Infection and immunological conditions

Infectious diseases are a leading cause of death worldwide and each year new infectious agents are emerging. To combat this trend our researchers seek to understand the body’s immune response which is important for a wide range of diseases, from autoimmune conditions, where the immune response to the individual is excessive, to emerging infectious diseases affecting populations around the world.

Our researchers study bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. They investigate all types of immune reactions, including agents of importance to:

  • Australia, such as swine and human influenza;
  • Asia Pacific, such as malaria; and
  • around the world, such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

The study of infectious diseases and immunology at Sydney Medical School covers laboratory, clinic and population studies, and involves all organ systems and crosses all medical specialties.

Some research questions we are investigating are:


Is the world prepared for the challenge of emerging infectious diseases such as swine flu and West Nile Virus?

Why is asthma so prevalent in Australia, and how can we reduce the severity of attacks?

How can we eradicate the “big three” infectious diseases – tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria?

What determines whether the immune system clears infections or contributes to their harmful effects on the body?

Theme Leader

Professor Tania Sorrell

Find a researcher

Looking for a researcher or a PhD supervisor? Take a look at the "Find a Researcher" page to search for our world-class infectious disease and immunology researchers.