Burnet diagnostics development part of new multimillion APPRISE partnership

Tracy Parish

01 July, 2016

HEV-IgM diagnostic test

Burnet Institute will contribute its expertise in diagnostic development to a new AUD$5 million National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) to boost Australia’s response to infectious disease outbreaks.

The Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Diseases Emergencies (APPRISE) brings together Australia’s leading experts in clinical, laboratory and public health research to address the need for a rapid and effective emergency response to infectious diseases.

APPRISE Chief Investigator, Director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, and Burnet Institute board member, Professor Sharon Lewin said the new CRE would ensure Australia is equipped for a more coordinated, effective and evidence-based response to infectious disease outbreaks.

“This multidisciplinary team will create and share new knowledge to detect, prevent and manage emerging infection threats,” Professor Lewin said.

“We have outstanding research in emergency response to infectious diseases across Australia in multiple disciplines. The CRE will now allow for national coordination of these efforts, integration of different disciplines, training of early career researchers and a close link to government.”

Deputy Director of Burnet Institute and CEO of Burnet Institute’s spinoff Nanjing BioPoint Diagnostic Technologies, Associate Professor David Anderson will lead the work on development of serological lateral-flow POC tests for new pathogens and provide advice on commercialisation opportunities arising from the broader diagnostics work of the new CRE through close alignment with industry partners.

“Australia has well developed clinical and reference laboratory capacity for diagnosis of emerging infectious diseases which is strongly represented in the new CRE, but there is a critical need to develop new point-of-care (POC) diagnostic technologies,” Associate Professor Anderson said.

“We need new POC tests that can be deployed in remote areas of Australia and resource-poor settings throughout the Asia-Pacific region in order to deal with the threats of new pathogens.”

APPRISE will work with a newly established national network and with Commonwealth and State governments to create a sustainable research program to inform Australia’s emergency response to infectious diseases.

NHMRC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Anne Kelso said the new Centre would play an important role in Australia’s readiness to respond to future pandemics and other infectious disease emergencies.

“History tells us that new infectious diseases will continue to emerge but that we cannot predict when, where or how. The purpose of this significant NHMRC grant is to establish national capability to respond rapidly when such threats do emerge by undertaking the research needed to inform the public health response,” Professor Kelso said.

The APPRISE participating institutions are:

  • Australian Red Cross Blood Service
  • Burnet Institute
  • Deakin University
  • Doherty Institute
  • Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Griffith University
  • Hunter New England Health
  • James Cook University
  • Macquarie University
  • Menzies School of Health Research
  • Monash University
  • Queensland Health
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Western Australia

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Associate Professor David Anderson

Deputy Director (Partnerships), Burnet Institute; Chief Scientific Officer, Burnet Diagnostics Initiative




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