Some of our research champions

Some of our research champions

Our vision is to improve the human condition. We are a founding member of the M8 Alliance – a global network committed to "bench-to-bedside" translation of research.  Find out what our research champions have accomplished at the forefront of local and international research.

Professor Gail Risbridger

Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Prof Gail Risbridger

Professor Risbridger led a team of researchers who identified a sub-group of cells that could contribute to prostate cancer recurrence, opening up new ways to treat the disease, which claims more than 3000 lives in Australia each year. She is a NHMRC Research Fellow with over 25 years’ experience in  prostate  cancer  research  and  men’s health. A graduate of Monash University, Prof. Risbridger worked in the Departments of Anatomy and in Physiology before becoming a founding member of the Monash Institute of Medical Research (MIMR).

She returned to campus in 2009 as Deputy Dean Strategic Projects, to lead the developments of Monash Comprehensive Cancer Consortium (MCCC) and Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre. She is the Research Director of MCCC and Chair, Faculty Research Centres & Institutes Committee.

Find out more


Dr Thomas Naderer

Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Dr Thomas Naderer

Dr Thomas Naderer from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) was recently part of a ground-breaking discovery, which showed that drugs, originally developed to kill cancer cells, can also prevent infectious diseases that are difficult to treat with common antibiotics. The team, led  by  Dr  Naderer and Dr James Vince from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, used imaging technology to watch, in real time, how pathogens (in this case the Legionella bacteria) infect the cells of the immune system. Most research aimed at antibiotic resistant bacteria has focused on attacking the bacteria, developing new antibiotics.

Dr Naderer and Dr Vince instead have come at the problem from the host, looking   at ways the patient’s immune system can be rejigged to prevent vulnerability to infection. After completing his PhD Dr Naderer worked as a post-doctoral scientist at the University of Melbourne before joining  the  NHMRC  Program on Cellular Microbiology headed by Prof Trevor Lithgow, Monash University.

Find out more


Dr Andrew Wei

Australian Centre for Blood Diseases

Dr Andrew Wei

Dr Andrew Wei is a Victorian Cancer Agency Research Fellow and Haematologist at the Alfred Hospital. He conducts clinical and translational AML research through dual appointments at the Alfred Hospital and Monash University. Dr. Wei’s research focuses on the mechanisms by which cancer cells co-opt  and  coerce  intracellular  signalling pathways to promote deregulated cell survival, proliferation and growth. Through the molecular analysis of intracellular signalling pathways, his laboratory seeks to identify new therapeutic targets in leukaemia.

Dr Wei led a clinical team at the Alfred Hospital that has treated some of the 30 patients receiving an anti-cancer agent, which is now called KB004. The trial at the Alfred Hospital is part of a multi-centre open-label Phase 1/2 trial organised and sponsored by KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, a US-based  public  Biotechnology  Company.

Find out more


Professor Peter Currie

Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute

 Prof Peter Currie

Professor Peter Currie is the Director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash. He is a recipient of a European Molecular Biology Organization Young Investigators Award and a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship and is currently a Principal Research Fellow with the  National  Health  and Medical Research Council in Australia. In 2015 Prof Currie was also a recipient of the Eureka Prize for identifying a mechanism that triggers stem cell production in blood, making the production of blood cells in the laboratory an achievable end goal.

After receiving his PhD in Drosophila genetics from Syracuse University in the United States Prof. Currie undertook postdoctoral training in zebrafish development at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) in the UK. He has worked as an independent laboratory head at the UK Medical  Research  Council  Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, UK and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Australia where he headed a research programme focused on skeletal muscle development and regeneration.

Find out more


Professor Susan Davis

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

Professor Susan Davis

Professor Susan Davis is a consultant endocrinologist at Alfred Health and Cabrini Medical Centre, and a pioneer in the field of reproductive endocrinology. Her research examines hormonal deficiencies in women before and after menopause. She has also played a vital role in raising awareness about women’s;health  in  Indigenous  communities  and was one of the Founding Directors of the Jean Hailes Foundation.

