Research strengths

The Research Centre for Infectious Diseases brings together established and emerging researchers with synergistic skills that is rapidly accelerating basic research into the pathogenesis and therapeutic targets of infectious organisms.

This knowledge is also enabling us to translate basic discoveries into improved health outcomes.

Key research themes

The study of bacterial, viral and parasite pathogenesis has changed dramatically in recent years due to revolutionary technological developments and availability of advanced molecular and cellular tools for investigation of the pathogen-host interface. We work on:

  • Understanding the key determinants of bacterial, viral and parasite pathogenesis.
  • Identification and validation of bacterial, viral and parasite vaccine targets and optimisation of vaccine delivery protocols.
  • Identification and validation of novel bacterial, viral and parasite drug targets and chemotypes.

 

Research achievements

Higher degree research training and early career researcher mentorship are major components of the RCID vision to develop the next generation of Australian infectious disease research scientists.

This high-calibre of researchers in the RCID is reflected, not only by the quality of their research outputs, but also in other forms of peer-recognition, such as prizes and fellowships. The following is a summary of awards and prizes won by students and researchers of the RCID since 2013.

Year Recipient Award
2018 Ben Liffner Hans-Jürgen and Marianne Ohff Research Grant
2018 Vikrant Minhas Australian Society for Microbiology SA/NT Student Award - Travel Award
2018 Byron Shue Australian Society for Virology - Travel Award
2018 Amy Burns Esther Bright Travel Award (Soroptimist International of Adelaide)
2018 CK Lim Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology Research - Travel Award
2018 Vincenzo Leo University of Adelaide - Postgraduate Symposium Popular Poster Award
2018 Rosa Coldbeck-Shackley University of Adelaide - Postgraduate Symposium Popular Poster Award (Runner up)
2018 Isabelle Henshall Australian Society for Parasitology Conference Travel Award
2018 Shannon David Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Travel Grant
2017 Prof James Paton South Australian Scientist of the Year
2017 Shannon David University of Adelaide- Postgraduate Symposium 3 Oral Presentation Award
2017 Jilong (Brad) Qin University of Adelaide- Postgraduate Symposium Popular Poster Award
2016 Shannon David University of Adelaide- Postgraduate Symposium Popular Poster Award
2016 Dr Bart Eijkelkam Adelaide Protein Group - Early Career Researcher Award
2016 Dr Bart Eijkelkam Faculty of Sciences - Daniel Walker Medal for ECR Research Excellence
2016 Dr Nick Eyre International Symposium on Hepatitis C Virus and Related Viruses (Kyoto, Japan) - Travel Fellowship
2016 Matthew Doyle University of Adelaide - Doctoral Research Medal
2015 Prof James Paton Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiologists
2015 Matthew Doyle School of Biological Sciences- Postgraduate Achievement Award
2015 Matthew Doyle Faculty of Sciences - Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence
2015 Matthew Doyle Best poster by a PhD student - BacPath 15 – The Molecular Biology of Bacterial Pathogens Conference
2015 Dr Nick Eyre Oral Poster Award - Australian Virology Society Meeting, Hunter Valley
2015 Dr Danny Wilson Faculty of Sciences - Early Career Researcher Travel Award
2015 Dr Christopher McDevitt Biochemical Society UK Travel Award - Gordon Research Conference Travel Support
2015 Dr Bart Eijkelkamp Cass Foundation Travel Award - Europneumo 2015 Invited Talk Travel Support
2015 Dr Bart Eijkelkamp Biochemical Society UK Travel Award - Europneumo 2015 Invited Talk Travel Support
2015 Dr Bart Eijkelkamp Faculty of Sciences Early Career Researcher Travel Award
2015 Stephanie Begg Oral Prize - Adelaide Protein Group Annual Student Award Event
2015 Jaqueline Morey Best Poster - Adelaide Protein Group Annual Student Award Event
2014 Dr Christopher McDevitt RCDN Travel Award - Biometals 2014 Invited Talk Travel Support
2014 Stephanie Begg Best Poster - 5th FEBS Special Meeting on ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC) Proteins: From Multidrug Resistance to Genetic Diseases
2014 Rachelle Babb University of Adelaide- 3 Minute thesis competition
2014 Matthew Doyle Oral Prize - Adelaide Protein Group Annual Student Award Event
2014 Matthew Doyle School of Biological Sciences- Postgraduate Symposium Best Oral Presentation
2013 Prof James Paton Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences
2013 Dr Miranda Ween Executive Dean of Sciences Order of Merit for Early Career Research Excellence
2013 Dr Miranda Ween Research Career Development Network Early-Career Award, University of Adelaide
2013 Matthew Doyle Poster Prize - Adelaide Protein Group Annual Student Award Event
2013 Matthew Doyle Best Oral Presentation - The Australian Society for Microbiology Annual Scientific Meeting
2013 Matthew Doyle School of Biological Sciences- Research Symposium Poster Award
2013 Victoria Lewis Best Poster - The Australian Society for Microbiology Annual Scientific Meeting
2013 Dr Miranda Ween Winner - Disease Zone - I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here!
2013 Dr Alistair Standish Best oral presentation by a Postdoctoral Fellow - BacPath 12 – The Molecular Biology of Bacterial Pathogens Conference
2013 Dr Elizabeth Tran Best poster by a Postdoctoral Fellow - BacPath 12 – The Molecular Biology of Bacterial Pathogens Conference

