Inflammation Biology

The Inflammation Biology Group has developed, refined and characterised a number of mouse 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 mouse 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 using transgenic hACE2 mice.


  • 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

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


Children living in a rural village around Muzaffarpur in the state of Bihar, India. This area is endemic for visceral leishmaniasis and is typical of the environment where sand flies that transmit the parasites responsible for leishmaniasis thrive.

A ward in the Kala-Azar Medical Research Centre, a facility run by our colleague Professor Shyam Sundar that is dedicated to treating visceral leishmaniasis patients in Muzaffarpur in the state of Bihar, India.

Health workers screening villagers for asymptomatic infection with Leishmania donovani, the cause of visceral leishmaniasis, around Muzaffarpur in the state of Bihar, India.

Members of our team collecting blood samples for analysis in a rural village around Muzaffarpur in the state of Bihar, India.