About

With interests in both laboratory based research and education, A/Prof Brenda Govan is currently Head of Biomedicine

A/Prof Govan is a member of the Infectious Diseases and Immunopathogenesis research group, where the research interests are focussed on bacterial infections relevant to the tropics.  Primary areas of interest are in the disease Q-fever, caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii and Daintree ulcer/Buruli ulcer caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. 

Q fever is usually acquired through occupational exposure of humans with animals such as cattle, goats and sheep.  The resultant infection may lead to a respiratory condition and pneumonic synptoms.  Our work looks at the changing epidemiology of Q fever and its apparent association with native wildlife.  As communities encroach further into bushland, increasing exposure to and contact with these animals will increase.

Daintree ulcer is a neglected tropical disease for which neither the environmental reservoir, nor the mode of transmission to humans has been identified.  Infection results in a necrotising condition of the skin and soft tissue. The disease is widespread in parts of Africa (Buruli), but interestingly northern Australia also has an endemic region around the Daintree.

Teaching
  • BM1000: Introductory Biochemistry and Microbiology (Level 1; TSV)
  • MD3000: Selective Study (Level 3; TSV)
  • MD3012: Introduction to Clinical Healthcare Part 2 of 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • MI3051: Mechanisms of Infectious Diseases (Level 3; TSV)
  • MI5051: Mechanisms of Infectious Diseases (Level 5; TSV)
  • TV1102: Cell Biology and Biochemistry for Veterinary Science and Agriculture (Level 1; TSV)
Interests
Research
  • Host-pathogen interactions that occur during melioidosis (Burkholderia pseudomallei)
  • Changing transmission patterns and epidemiology of Q Fever in Australia
  • The role of wildlife in zoonotic diseases
  • The epidemiology of Mycobacterium ulcerans (Buruli ulcer)
Experience
  • 2014 to present - Head Biomedicine, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2005 to 2013 - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2001 to 2004 - Lecturer Microbiology, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2000 to 2001 - Research Fellow, University of Warwick (United Kingdon)
  • 1996 to 1999 - Research Fellow, University of Queensland (North QLD Clinical School)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Awards
  • 2012 - Faculty Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, James Cook University
  • 2007 - Level 1 Post-graduate Supervisor, JCU
Memberships
  • 2011 - Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities
  • 2010 - Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australia
  • 1994 - Australian Society of Microbiology
  • 2011 to 2016 - Chair Biomedicine Teaching and Learning Committee, JCU
  • 2007 to 2012 - New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2005 to 2012 - Australian Society of Medical Research
Other
  • 2015 - Head Biomedicine
  • 2012 to 2014 - Director of Biomedicine, JCU
  • 2009 to 2014 - Head of Microbiology and Immunology, JCU
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
More

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 40+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Brenda Govan from 2004 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Award

Investigation of potential environmental reservoirs of Mycobacterium ulcerans in North Queensland

Indicative Funding
$6,000 over 3 years
Summary
This project aims to investigate the existence of potential reservoirs of M. ulcerans in North Queensland. A clear understanding of these reservoirs will help in determining the mode of transmission of M. ulcerans and hence in controlling current and future epidemics.
Investigators
Avishek Singh, John McBride and Brenda Govan (College of Medicine & Dentistry, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Keywords
Mycobacterium Ulcerans; Reservoir; North Queensland; Environmental

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Identifying bacterial communities and antibiotic sensitivities for bacteria isolated from Indigenous Australian diabetic foot ulcers.

Indicative Funding
$3,000
Summary
Diabetes is a major cause of death and disability and continues to increase in epidemic proportions within the Indigenous Aboriginal Community. Despite advancements in the treatment of diabetes, many individuals develop additional significant complications such as diabetic foot ulcers infected with bacteria, which ultimately lead to amputation or septicaemia for many Indigenous Australians. As antibiotic resistance increases within our community this problem is only going to worsen. This study capitalises on the northern tropical location of JCU, with its strong Indigenous Australian community and debilitating bacterial pathogens. This study will assess the current level of antibiotic resistance in bacterial communities on local feet with and without ulcers to set a baseline for future interventional studies designed to reduce amputation and septicaemia in Indigenous Australians with type 2 diabetes.
Investigators
Paula Clancy and Brenda Govan (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Keywords
Type 2 Diabetes; ulcers; Antibiotic resistance; Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander; Wound Healing; Bacteriophage
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
  • Determination of the Role of Group G Strep in the Pathogenesis of Rheumatic Heart Disease Using a Rat Model of RF/RHD. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Investigation of Potential Environmental Reservoirs of Mycobacterium Ulcerans in North Queensland. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Characterisation of Immune Responses to Mycobacterial Infections in a Murine Model of Type 2 Diabetes. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Mechanisms Driving Tuberculosis Susceptibility and Vaccine Efficacy in Type-2-Diabetes (PhD , Advsor Mentor)
Completed
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
Phone
Location
  • 97.012, Veterinary Administration Building (Townsville campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Advisor Mentor (P)
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