After my PhD award in 2005 from USYD, I was a research fellow at WIMR for 7 years then a Co-Group Leader for the HIV Pathogenesis group in 2012-2017. In 2018, I have accepted a Senior Lecturer position in Applied Medical Sciences at USYD and I am leading the HIV Immunity and IFN Group, Centre for Virus Research, Westmead Institute for Medical Research since 2018. I am acknowledged as a leading HIV-macrophage (MQ) and HIV-dendritic cell (DC) researcher. Using systems biology approaches, I have made multiple contributions to understanding the biology of HIV interactions with MQ, DCs and epidermal Langerhans cells (eLCs). I was the first to show that eLCs transfer HIV to CD4 T-cells in two temporal phases. I have also driven discoveries of how HIV manipulates innate immunity by inhibiting interferon (IFN) production in DCs/MQs to avoid immune detection and be transmitted to CD4 T cells where IFN production is also inhibited. Recently, my team showed that IFN inhibition is reversed upon coculture with plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) which usually infiltrate inflamed sites. Surprisingly we found two divergent effects of IFN alpha (α) on HIV infection of myeloid and lymphoid cells: a decrease in HIV replication in DCs and MQs while in T cells, pDCs via IFNα increased HIV expression with evidence of HIV reactivation from latency.

HIV/AIDS, Immunology, Infection, Immunology, Microbiology and Virology

Research Focus

I investigate HIV interactions with the immune system to develop preventative approaches and assess whether some cells may be exploited by mucosal vaccines to prevent HIV transmission. For HIV infected patients, my research focuses on therapeutic strategies for HIV patients by examining potent and safer approaches for a HIV cure in cells acting as viral reservoirs and don’t respond to the currently available anti-viral treatment

Other Affiliations

Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases (Sydney ID); Faculty of Medicine and Health, School of Medical Science (Infection, Immunity and Inflammation theme), University of Sydney


BSc with 1st Class Hons, MSc, PhD