The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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Professor Richard (Dick) Strugnell

Dick Strugnell is a microbiologist who works at the microbiology/immunology interface, and in basic bacterial molecular biology of key microbiological phenomena including bacterial physiology, biofilm development and adaptation to intracellular growth.  The research involves two key human pathogens, Salmonella enterica and Klebsiella pneumoniae.  The bacteria include organisms responsible for severe human diseases in developed and less-developed healthcare settings.  The research leads to new interventions which include antimicrobials targeting key physiological processes e.g. growth, inhibitors of bacterial adhesion and novel strategies to exploit our growing understanding of the microbe/immune system interface such as immunomodulatory drugs and biologicals and new or improved vaccines to prevent disease.

  • Key Achievements
    • The research has led to new understandings of how bacteria interact with the mammalian host through e.g. the innate immune system, secretory/excretory immune system, and the adaptive immune system.  Key studies from the group have been published showing: the important role of ‘local immunity’ including that of naïve secretory antibodies in protection against infection, inflammasome activation by some but not all bacterial flagellae, the identification of a novel protein secretion system in bacteria, the molecular control of bacterial adhesion in biofilm formation, the importance of key metabolic pathways in bacteria replication in the infected host, bacterial vaccine vectors, and the impact of level of attenuation on the ‘shape’ of the immune response induced by bacteria.  Dick Strugnell has worked as a University Senior Executive, in senior roles in an industry-focussed Cooperative Research Centre, in curriculum development, in industry (Wellcome Biotech), at several Universities, and in public service through numerous Boards and Committees at the University, State, National and Internatonal level.

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