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Professor of virology and theme leader for viral infectious diseases, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

Dr. Damian Purcell is a tenured Professor in Virology and theme leader for Viral Infectious Disease at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, where he is also head of the molecular virology laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. After receiving a PhD from the University of Melbourne in 1987 he was a CJ Martin traveling fellow of the NHMRC working at the Laboratory for Molecular Microbiology of the NIAID, NIH. He returned to Melbournes' Burnet Institute before moving to The University of Melbourne in 2001. He studies RNA-mediated control of HIV and HTLV-1 replication during productive and the latency phase of infection. He uses insights into the molecular interplay of viral and host factors during viral infection and the innate and adaptive immune responses to viral infection to develop new latency-breaking drugs, vaccines and biomedical interventions. Purcell has supervised 29 PhD completions with 18 of these as sole supervisor and 9 as co-supervisor. Purcell has published over 125 peer-reviewed journal articles and holds numerous leadership roles in the discipline of viral infectious diseases. Most notable, co-Director of the Global Virus Network (GVN) in Australia, the Executive Committee and Past President of the Australasian Virology Society, and Executive Committee of the Australian Center for HIV and Hepatitis Virology. He chairs the Australasian Society for HIV, Hepatitis and Sexual health Medicine (ASHM) HTLV-1 working group and is on the Steering Committee of the Federal Ministerial taskforce on HTLV. He is the Australasian Governing councilor of the International Retrovirology Association and Chair for the 20th International HTLV Conference in Melbourne in 2021.


  • –present
    Professor of virology and head of the molecular virology laboratory, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity