The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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

  • Research Groups

    Current Projects

    • HIV Latency Reversing Agents

      The biggest hurdle in curing HIV infection in an individual is that the virus remains dormant in some populations of cells, hiding from the immune system and the cocktail of antiviral drugs. This is described as HIV latency and poses a major barrier to curing HIV. The Lewin-Cameron Lab’s research focuses on agents that ‘wake up’ dormant HIV hiding in the body and reverse HIV latency. One group of drugs they strongly focus on is histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi).

    • Dendritic cells and immunomodulation in HIV

      Dendritic cell-T cell interactions in different tissues are critical in generating T cell immunity and this interaction is important in controlling productive HIV infection and latency in the T cells.  The Lewin-Cameron Lab are exploring how different types of dendritic cells can control the establishment, reversal and maintenance of HIV latency.  One major interest of this group is the role of immune check points and their blockade in DC-induced HIV latency.

    • HIV Reservoir Virology

      The HIV Reservoir Virology group’s major focus is on unravelling the viral determinants of HIV latency. They use innovative virological techniques to understand how the virus can persist on ART using CD4+ T-cells from HIV-infected individuals on ART. The reservoir virology group also has a major interest in developing assays to better quantify HIV persistence on antiretroviral therapy.

    • HIV and co-infections

      Co-infections with viral or bacterial pathogens cause significant morbidity in patients with HIV. In the case of HIV/HBV co-infection, morbidity and mortality secondary to liver disease is greatly increased compared to those infected with HBV or HIV alone. Mortality remains elevated even after treating both the HIV and HBV virus. The HBV Immunology Lab investigates the mechanism of how HIV can accelerate liver disease in patients co-infected with HBV. They hypothesise that this occurs by combined effects of HIV and HBV on inflammation in the liver. These studies could potentially lead to new treatments for liver disease. In addition they have a long-standing interest in developing novel assays to characterise the immune response to other important HIV co-infections, including cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Cryptococcus.

    • HIV-related immune reconstitution and immune activation

      Following antiretroviral therapy, CD4+ T-cells recover but often don’t recover to normal levels and immune activation can persist. Although patients are no longer at risk of AIDS associated illnesses, they are at increased risk of other diseases including cardiovascular disease, neurological disease and malignancy. The Lewin-Cameron lab is interested in determining novel host factors that influence immune reconstitution including genetic factors.

    Lab Team

    Lewin Group

    • Dr Jasminka Sterjovski
      Research Manager
    • Dr Jennifer Audsley
      Post-doctoral Research Fellow
    • Dr Jenny Anderson
      Post-doctoral Research Fellow
    • Dr Vanessa Evans
      Post-doctoral Research Fellow
    • Dr Jori Symons
      Post-doctoral Research Fellow
    • Dr Jennifer Zerbato
      Post-doctoral Research Fellow
    • Ajantha Rhodes
      Lab Manager
    • Surekha Tennakoon
      Research Officer
    • Ashanti Dantanarayana
      Research Assistant
    • Dr Kasha Singh
      PhD student
    • Dr Matthew Pitman
      PhD student
    • Youry Kim
      PhD student
    • Zuwena Richardson
      PhD student
    • Haoming Liu
      PhD Student
    • Rachel Pascoe
      PhD Student
    • Jared Stern
      PhD Student
    • Wei Zhao
      Research Fellow
    • Socheata Chea
      Clinical Research Support and Systems Administrator
    • Carolin Tumpach
      Research Support Officer