The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

The Doherty Institute is a world-class institute combining research, teaching, public health and reference laboratory services, diagnostic services and clinical care into infectious diseases and immunity. The establishment of the Doherty Institute represents a radical change in the capacity of Australia and the world to detect, investigate and respond to existing, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and agents, with a major focus on diseases that pose serious public and global health threats such as influenza, tuberculosis, HIV, viral hepatitis and drug resistant bacteria. The Doherty’s activities are multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral, placing great emphasis on translational research and improving clinical outcomes. Teams of interdisciplinary scientists, clinicians and epidemiologists collaborate on a wide spectrum of activities - from basic immunology and discovery research, to the development of new vaccines and new preventative and treatment methods, to surveillance and investigation of disease outbreaks.

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 28 articles

A virus is essentially an information system (encoded in DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protective coat. Tom Thai/Flickr

Disease evolution: our long history of fighting viruses

Humans have a deep history of viral infections, the evidence for which dates back to ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies.
The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is responsible for transmitting some flaviviruses, including Zika. Ian Jacobs/Flickr

Zika, dengue, yellow fever: what are flaviviruses?

You might have heard the term flavivirus recently due to the outbreak of Zika virus. Zika, along with West Nile virus, dengue, yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis, belong to this family of virus.
Every academic journal article is rigorously screened by other experts in the field. Shutterstock

Explainer: the ins and outs of peer review

Peer review is not infallible, but it's central to how science works. In this extract from Peter Doherty's new book, The Knowledge Wars, he explains how it works in practice.
Alan Finkel is a well respected member of the Australian scientific community. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Reaction: Alan Finkel to be Australia’s next Chief Scientist

The scientific community reacts to the news that Dr Alan Finkel has been appointed Australia's New Chief Scientist as of 2016.
Understanding where and how the virus hides on treatment is one of the biggest questions facing scientists working on HIV. ROLEX DELA PENA/EPA/AAP

HIV latency: a high-stakes game of hide and seek

Ebola’s clever trick – to lie dormant inside a cell or to hide in a particular organ – is not unfamiliar. Lots of viruses do it. HIV is the master of such a trick.
Bill Campbell was awarded a Nobel Prize for medicine for this role in the discovery and development of the drug Ivermectin to treat river blindness. Brian Snyder/Reuters

Meeting Bill Campbell, the Nobel Prize winner for medicine

Back in 2012, I had the great pleasure of meeting with William (Bill) Campbell at Trinity College. We were among a group of five receiving honorary doctorates from the University of Dublin.
Prior to world war one, many more soldiers died of infection rather than combat. Navy Medicine/Flickr

Stealth attack: infection and disease on the battlefield

Rupert Brooke was commissioned in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve as a Sub-Lieutenant. Without seeing combat, he died aboard a French hospital ship, from a mosquito bite that turned septic.
Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty says all graduates can make a difference. Shutterstock

You can make a difference: Nobel Laureate’s advice to graduates

Peter Doherty delivered the following speech at a graduation ceremony at Charles Sturt University this week. The first thing to say to new graduates is: congratulations! Special congratulations to the…
The proposed Australian price for Sovaldi has not been disclosed, but in the United States a three-month course of treatment costs US$84,000. Stuart Hamilton/Flickr

What price a life? Hepatitis C drug out of reach for millions

It’s twice as common as type 1 diabetes. It kills more Australians than HIV. One in every 100 of us lives with hepatitis C, but the disease receives little attention. Worldwide, around 150 million people…
A coloured electron micrograph image of HIV infecting a human cell. Flickr: NIAID

We need a cure for HIV but there’s still a long way to go

One of the greatest success stories in modern medicine is that HIV is no longer a death sentence, but a chronic, manageable disease that often can be managed with a single tablet a day. Antiretroviral…
Tasmania’s alkaloid poppy industry was an Australian innovation success story - until it moved overseas. Glenn Schultes/Flickr

In Conversation: Australia needs tax breaks for innovation

Australian innovation has stagnated in the past 50 years, and could be reinvigorated by focusing on key areas, according to Donald Hector, President of the Royal Society of New South Wales in an interview…
Neurons make for good tattoos, but neurodegenerative disorders need urgent action. LianaAn/Flickr

A healthy future? Let’s put medical science under the microscope

AUSTRALIA 2025: How will science address the challenges of the future? In collaboration with Australia’s chief scientist Ian Chubb, we’re asking how each science discipline will contribute to Australia…
A vote for the future? AAP/Lukas Coch

Election 2013 Essays: Australia for the long term

Election 2013 Essays: As the federal election campaign draws to a close, The Conversation asked eminent thinkers to reflect on the state of the nation and the challenges Australia – and whichever party…
Will we ultimately see 2012 as triumphant, or as just one step in an emerging global tragedy? Jenny Varley

Opening the fabled Northwest Passage: triumph or tragedy?

A combination of 33-year satellite records, measurements made over the past century, and long-term proxy analysis suggests Arctic sea ice may be at its lowest level for more than 1,000 years. According…

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