Burnet's efforts are focused on how we can pivot our resources and expertise to support the Australian and global research and public health response to COVID-19.

Burnet's involvement in the COVID-19 global response

COVID-19 represents an unprecedented health and economic challenge.

From the early days of the global pandemic, Burnet has been proactively contributing to the response through public health and laboratory-based research, advocacy and in the provision of high-level advice to State and Federal governments.

The Institute’s key programs - Disease Elimination, Behaviours and Health Risks, Health Security, and Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health - are home to researchers with significant expertise and longstanding collaborations and networks that are critical to the local, national and global response to COVID-19.

Our Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC, and other senior staff are involved in multiple COVID-19 responses committees, such as the National Advisory Committee on COVID-19, and are providing strategic advice to Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, state Chief Health Officers and Departments of Health.

A snapshot of our activities:

  • Burnet is working directly with the Australian Department of Health to collate and provide rapid, data-driven technical briefs and policy options to Federal and state Chief Medical Officers across a broad range of key policy, public health and clinical responses.
  • Staff been seconded to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services providing an additional layer of expertise to support the Victorian response.
  • We are also pivoting funding from sources such as DFAT to support COVID-19 responses in Papua New Guinea and Myanmar.
  • Our internal COVID-19 Management Team is supporting activities across the Institute and finding solutions to maintain operations amid the lockdown.



Urgent investment is needed in research if we are to successfully tackle COVID-19. It will require the collective effort of government, business, and philanthropy to mount an effective response in the short-term and the long-term.

It will require multi-sectoral, cross-border and cross-discipline collaborations. Australia can play a global role, as well as leading and supporting our Asia-Pacific neighbours.

Read more about our work to support the international COVID-19 response.

Contact Details

Professor Brendan Crabb AC

Director and CEO; Co-Head Malaria Research Laboratory; Chair, Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)




[email protected]