Find out more


Professor Trevor Lithgow

Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Trevor Lithgow

Professor Trevor Lithgow currently leads a collaborative research team tackling a major global issue – the antibiotic rise in bacterial pathogens or ‘super-bugs’, with the potential to transform modern medicine and antibiotics. Discovering ways to visualize the molecular machines that bacteria use to build their surface structure, Prof Lithgow has utilised Monash’s new imaging technologies to see molecular machines in unprecedented detail. Having defined the general principles of how the bacterial surface structures tease and then invade human cells, the Lithgow  lab  is now working towards understanding  the weaknesses in this process, laying the foundation for helping scientists to cultivate new ways to fight disease, identify new drug targets and develop new vaccine strategies.

Prof Lithgow is an international leader in the fields of protein targeting and membrane assembly and an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow in the Department of Microbiology at Monash.

Find out more


Professor Murat Yucel

Monash Institute for Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences

Murat Yucel

Professor Murat Yucel is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Professorial Fellow in the School of Psychological Sciences and Director of the Brain & Mental Health (BMH) laboratory at Monash. An expert in biological psychiatry and addiction neuroscience, Prof Yucel’s innovative research has made major contributions to understanding the long-term effects of heavy substance use on the brain and behaviour, as well as the impact of drug use on mental health.

His discoveries challenged widespread perceptions about drug use and contributed to understanding the neurobiology of several psychiatric disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Establishing Monash’s BHM group at the forefront of addiction and psychiatric neuroscience research in Australia, Prof Yucel’s findings will have implications for rethinking, customizing and ultimately improving psychological and pharmacological interventions.

Find out more


Professor Jamie Cooper

Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre

Jamie Cooper

Thanks to his dual clinical-and-research roles, Professor Cooper’s work has changed the way ambulance fluid resuscitation techniques are performed in the ICU. His definitive study provided the first evidence that the use of decompressive craniectomy, the favoured surgical procedure to combat pressure  on  the    brain,  may  prove detrimental to patients in the long run. Backed by rigorous scientific evidence, the finding has been accepted in ICUs the world over and transformed the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injuries.

A NHMRC Practitioner Fellow, Professor Cooper holds Director positions at the  Australian    and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre (ANZIC-RC), the Centre of Research Excellence for Patient Blood Management in Critical Illness and Trauma (Blood-CRE), and Critical Care  Research,  School  of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University; and Deputy Director and Head  of    Research in the Department of Intensive Care at The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne.

Find out more


Professor James Whisstock

Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

James Whisstock

A world-leading expert on bio-information and structural biology, Professor James Whisstock’s leads a team of researchers focused on the structure, function and biology of medically important protein. His most recent findings may provide new opportunities for the generation of novel therapeutics in  the treatment of brain  development disorders and conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. With innovative microscopy and imaging techniques, Professor Whisstock’s research, co-led by geneticist Associate Professor Coral Warr, used fruit flies to explore the functions of important mammalian  proteins  and investigated the role perforin-like proteins play in immunity and development processes.

Professor Whisstock moved to Monash University in 2007, after completing his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He is currently an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and Scientific Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging.

Find out more


Professor Rachelle Buchbinder

Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology

Professor Rachelle Buchbinder

Professor Rachelle Buchbinder is an Australian NHMRC Practitioner Fellow. She has been the Director of the Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology since its inception in 2001 and a Professor in the Monash University Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine since 2007. She is a rheumatologist and clinical epidemiologist who combines clinical practice with research in a wide range of multidisciplinary projects relating to arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions.

She is the Joint Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group and chairs the Australian Rheumatology Association Database (ARAD) Management Committee. In 2011 she developed a new online systematic review and meta-analysis course for postgraduate students.

