About

Denise Doolan is a Professorial Research Fellow (Immunology of Infectious Diseases) in the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University (Cairns, Campus). She completed her B.Sc (Hons, Biochemistry) at the University of Queensland; M.Phil (Life Sciences) at Griffith University/CSIRO; and PhD (Molecular Immunology, 1993) under the supervision of Michael Good at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. She was awarded a National Academy of Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship to work at the United States Naval Medical Research Center with Stephen Hoffman on malaria vaccine development. After appointments as Director of Basic and Preclinical Research & Development and then Scientific Director of the US Navy Malaria Program, she returned to Australia in 2007. She established the Molecular Vaccinology Laboratory at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, with the support of a Pfizer Australia Senior Research Fellowship, followed by a NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship. She was appointed as Coordinator of the QIMR Biology Department; Member of the QIMR Director’s Consultative Committee / Management Advisory Committee; and Adjunct Professor in the University of Queensland School of Medicine. She also served on the Executive Board of the Australian Society of Parasitology for 4 years (President for 2 years). She relocated to the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University (Cairns Campus) in January 2016.

Research

Denise is a molecular immunologist. Her research focuses on developing novel immunotherapeutics and immunodiagnostics for complex pathogens that cause chronic diseases, using malaria as a model. Much of her career has focused on malaria immunology and vaccine development. Most recently, she is moving into the area that intersects infectious and chronic disease.Her research agenda encompasses core themes of (1) host-pathogen immunity, (2) antigen discovery, (3) vaccine engineering, and (4) biomarker discovery, using state-of-the-art genome-based technologies and human models of disease. A particular focus is systems immunology, which integrates immunology with cutting-edge omics-based technologies, bioinformatics and computational sciences to interrogate the human immune response to infection at a level of detail previously restricted to mouse models. She has strong expertise in the process of vaccine development, spanning the complete vaccine development pipeline from discovery to clinical testing, including regulatory aspects and IND applications. She has also played a leading role internationally in driving the development and application of approaches to identify priority target antigens, molecules and immune mechanisms that can be targeted for intervention against malaria. Although her primary focus has been malaria, many of the technologies and strategies established for malaria can be applied to a range of public health threats. Although her primary focus has been malaria, many of the technologies and strategies established for malaria can be applied to a range of public health threats.

Denise is passionate about improving the health of the millions of people worldwide suffering from infectious and chronic diseases.

 

