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. 

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

 Click on your right for Denise's most updated publications link to ORCID or Research Gate.

 Teaching  

James Cook University TM5525 Communicable Disease Control (20 Jul 2017) (17Jul 2018)

 Infectious diseases are the consequence of complex interactions between microbiological agents (pathogens), physical and social environments, and human hosts. This subject examines how controlling communicable disease of public health importance requires a wide variety of strategies to address these interactions. Deals with the principles and practice of public health surveillance, disease outbreak recognition and responses, immunisation, and a variety of other disease control strategies relevant to Australia as well as to many low- and middle-income countries.

 James Cook University MD3011 Introduction to Clinical Healthcare (21apr 2017)

This subject continues the study of integrated medical and social sciences for the whole human body. Students will continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of molecular, cellular, organ, individual person, health system and societal influences on human health, integrated around themes within tissue injury and neoplasia, infection and immunology and preventive medicine and addictive behaviours.

 James Cook University Masters of Parasitology course (09jun 2016)

 

 

Interests
Research
  • Vaccine development
  • Malaria
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Chronic Diseases
  • Systems immunology
  • Immunotherapeutics
  • Immunodiagnostics
Experience
  • 2018 to present - Deputy Director, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University (Townsville/Cairns/Singapore)
  • 2018 to present - Director, Centre for Molecular Therapeutics (James Cook University, QLD, Australia)
  • 2016 to present - Professor, James Cook University (Cairns, QLD)
  • 2016 to present - Visiting Scientist, Queensland Institute of Medical Research (Brisbane, QLD)
  • 2008 to present - Adjunct Professor, University of Queensland (Brisbane, QLD)
  • 2017 to 2018 - Director, Centre for Biosecurity and Tropical Infectious Diseases (James Cook University, QLD, Australia)
  • 2016 to 2017 - Co-director, Centre for Biosecurity and Tropical Infectious Diseases, James Cook University (Cairns, 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
  • 2018 - National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellowship
  • 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
  • 2015 - Executive Board, International Society for Vaccines
  • 2016 to 2017 - Management Advisory Committee, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University
  • 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
  • 2018 - JCU nominee for the Medical and Health Sciences (MHS) panel for the ARC’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2018 round
  • 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
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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 131+ 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.

National Health & Medical Research Council - 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 Health & Medical Research Council - Program

Tropical diseases: Translating discoveries into better health

Indicative Funding
$4,400,810 over 5 years (administered by QIMR)
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

Moffitt - Contract Research

Discovery of novel biomarkers for Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) infection related cancers ? PTLD and cross-pathogen

Indicative Funding
$47,441
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 is altered in infection-related cancers. We are comprehensively assessing 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 PTLD and other EBV-infection related cancer studies provided by colleagues at Moffitt Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine to define IgA and IgG antibody repertoires
Investigators
Denise Doolan (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
EBV infection-related cancer

NIH National Cancer Institute - Contract Research

Discovery of novel biomarkers for Epstien Barr Virus (EBV) infection related cancers - HL and NK/T lymphomas

Indicative Funding
$74,997 over 2 years (administered by Westat)
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 is altered in infection-related cancers. We are comprehensively assessing 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 Hodgkin Lymphoma and NK/T cell study provided by colleageus at NIH/NCI to define IgA and IgG antibody repertoires.
Investigators
Denise Doolan in collaboration with Allan Hildesheim, Zhiwei Liu, Yomani Sarathkumara and Carla Proietti (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and NIH National Cancer Institute)
Keywords
EBV infection-related cancer

National Health & Medical Research Council - Equipment Grant

Barocycler Pressure Cycling Technology Sample Preparation System

Indicative Funding
$24,137
Summary
To purchase a Pressure Biosciences NEP3229-002 Barocycler Pressure Cycling Technology Sample Preparation System. This instrument is specifically designed for the rapid, robust, versatile, reproducible, and quantitative extraction of nucleic acids, proteins, and small molecules from a wide variety of sources including viruses, bacteria, plant and animal cells and tissues for mass spectrometry applications in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. This will drastically improve the reproducibility, speed and cost efficiency and reduces potential contaminations during sample preparation to generate very high quality data.
Investigators
Denise Doolan and Jeremy Potriquet in collaboration with John Miles (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
Mass Spectrometry; Proteomics; Sample preparation

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

National Health & Medical Research Council - 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

National Health & Medical Research Council - Program

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

National Health & Medical Research Council - 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

National Health & Medical Research Council - 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
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
  • Airway Resident Memory T Cell Development and Persistence: The Key to Induction of Sterile Immunity against Pulmonary Tuberculosis? (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Deconstructing the immunopathogenesis of lung infections (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • High-Throughput and High-Definition Breakdown of Human T Cell Repertoires in Health and Disease (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Molecular profiling of immunity to infectious diseases using human challenge models (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Biomarker discovery and development for Malaria, TB and EBV-associated cancers (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Immunodominance in a Complex Host-Pathogen System (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Rational Vaccine Development for Malaria from Genomic Sequence Information (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Knowledge and Attitudes to Reproductive Technology among Aboriginal Families who are at risk of Machado-Joseph 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)

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Email
Phone
Location
  • E5.110, AITHM Cairns (Cairns campus)
Advisory Accreditation
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