Howden laboratory: Molecular epidemiology, genomics and pathogenesis of antimicrobial resistant bacteria

Research Overview

The Howden Laboratory, located in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity is closely affiliated with the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL). Professor Howden is an Infectious Diseases Physician and Medical Microbiologist who is Director of the MDU PHL and Head of the Research Laboratory.

The Howden Laboratory works in close collaboration with the Stinear Laboratory, and has close links with the Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Units at Austin Hospital.

Our research uses genomics, molecular biology, epidemiology and clinical studies to addresses a broad range of issues related to invasive bacterial diseases in humans, especially those caused by staphylococci, enterococci and other antimicrobial-resistant species. Additionally, working closely with scientists in the MDU PHL, we investigate the evolution, epidemiology and spread of bacterial pathogens of public health significance such as Neisseria gonorrhoea, Listeria monocytogenes, Shigella and Salmonella spp. and Legionella spp.

Useful Links

The Australian Society for Antimicrobials has an important role in addressing antimicrobial resistance in our region.

The Australian Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AGAR), performs surveillance studies of antibiotic resistance in Australia.

The Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL), is a leading public health laboratory in Australia, funded by the Department of Health, Victoria.


Dr Ya-Hsun Lin, postdoctoral scientist
Dr Romain Guérillot, postdoctoral scientist
Dr Natasha Holmes, clinician and postdoctoral scientist, based at Austin Health
Mr Wei Gao, PhD student
Ms Sarah Baines, PhD student
Dr Jason Kwong, clinician and PhD student
Dr Jean Lee, clinician and PhD student


Dr Torsten Seemann, Victorian Bioinformatics Consortium, Monash University
Dr Geoff Coombs, Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Perth Hospital
Dr Patrice Francois, Genomic Reseach Laboratory, University of Geneva Hospitals, Switzerland
Professor Jacques Schrenzel, Genomic Research Laboratory, University of Geneva Hospitals, Switzerland
Dr Kathryn Holt, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor David Whiley, Australian infectious Diseases Research Centre, Queensland
Professor Christopher Fairley, Professor of Sexual Health & Director, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Victoria
Professor Catherine Bennett, School of Health & Social Development, Deakin University
Professor Michael Yeaman, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, USA