Welcome to MBI

Globally, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are major causes of morbidity and mortality, socioeconomic disruption and economic instability. Expert knowledge and input are essential for governments to effectively anticipate, control or reduce the impact of future epidemic infections.

The Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity (MBI) is committed to meeting the challenge of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, by:

  • Increasing capacity within Australia and Asia Pacific nations to detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks in humans and animals
  • Informing and assisting in the development of policies and strategies to prevent, contain and control emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases

We will attempt to create a “free space for the mind” where interactions are open and non-hierarchical, lateral thinking is encouraged and the excitement of scientific discovery shared:

  • Activities should be stimulating, interactive and fun
  • Critical questions that explore the full context or interrogate different angles are encouraged

We hope to create a platform where people with shared interests can connect across discipline boundaries, establish links with existing groups/expertise and develop collaborative projects at their own discretion/pace

Principles of Interaction

1.  Creating and sustaining a vibrant research community

  • support and link ID researchers
  • encourage enthusiastic and critical enquiry
  • create a platform for cross-disciplinary collaboration and partnerships

2.  Doing and encouraging excellent research

  • To assist the development of competitive research protocols and infrastructure projects that secure local and/or international funding
  • To establish a record of research excellence and innovation, at multiple levels including: basic science discovery, clinical, epidemiological operational research, emphasizing the importance of the socio-cultural and environmental context

3.  Increasing capacity through education and partnership

  • To assist with the development of academic training programmes
  • To share knowledge and support training to improve service delivery
  • To assist national and international bodies with supervisory and capacity building activities, as well as the development of expert guidelines

4.  Communication and advocacy

  • To provide an independent, expert resource for government & relevant professional bodies
  • To communicate effectively about infectious disease risks and advocate for actions that will reduce these risks
  • Increase understanding of factors influencing emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in humans and animals

Our vision

We are committed to research and knowledge exchange for improved understanding of complex interactions that fuel the emergence and spread of infectious diseases - especially in the Asia-Pacific region.  We aspire to combat and lesson their resulting health and socioeconomic impacts.  We support multi-disciplinary and cross-faculty initiatives that generate novel research management approaches.  We encourage a comprehensive approach to biosecurity, which includes food and water safety/security and ecological integrity/sustainability.


Message from our Director

Professor Tania Sorrell, AM is Director of the Marie Bashir Institute (MBI).

I am delighted to introduce MBI's vision to support a vibrant academic community to help prevent the health and socioeconomic consequences of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.  A new multidisciplinary Masters in Health Security was launched in 2016, and our research nodes provide broad thematic focus linking academics across faculties to unlock latent synergies.

We trust that you will share our sense of excitement for the research, education, community engagement and advocacy work done by MBI.

Thank you for your support.

Our patron

The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO is the former Governor of New South Wales (2001-2014) and former Chancellor of the University of Sydney (2007-2012). Her high distinctions for her service to medicine were generally in the field of adolescent mental health, but it is her unending work and passion for helping the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in our society to which our institute has this incredible woman as our Patron.

"Fifty years ago, people believed that humans had won the fight against infectious diseases. However, as new diseases such as AIDS, SARS and Hendra have emerged, and traditional diseases such as tuberculosis are increasingly resistant to treatment, it is clear that there is still much to do before we win this battle.  Controlling infectious diseases is one of the major health challenges of the 21st century, a challenge not only countries where the burden of disease is highest, but worldwide – because infectious diseases have no respect for international borders. If we are to safeguard people in Australia and across the world from emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, we need to the exciting cross-disciplinary research being undertaken by this new institute at the University of Sydney.

It is indeed a deeply felt privilege to have my name associated with an institute whose fine professionals will be meeting the challenges of these diseases with considerable commitment, innovation and scientific skill."