Renae’s group studies key HBV proteins to predict clinical response during chronic disease towards understanding the interaction with/recognition by the host antibody response to clear infection, and how the antibody response might be enhanced to promote viral clearance and cure.
Renae Walsh Project C
Current HBV treatments supress viral replication, but fail to clear virus from infected cells. The ultimate treatment goal is hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) clearance or functional cure to reduce the risk of liver cancer. Few biomarkers reliably predict this outcome. Renae’s group have developed a novel assay that determines the HBsAg profile or fingerprint, which is influenced by immune (or antibody) recovery during treatment, to identify and report an HBsAg clearance profile (CP) predictive of surface protein clearance. They have partnered with several industry leaders to assess the effect of new HBV drugs in clinical trial to promote HBsAg clearance.
Renae Walsh Project A
The HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) contains the major virus neutralisation domain and forms the basis of the HBV vaccine. HBsAg is a conformationally dynamic protein, and the HBsAg profile is vulnerable to structural alterations applied by divergent strains or variants (potential escape variants), and therapeutic or immune pressure. Renae’s group has developed a novel immunoassay to map HBsAg fingerprint using panels of monoclonal antibodies targeting HBsAg epitope domains. They are developing the clinical and diagnostic application of this novel HBsAg fingerprinting assay to define and report HBV vaccine efficacy and escape, and to predict HBsAg response on antiviral therapy.
Renae Walsh Project B
HBV infection represents a global health issue, with more than one million deaths annually attributed to complications of chronic disease. HBsAg clearance and seroconversion to anti-HBs antibody is rarely achieved naturally or on treatment, but represents a functional cure for chronic HBV infection. Not all anti-HBs responses are equally functional, and the evolution of an effective broadly neutralising versus clearing anti-HBs antibody response during chronic infection is not clearly understood. Renae’s group uses a range of virological, serological, and biochemical approaches to isolate and identify potent clearance anti-HBs antibodies and characterise the anti-HBs response, target specificity and mechanism of viral clearance.
Rachel HammondMedical Scientist/Research Assistant
Joshua DeerainMedical Scientist/Research Assistant
Scott’s laboratory is the State Reference Laboratory for molecular testing of the hepatitis viruses and has been involved in outbreak investigation of hepatitis A, B, C and E for the Victorian Department of Health, as well as for other Australian states.
Ben’s group focuses on viral hepatitis epidemiological research. The team undertakes a broad range of activities supporting local, national and global control of viral hepatitis, through surveillance, treatment and prevention initiatives, and training and regional capacity building.
Other work areas include: Public Health
The main focus of the Lewin-Cameron laboratory is to understand why HIV infection persists on antiretroviral therapy, to develop new strategies to eliminate latency and to define the biological determinants of immune reconstitution and factors that drive liver disease in HIV-hepatitis B virus co-infection.
The current major research interests of Stephen’s group includes viral hepatitis and antiviral chemotherapy with an emphasis on the basic virology of hepatitis B virus, the molecular pathogenesis of hepatitis, as well as prevention and public health control measures.
Suellen's group fulfills a dual mission of providing a technically first class, reliable diagnostic, reference and public health service to the healthcare system, and being an innovative, adaptable, forward-looking component of the scientific community and a valued collaborator in research projects, not just in Victoria, but nationally and in the region.
Other work areas include: HIV
Peter’s group investigates the role of different HBV genotypes and variants in the HBV life cycle, disease progression and treatment response. This includes the role of splice variants, which his team has shown are predictive of liver cancer.
Associate Professor Peter Revill
Section Head, Molecular Virology Group, Division of Research and Molecular Development
Elizabeth’s group investigates novel ways to block cancer growth with a focus on the gastrointestinal tract – stomach, bowel and liver. A cell-cell communication pathway called Wnt is hyperactive in these cancers. Their research shows inhibiting Wnt has potent anti-cancer effects.
Other work areas include: Immunology
Professor Elizabeth Vincan
Deputy Section Head of Molecular Microbiology/Head of Molecular Oncology Laboratory
people are chronically infected with hepatitis B or C globally
are living with chronic viral hepatitis