The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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

The Executive Team

The Doherty Institute’s Executive Team comprises of the organisation’s Director, Deputy Directors and Executive Officer. Their role is to devise and lead the implementation of the Doherty Institute’s strategic plan.

The Executive Team

Professor Sharon Lewin – Director

Professor Sharon Lewin is an infectious diseases physician and basic scientist, who is internationally renowned for her research into all aspects of HIV disease and specifically in strategies to achieve an HIV cure. Professor Lewin is the inaugural Director of the Doherty Institute and the Cumming Global Centre for Pandemic Therapeutics, a new centre at the Doherty Institute established by a philanthropic gift of $250 million from Canadian philanthropist Geoff Cumming and $75 million from the Victorian government. She is also a Melbourne Laureate Professor of Medicine at The University of Melbourne and is the current President of the International AIDS Society (IAS) (2022 – 2024), the largest professional society representing people working in HIV medicine and has over 17,000 members. She is an Advisory Board member for the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations (NFACR) and a Board Director for Doherty Clinical Trials Ltd.

She heads a laboratory of 25 scientists and clinicians working on basic and translational research and early phase clinical trials aimed at finding a cure for HIV. Her laboratory is funded by the NHMRC, the National Institutes of Health, The Wellcome Trust, the American Foundation for AIDS Research and multiple commercial partnerships. She is also the Chief Investigator of a NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE), The Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Diseases Emergencies (APPRISE) that aims to bring together Australia’s leading experts in clinical, laboratory and public health research to address the key components required for a rapid and effective emergency response to infectious diseases.

Sharon Lewin

Professor Paul Gorry

Professor Paul Gorry joined the Doherty Institute in 2023 as Deputy Director. Prior to this appointment Paul held several leadership positions at RMIT over a nine-year period, including Director of Higher Degrees by Research, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation), and Dean of Science and Health (Research and Innovation). Prior to his positions at RMIT, Paul was Senior Principal Research Fellow at the Burnet Institute, Deputy Head of the Institute’s Centre for Biomedical Research, and Principal of the cross-cutting theme of Immunity, Vaccines and Immunisation. His research expertise is broadly in the areas of virology and immunology, which developed from postdoctoral positions at Harvard Medical School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Despite taking a step back from research in 2015 to pursue leadership roles at RMIT, he remains research active and is widely recognised as an expert on HIV pathogenesis and the early steps of viral entry.

Professor Andrew Brooks – Deputy Director and Head Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Professor Andrew Brooks is an immunologist interested in immune recognition strategies, in particular how immune cells discriminate healthy cells from those infected with viruses or tumours. Before establishing a laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Andrew completed a PhD in immunology at Flinders University in South Australia and post-doctoral training at the National Institutes of Health, USA. It was here Andrew developed an interest in the receptors used by lymphocytes called natural killer cells that allow them to target tumours or virus-infected cells. Since returning to the University of Melbourne, Andrew’s research has continued to focus largely on receptors that regulate lymphocyte activation.

Andrew Brooks

Professor Jodie McVernon - Director of Doherty Epidemiology

Professor Jodie McVernon is a physician with subspecialty qualifications in public health and vaccinology. She has extensive expertise in clinical vaccine trials, epidemiologic studies and mathematical modelling of infectious diseases, gained at the University of Oxford, Health Protection Agency London and The University of Melbourne. Her work focuses on the application of a range of cross-disciplinary methodological approaches including mathematical and computational models, to synthesise insights from basic biology, epidemiological data and sociological research. These models advance understanding of the observed epidemiology of infectious diseases and inform understanding of optimal interventions for disease control. 

Jodie McVernon

Professor Ben Howden

Professor Ben Howden is Director of the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL), Medical Director of Doherty Applied Microbial Genomics and Head of the Howden Research Group. Ben is responsible for the provision of public health laboratory services, the translation of microbial genomics into clinical practice, and research investigating antimicrobial resistance and bacterial pathogenesis, evolution and host-pathogen interactions. Ben has been the recipient of many research awards including the American Society for Microbiology ICAAC Young Investigator Award (2011), the Australian Society for Microbiology Frank Fenner Award (2014) and the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases Frank Fenner Award (2015). Ben is currently Deputy Chair of the Public Health Laboratory Network Australia, President of the Australian Society for Antimicrobials, and an Executive Member of the Australian Group on Antibiotic Resistance.

Ben Howden

Professor James McCarthy - Director of the Victorian Infectious Diseases Service

Professor James McCarthy is Director of the Victorian Infectious Diseases Service at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and Professor of Medicine at the Doherty Institute. His research has focussed on the diagnosis and treatment of parasitic diseases, with a major recent focus on the development and application of clinical trial systems that entail deliberate infection of human volunteers with malaria and other pathogenic organisms. This has enabled study of the host-pathogen interaction, development of diagnostic biomarkers and the evaluation of investigational drugs and vaccines.

James McCarthy

Professor Kirsty Buising - Deputy Director of the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship

Professor Kirsty Buising is an infectious diseases physician who is Deputy Director of the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship and chief investigator for the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded Centre for Research Excellence in Antimicrobial Stewardship. Kirsty also holds an appointment as a clinician at VIDS and co-leads the antimicrobial resistance theme at the Doherty institute. She serves on advisory groups at state, national and international levels in the areas of antimicrobial stewardship, guideline development and healthcare associated infection.

Kirsty Buising

Dr Chuan Kok Lim

Dr Chuan Kok Lim is a Medical Virologist and Acting Director of the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL). He is also a co-lead for the Viral Infectious Diseases Theme at the Doherty Institute. He plays a role in leading the public health laboratory response to disease outbreak investigation and surveillance. Chuan is an Honorary Fellow of the Department of Infectious Diseases and a member of the Viral Infectious Diseases cross-cutting discipline at the Doherty Institute. He is a member of the Williamson Group and a clinician-scientist with special research focus on translational virology for emerging pathogens, in particular viral functional genomics and novel diagnostics.