2020 Grant Success for Impact AMR members

It's been a fabulous year of funding success for members of the Centre to Impact AMR.

Congratulations to all Centre members that have been awarded grants across ARC Discovery, MRFF and NHMRC Investigator and Ideas grants.


Professor Dena Lyras

The role of host proteases in modulation enteric infectious disease $1,267,155

Professor Ana Traven

Immuno-metabolic interactions of the fungal superbug Candida auris $674,105

Professor Anton Peleg

Targeting Antimicrobial Resistance and Host Immune Evasion in Staphylococcus aureus  $892,831

Professor Anton Peleg

Virulence Associated small RNAs in Acinetobacter baumannii $964,147.5


Professor Trevor Lithgow 

An investigation into flagellotropic bacteriophage stability and biology. This project aims to understand the capabilities of a type of virus called bacteriophage (phage). Significant economic loss in the food industry has led the USA and Europe to deploy phage to decontaminate food-processing machinery. These phages kill food-spoiling bacteria. This project expects to fill gaps in our knowledge, particularly to assist in choosing phages that are of increased stability and thus more long-lasting for deployment in industrial settings, and to inform additives to the phage preparations to increase their potency in killing bacteria. The project should provide significant benefits in training students and staff in methodology for investigating phage for future applications in Australian industry and biotechnology.  $355,328.00

(Professor Perran Cook); Associate Professor Christopher Greening; (Dr Wei Wen Wong)

Coastal permeable sediments as a novel source of greenhouse gases. Emissions of the greenhouse gases nitrous oxide and methane are increasing from unknown sources. High concentrations of these gases have been observed in coastal waters which bear the brunt of nutrient pollution (primarily nitrogen) from cities and agriculture. This project aims to investigate the sources of these gases within these environments and the processes that lead to their formation. This new knowledge is expected to develop new models that aim to enable us to better predict the emissions of greenhouse gases within coastal waters. The expected benefit of this will be strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. $671,476.00

Professor Andrea Whittaker; & (Professor Catherine Mills; Dr Anthony Marren)

A comparative sociocultural and bioethical study of uterus transplants. This socio-cultural study aims to undertake a comparative study of the new Australian Uterine Transplant (UTx) trial with established and emerging UTx programs in the US and India. Expected outcomes of this project include: enhanced understandings of the experiences and meanings of uterine transplant for women donors, recipients and staff involved in UTx trials; an exploration of the ethical issues raised by this technology; and a comparison of social responses to uterine transplants across different societies. This study is anticipated to provide theoretical insights into the social and ethical impacts of this technology for improved public policy responses.  $367,101.00

Dr Jeremy Barr; (& Dr Samuel Forster)

Discovery of Novel Bacteriophage with the Capacity to Modulate Gut Bacteria. This project aims to experimentally validate the largest-ever collection of bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) within the gut microbiome. This project expects to generate new knowledge in the area of bacteriophage biology and genomics by using the innovative approaches of wet-lab and bioinformatic genome analyses. Expect outcomes of this project include the discovery of novel phages using bioinformatics, wet-lab validation of their activity and characterisation of their potential to contribute to new bacterial host metabolism. This should provide benefits, such as advancement to our understanding of bacteriophages, improved bioinformatic software, and a characterised collection of commercially valuable bacterial strains and phages. $536,190.00

Associate Professor John Boyce; Dr Marina Harper

Role of Pasteurella surface polysaccharides in pathogenesis and immunity. Livestock infections cause major economic losses worldwide. The bacterium Pasteurella multocida causes multiple diseases in a range of livestock, including hemorrhagic septicaemia in cattle and fowl cholera in poultry. Two surface polysaccharide structures, capsule and lipopolysaccharide, are crucial for P. multocida to cause disease. Our data indicate that varying the amount/content of these structures also affects vaccine performance. This project aims to identify how the production of these P. multocida structures are controlled and if changes to these structures affect its ability to infect different animals/birds. Using this information, the project aims to develop state-of-the-art livestock vaccines with superior disease coverage.$737,180.00

Professor Dena Lyras; Associate Professor Sheena McGowan; Dr Milena Awad

Mechanism of secretion of large clostridial toxins. This project aims to investigate how large clostridial toxins are secreted from important animal bacterial pathogens. This project expects to generate new knowledge about how bacteria interact with hosts through protein secretion, using a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach and cutting-edge techniques. Expected outcomes of this project include building a deep understanding of the role of export machinery in toxin secretion from bacteria, and the identification of new systems by which this is achieved. This should provide significant benefits, such as gaining new insights into new bacterial protein export mechanisms, with the aim of identifying targets for future veterinary disease interventions or biotechnological applications. $633,006.00

MRFF Genomics Health Futures Mission

Professor Anton Peleg, Professor Allen Cheng, A/Professor Jiangning Song and colleagues

Awarded $3.4M for their project Genomics, Digital Health and Machine Learning: the SuperbugAi Flagship. This innovative project will integrate the most transformative technologies in healthcare; genomics, electronic healthcare data and artificial intelligence, in order to diagnose, treat and prevent antimicrobial resistance in hospitals and the healthcare system. Read more here.


Professor Allen Cheng

His research is focused on severe influenza and pneumonia; strengthening systems to assess how well the vaccine is working each year, including the new enhanced vaccines for older Australians. In order to respond to COVID-19, the surveillance systems and trials that have focused on influenza and pneumonia have now been pivoted to provide information on severe COVID-19.


Dr Rhys Grinter

Targeting iron piracy from host proteins by Neisseria and Haemophilus spp. for the development of novel antimicrobials. $645,205