Strugnell laboratory: Bacterial pathogenesis and host responses

Research Overview

The Laboratory is interested in how bacteria cause disease and what interventions can be made to stop this happening.
The research is focused into two main areas:

  • The bacterial products and strategies that allow the organism to grow in the host and to avoid being destroyed by the mammalian immune system for successful transmission; and
  • The types of immune responses that are naturally induced by infection, and the strategies for vaccination that circumvent pathogen immune escape mechanisms

The product of this research is captured in the development of novel antimicrobials, vaccines and informs the optimization of public health responses to infection.


Wang Cao, PhD Student
Aneley Getahun Strobel, PhD Student
Dianna Hocking, Research Officer
Leilaaalsadant Jeveli, PhD Student
Meghanashree Malavvar Shreenivas, PhD Student
Manja Thieg, PhD Student
Nancy Wang, Research Fellow


Trevor Lithgow, Biochemistry, Monash University*
Liz Hartland, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Melbourne*
Jenny Stow, IMB, University of Queensland*
Rohan Teasdale, IMB, University of Queensland*
Michelle Gee, Chemistry, University of Melbourne*
*Members of NHMRC Program in Cellular Microbiology

Roy Robins-Browne, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Melbourne
Tim Stinear, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Melbourne
Bill Heath, & Frank Carbone, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Melbourne
Andrew Brooks, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Melbourne
Sammy Bedoui, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Melbourne
Kat Holt, Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne
Grant Drummond & Chris Sobey, Pharmacology, Monash University
Thomas Brodnicki, St. Vincent's Institute, Melbourne
Andrew Lew, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne
Damon Eisen, Victorian Infectious Diseases Service (VIDS), Melbourne Health)
Roy Curtiss III, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, USA
Nick Thomson & Gordon , Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK
Stephen Baker, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam)
Sarah Hamm-Alvarez, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Wolf-Dietrich Hardt, Microbiology, ETH-Zurich, Switzerland)


The lab is part of the NHMRC Program in Cellular Microbiology, which incorporates researchers from the University of Melbourne (Strugnell and Hartland labs), Monash University (Lithgow lab) and the University of Queensland (Teasdale and Stow labs). The lab is also funded by an ARC grant to investigate novel inhibitors of bacterial biofilm formation.

Research Publications

  • Salmonella vaccines: lessons from the mouse model or bad teaching?
    Strugnell RA, Scott TA, Wang N, Yang C, Peres N, Bedoui S, Kupz A.
    Curr Opin Microbiol 2014 [Epub]. PMID: 24440968.
  • Different bacterial pathogens, different strategies, yet the aim is the same: evasion of intestinal dendritic cell recognition.
    Bedoui S, Kupz A, Wijburg OL, Walduck AK, Rescigno M, Strugnell RA.
    J Immunol 2010; 184(5): 2237-42. PMID: 20164434.
  • The role of secretory antibodies in infection immunity‚Ä®.
    Strugnell RA, Wijburg OL.
    Nat Rev Microbiol 2010; 8(9): 656-67. PMID: 20694027.

Research Projects

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Head of Laboratory Professor Dick Strugnell

Department / Centre

Microbiology and Immunology

Unit / Centre

Strugnell laboratory: Bacterial pathogenesis and host responses

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