Prof Paul Young

RUBBO ORATOR

Paul Young is Professor of Virology and Head of the School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland. He is the current Chair of the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies and a past President of the Australian Society for Microbiology, Australasian Virology Society and the Asia Pacific Society for Medical Virology. He gained his PhD from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 1986 where he began his research into the dengue viruses. He returned to Australia in 1989 and continued his dengue vaccine development program along with research aimed at understanding the molecular basis of dengue virus induced pathogenesis, improved diagnostics as well as therapeutic and vaccine control strategies for the flaviviruses, dengue, West Nile and Zika viruses. His group is also studying the engagement currently being enacted in the wild between a novel retrovirus, KoRV and its koala host and what this tells us about cancer induction and viral evolution.

Current projects include:

  • The development of a generic recombinant protein platform technology, Molecular Clamp, that locks viral fusion proteins into their pre-fusion state as the basis of subunit vaccine candidates.
  • Development of TLR4 antagonists as inhibitors of dengue virus induced pathology, based on our groups discovery that the secreted flavivirus protein NS1 is a TLR4 agonist.
  • Needle-free, micro-array patch delivery to the skin of a range of both established and novel vaccines (inactivated polio, influenza, measles/rubella, dengue, Zika, Ebola etc) with enhanced potency.
  • The role that koala retrovirus (KoRV) genetic diversity plays in transmission, genome invasion and disease in wild koala populations.