About

Dr Paul Horwood is a Senior Lecturer, Virology and Viral Diseases, in the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, Townsville campus.

Paul’s research is focused on emerging tropical diseases in the Asia-Pacific region, including research into understanding the molecular epidemiology of tropical diseases and improving laboratory diagnostics. As a virologist with strong skills in molecular biology, bacteriology and public health, he has led multidisciplinary teams in challenging developing country settings in Papua New Guinea and Cambodia.

Paul conducts ‘One-Health’ research on the transmission of zoonotic diseases in high-risk interfaces where humans, domestic animals and wildlife interact. He also conducts research to better understand the wildlife and environmental reservoirs of important outbreak-prone diseases.

Paul previously worked for 3 years (2013-2016) at the Institut Pasteur in Cambodia as the Deputy-Head of Virology Unit. In this role, Paul was also the Director of the WHO H5 Reference Laboratory and National Influenza Centre. Paul continues research activities in Cambodia and Laos with projects focused on the emergence and persistence of avian influenza viruses in live bird markets and investigating the emergence of zoonotic pathogens from high-risk settings such as wildlife animal markets and areas undergoing rapid land-use change.

Paul worked at the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research for 4 years (from 2010-2013) as a Principal Research Fellow. He established a successful research group, the Environmental and Emerging Diseases Unit, to investigate the epidemiology of outbreak-prone diseases. Paul’s research group investigated and described maiden outbreaks of chikungunya and cholera in Papua New Guinea. While in Papua New Guinea, Paul was Head of the WHO National Influenza Centre and also coordinated national surveillance for rotavirus.

Paul embraces cross-disciplinary research, using laboratory, clinical and social research tools to improve our understanding of important diseases in low-income settings. He has ongoing research activities in numerous tropical developing countries including Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Cambodia and Laos.

Current grants

Co-investigator: Wildlife Health Australia, National Avian Influenza Wild Bird Surveillance:  Monitoring of avian influenza in samples collected from aquatic birds in North Queensland (2020): $13,200 AUD

Co-investigator: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Grand Challenges: Determining the ‘Environmental Typhoid Mary’, and Conditions that Favour Persistence (2019-2021) - $100,000 USD

Co-investigator: Woolworths Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research: Large-scale identification of maternal biomarkers indicative of infant risk for disease susceptibility (2019-2023) - $900,000 AUD

Co-investigator: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR): A one-health approach to establish surveillance strategies for Japanese encephalitis and zoonotic arboviruses in Papua New Guinea (2019-2021) - $150,000 AUD

Co-investigator: Global Challenges Research Fund, UK Research and Innovation: CANARIES: Consortium of Animal market Networks to Assess Risks of emerging Infectious diseases through Enhanced Surveillance (2019-2020) - £25,000

Co-investigator: COCKPI-T Grant, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company: SPECiFIC - Study of Pathobionts of Enterobacteriaceae in a Cohort Focusing on IBD-patients and Controls (2018-2020) - $98,851 AUD

Associate investigator: Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Stronger Systems for Health Security: Stronger Surveillance and Systems Support for Rapid Identification and Containment of Resurgent or Resistant Vector Borne Pathogens in Papua New Guinea (2019-2021) - $3,000,000 AUD

Principal investigator: HOT NORTH pilot project grant, Menzies School of Health Research: Genomics for Undiagnosed Infectious Disease Evaluation and Diagnosis in Northern Australia (2017-2019) - $36,500 AUD

Co-investigator: FNQ Hospitals Foundation: Influence of maternal pathogen infections in the composition of the infant gut microbiome and immune health (2018-2019) - $5,000 AUD

Co-investigator: Vedanta Biosciences: The Gut Microbiota of Children in Papua New Guinea and Susceptibility to Gastrointestinal Infections (2017-2019) - $137,000 AUD

