The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Stopping the spread of the superbug VRE in Australian hospitals

Howden Group

Enterococci emerged in terrestrial animals about 450 million years ago and are frequent commensal bacteria in the human gut. In the past 50 years, pathogenic strains have emerged in our hospitals, such as Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium (VRE), that are highly persistent and resistant to multiple antibiotics. We have established a mouse model of VRE colonisation and RNAseq expression profiling to identify bacterial persistence factors. This project will apply molecular biology approaches to define factors essential for gut colonisation and persistence.

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information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Ben Howden, Professor Tim Stinear

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Glen Carter

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Howden Group

[email protected]

3 vacancies

Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections
Host Pathogens Interactions
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Global Health
Indigenous Health

Research Projects 2019 | 19 The Howden group is embedded in the state public health laboratory - the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL) - with expertise in pathogen genomics and antimicrobial resistance, including functional genomics technologies and models of disease. We complement these molecular biology studies with epidemiological and clinical studies to address a broad range of issues related to invasive bacterial diseases in humans, especially those caused by staphylococci, enterococci and other antimicrobial-resistant species (CPE). Working closely with scientists in the MDU PHL, we investigate the epidemiology, evolution and spread of bacterial pathogens of public health significance such as Neisseria gonorrhoea, Listeria monocytogenes, Legionella spp. and Salmonella spp. 

Howden Group Current Projects