Results of the 2017 NHMRC Grant Application Round announced
Congratulations to all CREID investigators who received funding from the 2017 NHMRC Grant Application Round:
Professor Ben Howden (University of Melbourne) has received a Partnership Project for Better Health award to investigate "An evidence based framework for establishing public health microbial genomics in Australia"
Professor Jon Iredell (University of Sydney) has been awarded a Project Grant to investigate "Plasmid specialisation modules, microbial husbandry and microbiome resilience". Professor Edward Holmes (University of Sydney) was also awarded a Project Grant for "Using metagenomics to determine the causative agent(s) of tick-borne disease in Australia"
CREID early career researchers Dr Jason Kwong (University of Melbourne) and Dr Philip Britton (University of Sydney) have both been awarded NHMRC Early Career Fellowships. Dr Kwong's fellowship is entitled "The MetaFIND (Metagenomics For INfectious Diseases) project: developing clinical metagenomics to improve the healthcare of patients with infections" Dr Britton's fellowship will focus on "Emerging infectious neurological diseases in Australia; from enhanced recognition to improved response". CREID AI Professor Ben Marais (University of Sydney) has received a Practitioner Fellowship for research aimed at "Limiting tuberculosis transmission and improving the care of affected children".
Centre of Research Excellence
Congratulations also to CREID investigators Professor Enrico Coiera (Macquarie University) and Professor Vitali Sintchenko (University of Sydney) for being part of the team of researchers (led by Prof Coiera) awarded funding for a Centre of Research Excellence in Digital Health.
Dr Jason Kwong
Dr Jason Kwong is an Infectious Diseases Physician at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, and a NHMRC postgraduate research scholar with Prof Ben Howden at the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU) in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Melbourne, at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection & Immunity. His current work includes the use of genomics to understand transmission of bacterial pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, N. meningitidis, and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae, and the use of metagenomic sequencing for culture-independent diagnosis of infections. Dr Kwong has been awarded research grants from the Austin Medical Research Foundation and the Australian Society for Antimicrobials, and was a member of the expert writing group for Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic. His interests include antimicrobial resistance in nosocomial pathogens, and the applications and implementation of whole-genome sequencing in clinical and public health microbiology and infectious diseases.
New Research Fellows at CREID
“Advances in Microbial Genomics for Public Health and Clinical Microbiology” symposium, Tuesday 15 November, Melbourne, VIC.
The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection & Immunity and Microbiological Diagnostic Unit (MDU) of the University of Melbourne are hosting a one-day symposium “Advances in Microbial Genomics for Public Health and Clinical Microbiology”. This symposium has been jointly organised by the Doherty Applied Microbial Genomics, University of Melbourne and Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology-Public Health/Marie Bashir Institute for Emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Sydney, led by CREID investigators Ben Howden and Vitali Sintchenko, respectively.
Further information, including the preliminary program and registration details here
CREID investigators use mathematical modelling to reveal the barriers to disease emergence
A study conducted by University of Sydney researchers Jemma L. Geoghegan, Alistair M. Senior, and Edward C. Holmes (CREID CI-E), and recently published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Science, uses mathematical modelling to illustrate under which scenarios host adaptation of a new virus, such as the emergence of bird flu in humans, may be possible. The key processes governing pathogen emergence from an animal host to humans were determined, together with the probability that a pathogen will acquire these necessary genetic changes in nature. The authors propose that the necessary genetic changes for sustained human-to-human transmission of bird flu are very unlikely to occur in nature.
Read more about this research:
Geoghegan JL, Senior AM, Holmes EC. Pathogen population bottlenecks and adaptive landscapes: overcoming the barriers to disease emergence. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2016 Aug 31;283(1837).
New CREID affiliate joins Westmead Institute for Medical Research
Dr. Vanessa Marcelino is a postdoctoral researcher working on pathogen genomics at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR), University of Sydney, with Prof. Tania Sorrell and Prof. Edward Holmes. She obtained a master’s degree in 2012 from the Universities of Bremen, Paris VI and Ghent (Erasmus Mundus Program) with a dissertation on evolutionary dynamics of ecological niches in seaweeds. In 2017, she completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne focusing on the biodiversity and evolution of microbial communities inhabiting coral skeletons. Vanessa is currently working on genomics and transcriptomics of fungal diseases, diagnostics, and the evolution of antifungal resistance. Her interests include combining ‘omics’ and bioinformatics to understand evolutionary processes and host-pathogen interactions.
CREID CIs lead national AMR summit
Early-Mid Career Collaboration Grants
CREID is providing start-up research grants to teams of early-to-mid career researchers (ECRs, MCRs, two or more) for collaborative research projects in infectious diseases and related disciplines. There is a total of $30,000 grant funding available in the 2017-18 round. The one-year grants are designed to promote development of CREID ECR-MCR networks consisting of future EID research leaders and thereby foster future and sustainable collaboration between research groups within CREID.
ECR applicants must complete and submit an application form, including a one-page project proposal, and a one-page CV for each ECR, by Friday, October 13.
Grant guidelines can be downloaded here
Application forms can be downloaded here
Completed application forms should be e-mailed to the CREID coordinator before 5:00pm on Friday, October 13, 2017.
A national summit was held on June 29, 2017, at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, to identify actions to slow the rapid spread of drug resistant infections in Australia. CREID CIs Prof Cheryl Jones, President ASID, and Prof Ben Howden, ASA President led the meeting and CREID CIs Prof Allen Cheng and Prof Tania Sorrell presented in symposia throughout the day. The summit, attended by >300 key human and animal health leaders, focused on the ‘four pillars of antimicrobial resistance’: infection control, antimicrobial stewardship, surveillance and outbreak response, and research & development.
It was agreed that Australia needs better integration and coordination in our response to AMR, both in human and animal health. Furthermore, there was general consensus that no current Australian body was suitably positioned to provide such coordination. Profs Jones and Howden presented the summit report to the Australian Strategic Advisory group ASTAG and have been appointed to pursue actions arising from the day.
Dr Marian Fernandez
Dr Marian Fernandez is a Senior Research Scientist at Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR), University of Sydney and holds a Conjoint Lecturer position in Paediatrics & Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney. As a CREID Research Fellow, Marian is working with Prof Eddie Holmes and Prof Cheryl Jones, investigating the molecular epidemiology of infectious RNA viruses through the application of next-generation sequencing and state-of-the-art bioinformatics.
Since completing her PhD, Marian has held research posts at the Victor Change Cardiac Research Institute and at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW); at CHW she contributed to both basic and clinical research in infection and immunity at the Centre for Perinatal Infection Research, Kids Research Institute. She developed a unique murine model of neonatal and adult HSV infection and generated a series of major findings on the immunopathogenesis of HSV in collaboration with Prof Tony Cunningham, Centre for Viral Research (WIMR) and Prof Stephen Alexander, Centre for Kidney Research (CHW). She has presented her research at many national and international conferences and has published work in peer-reviewed journals.
As an incoming Fellow of The Royal Society, Professor Eddie Holmes joins the most distinguished academics in science, medicine and technology from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Fellows are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science. There are approximately 1,600 Fellows and Foreign Members, including around 80 Nobel Laureates.
Read the University of Sydney press release here
CREID investigator Professor Eddie Holmes elected to the Royal Society
ECDC Observership for Dr Philip Britton
CREID ECR Dr Philip Britton (Marie Bashir Institute, University of Sydney, and National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance) has been selected to participate in a European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Observership programme that will take place on 4-8 September 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. The programme is sponsored by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID).
More details about the objectives of the programme and eligibility criteria for participants can be found at the ESCMID website.
The NHMRC has funded a $901,396 project grant entitled "Antibiotic resistance and the ecological effects of selective decontamination of the digestive tract in Intensive Care Units", led by CREID Chief Investigator Professor Jon Iredell.
Professor Jon Iredell awarded two-year NHMRC Project Grant
The Australian Academy of Science has announced that the 2017 Gustav Nossal Medal for Global Health has been awarded to CREID Associate Investigator Ben Marais for his work on childhood and multi drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Read more about Professor Marais' award here
Professor Ben Marais awarded the 2017 Gustav Nossal Medal for Global Health
Dr Alicia Arnott
I completed my Honours and PhD degrees at the Burnet Institute in Melbourne, focusing on viral replicative fitness and development of immune responses during acute HIV-1 infection. I then completed two post-doctoral positions, the first in Cambodia at the Pasteur Institute working on emerging respiratory viruses and the second at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, investigating the population genetics of Plasmodium vivax malaria. In 2015, I commenced the two-year Masters of Applied Field Epidemiology (MAE) program, placed jointly between the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL), as I had always wanted to investigate communicable disease outbreaks in the field. Whilst the program has been extremely interesting, I am very much looking forward to relocating to Sydney and commencing my new position as a Research Fellow within the CREID working on pathogen genomics in Associate Professor Vitali Sintchenko’s research group.