Interests
Research
  • Vaccine development
  • Malaria
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Chronic Diseases
  • Systems immunology
  • Immunotherapeutics
  • Immunodiagnostics
Experience
  • 2016 to present - Professor, James Cook University (Cairns, QLD)
  • 2016 to present - Visiting Scientist, Queensland Institute of Medical Research (Brisbane, QLD)
  • 2016 to present - Co-director, Centre for Biosecurity and Tropical Infectious Diseases, James Cook University (Cairns, QLD)
  • 2008 to present - Adjunct Professor, University of Queensland (Brisbane, QLD)
  • 2011 to 2015 - Coordinator, Department of Biology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research (Brisbane, QLD)
  • 2007 to 2015 - Group Leader, Queensland Institute of Medical Research (Brisbane, QLD)
  • 2006 - Scientific Director, Naval Medical Research Center (Silver Spring, USA)
  • 2001 to 2005 - Director, Basic and Preclinical Research & Development, Malaria Program, Naval Medical Research Center (Silver Spring, USA)
  • 1999 to 2001 - Director, Basic Research, Malaria Program, Naval Medical Research Center (Silver Spring, USA)
  • 1998 - Senior Research Officer, Queensland Institute of Medical Research (Brisbane, QLD)
  • 1993 to 1997 - National Academy of Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow, Naval Medical Research Center (Rockville, USA)
  • 1989 to 1993 - PhD student, University of Queensland (Brisbane, QLD)
  • 1986 to 1988 - Experimental Scientist, CSIRO Division of Tropical Animal Production (LongPocket, QLD)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Awards
  • 2016 - Bancroft-Mackerras Medal for Excellence (Australian Society for Parasitology)
  • 2005 - STAR Award, US Army (Medical Research and Materiel Command)
  • 2005 - Young Investigator (runner-up), American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene
  • 2001 - Letter of Appreciation, US Navy
  • 1997 - Letter of Commendation, US Navy (Surgeon General)
Fellowships
  • 1998 - NHMRC RD Wright Biomedical Career Development Fellowship
  • 1997 - University of Queensland Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2012 to 2016 - NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship
  • 2008 to 2012 - Pfizer Australia Senior Research Fellowship
  • 1993 to 1996 - National Academy of Sciences (National Research Council) Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 1990 to 1992 - NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship
Memberships
  • 2016 - Management Advisory Committee, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University
  • 2015 - Executive Board, International Society for Vaccines
  • 2011 to 2015 - Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Management Committee
  • 2011 to 2015 - Management Advisory Committee (Director’s Consultative Committee), QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
  • 2010 to 2015 - Scientific Advisory Board, Australia-Europe Malaria Research Cooperation
  • 2012 to 2014 - Research Advisory Committee, Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute
  • 2010 to 2014 - Executive Board, Australian Society for Parasitology
  • 2011 to 2013 - President, Australian Society for Parasitology
  • 2009 to 2013 - Scientific Advisory Board, Queensland-USA Vaccine Alliance
  • 2004 to 2006 - Assistant Research Coordinator, Scientific Steering Committee for the Military Infectious Diseases Research Program (MIRDP) Science and Technology Evaluation Plan F, Malaria Vaccines
  • 1999 to 2006 - Member, Scientific Steering Committee for the Military Infectious Diseases Research Program (MIRDP) Science and Technology Evaluation Plan F, Malaria Vaccines
  • 2004 to 2005 - Research Coordinator, Scientific Steering Committee for the Military Infectious Diseases Research Program (MIRDP) Science and Technology Evaluation Plan C, Malaria Genome
  • 1999 to 2005 - Member, Scientific Steering Committee for the Military Infectious Diseases Research Program (MIRDP) Science and Technology Evaluation Plan C, Malaria Genome
  • 2000 to 2004 - Assistant Research Coordinator, Scientific Steering Committee for the Military Infectious Diseases Research Program (MIRDP) Science and Technology Evaluation Plan C, Malaria Genome
Other
  • 2017 - Editorial Board, Clinical and Translational Immunology
  • 2016 - Editorial Board, NPG Vaccines
  • 2015 - Chief Editor, Frontiers in Immunology: Vaccines and Molecular Immunotherapeutics
  • 2015 - Editorial Board, International Journal of Parasitology
  • 2014 to 2016 - Editorial Board, Scientific Reports
  • 2009 to 2013 - Editorial Board, Experimental Parasitology
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 117+ research outputs authored by Prof Denise Doolan from 1991 onwards.

Current Funding

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

NHMRC - Program Grant - NHMRC - Program Grant

Tropical diseases: Translating discoveries into better health

Indicative Funding
$2,200,405 over 5 years
Summary
Our overall working hypotheses are: ??The rational design of tropical disease vaccines and other therapeutics requires improved understanding of immunology, host-parasite interactions and application of innovative bioengineering. ??Improved interventions will be required to eliminate tropical infectious diseases. Our Specific Aims are: 1. Discover pathogenic and immune mechanisms, protective antigens, biomarkers and therapeutic targets for the control of tropical infectious diseases. 2. Develop new vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. 3. Optimise human pathogen challenge models to study host-pathogen interactions and test new vaccines and therapeutics. 4. Develop and test new clinical and public health interventions in disease-endemic settings.
Investigators
James McCarthy, Nicholas Anstey, Alex Loukas, Chris Engwerda, Michael Good, Denise Doolan, Donald McManus, Richard Price and Istvan Toth (Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Menzies Research Institute, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, Griffith University, Menzies School of Health Research and The University of Queensland)
Keywords
Hookworm; Blood fluke; Autoimmune Disease; Protein; Therapeutic; Drug Discovery

