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Mechanisms of Viral Pathogenesis; Elucidation of the Virus-Host Interface

Viruses pose one of the grand challenges to human and animal health globally and within Australia. Viral disease progression is critically dependent on the formation of specific interaction networks between viral proteins and host cell factors, which enable viral subversion of important processes such as antiviral immunity and cell survival. Research in our laboratory seeks to elucidate these interactions at the molecular level and to understand their functions in diseases caused by highly lethal human viruses, including rhabdoviruses (e.g. rabies virus, Australian bat lyssavirus), paramyxoviruses (e.g. Nipah, Hendra, measles) and filoviruses (e.g. Ebola), as well as a number of agriculturally significant and potentially zoonotic animal viruses. The overarching aim of the research is to identify novel targets and strategies for the development of new vaccines and therapeutics for currently incurable viral diseases. Our research involves extensive collaborations within Monash University, and with other leading national (e.g. CSIRO-AAHL, The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney) and international institutes (e.g. The Pasteur Institute and CNRS, Paris; Gifu and Hokkaido Universities, Japan; University of Dundee (UK), enabling access to unique resources and technologies including novel and highly pathogenic viruses. RESEARCH PROJECTS (including projects available for Honours, Masters and PhD students) - Molecular basis of Ebola virus pathogenesis - Virus-STAT interactions: Roles in disease and therapeutic targeting - Structural analysis (cryo-EM, NMR, crystallography) of virus-host interactions - Viral interactions with the cytoskeleton in the manipulation of host cell biology - Characterisation of immune evasion mechanisms in novel and emerging viruses - The roles of intranuclear viral protein interactions in disease - Mechanisms of viral reprogramming of host cell signalling - Can rabies cure Alzheimer's? - Super-resolution analysis of the virus-host interface - Understanding the role of the nucleolus in the infection cycle of dangerous viruses. Techniques used by our team: Molecular cell biology, molecular virology, and molecular immunology approaches, including dynamic live cell imaging (e.g. quantitative confocal laser scanning microscopy, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching [FRAP], bimolecular fluorescence complementation), super-resolution light microscopy (including direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy [dSTORM]) and electron microscopy, structural biology (including NMR and crystallography), in vivo microtubule interaction assays (including quantitative imaging of the cytoskeleton), functional genomics and proteomics (including next-­generation sequencing, RT-PCR, quantitative mass-spectroscopy), viral reverse genetics and infection, in vivo viral infection/disease models, immune signalling assays, in vitro protein trafficking/interaction assays, in vitro viral replication assays, cell culture and transfection (including stable and inducible cell lines), siRNA knockdown, flow cytometry, immunoprecipitation, recombinant protein expression and purification.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
Virus, Virology, Infectious disease, Pathogenesis, Immune Evasion, Host Manipulation, Virus-Host Interface, Vaccines, Antivirals, Structural Biology, Super-resolution Imaging, Live Cell Imaging, Microscopy, Genomics, Proteomics, Lyssavirus, Henipavirus, Filovirus, Rabies, Nipah, Hendra, Ebola, Zoonoses, Inflammation, Immunity, Innate Immunity, Interferon, Cytokines, Department of Microbiology
Biomedicine Discovery Institute (School of Biomedical Sciences) » Microbiology
Available options 
Masters by research
Short projects
Time commitment 
Physical location 

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