The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Professor Benjamin Howden

Professor Benjamin Howden

Professor Benjamin Howden

(03) 8344 5701 | [email protected]

Director Of Microbiological Diagnostic Unit (MDU) Public Health Laboratory
Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections
Genomics, Public Health
Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI), Microbiological Diagnostic Unit (MDU) Public Health Laboratory
Lab Group(s):
Howden Group

Professor Ben Howden is a medical microbiologist, infectious diseases physician and molecular biologist. He is Director of the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL), Medical Director of the Doherty Centre for Applied Microbial Genomics and Head of the Howden Research Group. In his roles, Ben is responsible for the provision of public health laboratory services, the translation of microbial genomics into public health and clinical microbiology, and research investigating antimicrobial resistance and bacterial pathogenesis, evolution and host-pathogen interactions.

  • Key Achievements
    • Ben completed training in medical microbiology and infectious diseases in 2004, and was awarded a PhD from Monash University in 2009. In 2014, Ben was appointed as Director of the MDU PHL and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Ben has been the recipient of numerous research awards including a commendation in the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Medical Research (2010), 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 (2016-2020), and an Executive Member of the Australian Group on Antibiotic Resistance.

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    Research Groups
    • Howden Group

      Ben’s group’s research uses genomics, molecular biology, epidemiology 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. Additionally, working closely with scientists in the MDU PHL, they investigate the epidemiology, evolution, and spread of bacterial pathogens of public health significance such as Neisseria gonorrhoea, Listeria monocytogenes, Shigella and Salmonella spp., Legionella spp., and carbapenemase-producing gram-negative bacteria.

      Lab Team

      Howden Group

      • Dr Romain Guerillot
      • Dr Natasha Holmes
      • Dr Anders Gonçalves da Silva
      • Dr Kyra Chua
      • Wei Gao
      • Dr Jason Kwong
      • Sarah Baines
      • Dr Jean Lee
      • Dr Norelle Sherry
      • Dr Stefano Giulieri
      • Eloise Alison
      • Dr Andre Mu
        Research Officer
      • Robyn Lee
        Research Fellow