NHMRC - Program Grant - NHMRC - Program Grant

Tropical diseases: Translating discoveries into better health

Indicative Funding
$2,200,405 over 5 years
Summary
Our overall working hypotheses are: 1. The rational design of tropical disease vaccines and other therapeutics requires improved understanding of immunology, host-parasite interactions and application of innovative bioengineering. 2.Improved interventions will be required to eliminate tropical infectious diseases. Our Specific Aims are: 1. Discover pathogenic and immune mechanisms, protective antigens, biomarkers and therapeutic targets for the control of tropical infectious diseases. 2. Develop new vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. 3. Optimise human pathogen challenge models to study host-pathogen interactions and test new vaccines and therapeutics. 4. Develop and test new clinical and public health interventions in disease-endemic settings.
Investigators
James McCarthy, Nicholas Anstey, Denise Doolan, Chris Engwerda, Michael Good, Alex Loukas, Donald McManus, Richard Price and Istvan Toth (Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Menzies Research Institute, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, Griffith University, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Menzies School of Health Research and The University of Queensland)
Keywords
Malaria; Vaccine; Diagnostic; Protein; Therapeutic; Immunomodulatory

NHMRC - Principal Research Fellowship

System-based approaches to inform the design of vaccines and biologics against complex pathogens

Indicative Funding
$849,540 over 5 years
Summary
The development of effective interventions against malaria and other chronic infectious diseases is impeded by a lack of understanding of host-pathogen interactions and the mechanisms and antigenic targets underlying protective immunity. The fundamental premise of this proposal is that integrated and unbiased systems-level approaches provide an excellent framework to develop a comprehensive understanding of immune responses and identify key molecules/pathways that can be targeted for therapeutic intervention or for immunodiagnostics. Taking advantage of unique human experimental infection models and field studies, this research encompasses: (i) antigen discovery; (ii) host-pathogen immunity; (iii) vaccine engineering; and (iv) biomarker discovery. It will develop a pipeline of parasite antigens and immunomodulatory molecules that can be transitioned towards clinical development and testing, as well as identify biomarkers of disease risk that can be used for population based screening to define at-risk individuals for targeted intervention.
Investigators
Denise Doolan (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
Biomarker discovery

National Institutes of Health - Contract Research

Discovery of Novel Biomarkers for Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) Infection Related Cancers - HL Study

Indicative Funding
$28,806
Summary
There is a large body of evidence indicating that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) actively contributes to the pathogenesis of multiple tumours. We hypothesize that the antibody response to EBV in individuals with and without cancer (cases and controls) using our proprietary EBV proteome array, to identify an antibody signature which predicts cancer risk. The ultimate goal is an immunodiagnostic test to identify individuals in the general population who are at high risk of developing infection-related cancers. Extending previous studies, we will probe defined samples from the HL study provided by colleagues at NIH/NCI.
Investigators
Denise Doolan in collaboration with Allan Hildesheim and Anna Coghill (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and National Institutes of Health)
Keywords
Biomarker discovery

NHMRC - Project Grant -

Defining immunodominance in a complex host-pathogen system.

Indicative Funding
$421,403 over 2 years
Summary
Immunodominance is the phenomenon whereby pathogen-specific immune responses do not target the full range of possible peptide epitopes derived from the genome but recognize only a small fraction of the epitopes. It has been studied primarily in experimental infection models using simple organisms (viruses and bacteria). Herein, we propose the first comprehensive investigation of immunodominance in the context of a complex host-pathogen system: Plasmodium falciparum malaria in humans. These studies will provide valuable new knowledge of host-pathogen immunity and facilitate rational vaccine design.
Investigators
Denise Doolan, N Dudek and A Purcell (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and Monash University)
Keywords
Vaccines; Immunity; Infectious Diseases

NHMRC - Program Grant - NHMRC - Program Grant

Tropical Disease - immunity, pathogenesis and vaccine development: global translation.

