-drug resistance plasmids in Staphylococcus aureus. In her current position, Rebecca has investigated how plasmid DNA is inherited in Archaea, how microbial molecular markers can be used to trace sources of water pollution, and the microbiological production of secondary metabolites. She is education-focused and teaches a range of undergraduate courses in the Faculties of Science and Medicine. In recognition for her work, Rebecca was awarded the UNSW Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2015, and a citation for contributions to student learning in the Australian University Teaching Awards, 2016.
Dr Anthony Baker | Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Anthony completed his PhD at James Cook University where he studied the biogeography and environmental distribution of the causative agent of melioidosis, Burkholderia pseudomallei. He undertook a postdoctoral research program in the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Food Safety and Innovation to research the cellular mechanisms of probiotic activity in Lactobacillus casei. Anthony has a strong background in molecular characterisation of microbes which has facilitated his diverse research interests which include Influenza, Q-Fever, Chytridiomycosis and Antarctic Coryneform bacteria. He has taught a broad range of topics including Medical, Food and Environmental Microbiology and developed and co-ordinated units on Food Safety and Food Regulations. Anthony chaired the Tasmanian branch of the ASM from 2014 through to 2018 and chaired the 2017 ASM national meeting in Hobart. He currently works for the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and maintains an active interest in biosecurity, risk management and policy development.
Ms Cheryl Power | Immediate Past Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Cheryl Power is a senior lecturer and teaching specialist in the department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne where she has worked for over 20 years. She has taught microbiology to students enrolled in many different degrees, including Medicine, Dental Science, Optometry Chemical Enginering and Science.
Cheryl has been a member of ASM since 1987 and for many of those years was the Convenor of the Education special interest group (EDSIG)
Cheryl is a board member of University College, University of Melbourne, and the Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC).