New Research Fellows at CREID

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.

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.

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.

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