Indicative Funding
$330,944 over 2 years (administered by Griffith University)
Summary
Malaria, helminths and streptococci are poorly controlled and neglected pathogens of global significance causing major morbidity and mortality - particularly in disadvantaged communities. This Program brings together a multidisciplinary team of scientists and clinicians who will leverage their unparalleled understanding of tropical health, microbiology and pathogenesis of these infections to develop new therapeutics and vaccines. The Program has both standard and unique animal models and unrivalled access to controlled human experimental infections, clinical trials and longitudinal field studies to define the impact of infection on the host immune response.
Investigators
Denise Doolan, Michael Good, Donald McManus, Alex Loukas, Nicholas Anstey, C Engewerda, J McCarthy, R Price and Istvan Toth (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, Griffith University, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Menzies Research Institute and The University of Queensland)
Keywords
Vaccines; Immunity; Infectious Diseases

NHMRC - Research Fellowship

Principal Research Fellowship #1023636

Indicative Funding
$153,787
Summary
Vaccine development against malaria and other complex diseases remains a challenge for the scientific community. A rational approach to vaccine development is to identify the target antigens and epitopes of protective immunity, characterise the mechanisms of protective immunity in animal models and humans, develop and refine vaccine platforms and formulations that induce the desired immune responses against the identified antigenic targets, and down-select candidate vaccines for testing in human clinical trials. My research program encompasses core themes of basic research on immune mechanisms and host-parasite interactions as well as antigen and epitope discovery from genomic sequence data using immunomic approaches, using malaria as a model.
Investigators
Denise Doolan (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
Vaccines; Immunity; Infectious Diseases

NHMRC - Program

Tropical Disease - Immunity, pathogenesis and vaccine development: global translation

Indicative Funding
$2,151,865 over 5 years (administered by Griffith University)
Summary
Tropical diseases create a significant human and economic burden worldwide - particularly in resource-poor settings. Around half of the world's population is at risk of malaria. In Australia, Streptococcal and parasitic worm infections are particularly common in indigenous communities. This Program brings together leading experts to tackle these major health challenges. They are investigating how the body reacts to infection and creating new drugs and vaccines to eradicate these diseases.
Investigators
Michael Good, Donald McManus, Istvan Toth, Nicholas Anstey, Denise Doolan, Chris Engwerda, Alex Loukas, James McCarthy and Richard Price in collaboration with Simon Apte, Michael Batzloff, Ashraful Haque, Yuesheng Li, Gabriela Minigo, Jason Mulvenna, Pavla Simerska and Tsin Yeo (Griffith University, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, The University of Queensland, Menzies School of Health Research and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
Tropical disease; Malaria; schistosomiasis; Streptococcus; Vaccine Development; Clinical Research; Medicinal Chemistry

Pharmaceutical Product Development - Contract Research - NCI/NIH Intramural

Discovery of novel biomarkers for Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) infection related cancers.

Indicative Funding
$87,000
Summary
To screen a newly-developed and proprietary EBV protein microarray representing all proteins in the EBV proteome against samples from EBV-associated disorders in order to develop a diagnostic biomarker of disease risk.
Investigators
Denise Doolan (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
diagnostics; Immunity; Infectious Diseases

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Grant

Identification of T-cell target antigens after immunization by the Chemo-Prophylaxis and Sporozoites (CPS) regime.

Indicative Funding
$117,997 (administered by Radboud University Medical Centre)
Summary
To identify Plasmodium pre-erythrocytic antigens by experimental vaccination with Plasmodium falciparum Chemo-Prophylaxis and Sporozoites (CPS).
Investigators
Denise Doolan and R Sauerwein (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and Radboud University Nijmegen)
Keywords
Vaccines; Immunity; Infectious Diseases
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
  • Deconstructing the Immunopathogenesis of Pathogenic Lung Infections (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Molecular Profiling of Immunity to Infections and Chronic Disease in Humans using Sytems Immunology (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Rational Vaccine Development for Malaria from Genomic Sequence Information (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • High-Throughput and High-Definition Breakdown of Human T Cell Repertoires in Health and Disease (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
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)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:
jcu.me/denise.doolan

Email
Phone
Location
  • E4.113, QLD Tropical Health Alliance (Cairns campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Advisor Mentor (P)

Similar to me

  1. Dr Severine Navarro
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  2. Prof Louis Schofield
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  3. Dr Saparna Pai
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  4. Prof Damon Eisen
    College of Medicine & Dentistry
  5. Dr Aya Taki
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences