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Professor Roy Robins-Browne
Professor Roy Robins-Browne began his research career after studying medicine, specialising in pathology, in South Africa. He migrated to Australia in 1982 to take up a position as Reader in Microbiology at the University of Melbourne. Professor Robins-Browne has worked as a clinical microbiologist in hospitals in South Africa and Australia. He was Director of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Royal Children's Hospital and was the inaugural Professor/Director of Microbiological Research at the Royal Children's Hospital and the University of Melbourne.
Professor Robins-Browne currently holds one of two Chairs of Microbiology and Immunology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, the University of Melbourne. He is also an honorary research professor of medicine at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.
Professor Robins-Browne has had a long career of research into antimicrobial chemotherapy and the pathogenesis of bacteria that cause gastroenteritis, particularly E. coli . He has authored or co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles on these topics. Professor Robins-Browne is also a major contributor to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and learning in medical microbiology at the University of Melbourne.
- Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, The University of Melbourne
- 1994: Fellowship, Royal College of Pathologists (UK)
- 2012: Honorary Life Fellowship, College of Pathologists of South Africa
- 2014: Rubbo Orator and Medal, Australian Society for Microbiology
Professor Robins-Browne's current research is focused on how some specific strains of E. coli can cause disease. Most recently, this research has involved examining how the genes which code for proteins that allow E. coli to cause diarrhoea are activated. His team is currently investigating if the activation process can be inhibited by small molecules that could be developed into drugs. If so, these drugs could be used to treat or prevent infections as a substitute for traditional antibiotics.
Professor Robins-Browne's research team is also looking at is specific varieties of E. coli whose association with disease is uncertain, because they have no known specific markers of virulence. This research involves comparing the genetic make-up of E. coli strains isolated from children with and without diarrhoea, to determine if there are any genes that are specifically associated with disease.
He also collaborates extensively with other researchers on various projects in Australia and overseas. These collaborations include several researchers at the MCRI, the University of Melbourne and the University of Maryland.
- Chemical inhibition of bacterial virulence
- Characterisation of “atypical“ enteropathogenic E. coli
Tennant SM, Tauschek M, Azzopardi K, Bigham A, Bennett-Wood V, Hartland EL, Qi W, Whittam TS, Robins-Browne RM. Characterisation of atypical enteropathogenic E. coli strains of clinical origin. BMC Microbiol 2009; 9:117
Gorrell RJ, Robins-Browne RM. Antibody-mediated protection against infection with Helicobacter pylori in a suckling mouse model of passive immunity. Infect Immun 2009; 77:5116-29
Yang J, Dogovski C, Hocking D, Tauschek M, Perugini M, Robins-Browne RM. Bicarbonate-mediated stimulation of RegA, the global virulence regulator from Citrobacter rodentium. J Mol Biol 2009; 394:591-9
Yang J, Tauschek M, Robins-Browne RM. Control of bacterial virulence by AraC-like regulators that respond to chemical signals. Trends Microbiol 2011; 19:128-35
Baldi DL, Higginson EE, Hocking DM, Praszkier J, Cavaliere R, James CE, Bennett-Wood V, Azzopardi KI, Turnbull L, Lithgow T, Robins-Browne RM*, Whitchurch CB*, Tauschek M*. The type II secretion system and its ubiquitous lipoprotein substrate, SslE, are required for biofilm formation and virulence of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. Infect Immun 2012; 80: 2042 - 52 (*equal contribution)
Zeng W, Azzopardi K, Hocking D, Wong CY, Robevska G, Tauschek M, Robins-Browne RM, Jackson DC. A totally synthetic lipopeptide-based self-adjuvanting vaccine induces neutralizing antibodies against heat-stable enterotoxin from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. Vaccine 2012; 30:4800-6
Robins-Browne RM, Levine MM. Laboratory diagnostic challenges in case-control studies of diarrhoea in developing countries. Clin Infect Dis 2012; 55 (S4): S312-6
Kotloff KL, Nataro JP, Blackwelder WC, Nasrin D, Farag T, Panchalingham S, Wu Y, Sow SO, Sur D, Breiman RF, Faruque ASG, Zaidi AKM, Saha D, Alonso PL, Tamboura B, Sanogo D, Onwuchekwa U, Manna B, Ramamurthy T, Kanungo S, Ochieng JB, Omore R, Oundo JO, Hossain A, Das SK, Ahmed S, Qureshi S, Quadri F, Adegbola RA, Antonio M, Hossain MJ, Akinsola A, Mandomando I, Nhampossa T, Acácio S, Biswas K, O'Reilly CE, Mintz ED, Berkeley LY, Muhsen K, Sommerfelt H, Robins-Browne RM, Levine, MM. Burden and aetiology of diarrhoeal disease in infants and young children in developing countries: The Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS). Lancet 2013; 382: 209-22
Srikhanta YN, Hocking DM, Wakefield MJ, Higginson E, Robins-Browne RM*, Yang J*, Tauschek M*. Control of bacterial virulence by the RalR regulator of the rabbit-specific enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strain, E22. Infect Immun 2013; 81: 4232-43 (*equal contribution)
Yang J, Hocking DM, Cheng C, Dogovski C, Perugini MA, Holien JK, Parker MW, Hartland EL, Tauschek M, Robins-Browne RM. Disarming bacterial virulence through chemical inhibition of the DNA-binding domain of an AraC-like transcriptional activator protein. J Biol Chem 2013; 288: 31115-26