Associate Professor Melissa Churchill

Head, Churchill Laboratory


Molecular virologist Associate Professor Melissa Churchill is Head of the HIV Neuropathogenesis Laboratory at the Burnet Institute. Her research interests include HIV infection of the central nervous system, and its implications for the development of HIV associated neurocognitive disorders and the establishment of HIV viral reservoirs. In particular her interests include studying the mechanisms by which HIV enters the CNS, infects cells of the CNS and the regulatory mechanisms involved in the establishment of a latent CNS viral infection.

In 1993 Professor Churchill completed her PhD based at the Burnet Institute receiving an NHMRC fellowship to undertake postdoctoral training in the Department of Gene Expression Sciences at SmithKline Galaxo in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

On returning to Australia in 1996 she advanced to co-head the HIV AIDS Molecular Biology unit at the Burnet Institute. In 2007 she joined the HIV-1 Neurovirology Research group at the Burnet Institute and now heads the HIV Neuropathogenesis Laboratory. Professor Churchill is an Associate Professor in the department of Medicine and the department of Microbiology at Monash University.


  • 2007: Head, HIV Molecular Neuropathogenesis Laboratory, Burnet Institute, Victoria, Australia
  • 2009: Centre for Virology, Burnet Principal Fellow, Australia
  • 2010: Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
  • 2010: Adjunct Associate Professor of Microbiology, Monash University, Australia
  • 2007: Member, National Centre for HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research Neurology Working Group
  • 2011: Member ‘Towards an HIV Cure’ International Working Group, Immunological mechanisms and compartments involved in HIV persistence subgroup


  • 2007: Head, HIV Neuropathogenesis Laboratory, Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research & Public Health, Victoria, Australia
  • 2001: Head, Attenuated Virus Research Group, Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research & Public Health, Australia
  • 1996: Deputy Head AIDS Molecular Biology Laboratory, Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research & Public Health, Australia.
  • 1993: Postdoctoral Fellow, Rosenberg Laboratory, Department of Gene Expression Sciences, SmithKline Galaxo Pharmaceuticals, King of Prussia, PA, USA
  • 1989: Research Assistant, National Centre for HIV Virology Research, Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research & Public Health, Australia


-2009: BL, Faculty of Law and Management, LaTobe University, Victoria, Australia -1993: PhD, Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia -1988: BSc (Hons), LaTrobe University, Australia


  • 2009: Deans Commendation for Academic Excellence, Bachelor of Laws
  • 1994: NHMRC Training Fellowship
  • 1990: NHMRC Dora Lush Postgraduate Scholarship

Projects (1)

Publications (77)

2016 (10)

2015 (4)

2014 (7)

2013 (11)

2012 (3)

2011 (10)

2010 (3)

2009 (2)

2008 (2)

2007 (7)

2006 (5)

2005 (2)

2004 (4)

2003 (1)

2002 (1)

2001 (1)

2000 (1)

1999 (1)

1996 (1)

1990 (1)


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