Research group

PhD student: God'spower Okoh

PhD student: Andrew Adamu

PhD student: Casey Toft

PhD student: Juciliane Haidamak

PhD student: Estefania Erazo Mera

PhD student: Elisheba Malau (Federation University)

PhD student: Donald Tahani (Federation University)

Former students:

Annika Suttie (PhD), Huy Sreang Heng (PharmD), Sopheak Thet (PharmD), Jill-Lea Ramassamy (MPH), Deirdre Collins (MID), Marinjho Jonduo (Hons), Grace Bande (Hons), Monalisa Kas (Hons), Valentine Siba (Hons)

Teaching
  • MI3071: Molecular Analysis of Tropical Microbes (Level 3; TSV)
  • MI5071: Molecular Analysis of Tropical Microbes (Level 5; TSV)
  • TM5600: Introduction to One Health (Level 5; TSV)
  • TV2002: Integrated Animal Structure and Function 2 (Level 2; TSV)
  • TV3001: Transitions from Health to Disease 1 (Level 3; TSV)
Interests
Professional
  • Associate Editor, BMC Infectious Diseases (2019-current)
  • Associate Editor, Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease (2020-current)
  • International Network Steering Committee, CANARIES (The Consortium of Animal market Networks to Assess Risk of emerging Infectious diseases through Enhanced Surveillance) (2019-current) https://www.canarieshmhp.org/
  • Member, National Avian Influenza Wild Bird Surveillance Program Steering Group, Wildlife Health Australia (2020-current)
Research
  • The molecular epidemiology of emerging infectious diseases
  • Zoonotic disease emergence
  • The influence of the human gut microbiota on infectious disease outcomes
  • Improving diagnostic methods for low income settings
Experience
  • 2019 to present - Senior Lecturer, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2017 to present - Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Federation University (Churchill, Australia)
  • 2017 to 2019 - Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2013 to 2016 - Director, Cambodian WHO H5 Reference Laboratory and National Influenza Centre (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
  • 2013 to 2016 - Deputy-Head of Virology Unit, Institut Pasteur in Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
  • 2010 to 2013 - Principal Research Fellow, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research (Goroka, Papua New Guinea)
  • 2010 to 2013 - Director, Papua New Guinean WHO National Influenza Centre (Goroka, Papua New Guinea)
  • 2003 to 2010 - Biotechnologist, Queensland Primary Industries & Fisheries (Brisbane, Australia)
Research Disciplines
Honours
Awards
  • 2019 - Research Excellence Award Winner, Veterinary Science, James Cook University
  • 2018 - Australian Research Field Leader in Health & Medical Sciences - Epidemiology, The Australian
  • 2012 - Bursary Award, Wellcome Trust
  • 2010 - Travel Scholarship, Pfizer/Wyeth
Fellowships
  • 1999 to 2002 - Australian Postgraduate Awards
Memberships
  • 2020 - Higher Degree by Research (HDRES) Committee, James Cook University
  • 2019 - Research and Postgraduate Committee, Veterinary Discipline, James Cook University
  • 2019 - Veterinary Science Curriculum Review and Assessment Committee, James Cook University
  • 2018 - Centre for Tropical Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology, James Cook University
  • 2017 - Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  • 2017 - Research Committee, College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University
  • 2015 - WHO Consultancy, Informal Consultancy on Surveillance for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) using the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) Platform, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2015 to 2016 - Advisory Board for Cambodian Veterinary Epidemiology Training (CAVET)
  • 2014 to 2016 - Cambodian National Advisory Committee for IHR/APSED
  • 2013 to 2016 - Cambodian Zoonotic Technical Working Group
  • 2012 to 2013 - Papua New Guinea Emerging Infectious Diseases and Health Emergencies Workplan Committee
  • 2012 to 2013 - Institutional Ethics Review Board (IRB), Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research
  • 2012 to 2013 - Safety and Security Committee, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research
  • 2011 to 2013 - Papua New Guinea National Advisory Committee for APSED
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 94+ research outputs authored by Dr Paul Horwood from 2004 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Wildlife Health Australia - Research Grant

