Immunology, Virology and Infectious Diseases

St Vincent's Hospital Sydney

“The 1st person with AIDS in Australia was diagnosed in 1983 at St Vincent’s Hospital, which remains at the centre of the Australian epidemic and has become an internationally recognised centre of treatment and research excellence. HIV is now a treatable, chronic disease and our focus is now on maximising the benefit and reducing the harm of treatment, and on translating this successful, chronic care model into other diseases such as viral hepatitis and autoimmune disease”.

- Professor Andrew Carr MBBS MD FRACP FRCPA
Head HIV, Immunology and Infectious Diseases Unit and Head Clinical Research Program
Centre for Applied Medical Research St Vincent’s Hospital
Professor of Medicine, University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia

Garvan Institute of Medical Research

The fundamental goal of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s immunology research is to determine how the immune system functions to protect the body and how this goes wrong when disease occurs. Our researchers collaborate with clinicians at various major hospitals to devise treatments for immunological diseases.

The latest technologies are used to manipulate and analyse the behaviour of immune cells, both in the body and in the test tube. This includes sophisticated gene manipulation and analysis techniques, precise and detailed approaches for analysing the rare cell populations that initiate immune responses, and the capability to visualise individual cells – through powerful microscopes – as they function within the body.

The immune system protects the body from dangerous attacks, whether they come from outside as infections, or inside as cancer. It must also differentiate between actual threats to the body and the healthy cells and molecules that make up the body itself. When this process of discrimination fails, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes occur, and the body proceeds to attack its own tissue. Garvan’s immunology research looks at the wide range of different immune responses that can occur, and the processes that underpin them.