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In this section, you can find the following information:

Prof Ben Howden

Professor Benjamin Howden

MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FRCPA

 

Appointments

 

Director, Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory, Doherty Institute for Infection & Immunity

Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne

Infectious Diseases Physician, Austin Health

 

President, Australian Society for Antimicrobials

Chair, Staphylococcal Research Group, ASID Clinical Trials Network

Chair, Staphylococcal Research Group, Australian Group on Antimicrobial Resistance

 

 

Major Research Interests

 

Staphylococcus aureus - epidemiology, resistance, pathogenesis and host pathogen interactions, with a focus on vancomycin resistance and community-associated MRSA.

 

Enterococcus faecium - epidemiology, resistance and pathogenesis.

 

 

Current Projects

  • Investigating the molecular mechanisms of vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus
  • Understanding the mechanisms and impact of small colony variant S. aureus
  • Investigating the impact of VISA and SCV S. aureus on host-pathogen interactions
  • The molecular pathogenesis of community-acquired MRSA in Australia, including the role of Panton-Valentine leukocidin in disease severity
  • Molecular epidemiology of vancomycin-resistant E. faecium in the hospital
  • Clinical impact of reduced vancomycin susceptibility on treatment outcomes of S. aureus bacteraemia
  • Relationship between reduced vancomycin susceptibility and reduced daptomycin susceptibility in S. aureus
  • Understading the role of sRNAs in antibiotic resistance in S. aureus

 

Grants

 

NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2012)

 

Principal Chief Investigator - Role of sRNAs in Antibiotic Resistance in S. aureus. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant, 2012-2014

 

Chief Investigator - Genomic Approaches to Understand and Control the Emergence of Vancomycin-Resistant VRE in Australia. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant, 2012-2014

 

Principal Chief Investigator - Virulence and Host Immune Consequences of Vancomycin Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant, 2011-2013

 

Chief Investigator - Molecular Basis for the Increased Virulence of Community-Acquired Staphylococcus aureus. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant, 2011-2013

 

Principal Chief Investigator - Molecular Mechanisms of Vancomycin Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant, 2010-2012.

 

Associate Investigator - Community-Onset Staphylococcus aureus Cohort Project.National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant, 2008-2011

 

 

Current PhD Students

 

Ms Sarah Baines

Dr Jean Lee

Dr Norelle Sherry

 

 

Collaborators


A/Prof Tim Stinear, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne

Prof John K Davies, Department of Microbiology, Monash University

Prof Jacques Schrenzel, Genomic Reseach Laboratory, University of Geneva Hospitals, Switzwerland

Prof Roger Nation and Dr Jian Li, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Services, Monash University

Prof Catherine Bennett, School of Health & Social Development, Deakin University

Mr Geoff Coombs, Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Perth Hospital

Prof John Turnidge, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Women's and Children's Hospital, South Australia

Dr Torsten Seemann, Victorian Bioinformatics Consortium, Monash University

 

Electron microscopy demonstrating a thickened cell wall in a vancomycin-intermediate strain of S. aureus
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