Associate Professor David Anderson

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


Associate Professor Anderson was trained in Microbiology and Molecular Virology at the University of Melbourne and Fairfield Hospital/Burnet Institute under Professor Ian Gust and Stephen Locarnini. He received his PhD in 1989.

Since that time his work has focused on understanding the structure and assembly of hepatitis viruses, and the use of this information to design better diagnostics, vaccines and antiviral therapies for control of major viral infections in humans.

Associate Professor Anderson has published more than 60 original research papers and invited chapters. He has presented on original research work at numerous national and international scientific meetings.

He has been active in translation of research into practical outcomes through commercial ventures and academic collaborations and is an inventor on 10 patent families.

Research Interests

Associate Professor Anderson has had a longstanding interest in the application of research to practical and commercial processes. This is reflected in contract and collaborative research agreements with the pharmaceutical and biotech industries since 1991.

In 2003 a portfolio of technologies from his laboratory relating to the control of infectious diseases (diagnostics, vaccines and antivirals) was licensed to the start-up biotech company Select Vaccines Limited (ASX:SLT). Three commercial diagnostic products are now sold worldwide based on this technology. A fourth (for diagnosis of active syphilis) is entering extensive laboratory trials in 2011; the vaccine technology has been sublicensed to ARTES Biotechnology in Germany.

Building on this expertise in rapid point of care diagnostics, Associate Professor Anderson and his laboratory team led by Mary Garcia is collaborating with Professor Suzanne Crowe (Burnet Institute, Professor Alan Landay (Rush University, Chicago), and Professor Tom Denny (Duke University, Durham), to develop a point-of-care test for estimating CD4 T cell numbers in patients. These tests are urgently needed to provide the tool to improve the management of HIV/AIDS in resource-poor settings.

Associate Professor Anderson and his team are also collaborating with Axxin Ltd in Melbourne on the development of an inexpensive and robust instrument/reader for the CD4 test. This instrument provides greater accuracy and assists in training and quality control. The additional capabilities of the Axxin instrument will be important in the development of other much-needed point-of-care tests.


  • NHMRC Senior Research Fellow (Level B)
  • Associate Professor, Dept Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Associate Senior Lecturer, Monash University, Victoria, Australia


  • 2017:Deputy Director (Partnerships), Burnet Institute
  • Deputy Director, Burnet Institute
  • 2009: Visiting Associate Professor, Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • 2003-2008: Chief Scientific Officer, Select Vaccines Ltd
  • 2001-2006: Senior Research Fellow (Level A), NHMRC
  • 1996: Visiting Associate Research Professor, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
  • 1995-1999: Principal Investigator, Hepatitis E and B R&D syndicate, Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, Victoria, Australia
  • 1994-2004: Associate Senior Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 1991-1993: Associate Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 1991-2002: Head, Hepatitis Research Unit, Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, Australia
  • 1990-1991: Senior Research Officer, Hepatitis Research Unit, Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, Australia
  • 1988-1989: Research Officer, Hepatitis Research Unit, Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, Fairfield Hospital, Victoria, Australia


  • B.Sc(Hons), University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • PhD, University of Melbourne, Australia

Projects (25)

Current (16)

  • A novel biomarker for gut leakage as a diagnostic tool for HIV disease progression

  • Antibody engineering to study responses mediating protective immunity

  • APPRISE - Centre for Research Excellence

  • COVID-19 antigens for PoC test development

  • Demonstrating the impact of next generation Cepheid tools in TB

  • Development of a point-of-care test for neonatal sepsis

  • Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) Deficiency

  • Improved point-of-care test to eliminate congenital syphilis

  • Methods for improved sensitivity of lateral flow tests

  • Novel PoC Testing for Diagnosis of Active Syphilis in Pregnant Women and Infants in Fiji

  • Novel reagents for the serological diagnosis of tuberculosis

  • Rapid and accurate diagnosis of TB: New trial in PNG

  • The EZARET Study: Exploring Zoonotic Association and Risks for Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis in PNG

  • The Optimise Study: Optimising Isolation, Quarantine and Distancing for COVID-19

  • The production of guidance for the laboratory sector to prepare for emergency situations

  • The QuickStart Study

Past (2)

  • ALT point-of-care diagnostic to detect liver disease

  • Strengthening the control of tuberculosis: China and Australia's partnership

Publications (100)

2022 (4)

2021 (2)

2020 (3)

2019 (8)

2018 (5)

2017 (3)

2016 (5)

2015 (3)

2014 (5)

2013 (2)

2011 (3)

2010 (1)

2008 (5)

2007 (2)

2006 (4)

2005 (7)

2004 (1)

2002 (1)

2001 (1)

2000 (8)

1999 (4)

1998 (4)

1997 (5)

1996 (1)

1995 (2)

1994 (3)

1993 (2)

1991 (1)

1990 (1)

1988 (1)

1987 (2)

1986 (1)

News Articles (91)

2022 (1)

2021 (11)

2020 (10)

2019 (7)

2018 (5)

2017 (9)

2016 (9)

2015 (12)

2014 (4)

2013 (14)

2012 (6)

2011 (3)