The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Tracking superbugs using genomics

Howden Group

Bacterial whole genome sequencing is a new technology allowing high-resolution tracking of the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant pathogens (such as MRSA, VRE and KPC-producing bacteria). In this project, this technology will be applied to clinical drug-resistant bacterial isolates from hospitals where patients with these infections are presenting. Genomic approaches, including identification of resistance elements, phylogenetics and evolutionary modelling will be applied to reveal how superbugs are emerging and spreading in our region, and will help design strategies to combat them. 

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Ben Howden

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Jason Kwong

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