Infection and Inflammation

Our world-leading Infection & Inflammation Program develops drugs and vaccines, along with prevention and education strategies to tackle globally important diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites, as well as systemic chronic inflammation.

We have a distinguished history studying viruses, gained over many decades, and use this knowledge to develop and deliver new treatments as well as cellular therapies for cancer and diseases of the central nervous system

Our specialist labs have an international reputation in malaria volunteer infection studies and test new anti-malaria drugs for deployment in the developing world. 

We have a strong record in vector control and work on innovations in mosquito surveillance and measures to interrupt pathogen transmission, and deliver a strong helminth control program resulting in major public health gains.

Our research programs have been adapted to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with the Institute establishing a highly secure facility to grow the SARS-CoV-2 virus and test new drugs, vaccines and treatment options.

The Institute has a dedicated scabies lab which does vital work into the skin infestation that largely effects our indigenous population.

New drugs have been developed by our researchers using tissue organoids that can prevent and/or reverse the effects of chronic inflammation on the heart, lung, brain and skin.

There is also a focus on new treatments for liver disease and gut health, particularly its relationship to childhood diseases.

Professor Christian Engwerda, Program Director

Professor Christian Engwerda is the Program Director for Infection and Inflammation at QIMR Berghofer. His work centres on the behaviour of T cells during parasitic infections. Professor Engwerda’s team also studies volunteers deliberately infected with parasites and uses this knowledge to develop new approaches to treat diseases.

Professor Engwerda is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and holds various appointments at other distinguished universities. His research has taken him across the world including Croatia and London.