New Lecturer in Communicable Disease Epidemiology

Portrait of Dr Grant Hill-Cawthorne

Dr Grant Hill-Cawthorne

Dr Grant Hill-Cawthorne is the newly appointed Lecturer in Communicable Disease Epidemiology.

Grant studied medicine in Cambridge and during his junior doctor years was very interested in both neurology and infectious diseases. Clinically he specialised in medical microbiology, keeping a particular interest in neurological infections. For the past 3 years he has been in Saudi Arabia developing a pathogen genomics laboratory, gaining firsthand experience of second generation sequencing and bioinformatics.

Infectious diseases and medical microbiology are undergoing the most significant shift since PCR was introduced. By the end of this decade, sequencing will have become the main option when investigating any outbreak or infection. Grant studies the interface between genomics as a pure science and its translation into clinical benefits. In particular he is interested in using sequencing as a diagnostic tool and for prognostication, including assessing drug resistance.

Much of his recent work has been on the global genomic diversity of tuberculosis and markers of drug resistance. In Sydney he will be continuing to explore the clinical application of sequencing for tuberculosis and the diagnosis of non-tuberculous mycobacteria.

Grant's clinical interest is neurological infections and examining the use of sequencing to aid in the diagnosis of the 50% of cases of encephalitis in which a causative aetiology is currently not identified.

Grant is a joint SEIB and Sydney School of Public Health appointment.