Sydney Research Networks Scheme (SyReNS)

Sydney Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity Research Network (SIBRN)

SIBRN was established in 2012 as part of a University of Sydney initiative to improve cross-faculty collaboration and undertake transformative research of global importance. It involves the creation of two infectious diseases interest hubs outside of Medicine and Veterinary Science, one within the Natural Sciences and one with the Humanities, to increase the scope of MBI's collaborations and research activities.

Organisational chart of SIBRN

Epidemic and emerging, increasingly antimicrobial resistant, infectious diseases are common causes of severe illness and mortality world-wide. They cause substantial social disruption and economic hardship, especially in developing countries, and cost the global economy many billions of dollars per year. Multiple factors are responsible, but newly implicated, are interactions between microbial ecosystems, nutrition and the host. Anticipating and controlling epidemics and increasing anti-microbial resistance is a multidisciplinary problem that crosses geographic and social boundaries.


The overarching goal of the Sydney Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity Research Network (SIBRN) is to generate new knowledge and novel research strategies that will contribute to reducing the risks and global impacts of infectious diseases by:

  • conducting basic, applied and translational research into the origins, evolution and ecology of (re)emerging pathogens, and the interaction between microbial ecology, nutrition and infectious diseases, to better understand how these agents spread and cause disease in humans and animals
  • identifying social/behavioural, legal and political drivers of societal and individual responses to the threat of infectious disease outbreaks
  • developing and evaluating better strategies, including modelling, for prediction; prevention and control, diagnosis, management and mitigation of infectious disease threats

Within the field of infectious diseases and biosecurity no other Australian centre combines comparable breadth in both social and biological sciences. Given Australia’s position as one of the few developed nations in the Asia-Pacific region and the Southern hemisphere, the creation of SIBRN will greatly enhance the University of Sydney’s capacity to emerge as a national and global leader within the field. SIBRN will build on the vision and achievements of the MBI, by extending the collaborative research network beyond the current MBI core: Sydney Medical School (SMS), Veterinary Sciences, Law and the School of Molecular Bioscience into the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Engineering & Information Technology (IT), Agriculture and the School of Biological Sciences.

More information

For more information about the SIBRN Network please contact Node Coordinator, Camperdown, Lea McGregor Dawson via or phone: (02) 93511915