About

Prof Andreas L. Lopata leads the Molecular Allergy Research Laboratory in the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, and is Theme Leader of the 'Molecular Immunology Program' in the Centre for Molecular Therapeutics and the 'Seafood and Human Health' program within the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture. He was previous co-director of the Centre for Molecular Therapeutics (CMT) and Associate Dean of Research for the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences.

Prof Lopata is globally known for his work in food allergies, with the primary focus on applying molecular immunology and biotechnology to improve allergic reactions to seafood and monitor allergenic protein exposure. His research areas are very multidisciplinary ranging from the generation of recombinant allergens for improved diagnosis to the development of immunotherapy for sensitised consumer and vaccines to improve animal health in aquaculture systems. He is a strong supporter of the development of alternative food proteins to feed our fast-growing world population. He recently build a team to develop robust food safety assessment protocols for alternative food products derived from insects or cell based meat, in collaboration with the food industry.

Prof Lopata has been continuously funded by the National Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council, often linked to industry co-funded projects and published 200+ scientific articles in the area of food safety and seafood. He is Chief Investigator within the Centre for Food Allergy Research-NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence and the ARC Research Hub for Supercharging Tropical Aquaculture.

He consults to various organisations including the National Measurement Institute and the International Union of Immunological Societies sub-committee on allergen nomenclature. Prof Lopata sits on the Editorial Board of the World Allergy Organisation Journal, Clinical and Experimental Allergy, Foods and Proteome.

Current/recent research project funded by Industry/ NHMRC/ ARC:

  • Immunomodulatory vaccines in the treatment of peanut allergy; NHMRC Ideas Grant.
  • Centre of Research Excellence in Eradicating Food Allergy: Prevention, Cure and Reducing Adverse Events; National Health & Medical Research Council - Centres of Research Excellence
  • Probiotic Egg Allergen Immunotherapy for Treatment of Egg Allergy; National Health & Medical Research Council - Project Grant
  • Centre of Research Excellence in Food Allergy: Towards eradicating food allergy: from population to precision prevention, early intervention, and management; National Health & Medical Research Council - Centres of Research Excellence
  • Bio-molecular studies for improved diagnosis and management of Australian children with fish allergy; National Health & Medical Research Council - Project Grant
  • Supercharging tropical aquaculture through genetic solutions; ARC Industrial Transformation Research Program (partners Cygnet Bay Pearls, Mainstream Aquaculture Group, Seafarms Group, The Company One, Seaforest, Australian Genome Research Facility, University of Queensland)
  • A Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility for Modern Molecular Analysis; ARC Linkage Infrastructure grant
  • Molecular and immunological approaches to managing Australia's seafood allergy epidemic; ARC Future Fellowship

