Health and medical research in Victoria: Doherty Institute

Video: Doherty Institute: Inaugural Director, Sharon Lewin

The Melbourne-based world-class Doherty Institute (also known as Peter Doherty Institute) for Infection and Immunity is a partnership between the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health.

It is named after the esteemed Nobel Laureate (1996) and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, Professor Peter Doherty, who is also the Institute's Patron.

Leading Melbourne scientist and Melbournian of the year in 2014, Professor Sharon Lewin is Director of the Doherty Institute. In the video, she talks about health and medical research in Victoria. About 70% of staff at the Institute are university-based and over 700 staff work on all aspects of infectious diseases and how to tackle and prevent and ultimately cure many of the most serious infectious diseases we face today.

"The Government helps in a whole range of ways, of course, infrastructure, so many of the buildings and hardware that we need to do the work is provided by government. The Peter Doherty Institute is a brand new, 11 storey building in the heart of Melbourne. It cost 210 million dollars to build and that was through contributions from the State Government of Victoria, the Commonwealth Government and the University of Melbourne." says Prof Lewin.

Prof Lewin is an infectious diseases physician and basic scientist, and an international expert on all aspects of HIV disease and pathogenesis. She is the inaugural director of the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at the University of Melbourne; consultant physician, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; and an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellow. She was previously Head, Department of Infectious Diseases, The Alfred Hospital and Monash University (2003 – 2014) and Co-head, Centre for Biomedical Research, Burnet Institute (2010-2014), Melbourne, Australia.

She leads a large multi-disciplinary research team that focuses on understanding why HIV persists on treatment, developing clinical trials aimed at ultimately finding  a cure for HIV infection and understanding HIV-related immune reconstitution and how HIV interacts with other viruses such as hepatitis B virus (HBV).