We are always looking for ways to expand our research. Below are some of the groups we are currently collaborating with. If you or your group is interested in working with us or have an idea for a project please contact us
Professor Rob Moore (RMIT)
Dr Robert Moore has worked in the commercial, government and academic sectors. He is currently Research Professor of Biotechnology in the School of Science at RMIT University, Australia, where his group undertakes fundamental and applied research. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Microbiology Department of Monash University, Australia. He completed his PhD at Monash University followed by postdoctoral fellowships at Edinburgh University and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, UK. Subsequently, Professor Moore worked in the R&D Department of an international animal health company for 8 years and then continued his career at CSIRO for 20 years before moving to RMIT University in 2015. Professor Moore is a veterinary molecular microbiologist with expertise in molecular microbiology, bacterial pathogenesis, bacterial genomics, animal models of bacterial disease, necrotic enteritis, spotty liver disease, campylobacteriosis, enzootic pneumonia, caseous lymphadenitis, vaccine development, microbiota analysis, identification and characterisation of bacteriocins, and probiotic development.
Notable research from Professor Moore’s laboratory includes fundamental work on the pathogenesis of the chicken disease, necrotic enteritis, caused by Clostridium perfringens. His group first demonstrated that alpha-toxin, long thought to be the primary virulence factor, was not required for disease pathogenesis. His group then went on to be the first to identify and characterise the major virulence factor, a secreted toxin, NetB, which is responsible for necrotic enteritis pathogenesis. This work has now been used as the basis for the development of an efficacious experimental vaccine to protect birds from the disease.
Recently his group has identified, isolated and characterised the bacterium responsible for causing a newly emerging and industry devastating disease in poultry – Spotty Liver Disease. For over 6 decades researchers around the world were puzzled and unable to identify the pathogen casing the disease. Dr Moore’s research team cultured the bacteria responsible and were able to experimentally induce disease using the candidate strain. The strains growth and biochemical characteristics help to explain why this particular bacterium avoided identification for many years. The bacterium has been officially published and recognised as a new species, named Campylobacter hepaticus. This fundamental science now opens the way for vaccine development.
An important current focus of Professor Moore’s research is the analysis and manipulation of gut microbiota aimed at understanding its role in health and disease. This work was initiated with Dr Stanley when she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Moore lab at CSIRO. Since then Dr Stanley and Professor Moore have maintained a strong and productive ongoing collaboration in this research area, co-authoring around 20 publications. The initial microbiota work focused on its importance in chickens but the expertise that the collaboration developed on that work has now been applied to a range of studies in humans and in mouse models of human diseases, in a series of studies with other collaborators. The microbiota work is greatly facilitated by Professor Moore’s access to the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) facilities at RMIT University. His group have significant expertise in NGS, gene expression technologies, and microbial genomics, and in collaboration with Dr Stanley, wide expertise in microbiota analysis.
The ongoing collaborations between Dr Stanley and Professor Moore represent a large part of the research efforts of both groups.
Dr Connie Wong
Dr. Connie Wong is a basic science researcher who completed her PhD in 2008 at Monash University. At an early stage of her research career, she recognized the importance and potential of in vivo live cell imaging. Dr. Wong joined the laboratory of world leader in this field, Dr. Paul Kubes (University of Calgary, Canada) with the support of back-to-back national competitive fellowships. She returned to Australia with the ARC DECRA fellowship (2012-2015) and is currently a Heart Foundation Future Leader fellow (2016-2019).
Dr. Wong has published in leading journals including Cell Host and Microbes (2013, 2016), Nature Communications (2015 x2), Journal of Experimental Medicine (2015), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2014) and Nature Immunology (2011, 2013). Specifically, Dr. Wong has shown and published in Science (2011) that stroke impairs the function of the immune system, rendering the host more susceptible to infections. In addition, she lead a novel study published in Nature Medicine (2016) that described a novel view of bacterial translocation in post-stroke infection, and the findings of this study will likely impact on patient care after stroke. Based on these work, Dr. Wong leads her team to explore key questions underlying the regulation of immune suppression after stroke with powerful in vivo approaches.
Dr. Wong has won numerous prizes and awards, including the Lawrence Creative Prize (2013; <3.5% success rate), ongoing salary support from 4 fellowships since PhD and national competitive grants, totalling over $3.5M. With this support, Dr. Wong is growing her Neuroinflammation Research Group in the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases at Monash University. Dr Wong collaborates with Dr Dana Stanley on a number of projects spanning the areas of stroke, modulation of immunity through diet and colitis.
Professor Alan Baxter
Professor Alan Baxter is a medical graduate who completed a PhD in immunogenetics at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute under the supervision of Tom Mandel. He has worked as a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School and at Cambridge University, where he was a Supervisor in Pathology for Trinity College. He has been a member of the Australasian Society for Immunology since 1994 and was President of the Society from 2006-2008, a member of the Council of the Federation of Immunological Societies of Asia-Oceania 2012-2015, the Council of the International Union of Immunological Societies 2013-2016 and is a current member of the MSRA Research Management Council. He is a member of the editorial boards of Immunology and Cell Biology and The Review of Diabetic Studies and is a reviewer for several journals including Nature Medicine, Science, The Lancet, Diabetologia, Autoimmunity, and the Journal of Immunology. His extensive commitments to the public appreciation of science have helped promote rational discussion of the health sciences in Australia. His current appointment is as Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, Head of the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology and Director of the Comparative Genomics Centre at James Cook University. Dr Baxter collaborates with Dr Dana Stanley on a number of projects spanning the reas of diabetes, TLR signaling and Multiple Sclerosis
Dr Thi Thu Hao Van
Dr Hao Van is a Research Fellow in the School of Science, RMIT University. Her research interests and expertise are the development of bacteria from gut microbiota for use as probiotics, antibiotic resistance and virulence of bacterial pathogens, identifying the cause of disease in farm animals, and the development of vaccines against the pathogens causing these diseases.