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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Like so many Indigenous people in the NT, Dr G. Yunupingu had chronic hepatitis B since he was a child. DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP

Dr G. Yunupingu’s legacy: it’s time to get rid of chronic hepatitis B in Indigenous Australia

Hepatitis B rates in Indigenous communities are ten times higher than the rest of Australia. Eliminating the infection from Indigenous Australia can make a significant contribution to closing the gap.
The most important blood borne viruses for human health are the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Why are only some viruses transmissible by blood and how are they actually spread?

Why is it only some viruses are transmissible by blood, and how does the virus actually move from person to person?
Spanish flu killed more people than the Great War that preceded it. And tuberculosis even more than that. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Four of the most lethal infectious diseases of our time and how we’re overcoming them

Here we explore our past and present struggles with four of the most significant infectious diseases human beings have faced, and some of the progress we've made in prevention and treatment.
March for Science events will be held across the world on April 22 2017. from www.shutterstock.com

Peter Doherty: why Australia needs to march for science

In its broadest sense, the March for Science aims to cause US legislators to reflect a little and understand what they risk if they choose to erode their global scientific leadership.
Recent improvements in medical management of HIV infection are not well understood in the legal sector. www.shutterstock.com

Australian law needs a refresher on the science of HIV transmission

HIV diagnosis is devastating for patients and their families. But the infection is no longer a death sentence, and should not be prosecuted as such say experts.
The thing all five viruses have in common is they can cause mild to very severe liver damage. wk1003mike/Shutterstock

Explainer: the A, B, C, D and E of hepatitis

Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E are very different viruses. Hepatitis A is genetically closer to the common cold than it is to hepatitis B. Hepatitis C is closer to the virus that causes dengue fever.
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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