Tania de Koning-Ward is a Professor in Molecular Microbiology at the School of Medicine at Deakin University. She obtained her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 1996 and after two postdoctoral stints at Leiden University in The Netherlands, and at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne as a Howard Florey Repatriation Fellow, she established her own group within the School of Medicine in 2008. Here she heads the malaria pathogenesis research group where her program aims to understand at a molecular level how malaria parasites are able to extensively renovate their host cell to cause disease and secure their own survival. She uses the most advanced genetic engineering tools available for human and rodent malaria parasites to knockout, knockdown and express malaria genes to dissect their biological function in combination with both in vitro and in vivo model system to examine key parasite-host interactions. For her research, Prof de Koning-Ward has been awarded a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2011-2014), an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (2018-2022) and the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Medical Research (2011).
Prof Patrick Reading
Patrick Reading holds joint appointments as the Educator at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza (WHO CCRRI) and as a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne (UoM), both located at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. His work at the WHO CCRRI is focused on improving laboratory-based detection and characterisation of influenza viruses in the Asia-Pacific Region. At UoM, he leads a research group focused on understanding how the body first recognises and responds to infections with respiratory viruses such as influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus.
Prof Neville Firth
Neville Firth is an Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney. He obtained a Ph.D. from Monash University working on DNA transfer in Escherichia coli, and then undertook postdoctoral research at the University of Sydney focussed on Staphylococcus aureus. He has studied the roles of mobile genetic elements in the evolution of antimicrobial resistance for over twenty years. His research seeks to understand the molecular biology of plasmids and transposable elements that facilitate the acquisition, maintenance and dissemination of resistance genes in staphylococci.
Prof Ian Paulsen
Professor Ian Paulsen is a Distinguished Professor at Macquarie University and Deputy Director of the Macquarie Biomolecular Discovery and Design Centre. Ian is an ARC Laureate Fellow and an ISI Highly Cited Researcher with more than 250 publications. He received a PhD from Monash University and was an NHMRC C.J. Martin Fellow at the University of California at San Diego. He then took a faculty position at the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), where he led many microbial genome sequencing projects. Ian returned to Australia in 2007 as a Professor at Macquarie University and received a Life Science Research Award from the NSW Office of Science and Medical Research. He is the founder and Director of the new Synthetic Biology Laboratory at Macquarie University.
Prof Gary Myers
I completed my PhD at the University of Sydney (Faculty of Medicine) via the Menzies School of Health Research (1998). Following postdoctoral training at The Institute for Genome Research (TIGR) (Maryland), I joined the TIGR Faculty. In 2007, along with twelve other TIGR Faculty, I co-founded the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In 2014, I relocated to the ithree Institute, University of Technology Sydney. My research interests focus upon the development and application of genome-scale tools, including transcriptomics and epigenomics, to understanding bacterial pathogens and the host response to infection, particularly Chlamydia.
Prof David Tscharke
David Tscharke works on problems at the intersection of virology and immunology, having particular expertise with herpesviruses and poxviruses. He has a PhD from University of Adelaide (1997) and postdoctoral experience from the University of Oxford in the UK, the US National Institutes of Health, and QIMR in Brisbane. He has had an independent laboratory at The Australian National University (ANU) since 2006 where he has held NHMRC and ARC fellowships. He is currently an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU.
Prof Brendan Crabb
Professor Brendan Crabb AC PhD FAHMS is an infectious disease researcher with a special interest on malaria. His research group develops and exploits genetic approaches to better understand malaria parasite biology, principally to help prioritise vaccine and drug targets.
Since 2008 he has been the Director and CEO of the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health Ltd (Burnet Institute). He is the past-President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI), the peak body for independent medical research Institutes in Australia.
Dr Amy Jennison
Dr Amy Jennison is the Supervising Scientist of Molecular Epidemiology, Public Health Microbiology, which is the Queensland reference laboratory responsible for the molecular surveillance of notifiable bacterial pathogens and characterisation of public health related outbreaks. She leads her team in the application of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to routine molecular surveillance and heads numerous research projects aimed at utilising WGS for improving molecular epidemiological investigation. Dr Jennison has a particular interest in addressing surveillance issues caused by culture independent diagnostic testing (CIDT) where molecular testing leads to underculturing of important bacterial pathogens. She is driving research into innovative approaches for deep sequencing on direct specimens including the generation of molecular typing and antimicrobial resistance information.