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Professor Nigel Curtis
Professor Nigel Curtis is a paediatric infectious diseases physician and clinician scientist. He is the leader of the Infectious Diseases Research Group at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Melbourne and Head of Infectious Diseases at The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne.
Prof Curtis did his undergraduate medical degree at the University of Cambridge and clinical training at St Mary's Medical School, University of London. He undertook his laboratory training at Imperial College London St Mary's Campus, where he completed a PhD investigating the role of bacterial superantigen toxins in Kawasaki disease and in staphylococcal and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. His specialist training in infectious diseases included working at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children and a Fellowship at the British Columbia Children's Hospital. He has also worked for periods in The Gambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Prof Curtis' research focuses on improving the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in children, combining clinical research and trials with laboratory immunology studies. His current research interests focus on the innate and cellular immune response to BCG vaccine, as well as the immunodiagnosis of childhood TB (or not TB). He leads a multidisciplinary research team comprising clinicians, research nurses, laboratory scientists, PhD and other students.
He is the recipient of an NHMRC Investigator Award and has been an investigator on grants totalling more than thirty-five million dollars. He has published more than 360 papers.
He has been the lead investigator on numerous trials including The MIS BAIR Trial, a randomised controlled trial of neonatal BCG vaccination to investigate the immunomodulatory heterologous ('non-specific') effects of this vaccine, including its ability to prevent infections, allergic disease and asthma.
He is the Chief Principal Investigator of The BRACE Trial, a randomised controlled trial of BCG vaccination to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in healthcare workers that is recruiting over 10,000 participants in three continents worldwide.
You can follow his tweets at @nigeltwitt.
Professor Curtis has a wide range of clinical and laboratory research interests.
His clinical research encompasses clinical trials, observational studies and systematic reviews of a wide variety of childhood infectious diseases, including bacterial meningitis, infections in the immunocompromised, and Kawasaki disease. He is also a staunch advocate of appropriate antimicrobial use and is involved in antibiotic stewardship and a randomised controlled trial of neonatal vancomycin dosing.
His laboratory research has a particular focus on host-pathogen interactions and the immune response to infections. He has led studies on the role of superantigens in the aetiology of Kawasaki disease, and the pathogenesis of severe staphylococcal and streptococcal disease, including acute rheumatic fever. Current research projects focus on the immune response to BCG vaccine and the immunodiagnosis of childhood tuberculosis. Professor Curtis is currently leading a large randomised controlled trial of BCG immunisation of infants in Melbourne to investigate the immunomodulatory ('non-specific') effects of this vaccine, including its ability to prevent infections and allergic disease. Find our more at: http://misbair.org.au/
- Immunodiagnosis of childhood tuberculosis (TB)
- The Melbourne Infant Study: BCG for Allergy and Infection Reduction (MIS BAIR)
- Immunological and molecular studies investigating the heterologous effects of BCG vaccine
- Clinical infectious diseases projects
Heterologous ("nonspecific") and sex-differential effects of vaccines: epidemiology, clinical trials, and emerging immunologic mechanisms. Flanagan KL, van Crevel R, Curtis N, Shann F, Levy O; Optimmunize Network. Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Jul;57(2):283-9. doi: 10.1093/cid/cit209. Epub 2013 Apr 9. Review. PMID: 23572484
Non-specific effect of Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine on the immune response to routine immunisations. Ritz N, Mui M, Balloch A, Curtis N. Vaccine. 2013 Jun 26;31(30):3098-103. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.03.059. Epub 2013 Apr 10. PMID: 23583897
The contribution of non-conventional T cells and NK cells in the mycobacterial-specific IFN? response in Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-immunized infants. Zufferey C, Germano S, Dutta B, Ritz N, Curtis N. PLoS One. 2013 Oct 3;8(10):e77334. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077334. eCollection 2013. PMID: 24098583
The influence of bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine strain on the immune response against tuberculosis: a randomized trial. Ritz N, Dutta B, Donath S, Casalaz D, Connell TG, Tebruegge M, Robins-Browne R, Hanekom WA, Britton WJ, Curtis N. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 Jan 15;185(2):213-22. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201104-0714OC. Epub 2011 Nov 3. PMID: 22071384
A comparative analysis of polyfunctional T cells and secreted cytokines induced by Bacille Calmette-Guérin immunisation in children and adults. Ritz N, Strach M, Yau C, Dutta B, Tebruegge M, Connell TG, Hanekom WA, Britton WJ, Robins-Browne R, Curtis N. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e37535. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037535. Epub 2012 Jul 19. PMID: 22829867
- National Health and Medical Research Council
- The John Burge Trust