Infectious Diseases Mini-Symposium

Part of the QTHA Electronic Seminar Series and presented by James Cook University Research Centres: The Centre for Biosecurity and Tropical Infectious Disease & The Centre for Biodiscovery and Molecular Development of Therapeutics

Infectious Diseases Mini-Symposium

When: Friday 24th May, 3-5pm
Where: James Cook University (JCU) Cairns A21.001 Teaching Annex and JCU Townsville, Aust. Tropical Science & Innovation Precinct (ATSIP) room 030 (145-030)

Professor Kiaran Kirk, The Australian National University "Targeting ion transport in the malaria parasite with new-generation antimalarials"
Professor Malcolm McConville, The University of Melbourne "Rediscovering metabolism in hostparasite interactions"
Dr Nicholas West, The University of Queensland "To know TB is to beat TB"
Professor Natkunam Ketheesan, James Cook University "Host-Pathogen Interactions in Bacterial Infections"

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Contact email/Lisa.Jones1)(jcu.edu.au to arrange links to other sites. 

Professor Kiaran Kirk, The Australian National University "Targeting ion transport in the malaria parasite with  new-generation antimalarials"

Malaria parasites are becoming resistant to most, if not all, of the antimalarial drugs currently in use. High throughput screens of diverse chemical libraries have identified a number of novel compound classes that are potent inhibitors of malaria parasite growth. For a number of these compound classes there is evidence that their mechanism of action involves an ion-pumping ATPase located at the surface of the parasite. In this talk I will explain how studies of ion regulation in the malaria parasite have led to the hypothesis that multiple new antimalarial candidates, including several now in clinical trials, kill the malaria parasite by disrupting the mechanism by which the parasite maintains a low internal sodium ion concentration.
Kiaran Kirk carried out his PhD in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Sydney (1985-1988). In 1989 he went to the Oxford University Laboratory of Physiology where he held an Oxford Nuffield Medical Fellowship, the Staines Medical Research Fellowship (Exeter College) and a Lister Institute Senior Research Fellowship. He returned to Australia in 1996 to head the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the ANU Faculty of Science, holding this post until taking up his present position as Director of the newly-created ANU Research School of Biology in June 2009.

Professor Malcolm McConville, The University of Melbourne "Rediscovering metabolism in hostparasite interactions"

The capacity of microbial pathogens to salvage and catabolize essential nutrients and carbon sources derived from their host cell is a key determinant of virulence. New analytical approaches are revolutionising our capacity to dissect the metabolism of pathogens and their hosts and to identify new drug targets. How these are being applied to several parasitic systems will be described.


Dr Nicholas West, The University of Queensland "To know TB is to beat TB"

After completing his PhD in 2000, Dr Nicholas West began postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford, UK, and then later at the Imperial College London. During this time he spent significant time collaborating and working at the Institute Pasteur in Paris. In 2004 he returned to Australia as a postdoctoral scientist at the Centenary Institute in Sydney where he began researching tuberculosis. Professor West moved to the University of Queensland as a senior Lecturer and Research Fellow in mid 2012.

Professor Natkunam Ketheesan, James Cook University "Host-Pathogen Interactions in Bacterial Infections"

Professor Natkunam Ketheesan is a research intensive academic and the team leader of the Infectious Diseases and Immunopathogenesis Research Group (IDIRG). In 2012, in recognition of his contributions to academia, Ketheesan was promoted to a Personal Chair. He is the Co-Director of the Centre for Biosecurity and Tropical Infectious Diseases at JCU and also a lead researcher within the Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (QTHA).
In 2000, Ketheesan accepted a lecturer position at JCU and commenced teaching immunology to undergraduate students within the professional and biomedical degree programmes. His major research interest is in determining the immunological basis of host-pathogen interactions in bacterial infections relevant to the tropics. Prof Ketheesan's research efforts focus on investigating the interactions that occur between selected tropical bacterial pathogens and the human host to enable the development of strategies to better identify and combat infections and their complications. His research is supported by both international and national funding agencies including the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.

 

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