Latest BookFood Allergy - Molecular and Clinical Practice; CRC Press

Areas of interest for prospective graduate students

  • Development of improved diagnostic tests for food allergy
  • Detection and quantification of food allergens
  • Biomarker and vaccine candidates for improved fish health
  • Food safety aspects of alternative and novel food products 
Teaching
  • BC2024: Principles of Molecular Cell Biology (Level 2; TSV)
  • BC3102: Molecular Basis of Disease (Level 3; TSV)
  • BC5102: Advanced Molecular Basis of Disease (Level 5; TSV)
Interests
Professional
  • Molecular Medicine; Biochemistry; Molecular Biology; Occupational Medicine; Allergology; Food Safety
Research
  • Molecular Allergology; Occupational Allergy; Diagnostics; Tropical Health; Immunotherapeutics; Vaccine development
Teaching
  • Molecular Immunology; Molecular Biology; Biochemistry; Professional Doctorate; Food Science
Experience
  • 2023 to present - Appointed Member-JCU Research Committee, James Cook University (Singapore), James Cook University (Singapore)
  • 2021 to present - Professorial Research Fellow, Tropical Futures Institute (Singapore)
  • 2016 to present - Professor, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2007 to present - Ajunct Member, Infectious Diseases and Development of Molecular Medicine (South Africa)
  • 2024 to 2027 - Elected Member-Medical Research Advisory Group, Australian Research Council (Australia)
  • 2020 to 2022 - Appointed Member-JCU Research Committee, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2014 to 2016 - Associate Dean of Research, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2013 to 2015 - Honours program coordinator, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2011 to 2015 - Associate Professor, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2011 to 2012 - Academic Advisor-Molecular Sciences, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2010 to 2011 - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2009 to 2010 - Associate Professor, RMIT University (Melbourne)
  • 2007 to 2008 - Senior Lecturer, RMIT University (Melbourne)
  • 2004 to 2006 - Head of Department of Immunology, University of Cape Town (South Africa)
  • 2002 to 2006 - Senior Lecturer, Department of Immunology; University of Cape Town (South Africa)
  • 1992 to 2002 - Natural Medical Scientist, National Health Laboratory Services (South Africa)
  • 1991 to 1992 - Research Fellow, University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Awards
  • 2022 - Winner 3MT - Academic Research Staff Award (JCU-Singapore)
  • 2020 - JCU Primary Advisor of the Year
  • 2020 - JCU - Award for Research Excellence
  • 2012 - Winner of UniQuest Trailblazer-James Cook University
  • 2011 - Winner of UniQuest Trailblazer-James Cook University
Fellowships
  • 2012 to 2016 - ARC Future Fellow
Memberships
  • 2022 - British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology
  • 2014 - Collegium Internationale Allergologicum (CIA)
  • 2014 - Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Allergologie und Klinische Immunologie (DGAKI)
  • 2012 - Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia
  • 2009 - Australasian Society for Immunology
  • 2008 - Australasian Society for Parasitology (ASP)
  • 2008 - Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)
  • 2007 - European Associaton of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI)
  • 2021 to 2024 - World Allergy Organisation- Committee on Allergy Diagnosis and PAMD@
Other
  • 2022 - Scientific Advisor - Sementis BioTechnology
  • 2021 - Adjunct Scientist - Bioinformatics Institute A*STAR
  • 2021 - Associate Editor - Frontier Allergy_Environmental and Occupational Determinants
  • 2021 - Editorial Board---Proteomes (MDPI)
  • 2017 - Review Editor - Frontier Immunology_Vaccines and Molecular Therapeutics
  • 2016 - Review Editor---Frontier Microbial Immunology
  • 2016 - Regional Associate Editor -Asia Pacific--World Allergy Organisation Journal (Elsevier)
  • 2016 - Editorial Board---Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology (Croatia)
  • 2016 - Associate Editor---Allergo Journal International (Springer)
  • 2016 - Reperio Innovation Competition-AITHM People’s Choice Award
  • 2015 - Associate Editor---Clinical & Experimental Allergy (Wiley)
  • 2014 - NATA assessor for laboratories in Australia quantifying allergens
  • 2011 - Adjunct Associate Professor of the School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • 2010 - Appointed External academic reprentative for the Major Course Review Panel of the Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, Deakin University
  • 2010 - Adjunct Professor of the School of Publica Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2007 - Adjunct - Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine; University of Cape Town; South Africa
  • 2007 - Adjunct of the 'Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine', University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2006 - Appointed External Advisor to the National Institute of Occupational Health, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 2021 to 2024 - Editorial Board -- Proteomes (MDPI)
  • 2014 to 2020 - Associate Editor---Molecular Immunology (Elsevier)
  • 2015 to 2019 - Review Editor---Molecular Immunology (Elsevier)
  • 2009 to 2018 - Honorary Research Associate-Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health Research (CEOHR) and Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Cape Town
  • 2016 - Reperio Innovation Competition- AITHM People’s Choice Award
  • 2015 - Member of the 'National Allergy Strategy'-an initiative of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy and Anaphylaxis and Allergy Australia
  • 2014 to 2015 - Elected member on the draft proposal on the 'National Allergy Strategy' for Australia
  • 2004 to 2005 - Scientific Evaluator for the European Framework Program FP6 and FP7 "Food Quality and Safety" and "Health", European Union
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 176+ research outputs authored by Prof Andreas Lopata from 1992 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

National Health & Medical Research Council - Centres of Research Excellence

Towards eradicating food allergy: from population to precision prevention, early intervention and management

Indicative Funding
$100,000 over 5 years (administered by Murdoch Childrens Research Institute)
Summary
Australia has the highest reported rate of IgE mediated food allergy in the world. A virtually non-existent problem 30 years ago, food allergy now affects a child in every classroom. Our previous CREs (2013-17, 2018-22) brought clinicians and researchers with expertise in food allergy across Australia together to create an internationally recognised program of work - little of which would have been possible as individual researchers. We have led the world in our coordinated response thus far to this serious public health threat. There is now a palpable sense that we will be able to eradicate food allergy within the next 10-20 years by building upon our internationally recognised collaborative model. We will focus on assessing and implementing cost-effective, evidence-based population level prevention strategies, and identifying for whom, what, when and how to intervene with individual level precision early intervention strategies, treatments and targeted management approaches.
Investigators
Andreas Lopata, Kirsten Perrett, Mimi Tang, Richard Saffery, Dharmage Shyamali and Dianne Campbell (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, University of Melbourne and Sydney Children's Hospital)
Keywords
Food Allergy; IgE antibody; Protein analysis; Immunotherapy; Diagnostic; Shellfish

Australian Research Council - Linkage - Industrial Transformation Research Hubs

ARC Research Hub for Supercharging Tropical Aquaculture Through Genetic Solutions

Indicative Funding
$4,996,503 over 4 years, in partnership with Australian Genome Research Facility ($150,000); Cygnet Bay Pearls PL ($500,000); Mainstream Aquaculture ($500,000); Sea Forest Pty Ltd ($500,000) and THE COMPANY ONE PTY LTD ($500,000)
Summary
This project aims to integrate cutting edge genetic and genomic approaches into innovative aquaculture enterprises that farm in tropical northern Australia. It will deliver the requisite genetic knowledge to instigate world-leading and highly productive breeding programs for five species (barramundi, pearl oyster, prawn, grouper and marine seaweed), along with a novel understanding of the genetic basis of disease resistance and how the production environment interfaces with the bacterial microbiome, pathogens and water quality to cause disease. It will increase Australia's capacity to deliver advanced genetics outcomes to the aquaculture sector, while increasing productivity, international competitiveness, and lowered risk due to disease.
Investigators
Dean Jerry, Kyall Zenger, Benjamin Hayes, Rocky de Nys, David Bourne, Andreas Lopata, Ron White, Jan Strugnell, Chaoshu Zeng, Kelly Condon, Mostafa Rahimi Azghadi, Ira Cooke, Leo Nankervis and Carla Ewels (College of Science & Engineering, The University of Queensland, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Keywords
Selective Breeding; Genomics; Aquaculture

Australian Lions Foundation - Scientific and Medical Research on Marine Species Dangerous to Humans

RNA Sequencing investigation of box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, venom effect on human cell models.

Indicative Funding
$7,000 over 1 year
Summary
Box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) envenomation results in severe pain, inflammation, cardiovascular distress and causes approximately one death per year. However, the mechanism of action the venom induces these effects on humans is poorly understood. Currently, treatment typically consists of basic first aid and analgesia. This research will use RNA-sequencing to discover how human cell lines respond to C. fleckeri venom and its constituents. We believe this approach may contribute to an improved understanding of the mechanistic pathways involved in the venom's pathology and novel envenomation treatment.
Investigators
Melissa Piontek and Andreas Lopata (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Keywords
Chironex Fleckeri/Box Jellyfish; Human Neuronal response; Human immune response; RNA Sequencing; Genomics and Transcriptomics; Venom/Toxicology

National Health & Medical Research Council - Ideas Grants

Immunomodulatory vaccines in the treatment of peanut allergy

Indicative Funding
$33,784 over 3 years (administered by University of South Australia)
Summary
Peanut allergy is the most common cause of food-induced anaphylactic reactions in Australia and is a major burden to our healthcare system. Current clinical practice advice dietary avoidance to prevent fatal anaphylactic responses. We propose the use of an immunomodulatory vaccine to re-write the immune response to peanut antigens, from an allergic to a tolerant phenotype. This study will provide novel insights into rational approaches for manipulating immune memory to food allergens.
Investigators
Preethi Aldi, William Smith and Andreas Lopata (University of South Australia, Central Adelaide Local Health Network, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Keywords
Food Allergy; IgE Antibody; Cellular Immunology; Vaccine; Immunotherapy; Anaphylaxis