Monitoring of avian influenza in samples collected from aquatic birds in North Queensland

Indicative Funding
$24,776 over 2 years
Summary
At least 576 fresh faecal samples from wild ducks and magpie geese will be collected as environmental samples in the Townsville region. Swabs in transport media and immediately transported to the laboratory. Samples will be pooled and nucleic acid extracted. The extracted nucleic acid will be screened using assays based on TaqMan that will detect avian influenza. Pools that react will be individually extracted and tested. Avian influenza isolates will be checked using TaqMan specific for H5 and H7. Should the samples react in these assays it will be sent to AAHL for further testing and the CVO will be notified. Sequencing on all isolates other than those reacting in H5 and H7 will be carried out to determine genotype and to confirm pathotype.
Investigators
Graham Burgess and Paul Horwood (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Keywords
RT?PCR; Molecular Biology; Viral Diseases; Influenza; Avian; Wildlife

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research - Research Grant

A one health approach to establish surveillance strategies for Japanese encephalitis and zoonotic arboviruses in Papua New Guinea

Indicative Funding
$23,700 over 2 years (administered by CSIRO)
Summary
The project aim is to establish surveillance for JEV and other zoonotic arboviruses that affect the rural population of PNG. The major objectives are to: 1. Evaluate current detection methods to detect zoonotic arboviruses in the field and laboratory, and build capacity where gaps are identified. 2. Establish surveillance at selected sites using sentinel animal (pigs, chickens) and mosquito trapping 3. Develop linkages and coordination between human and animal health agencies. The primary outputs are to develop surveillance activities that contribute to early warning for public health and provide a better understanding of the ecological drivers of arboviruses in PNG.
Investigators
David Williams, Leanne Robinson, Paul Horwood, Stephan Karl and Dagmar Meyer Steiger (Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Burnet Insitute and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
Japanese encephalitis virus; Arbovirus; Papua New Guinea; Mosquito; Vector; Zoonotic

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Influence of maternal pathogen infections in the composition of the infant gut microbiome and immune health

Indicative Funding
$5,000 over 2 years
Summary
The aim of this project is to understand how pathogen infections modify maternal microbiome and shape bacterial colonization in children. The influence of the microbiome on immune system maturation in infants directly impacts on pathogen susceptibility and persistence.
Investigators
Severine Navarro, Paul Horwood and Andrew Greenhill (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and Federation University)
Keywords
Microbiome; Infant; Breastmilk; Pathogens; Hookworm; Health

National Health & Medical Research Council - Northern Australia Tropical Disease Collaborative Research Programme Hot North Fellowship

Genomics for Undiagnosed Infectious Disease Evaluation and Diagnosis in Northern Australia (GUIDED-North Australia)

Indicative Funding
$36,472 over 2 years (administered by Menzies School of Health Research)
Summary
The early detection and diagnosis of infectious diseases currently relies on a best guess of likely causative agents with specific testing for those agents. In this project, we aim to evaluate a genomics approach for the diagnosis of febrile illnesses of unknown cause in Northern Australia. The project will be conducted in major hospitals across three different regions of Northern Australia: Cairns (Queensland), Darwin (Northern Territory) and Broome (Western Australia). It is likely that most emerging infectious diseases initially present as undifferentiated fevers. It follows then that investigation of undifferentiated fevers provides targeted surveillance for new and emerging infectious diseases.
Investigators
Paul Horwood (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
Genomics; Fever; Tropical; Emerging Infectious Diseases; Northern Australia
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
  • Large-scale identification of maternal biomarkers indicative of infant risk for disease susceptibility (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Investigating Herpesvirus Infection in Australian wildlife (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Saving a cryptic tropical species: combining spatial and reproductive sciences to determine the future of the endangered pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) (PhD , Primary 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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