Simmons laboratory: Dengue; pathogenesis, epidemiology, therapeutics, entomology


Research Overview

Dengue and emerging infections

Dengue is the most common vector-borne viral infection of humans. It occurs in up to 124 countries, including Australia, with at least 100 million people affected each year.  Currently there are no licensed vaccines to prevent dengue or specific therapies for treatment. Complications of the disease can include thrombocytopenia (a low platelet count), deranged hemostasis (impaired blood clotting) and life-threatening vascular permeability (plasma leaking from blood vessels into tissues). Good supportive hospital care has reduced the fatality rate of dengue, however health care systems are frequently overloaded with the very high case burden.

scheme showing infection cycle in Dengue

The Simmons' Lab is addressing five high level aims in relation to prevention and clinical management of dengue.

  1. Developing clinically useful diagnostic and prognostic tools using routine laboratory tests to identify children at greatest risk of progressing to life-threating complications of dengue
  2. Identifying and investigating human genetic markers of susceptibility to severe dengue and assessing their utility as prognostic markers
  3. Conducting randomised controlled clinical trials of candidate dengue therapeutics in dengue cases
  4. Investigating the natural history of human to mosquito transmission of dengue viruses, including the effect of Wolbachia on the vector competence of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
  5. As part of the Eliminate Dengue consortia (, we are assisting in the field release and surveillance of Wolbachia-infected A. aegypti mosquitoes in Vietnam and Indonesia and developing methods to measure their impact on dengue transmission


Information for Prospective Students

We are always happy to hear from potential students who are passionate about infectious diseases research.  Students who join the lab must have a strong academic track record, be competent in a laboratory and committed to carrying out quality research.

If you are interested in doing an Honours project, Masters or a PhD in the Simmons lab, you should email your CV, academic transcripts and an explanation of why you are interested in joining the lab to

Prospective students should view the University of Melbourne's website regarding entry requirements, fees and scholarships at

Please note that PhD students must be sufficiently competitive to obtain a Scholarship through one of the University of Melbourne's scholarship rounds or from elsewhere.



Kirsty McPherson, Research Officer
Gayathri Manokaran, Research Officer
Julio Carrera – PhD Student
Sujatmoko Sujatmoko – Masters Student
Diane Sainato, Administrative Assistant

Ho Chi Minh City

Lauren Carrington, Research Officer
Quyen Nguyen Than Ha, Research Officer
Kien Duong Thi Hue, Research Assistant
Trung Vu Tuan, PhD Student
Thuy Nguyen Thi Van, Research Assistant
Nguyet Nguyen Minh, Clinical PhD student
Tuan Nguyen Minh, Clinical PhD student
Cuong Hoang Quoc, Clinical PhD student
Long Thi, Research Assistant
Dui Le Thi, Research Assistant
Nhu Vu Tuyet, Research Assistant
Giang Nguyen Thi, Research Assistant


S. Baker, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
E. Harris, Division of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, USA
G. Screaton, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK
EE Ooi, Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, Singapore
P. Young, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, Australia
ML. Hibberd, Infectious Diseases, Genome Institute of Singapore, Singapore
NM. Ferguson, Medical Research Council Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, School of Public
Health, Imperial College London, Norfolk Place, London, UK
SL. O'Neill, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
A. Hoffmann, School of Biosciences, University of Melbourne, Vic Australia


Welcome Trust
NHMRC Project and Program funding
European Union Framework 7
Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

Research Projects

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Infection & Immunity, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Head of Laboratory Professor Cam Simmons

Department / Centre

Microbiology and Immunology

Unit / Centre

Simmons laboratory: Dengue; pathogenesis, epidemiology, therapeutics, entomology

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