Infection and Immunity

Discovering how the microbial world impacts the macro-world we live in

Infection and Immunity at UWA studies microorganisms and the innate immune systems of animals. Our staff are internationally renowned for their research, and collaborate nationally and internationally.

Our team includes Professor Barry Marshall who, along with Dr Robin Warren, received the Nobel prize in 2005 for discovering that the Helicobacter pylori infection causes stomach ulcers.

Microbiology covers the broader concept of micro-organisms in healthy living systems such as environmental ecosystems (terrestrial and aquatic) in addition to agriculture and biotechnology.

We also study the emerging role of the microbiome in the development of healthy immune responses.

Our specialist research areas include:

  • Molecular pathogenesis of infectious agents – identifying factors necessary for invasive disease
  • Genomic epidemiology of infectious diseases – the investigation and reconstruction of communicable disease outbreaks using the whole genome sequences of isolates collected from patients
  • Medical counter measures to infectious disease – developing novel medical counter measures including the use of natural products and inhibitors of virulence properties of pathogens that supplement traditional treatment therapies
  • Microbiomes in health and disease – Understanding the nature and source of the microbiome at the start of life
  • Diagnostics – procedures to confirm, or determine the presence of disease in an individual suspected of having the disease, usually following the report of symptoms, or based on the results of other medical tests
  • Immunology – looking at immunity and related medicine and biology

Stopping the spread of meningococcal

The role of microorganisms in our lives is incredibly diverse, from priming our childhood immune system for a healthy life, to causing minor infections or severe outcomes and death. Understanding the balance between these extremes will improve healthy living.Charlene Kahler, Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences

How to win a Nobel Prize


The Infection and Immunity division is also working on a number of different research projects, including those outlined below.

Our centres

Contact Associate Professor Charlene Kahler, School of Biomedical Sciences