School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa.

Research groups

Bacterial Pathogenesis

Researchers: Assoc/Prof Charlene Kahler, Mr Shakeel Mowlaboccus (PhD candidate)

This research focuses on the obligate human pathogens Neisseria meningitides which is the causative agent of epidemic meningitis and N. gonorrhoeae which is the causative agent of gonorrhea. Other interests include Moraxella catharralis or other respiratory pathogens. 


Clostridium difficile

Researches: Dr Kerry Carson, Dr Briony Elliot, Dr Niki Foster, Mr Dan Knight, Ms Pim Putasthit and Prof Thomas Riley

This research focuses on a spore-forming, anaerobic gram positive bacteruim that can cause antibiotic associated diarrhoea.


Host pathogen interactions

Researchers: Assoc/Prof Christopher Peacock, Ms Calila Santos (PhD candidate), Ms Rachael Lappan (PhD candidate), Ms Kara Imbrogno (Graduate Research Assistant) and Mr Henry Beeson (Masters student)

This research group has begun investigating the importance of the microbiome on human health in shaping our response to pathogens. They also have an interest in investigating the impact of novel Australian parasites on native animals in the ever-changing environment.


Medical Microbiology

Researchers: Mr Max Aravena-Roman,  Mr Jarrad Hall, Dr Meredith Hodge, Prof Tim Inglis, Dr Avram Levy, Mr Adam Merritt, Ms Jeannie Robertson, Dr Nadia Urosevic  

This research focuses on an integrated systems biology approach that combines clinical, cell biology, molecular and epidemiological skills in order to develop a mechanistic understanding of infection. 

Phage Biology

Researchers: Prof Barbara Chang, Mr Amir Arrif (PhD candidate), Ms Lucy Furfaro (PhD candidate)

This research focuses on the biology of the bacterial viruses called bacteriophages (phages). Phages specific for Moraxella catarrhalis, Streptococcus agalactiae and Aeromonas spp. are currently under study. Phage genomics and the role of phages in bacterial virulence are current areas of interest.

Tea tree oil

Researchers: Assoc Prof Manfred Beilharz, Dr Christine Carson, Dr Kerry Carson, Ass/Prof Sara Greay, Ass/Prof Kate Hammer, Ass/Prof Cornelia HooperAss/Prof Demelza Ireland, Prof Thomas Riley

This research focuses on the antimicrobial and anti-cancer activity of tea tree oil.