Herpesvirus Research Group

The herpesvirus research unit at the CHRC has a focus on cytomegalovirus disease.  The long term vision of our group is to apply our fundamental studies of herpesvirus molecular biology to the development of new ways of preventing the disease, or new ways to diagnose and treat herpesvirus infection.

Why study Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV)?

Human CMV is a highly prevalent betaherpesvirus that is recognised as one of the major causes of congenital disease worldwide. It is estimated that 200-600 children born each year in Australia are affected by congenital HCMV disease, with many requiring lifelong support for the resulting conditions. The virus can cross the placenta to infect the unborn child, which may result in foetal death or congenital disease of varying severity. 

HCMV may also cause disease in immunosuppressed people, for example transplant recipients.  Moreover, CMV is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in transplant recipients and AIDS patients. An effective commercial vaccine against CMV has yet to be developed. Moreover, current antiviral chemotherapy suffers from problems associated with toxicity and rapid acquisition of drug resistance.

Our Staff and Students

This group is led by Associate Professor Nick Davis-Poynter.

Meet the rest of our team