President: Roy Robins-Browne
Professor Roy Robins-Browne began his research career after studying medicine, specialising in pathology, in South Africa. He migrated to Australia in 1982 to take up a position as Reader in Microbiology at the University of Melbourne. Professor Robins-Browne has worked as a clinical microbiologist in hospitals in South Africa and Australia. He was Director of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Royal Children's Hospital and was the inaugural Professor/Director of Microbiological Research at the Royal Children's Hospital and the University of Melbourne.
Professor Robins-Browne currently holds one of two Chairs of Microbiology and Immunology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, the University of Melbourne. He is also an honorary research professor of medicine at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.
Professor Robins-Browne has had a long career of research into antimicrobial chemotherapy and the pathogenesis of bacteria that cause gastroenteritis, particularly E. coli . He has authored or co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles on these topics. Professor Robins-Browne is also a major contributor to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and learning in medical microbiology at the University of Melbourne.
Immediate Past President: Prof Jon Iredell
Jon Iredell is Perth-born Infectious Disease Physician and Microbiologist who spends half his time in Sydney at Westmead hospital in a combined Infectious Diseases/ Microbiology Dept and half his time in research supported by NHMRC at the University of Sydney. Major projects are in critical infection, including the study of bacterial septic shock, and in bacterial genetics and ecology.
Formal affiliations are (1) Centre Director, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Critical Infection and conjoint Professor of Medicine and Microbiology, Sydney Medical School/ Westmead Millennium Institute and the Sydney Institute for Emerging Infections a Biosecurity and (2) Director of Infectious Diseases, Western Sydney and Westmead Hospital and Deputy Director Microbiology, Pathology West (NSW Pathology) and ICPMR.
Vice President, Scientific Affairs: A/Prof Dena Lyras
Associate Professor Dena Lyras is an ARC Future Fellow located in the Department of Microbiology at Monash University. Her research team has developed new and innovative ways by which disease-causing clostridial species can be genetically manipulated and they have used these tools to understand the role played by regulatory and virulence factors encoded by this group of bacteria. Her studies are focussed on gut pathogens, particularly those involved in antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, and examine how these pathogens interact with the host and cause disease. Using these research outcomes, her team is developing specific immunotherapeutic products for the prevention and treatment of these infections. Antibiotic resistance and DNA mobility are also studied in her laboratory, in the context of gut pathogens and antibiotic-associated diarrhoeal disease.
Vice President, Corporate Affairs: Ms Cheryl Power
Cheryl Power is a senior lecturer and teaching specialist in the department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne where she has worked for over 20 years. She has taught microbiology to students enrolled in many different degrees, including Medicine, Dental Science, Optometry Chemical Enginering and Science.
Cheryl has been a member of ASM since 1987 and for many of those years was the Convenor of the Education special interest group (EDSIG)
Cheryl is a board member of University College, University of Melbourne, and the Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC).
Vice President, Communications: Dr Jack Wang
Dr. Jack Wang is the convenor of the Microbiology major at The University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane, Australia. He completed bachelor degrees in Science and Information Technology at UQ in 2006, and was awarded his PhD on identifying novel molecules involved in host-pathogen interactions in 2010 from the Institute of Molecular Bioscience. At UQ, Jack coordinates courses in introductory microbiology, immunology, as well as medical and molecular microbiology. He has initiated a number of Education Research projects that have been successful in competitive grant funding, revolving around embedding authentic research activities into the undergraduate curriculum. Jack is a committee member on the Queensland Branch of ASM, and is currently the newsletter and mailing list coordinator for ASMQ.
Division 1 Chair: TBC
Division 2 Chair: Damian Purcell
The research career of Professor Damian Purcell has always been centred on the basic molecular biology of viruses, with an interest in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and its interaction with the immune system during viral infection. As a leader in the field of HIV molecular virology he focuses on the events at a molecular level between the host and the virus to develop new therapeutic approaches and vaccine candidates.
Together with collaborators he has designed and provisionally patented Env vaccines that target the conserved neutralization epitopes which may generate a broad neutralizing antibody response. A recombinant reporter virus assay that measures neutralization of an antibody has also been produced. Furthermore, they have produced a vast number of vaccine constructs expressing novel Env as soluble gp120 oligomers, or functional Env 120 trimer immobilized on HIV virus-like particles. Prof Purcell’s group currently has over 75 scientific publications with 12 papers in the top virology discipline, Journal of Virology and 4 in the second ranked journal, Virology.
As a course co-coordinator for Medical Biology he also lectures virology to Science, Biomedical Science, Medicine, Dentistry and Optometry undergraduates. Since 1996, Purcell has supervised 9 PhD completions with 4 of these as the sole supervisor as well as 2 MSc and 13 BSc (Hons) students to thesis completion. Currently he supervises 4 PhD students as the primary supervisor, 2 as the secondary supervisor and 2 Honours students.
Division 3 Chair: Linda Blackall
Linda Louise Blackall has been a Professor at Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria, Australia since February 2014. She has a strong international reputation in the field of biological wastewater treatment, marine and coral microbiology, mammalian microbiomes and molecular method development in microbial ecology. She has gained several million Australian $ in competitive R&D 2000-2015. The Web of Science lists 154 peer-reviewed, international journal articles with Linda as an author (the majority as lead author) and more than 44 of these have greater than 50 citations. The average number of citations for her articles is 50, her “h-index” is 47, and the total number of citations is 7708. (13th April, 2015). Her research metrics can be obtained from Google Scholar.1992-2007 Academic (2003 Professor) at University of Queensland, Australia.2008-2010 Professor and Foundation Team leader Understanding Marine Microbes and Symbioses, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Australia.In 2001, Linda won the prestigious Frank Fenner Research Award from the Australian Society for Microbiology, in 2004 she was the Lisa Meitner Visiting Professor, Lund University, Sweden (Biotechnology and Water Engineering) and in 2005, she won the Ardern-Lockett award from the International Water Association for lifetime contributions to wastewater research.
Division 4 Chair: Mark Schembri
Professor Mark Schembri is the Deputy-Director of the Australian Infectious Disease Research Centre. Prof. Schembri’s research is focused on the study of surface proteins that mediate adhesion, aggregation, and biofilm formation, as these are the primary mechanisms used by bacteria to initiate disease. In particular, Prof. Schembri is interested in the surface proteins of Escherichia coli that cause intestinal and extra-intestinal infections, but the group also works on other pathogens such asStaphylococcus saprophyticus, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, andEnterobacter species.
Queensland Branch Delegate: Ulrike Kappler
Western Australian Branch Delegate: Fiona Daga
Victorian Branch Delegate: Karena Waller
New South Wales Branch Delegate: Slade Jensen
South Australian Branch Delegate: Stephen Kidd
Tasmanian Branch Delegate: Anthony Baker
Standing Committee Representatives
Chair, National Scientific Advisory Committee: A/Prof Dena Lyras
Chair, Workforce Standing Committee: Mr Rodney Bowman
Chair, National Examinations & Qualifications Board: Prof Julian Rood
Chair, Editorial Board: Dr Ipek Kurtboke
Chair, Standing Committee on Clinical Microbiology: Dr Stephen Graves
Chair, Standing Committee on Biosafety and Biosecurity: *Under Review*