Find out more


Professor Jamie Rossjohn

Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Professor Jamie Rossjohn

Professor Jamie Rossjohn's research is centred on understanding the basis of infection and immunity, specifically host recognition, responses developed by the pathogen and drug design to modulate and/or counteract these events. He is currently an NHMRC Australia Fellow (2011-2016)

Professor Rossjohn's research team and collaborators have provided seminal insight into the pathogenesis of infectious human diseases, adaptive and innate immunity and autoimmunity, publishing more than 200 research papers including generalist journals such as Nature, Science, Cell and PNAS, as well as  top-tier journals in this area: Nature Immunology, Nature Reviews Immunology, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Immunity and Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Find out more


Professor Sophia Zoungas

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Professor Sophia Zoungas

Professor Sophia Zoungas is an academic endocrinologist with an emerging national and international reputation as a clinical researcher in the fields of diabetes and vascular risk. Her current primary appointment is as the Head, Diabetes and Clinical Research Program, Monash Applied Research Stream,  School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. In this capacity she directs and supports projects on diabetes, cardiovascular health, kidney health and health care delivery, as well as advise on clinical epidemiological methods and trial design/conduct/reporting.

Professor Zoungas has a conjoint Professorial Research Fellow appointment at the George Institute for Global Health. She is the current international clinical director of the ADVANCE-ON study (a post trial observational study of over 10,000 patients with type 2 diabetes) and the international coordinator/scientific lead  of the Collaborators ON TRials Of glucose Lowering (CONTROL) project.

A/Prof Zoungas is an associate editor for the journal Diabetic Medicine (UK) and is a serving member of the Australian Diabetes Society council. She is also the current chairperson for the National Association for Diabetes Centres in Australia

Find out more


Professor Stephen Jane

Central Clinical School

Professor Stephen Jane

Professor Jane is the Head of Central Clinical School, Professor of Medicine, Monash University and Director of Research for Alfred Hospital. He is also a member of the Clinical Haematology Service.

Professor Jane has a range of research interests investigating both developmental and acquired disorders of the blood and skin in mouse models. At a basic level, this involves the study of gene transcription.

He currently holds a number of NHandMRC and other competitive grants. He has published over 90 papers  including articles in Science, Nature Medicine and Developmental Cell.

Find out more


Professor Richard Kitching

Clinical Sciences

Professor Richard Kitching

Professor A Richard Kitching is a physician-scientist in the Department of Medicine. He heads a group working in defining how the immune system can injury the kidney in disease. He is the Director of the Monash Centre for Inflammatory Diseases. His research focuses on understanding the involvement of leukocytes (white blood cells) in glomerulonephritis, an important cause of kidney disease, so that more targeted and effective treatments can be developed and used.

He combines his research with clinical practice in Nephrology. His clinical practice helps informs important questions in the causes of immune kidney disease and how they can be better treated. He publishes in the top journals in the field , with a partcular track record in defining the role T cells in severe and proliferative forms of glomerulonephritis.

Find out more


Professor Robyn O'Hehir

Central Clinical School

Professor Robyn O'Hehir

Professor Robyn O'Hehir has been a key international figure in allergy and asthma research and clinical care for over 25 years. She is an academic clinician scientist who successfully combines a strong track record in basic research with a clear commitment to clinical medicine, in this way demonstrating the value of translational medical research. The contribution of Professor O'Hehir to the allergy and respiratory field ranges from basic animal studies on the immunology of allergy and T cell epitope mapping, through translational research on novel immunogens designed to invoke protective immunity, to clinical research on the pathophysiology and management of asthma. She has more than 200 publications.

The importance of her research is reflected by her success in competitive grant funding with an annual personal research budget in excess of $1.5 million. This includes continuous NHMRC funding (including 21 NHMRC or ARC grants over her career at Monash/Alfred since 1997) and a Co-operative Research Centre for Asthma and Airways. In 2007 she was honoured by the NHMRC in a publication as one of ten andldquo;Great Minds in Australian Researchandrdquo; and in 2010 was made a Life Governor of the Asthma Foundation of Victoria in recognition of 14 years service as a Director of Asthma Victoria.

Find out more