Professor Anthony (Tony) Cunningham, AO,FAHMS is an infectious diseases physician, clinical virologist and scientist, internationally renowned for his research on the immunobiology of HIV and herpesviruses, his work on vaccine and microbicide development, and as an antivirals expert. He is the Director of the Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology Research (ACH2), a Commonwealth Government-funded institute that aims combat the impact of HIV and hepatitis in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region by bringing together basic researchers with translational scientists and physicians. Professor Cunningham has previously worked at Stanford University, USA, built up the State Reference Laboratory in Virology at and established a state reference HIV laboratory at Westmead Hospital in the mid 1980s before assuming directorship of WMI in 1996. He has generated many key discoveries relating to HIV. His research has been instrumental in defining HIV interactions with host immune cells including dendritic cells (DCs), the initial target in the anogenital mucosa, and macrophages (the virus reservoir), and the process of virus trafficking to the final T cell target. His research aims to develop a treatment (e.g. topical antiviral/microbicide) that acts at the source of infection to prevent the spread of HIV. His team also has made key contributions to human immunology and neurobiology of Herpes simplex virus (HSV), leading to the development and trialing by GSK of a partly successful candidate HSV vaccine and recently, a highly efficacious vaccine for Herpes zoster. Professor Cunningham serves on numerous international expert panels on HIV/HSV, antivirals and vaccines and as a member of the Australian Centre for Vaccine Development Scientific Advisory Committee. In 2010 he was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for ‘service to medicine, particularly in the field of viral research and through the development and leadership of medical and biomedical research’.
Since stepping down from the WIMR director role, Professor Cunningham has continued his research on a NHMRC Senior Investigator Grant and is immersed in COVID-19 research and other issues, including:
* A member of the NSW COVID-19 Vaccine Committee, the NSW Waratah COVID vaccine trial alliance and the national Vax4COVID trials alliance
* A contributing author and lead author respectively, "The risk of COVID-19 recurrence in winter", and "Vaccines for COVID-19", commissioned from the Australian Academies of Science and Health and Medical Science, by the Chief Scientist of Australia for the Commonwealth Ministers of Health and Science
* A member of the Safety Review Board for the University of Queensland Phase I clinical trial of SARS-CoV-2 Sclamp vaccine and of the Seqirus global COVID Vaccines Advisory Committee.
Immunology, HIV, Vaccines and vaccinology, Virology & Virus Diseases, Neurosciences
Infection and Immunological Conditions
Infection and Immunity