The productivity of our society is underpinned by the need for a healthy population, which is inherently sensitive to infectious diseases. My research aims to contribute to the betterment of public health by developing vaccines against infectious diseases.
My research is on several disease causing organisms including Group A Streptococcus (causative agent of rheumatic heart disease (RHD)). The rate of RHD in Indigenous populations in Australia has been estimated to be as high as 651/100,000. Malaria results in 214 million cases and over 400,000 deaths globally per year. Influenza (flu) costs the Australian Government $85 million annually in GP consultations & hospital admissions. Rhinovirus infection causes cold and flu-like illnesses resulting in $40 billion per year in economic loss in the United States alone.
Clearly better strategies are needed to combat the aforementioned diseases. The use of biocompatible liposomes (lipid vesicles) as vaccine delivery system against infectious diseases is an exciting approach. I use liposomes to deliver subunit antigens (minimal portions of pathogens which can induce immunity in humans) from aforementioned pathogens to elicit protective responses.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation Quick Fire Challenge finalist (2016), NHMRC Peter Doherty fellowship (2014)