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Section: Research at QUT
Virologist Associate Professor Kirsten Spann is investigating the role of viral infection in respiratory diseases such as bronchiolitis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She is working towards the development of treatments that target the early stages of disease.
Microbiologist Professor John Aaskov focuses on developing tests to diagnose mosquito-borne viral diseases and the vaccines and vaccine strategies to prevent them. He also is assisting the development of safe, reliable, diagnostic laboratories in Southeast Asia.
Professor Hafner is a microbiologist researching aspects of mucosal immunity to disease-causing organisms including Chlamydia and Streptococcus. She has 28 years of research expertise in chlamydia, streptococcus, mucosal immunology, vaccines, sexually transmitted infectious diseases and the female reproductive tract.
Professor Beagley is an immunologist focusing on the development of vaccines against Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections such as Herpes. The vaccines are being developed for both humans and koalas and investigations include examining the types of immune responses required to provide protection against infection without further enhancing disease outcomes such as infertility.
Dr Kenyon investigates the genetics, biosynthesis and structure of surface polysaccharides from clinically important bacteria. Her research focuses on understanding how the surface polysaccharides contribute to the survival of pathogens that cause hospital-acquired infections.
Dr Carey is an immunologist and microbiologist with research focusing on the pathogenesis of genital tract infections such as Chlamydia and Group B Streptococcus. Her focus is on how the hosts’ immune system responds to infections and how these responses lead to clearance or development of long-term, chronic infections.
Dr Frentiu investigates how Zika, dengue and Chikungunya viruses interact with their mosquito vectors. Her aim is to translate fundamental research into better public health solutions to stop outbreaks of emerging viruses.
Professor Huygens is a molecular microbiologist investigating the pathogenic mechanisms of bacteria as well as researching the correlation of the microbiome with human diseases and chronic illnesses. The work will lead to the development of diagnostic and therapeutic targets for the clinical management of infectious diseases.
Dr Hickey works on infections in the reproductive tract of humans and animals. Her work focuses on the immune response at the epithelial barrier between the reproductive tract and the outside environment. This involves generation of new 3D models of tissues to study infection and immunity.
Dr Pelzer works with the placenta, an organ designed to support new life. Her interest is in host-microbe interactions with a focus on the maternal-fetal interface as a key contributor to understanding the developmental origins of health and disease.
This research area includes the internationally recognised Chlamydia research group, which has multiple research interests covering all aspects of chlamydial disease in humans, wildlife species and livestock.
The Arbovirus group is also widely acclaimed. It is currently running clinical trials of a world first Ross River virus vaccine, and is a major player in studying the molecular epidemiology of dengue viruses in the Asia-Pacific region with the aim of using this information to manipulate the genetic diversity of dengue viruses to control disease.
Members of this research area are also developing state-of-the-art molecular techniques for use in rapid diagnosis of bacterial infections, for profiling of microbial species involved in wound healing and potential bacterial species associated with gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. Investigators are also investigating how bacteria such as ureaplasma species can colonise the upper reproductive tract of women undergoing IVF, and how the presence of these bacteria may adversely affect oocyte development, assisted reproductive technology pregnancy outcomes and early neonatal development.
This is just a sample of our research activity in this area.
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Contact us to find out about research and discovery at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI).