Professor Gilda Tachedjian

Head of Life Sciences; Head of Tachedjian Laboratory (Retroviral Biology and Antivirals)


Awarded her PhD at Monash University, Professor Tachedjian received an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral studies at Columbia University in New York with Professor Stephen Goff on retroviral replication.

In 2002, Professor Tachedjian was recruited to Burnet Institute. She was awarded an NHMRC RD Wright Career Development Award in 2003 and an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship in 2009.

A virologist with an interest in basic research and translational studies, her current research interests include elucidating the role of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reverse transcriptase (RT) and host cell factors in the replication of retroviruses, HIV drug resistance, identification of novel RT inhibitors, and development of topical microbicides to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Major research findings include discovering mutations in the HIV RT that confer resistance to antiretroviral drugs which are incorporated in genotyping algorithms for predicting HIV drug resistance.

Professor Tachedjian developed a yeast two-hybrid assay for studying the interaction between the two subunits of the RT enzyme which was patented. This led to the discovery that potent nonnucleoside RT inhbitors (NNRTIs) enhance RT subunit interaction and can unexpectedly affect the late stages of HIV replication. She discovered that mutations at the RT subunit interface destabilise the RT dimer and abrogate enzyme function and formation of the HIV virion.

Professor Tachedjian has played a major role in the preclinical development of microbicides to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV and was involved in the completion of a phase I clinical study (SPL7013-003) to determine the retention of the dendrimer microbicide VivaGel after vaginal dosing in healthy women. She is also investigating the virucidal role of lactic acid found in the healthy vaginal tract.


  • 2013: Principal for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Burnet Institute
  • 2011: ASMR representative on the Premiers Award for Health and Medical Research judging panel.
  • 2011: Academic Editor, PLoS ONE
  • 2009: Principal Burnet Fellow, Burnet Institute
  • 2009: Editorial Board, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
  • 2008: Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Monash University
  • 2007: Editorial Board, The Open Microbiology Journal
  • 2005: Editorial Board, Current HIV Research
  • 2005: Honorary Senior Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, Monash University
  • 2005-2007: Director, ASMR National Committee
  • 2005-2010: ASMR Liaison to the Premiers Award for Health and Medical Research
  • 2004-2005: Victorian State Convenor, ASMR Medical Research Week
  • 2004: Member, National Centre for HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research Antiretroviral Working Group.
  • 2002: Committee Member ASMR MRW, Victorian Branch


  • 2017: Head of Life Sciences, Burnet Institute
  • 2011: Head, Retroviral Biology and Antivirals Laboratory, Burnet Institute
  • 2003-2010: Head, Molecular Interactions Group, Burnet Institute
  • 1997-2001: CJ Martin Postdoctoral Fellow (Laboratory of Professor Stephen P Goff) Columbia University, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New York, USA.


  • 1997: PhD in Microbiology, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
  • 1984: BSc (Hons), Monash University, Australia


  • 2011: Fellow of the Australian Society for Microbiology (FASM)
  • 2009: NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship
  • 2008: Nick Crofts Publication Award for top rated publication from the Burnet Institute in 2007
  • 2004: CASS Foundation Travel Grant
  • 2003: NHMRC RD Wright Career Development Award
  • 1997: NHMRC CJ Martin Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 1995: First Prize, Best Oral Presentation, 7th Annual Conference ASHM, Coolum, Australia

Projects (11)

Current (7)

Past (4)

Publications (77)

2017 (3)

2016 (7)

2015 (5)

2013 (7)

2012 (7)

2011 (3)

2010 (4)

2009 (4)

2008 (2)

2007 (5)

2006 (2)

2005 (7)

2004 (1)

2003 (2)

2002 (1)

2001 (1)

2000 (1)

1998 (2)

1997 (1)

1996 (2)

1995 (2)

1994 (1)

1993 (1)

1992 (1)

1990 (3)

1988 (2)

News Articles (25)

2017 (6)

2016 (5)

2015 (4)

2014 (3)

2013 (2)

2012 (4)

2011 (1)