The Research Centre for Infectious Diseases has been awarded more than $41 million dollars in competitive research funding since it was established in 2008.

This has enabled the RCID to remain focused as one of the most research intensive centres at University of Adelaide.

RCID competitive grant funding
Year End Year Start Applicants Funding body Project Funded amount
2015 2015
  • CA McDevitt
  • H Harris
  • JC Paton
  • D Wilson
  • A Netting
DVCR Interdisciplinary Research Fund Next generation metalloproteomics $28,000
2015 2015
  • CA McDevitt
DVCR Interdisciplinary Research Fund Bioruptor Plus $50,000
2019 2015
  • JC Paton
  • MP Jennings
  • M von Itzstein
  • B Kobe
  • MJ Walker
NHMRC Program Grant Proteins and glycans in host-pathogen interactions: targets for novel drugs and vaccines $8,795,785
2017 2015
  • JC Paton
  • CA McDevitt
ARC Discovery Grant The critical role of bacterial poly-histidine triad proteins in zinc recruitment. $384,300
2018 2015
  • AW Paton
  • T Lithgow
NHMRC Project Grant Novel perspectives on the function of AB5 toxin B subunits $1,002,230
2017 2015
  • MJ Maher
  • CA McDevitt
  • D Aragão
  • S Iwata
NHMRC Project Grant The molecular basis for manganese uptake by pathogenic bacteria $613,134
2015 2015
  • Z Ahmad
Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation Investigation of a novel protein tyrosine phosphatase in Streptococcus pneumoniae $35,000
2015 2015
  • M Alsharifi
The Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering Gamma-irradiated virus vaccines: concepts and parameters $13,250
2018 2014
  • Lloyd
  • Dore
  • George
  • MR Beard
NHMRC Program Grant Hepatitis C infection: epidemiology pathogenesis and treatment $5,427,855
2016 2014
  • C Trappetti
ARC DECRA Fellowship The molecular determinants of biofilm formation in Streptococcus pneumoniae: novel targets for vaccines and therapeutics. $395,220
2014 2014
  • S Heng
  • CA McDevitt
  • R Kostecki
  • JC Paton
IPAS Extending Collaborations Pilot Projects Towards a light-driven, biocompatible sensor for the rapid detection of bacterial toxins $16,000
2017 2013
  • JC Paton
NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship $808,375
2013 2013
  • CA McDevitt
    (Grant coordinator)
Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Foundation Equipment Grant Zetasizer Nano ZSP for protein characterisation and drug discovery $67,595
2013 2013
  • S Heng
  • CA McDevitt
  • D Stubing
  • R Kostecki
  • AD Abell
IPAS Extending Collaborations Pilot Projects Development of a photoswitchable, membrane-based metal ion sensing platform $8,500
2013 2013
  • VG Lewis
  • CA McDevitt
Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation The role of a Type I secretion system in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation $31,000
2015 2013
  • R Morona
  • AJ Standish
NHMRC Project Grant Capsule synthesis and yyrosine phosphorylation
in  Streptococcus pneumoniae
$567,767
2015 2012
  • JC Paton
  • AD Ogunniyi
  • M Alsharifi
  • T Hirst
ARC Linkage Grant A single vaccine for influenza and pneumonia. $276,000
2013 2012
  • C Trappetti
Garnett Passe & Rodney Williams Foundation - Training Fellowship The molecular determinants of biofilm formation in Streptococcus pneumoniae: novel targets for vaccines and therapeutics. $150,000
2012 2012
  • CA McDevitt
    (Grant coordinator)
Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Foundation Equipment Grant Sub-cellular particle analysis instrumentation for drug discovery $54,783
2012 2012
  • CA McDevitt
  • JC Paton
  • AW Paton
  • R Morona
  • KE Shearwin
  • A Chapman-Smith
  • B Forbes
  • AD Abell
NHMRC Equipment Grant Temperature controlled protein purification system $62,042
2013 2012
  • SP Kidd
Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation NTHi and its biofilm formation $68,000
2012 2012
  • AJ Standish
  • R Morona
Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation The search for novel inhibitors of capsule synthesis in Streptococcus pneumoniae $35,000
2014 2012
  • AW Paton
ARC Discovery Grant and DORA Fellowship Novel perspectives on the function of AB5 toxin B subunits $860,000
2014 2012
  • CA McDevitt
NHMRC Project Grant The roles of manganese and zinc in host-pathogen interaction $568,375
2014 2012
  • MR Beard
  • N Eyre
  • S Turville
NHMRC Project Grant Imaging the hepatitis C virus life cycle in living cells $461,325
2014 2012
  • CA McDevitt
  • JC Paton
ARC Discovery Grant The molecular basis for bacterial susceptibility to zinc. $255,000
2014 2012
  • JC Paton
ARC Discovery Grant Functional characterization of poly-histidine triad proteins. $275,000
2012 2012
  • MR Beard
  • J Carr
  • S Locarnini
Merck Investigator Studies Program Analysis of Boceprevir drug susceptibility and resistance in HCV genotype 6 $115,000
2011 2011
  • CA McDevitt
  • JC Paton
  • AW Paton
  • R Morona
  • JC Wallace
  • G Booker
NHMRC Equipment Grant Ultracentrifuge $78,000
2011 2011
  • VG Lewis,
  • CA McDevitt
Australian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: PG studentship The role of ABC transporters in Pseudomonas aeruginosa multidrug resistance $15,000
2012 2011
  • MR Beard
  • S Locarnini
ACH2 Phase II. Development of a laboratory based platform to manage patients who develop antiviral drug-resistance to the STAT-C compounds $113,000
2011 2010
  • AW Paton
  • R Morona
  • JC Paton
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Explorations A toxin-binding probiotic for prevention of ETEC diarrhea $110,000
2014 2010
  • MR Beard
NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship   $560,000
2011 2010
  • CA McDevitt
Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation The role of manganese in the virulence and pathogenicity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa $98,000
2011 2010
  • JC Wallace
  • R Morona
  • GW Booker
  • SW Polyak
  • AD Abell
  • MC Wilce
  • F Song
  • L Zhang
  • B Gao
Dept Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology; Australia-
China Special Fund for Scientific and Technological Cooperation
New medicines for important infectious diseases $198,591
2010 2010
  • A Lopez
  • S Kumar
  • T Hughes
  • H Scott
  • G Goodall
  • W Tilley
  • S McColl
  • JC Paton
  • D Adelson
  • J Gecz
  • J Melo
  • B To
Australian Cancer Research Foundation South Australian Cancer Genome Facility $3,500,000
2014 2010
  • JC Paton
  • AD Ogunniyi
NHMRC Project Grant Molecular analysis of pneumococcal pathogenesis. $1,068,030
2014 2010
  • JC Paton
  • MP Jennings
  • B Kobe
  • AG McEwan
  • R Morona
  • AW Paton
  • MJ Walker