Tetra Tech Coffey - Aus4Skills Program - Australian Alumni Grants Fund

Developing skin prick test reagents for improving seafood allergy diagnostics in the Asia-Pacific

Indicative Funding
$8,918 over 1 year
Summary
Seafood, including fish and shellfish, are the most predominant allergy-triggering food items in children and adults. Precise diagnostics of food allergy plays a critical role in allergy management. In clinical settings, skin test and blood test are often employed to identify the sensitising allergen. We propose generating new SPT reagents that are specific to the allergen composition in Vietnam's food and are clinically confirmed in Vietnamese people. This project is developed based on key findings from the investigation on the clinical presentations and immunological profiles of seafood allergy in Vietnam, a part of my completed PhD project.
Investigators
Andreas Lopata and Le Thu (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Keywords
Seafood allergy; Skin prick test (SPT); SPT reagents; IgE Antibody; Fish; Shellfish

National Health & Medical Research Council - Centres of Research Excellence

Centre of Research Excellence in Eradicating Food Allergy: Prevention, Cure and Reducing Adverse Events

Indicative Funding
$81,252 over 5 years (administered by Murdoch Childrens Research Institute)
Summary
Funding is provided as a PHD Scholarship towards Mr Shaymaviswanathan to investigate the clinical cross-reactivity seen in patients with seafood allergy to dust mites and insects. Shellfish allergy affects 2% of Australians, and persists life-long in 80% of cases. Shellfish is now the leading cause for food-releated anaphylaxis fatalities among Australian adults. Clinical cross-reactivity between shellfish and mites and insects is frequently reported, however the implicated molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. This research project aims to identify and characterise the food and inhalant cross-reactive allergen repertoire and elucidate the shared IgE binding epitopes, utilising advanced bioinformatic approaches, immunochemcial and clincial tools.
Investigators
Katrina Allen, Anne-Louise Ponsonby, Shymali Dharmage, Mimi Tang, Dianne Campbell, Susan Prescott, Richard Saffery, Lyle Gurrin, Jennifer Koplin, Kim Dalziel and Andreas Lopata (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, University of Western Australia, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Keywords
Food Allergy; IgE Antibody; Bioinformatics; Diagnostics; Allergens; Paediatric patients

National Health & Medical Research Council - Project Grant

Probiotic Egg Allergen Immunotherapy for Treatment of Egg Allergy

Indicative Funding
$1,865,369 over 4 years (administered by Murdoch Childrens Research Institute)
Summary
Eight percent of children have a food allergy and prevalence is increasing. There is no cure so management requires food avoidance which is difficult to achieve. Accidental ingestion of allergen is common, and can result in life-threatening anaphylaxis of death. A curative treatment is vital to improve management. We recently developed a novel treatment of peanut allergy that resulted in the best response rates yet reported for any therapy in development - a combination treatment comprising Probiotics and Peanut Oral Immunotherapy (PPOIT). It is now essential to conduct a larger trial to enhance the study design and confirm these findings in order to progres this treatment to practice, which is the focus of this research.
Investigators
Mimi Tang, Lynette Shek, Andreas Lopata, Francesca Orsini and Lydia Wong (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, National University of Singapore, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and National University Hospital (Singapore))
Keywords
Food Allergy; IgE Antibody; Protein analysis; Diagnostic; Allergenic Proteins
Supervision

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

Current
  • Understanding Protein differences to make Healthier and Safer Seafood (Masters , Primary Advisor)
  • International Travel and medical events - an Australian travelinsurance perspective in the Covid-19 era (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • Seafood allergy and food innovations - Molecular and Immunological approaches (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Allergen profiles in Asian and American prawns for the development of improved diagnosis and immunotherapy (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Antimicrobial peptides from black soldier fly larvae – identification, classification and application as antimicrobial agents (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • From the Sea to Physiological Systems: Exploring Mechanisms of Action of Cubozoan Venoms in Cell Models (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Profiling and identifying clinically cross-reactive allergens in shellfish and dust mite-sensitised patients (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Early pathogen detection using advanced–omics approaches to understand Cryptocaryon irritans outbreaks in barramundi aquaculture (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
Completed
Data

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit Research Data Australia.

Collaboration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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Email
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Location
  • 47.109B, Pharmacy and Medical Research (Townsville campus)
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