Inflammation Biology

The Inflammation Biology Group has developed, refined and characterised a number of models used to gain new insights into the factors that regulate viral infection and inflammatory disease.  The models are also exploited for collaborative research and development with industry to test potential new interventions (e.g. vaccines, anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-viral agents). 

The group has over 25 years of activity in improving our understanding of the immunopathogenesis of the diseases cause by arthritogenic alphaviruses such as chikungunya virus and Ross River virus.  We have also developed models of Zika virus (foetal brain infection and testes damage) and Yellow fever virus liver pathology, which have been used in the development of vaccines and characterisation of pathogenic determinants. 

Very recently, we repurposed a PC3 laboratory and have started to undertake research into SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.


  • collaboration with Dr P Bird (Monash) to characterise the pro-inflammatory function of granzyme A
  • collaboration with Professor A Khromykh at University of Queensland seeking to understand using virus libraries, the role of specific viral determinants and host anti-viral proteins in controlling Zika virus replication in various settings
  • seeking to understand the role of microplastic consumption on viral infection-induced immunopathology
  • collaboration with Professor R Hall’s group at University of Queensland to characterise the in vivo behaviour of the recently patented chimeric Binjari virus technology for flaviruvis vaccine applications series of collaborations with academia and industry to test new interventions for SAR-CoV2/COVID-19 in in vitro and mouse model systems


  • Dr Daniel Rawle, Research Officer
  • Dr Viviana Lutzky
  • Troy Dumenil, Research Assistant
  • Bing Tang, Research Assistant
  • Thuy TT Le, Research Assistant
  • Kexin Yan
  • Jessamine Hazlewood, PhD
  • Wilson Nguyen, PhD
  • Dr Cameron Bishop, Research Officer

Internal Collaborators

National Collaborators

  • Dr Alex Khromykh, University of Queensland
  • Dr Roy Hall, University of Queensland
  • Dr Paul Young, University of Queensland
  • Dr Philip Bird, Monash University
  • Professor Suresh Mahalingam, Griffith University
  • Professor John Hayball, University of South Australia

Overseas Collaborators

  • Professor Helder Nakaya, University of Sao Paulo
  • Dr G Pijlman, Wageningen University
  • Dr Thibaut Larcher, INRAE
  • Wellcome Trust Innovator Grant; Harrich (PI), Suhrbier (CI), Li (CI), Hugo (CI); 2020-22. Title: A novel antiviral to combat dengue infection, disease and transmission
  • QIMR Berghofer coronavirus research application. Establishment of a PC3 SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 suite.    Intramural grant scheme via donations from Clive Berghofer, the Brazil Family Foundation and other philanthropic sources
  • Developing interventions for chikungunya virus and Zika virus. NHMRC Investigator (Leadership 2). 2020-2025
  • NHMRC Development Grant. Chimeric insect-specific viruses as novel vaccines for mosquito-borne diseases. R Hall, Jody Hobsen-Peters, D Muller, Suhrbier, A Khromykh, P Young. 2020-2022
  • NHMRC Development Grant. A new vaccine to protect against chikungunya virus (and similar other viruses) causing chronic musculoskeletal diseases. S Mahalingam, A Taylor, A Suhrbier, Roques, G Devine. 2020-2021
  • NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences (Holland). Environmental safety of synthetic replicon particle vaccines – risk for RNA recombination with wild-type viruses (RepliSAFE).  Applicant Piljman (University Wageningen, Holland).  Co-applicants Suhrbier and Prow. 2018 -2021
  • NHMRC project. Chikungunya virus disease; the role of proteases and their receptors A Suhrbier, P Bird, N Prow, P Zhao. 2018-2020
  • NHMRC project. Viral and host factors determining outcome of Zika virus infection. A Khromykh, A Suhrbier, G Devine, Y Setoh, N Prow. 2018-2021


Uncovering and characterising new alphavirus and flavivirus host co-factors

Suitable for Honours or PhD Students. BACKGROUND The global range of mosquito-borne diseases is already expanding, with climate change likely to exacerbate this trend.  Over 10 million cases of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection have been recorded globally, and often manifests as debilitating polyarthralgia/polyarthritis (pain/inflammation in multiple joints) that can last months or years.  The only […]

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Establishing and characterising mouse models of long-COVID for intervention testing

Suitable for Honours or PhD Students. BACKGROUND The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has sparked an unprecedented global quest for vaccines and treatments. Key to such efforts are animal models of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease. We have recently refurbished a state-of-the-art PC3 facility at QIMR Berghofer MRI for SARS-CoV-2 research and […]

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