NHMRC Program Grant Pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of bacterial infectious diseases. $9,427,000
2011 2010
  • MR Beard
  • S Locarnini
ACH2 Development of a laboratory based platform to manage patients who develop antiviral drug-resistance to the STAT-C compounds $142,000
2011 2010
  • MR Beard
  • N Shackel
Roche Pillar Award Ultra-deep sequencing of hepatitis C and hepatocytes following interferon exposure $40,000
2013 2009
  • Cooper
  • MR Beard
  • Dore
  • Emery
  • French
  • Kelleher
  • Kent
  • Purcell
NHMRC Program Grant HIV and HCV Vaccines and Immunopathogenesis $17,800,000
2009 2009
  • R Morona
  • JC Paton
  • AW Paton
  • CA McDevitt  
NHMRC Equipment Grant Bacterial cell lysis system $27,000
2011 2009
  • A Cooper
  • DL Adelson
  • BW Brook
  • JM Facelli
  • HB Cross
  • MI Stevens
  • JC Paton
  • T Kok
ARC Linkage Environmental genomics: mining, climate change, water, crime and health. $500,000
2009 2009
  • R Morona
NHMRC Project Grant Intra- and intercellular spreading in Shigella pathogenesis $168,750
2009 2009
  • JC Wallace
  • AD Abell
  • R Morona
  • MCJ Wilce
  • GW Booker
  • SW Polyak
NHMRC Development Grant Proof of concept studies on a novel class of antibiotics $196,000
2009 2009
  • R Morona
Faculty of Health Sciences Research Development Award Mechanism of LPS O antigen biosynthesis in Shigella and E. coli $12,000
2009 2009
  • A Abell
  • SW Polyak
  • GW Booker
  • M Wilce
  • R Morona
  • JC Wallace
Adelaide Research and Innovation Commercial Accelerator Scheme Proof of concept studies on a novel class of antibiotics $250,000
2011 2009
  • AG McEwan
  • MP Jennings
  • JC Paton
NHMRC Project Grant The molecular physiology of Streptococcus pneumoniae during sepsis $568,135
2009 2009
  • JC Paton et al.
ARC LIEF South Australian Facility for Small and Large Molecule X-Ray Diffraction Structure Determination $560,000
2012 2009
  • AW Paton
  • JC Paton
NHMRC Project Grant Virulence strategies of LEE-negative Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli $744,455
2010 2008
  • MR Beard
  • K Helbig
NHMRC Project Grant Identification of interferon stimulated genes that limit HCV replication and predict therapeutic outcome $468,750
2008 2008
  • JC Paton
  • R Morona
  • AW Paton
  • AD Ogunniyi
  • A Jilbert
  • SR McColl
NHMRC Equipment Grant Facility for in vivo transcriptional analysis of the host-pathogen interaction $61,000
2008 2008
  • JK Morona
  • GW Booker
  • R Morona
  • JC Paton
Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation Treatment and/or prevention of pneumococcal disease by designing novel drugs targeting capsule biosynthesis proteins CpsB and CpsD $50,417
2010 2008
  • JC Paton
  • EI Tuomanen
  • DE Briles
PATH Vaccine Solutions Trivalent pneumococcal protein vaccine: Preclinical optimization, GMP production and Phase I US trial $650,000
2010 2008
  • DE Briles
  • JC Paton
  • EI Tuomanen
PATH Vaccine Solutions Pneumococcal vaccine candidates: Efficacy tests in animals $840,000
2011 2008
  • AD Ogunniyi
  • JC Paton
  • LK Mahdi
Meningitis Research Foundation (UK) Chracterization and vaccine potential of pneumococcal virulence factors expressed during meningitis $437,000
2012 2007
  • JC Paton
NHMRC Australia Fellowship $4,000,000
2011 2006
  • AW Paton
  • JC Paton
  • J Rossjohn
NIH Characterization of a novel AB5 cytotoxin $1,400,000