The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital

  • Research Groups
    • Nicholson Group

      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: Hepatitis


    Current Projects

    • Estimating HIV incidence in Victoria

      As the Victorian State HIV Reference Laboratory, Suellen’s group is involved in a collaborative project with the Department of Infectious Diseases, Alfred Health, Monash University and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

      The aims of this study are: 

      1. to assess the HIV incidence in Victoria, annually, between 2012 and 2018
      2. to determine if there was a decline in incident HIV notifications since the implementation of PrEPX in Victoria in 2016 
      3. to determine if there was a decline in incident HIV notifications among gay and bisexual men and other populations at risk of HIV infection since the implementation of PrEPX in Victoria in 2016.

    Lab Team

    Nicholson Group

    • Theo Karapanagiotidis
      Deputy scientist
    • Vicki Stambos
      WHO Measles/Rubella scientist
    • Bridget Fraser
      Bursary student
    • Kim Vo
      Bursary student
    • Rianne Brizuela
      Scientist
    • Josie Camilleri
      Scientist
    • Stavroula Corby
      Scientist
    • Celia Douros
      Scientist
    • Thomas Holgate
      Scientist
    • Di Karamalakis
      Scientist
    • Theodora Kaminis
      Scientist
    • Alma Redzic
      Scientist
    • Kate Sharma
      Scientist
    • Daniel Sijmons
      Scientist
    • Laura Stevens
      Scientist
    • Megan Triantafilou
      Scientist

    Clinical Research

    Clinical research in HIV at the Doherty Institute is focused on understanding the barriers to curing HIV infection and developing therapeutic strategies to overcome these. In addition, the Doherty Institute has an active translational research program aimed at understanding how the immune system recovers following treatment of HIV infection and the impact of co-infections that occur commonly in low income countries, including hepatitis B virus (HBV).

    Researchers are conducting a range of observational studies understanding where the virus hides on antiviral therapy (ART), and using blood and tissue samples collected from HIV-infected participants they are identifying new drugs that activate or eliminate the virus. Other observational studies are investigating the interaction of HIV and HBV, cytomegalovirus and Cryptococcus, the frequency of HBV drug resistance in HIV-HBV co-infection, and the impact of immune activation on immune function and liver disease following ART. In addition, researchers are leading a range of multi-site local, national and international interventional studies to investigate new interventions that may eliminate persistent virus.

    Some of the Doherty Institute’s key collaborators in clinical research activities include the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Alfred Hospital; University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA; the Thai Red Cross, Bangkok, Thailand; and the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    If you are interested in volunteering in the Doherty Institute's clinical trials, please see the projects that are now recruiting volunteers

    Now recruiting volunteers

    • HIV

      Do you have HIV and about to undergo immunotherapy for cancer?

      Volunteers needed for a study where extra blood tests will be taken during immunotherapy treatment for cancer.

      Learn more

    • HIV

      Interested in HIV cure research?

      Volunteers needed for a clinical trial to test whether high dose vitamin D can reduce HIV that persists despite antiretroviral therapy.

      Learn more

    • HIV

      Would you like to help researchers eradicate HIV?

      Volunteers needed for a study where large volume of white blood cells are collected to understand where HIV hides on treatment and how to get rid of HIV from its hiding place.

      Learn more

    • HIV

      Would you like to take part in a study to see where HIV hides in the body?

      Volunteers needed for a study where HIV infected cells from lymph nodes and blood will be characterized.

      Learn more

    Current projects

    • Hepatitis HIV

      A surveillance program for the detection of hepatitis B virus (HBV) resistance to tenofovir (TDF) in HIV-HBV co-infected patient

      Learn more

    • HIV

      Circadian HIV RNA Oscillations and Outcomes of Stress (CHRONOS)

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    • HIV

      Dolutegravir intensification study (DIORR)

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    • HIV

      Imaging the reservoir (iPHOTO3)

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    • HIV

      Investigating the effects of interferon on HIV persistence in HIV infected patients on ART

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    • Hepatitis HIV

      Long-term persistence of HIV in the liver and the clinical impact on HIV-HBV co-infection (CHHANEL)

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    • HIV

      The START HIV-1 Reservoir Sub-study

      Learn more

    • Hepatitis HIV

      Towards a Functional cure for HBV: exploiting lessons from HBV-HIV co-infection

      Learn more