The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Age-dependent susceptibility of neurons to RNA virus infection

Fazakerley Group

Central nervous system virus infections are a significant global public health concern. Symptomatic viral encephalitis is reported in 1 in 10,000 people. Neurologic complications, particularly in children, are a major health issue. These include major brain deformities, cognitive impairment, epilepsy and Parkinsonian conditions, and are manifested in up to 50 per cent of survivors of symptomatic encephalitis. Susceptibility to these infections is age-dependent and linked to the ability of the immune system to mount an efficient antiviral response. This project aims to explore mechanisms underlying the differences between immature and mature neurons in their ability to control RNA virus encephalitis.

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Project Supervisor

Dr Lukasz Kedzierski

Project Co-supervisor

Professor John Fazakerley

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Fazakerley Group

3 vacancies

Viral Infectious Diseases
Host Pathogens Interactions
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research

The Fazakerley group’s main interest is in the pathogenesis of infections caused by RNA viruses, in particular vector-borne (arbovirus) alphaviruses infections of the central nervous system and insect vectors. Our main focus is to dissect the immune mechanisms during viral encephalitis and virus persistence in the central nervous system. We also investigate the arthropod responses to alphaviruses and study their transmission in mosquito vectors. 

Fazakerley Group Current Projects