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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PrEP works by preventing susceptible cells becoming infected with HIV. Truvada blocks the HIV virus from making copies of itself. Marc Bruxelle/Shutterstock

Weekly Dose: Truvada, the drug that can prevent HIV infection

Efficacy is estimated to be as high as 99% in men who have sex with men who take Truvada daily.
Successive governments have ignored the health risks of climate change. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Climate policy needs a new lens: health and well-being

As the new Australian parliament takes the reins, health groups are moving to ensure the new health minister addresses a major health threat in this term of government: climate change.
This human T cell (blue) is under attack by HIV (yellow), the virus that causes AIDS. T cells play a critical role in the body’s immune response. Seth Pincus, Elizabeth Fischer and Austin Athman, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

A cure for HIV: what science knows, and what it doesn’t

HIV research continues to search for a cure. The focus is on developing therapies to cure HIV infection or allow people with HIV to safely stop antiretroviral therapy and keep the virus under control.
Australia could capitalise on its sun-drenched landscape to innovate in renewable energy. Shutterstock

Where could Australia genuinely innovate?

There are several areas where Australia could be a world leader in innovation. If we can identify them and focus our efforts there, we could generate some genuine benefits here and abroad.
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.

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