Dr Andrew Currie
PhD (Distinction), BSc (Hons)

Senior Lecturer in Immunology / Senior Research Fellow

About me

I am a Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Immunology at Murdoch University with over 18 years of experience in the fields of paediatric innate immunity, inflammation, and infectious disease. I currently lead and supervise a team of PhD and honours students, research assistants and clinical research nurses on projects in the area of neonatal infection and immunity, sepsis diagnosis, antimicrobial protein and peptide immunobiology and systems biology.

Contribution to neonatal research: My research combines current cellular and molecular ‘omics’ methodologies with primary human samples, and more recently large animal neonatal studies, to understand how the innate immune system contributes to defence against infection in early life. My goal is to translate key research findings into cost-effective and safe innate immune therapies for preventing and limiting infection and inflammation in preterm infants. My group has made significant progress towards this goal in the area of neonatal sepsis. The group’s research has led to a translational programme using preterm piglet and canine sepsis models and leverages off access to the Veterinary College and Hospital at Murdoch University. The group has begun evaluating synthetic antimicrobial peptides (see collaborations) for limiting infection and inflammation in human and animal infant blood and have secured pilot funding for mode-of-delivery, dose-finding and proof-of-principle studies.

Teaching area

•    Unit Coordination of:

BMS211. Medical Immunology and Molecular Genetics

•    Lecturing in:

VET211, VET273, ANS102, BMS101, BMS315, BMS322, BIO378

Research areas

Active research in:

Neonatal Immunology, Preterm Infant Sepsis, Antimicrobial Peptide Therapies, Paediatric Vaccinology, Tumour Immunology, Breastmilk immunology, Systems Biology.

Major techniques: Flow cytometry, real-time PCR, RNAseq, metabolomics, Luminex assays, ELISA, cell culture, methylation arrays, cell sorting, blood preparations, microbiology.

Current projects

The Preterm Omics Sepsis Study (PROMISE) – transcriptomics and metabolomics analysis of neonatal sepsis.

Evaluating novel biomarkers for sepsis diagnosis

The National Phenome Centre – Metabolic Phenotyping in Child Health

Combining Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs) and antibiotics to treat infant and adult sepsis

Testing AMPs in vivo – establishing a piglet model of neonatal sepsis

Antibacterial properties of coconut oil and its activity against neonatal pathogens



Awards and grants

Research support: >$4.5 million in research support since 2012 as a CI. NHMRC – APP1147630, CIC, 2018-2021; APP1087700, CIE, 2015-18; APP1045760, CIB, 2013-15; APP1031635, CIC, 2012-2014. Telethon Perth Children’s Hospital Strategic Research Initiative (WA Department of Health) – CIA, 2016-18, $475,000 to establish the National Phenome Centre to provide metabolomics phenotyping services for paediatric studies in partnership with Imperial College, UK. Telethon Perth Children’s Hospital Project funding – CIB&CIC, 2014-15; 2009. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Funding, WA node, 2013-15. Meat & Livestock Association Australia– newborn lamb survival trial, CIB (immunology lead), 2013-15.

Recent Murdoch Led Grant funding:

Currie A, Strunk T, Abraham S, Wang P, Burgner D. Plasma Secretory Type II Phospholipase A2: A Novel Diagnostic Marker for Neonatal Late-Onset Sepsis. Telethon-New Children’s Hospital Research Fund. 2017. $190,000.

Currie A, Strunk T, Gummer J, Abraham S. Antibacterial properties of coconut oil and its activity against neonatal pathogens. Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases. 2016. $19,899.

Currie A, R Trengove, M Everard, J Nicholson. Establishing the National Phenome CentreAdvanced Screening, Diagnostics and Precision Medicine for WA’s infants and children. Telethon-New Children’s Hospital Research Fund – Strategic Award. 2015. $497,000.

Other Research Funding:

Le Souef, Holt, Currie, Hancock, Laing, Trengove, Broadhurst, Cookson. Multi-centre, multi-disciplinary study using a systems biology approach to investigate immunomodulation in children with acute wheeze. NHMRC Project Grant # APP1147630. 2018-21. $1,868,942.

Strunk T, A Currie, D Davidson, O Levy, D Burgner. Antimicrobial proteins and peptides to prevent late-onset sepsis in preterm infants. Telethon-New Children’s Hospital Research Fund. 2013. $186,000.

Pillow J, D Blache, A Currie, P Noble, J Roger, A Gill, J Rubenson. Postnatal Steroids and Antenatal Chorioamnionitis: between the Scylla and Charybdis of Inflammation and Apoptosis after Preterm Birth. Telethon-New Children’s Hospital Research Fund. 2013. $202,855.

Le Souef, Currie, A.J., Bizzintino, J., Smith, D., Cookson, W., Gern, J., Zhang, B., Khoo, S. Investigation into host susceptibility and immune responses in young children with acute wheezing due to human rhinovirus group C infection. NHMRC Project Grant # APP1045760. 2013, $658,890.

Le Souef, P. Goldblat, J., Currie, A.J., Landau, L., Hayden C. Longitudinal characterization of respiratory and immune development from birth to adulthood in the Perth Respiratory Birth Cohort. NHMRC Project Grant # APP1031635. 2012, $510,372.

Currie A, T Strunk, K Simmer, D Burgner. Identifying the innate immune mechanisms that determine the outcome of Gram positive bacterial colonization and infection in early childhood.Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, 2012, $49,000

Kirkham L., Richmond P., Wiertsema S., Currie A., Thomas W., Hale B., Prescott S., Tulic M., Peacock C., Stick S. and Kicic A. ‘Acquisition of an EnSpire Multi-label Plate Reader’. NHMRC equipment grant. 2011, $40,000

T. Strunk, A.J. Currie, D. Burgner, P. Richmond. 2009. Understanding the immunological basis of the greatly increased susceptibility of preterm infants to early life infection. European Society for Paediatric Infectious Disease. $15,000.

Burgner, D., A.J. Currie, P. Richmond, K. Simmer, O. Levy, T. Strunk, D. Doherty. 2009-2011. A prospective study of the development of innate immunity in preterm infants and susceptibility to neonatal infection. NHMRC Project Grant #572548. $363,250.

Robinson, B., J. Alvarez, A.J. Currie, R. Lake. 2009-2011. The scientific basis for the integration of surgery and immunotherapy for lung malignancies.NHMRC Project Grant #572669. $496,250

Robinson, BWS, P Reynolds, A.J. Currie, R van der Most, R Lake, A Nowak, B Scott. 2007-2009. Integrating Conventional Mesothelioma Therapies with Immuno- and Gene-Therapies. NHMRC Strategic Award #458533. $773,115.

Richmond, P., D.  Burgner, O. Levy, A.J. Currie, K. Simmer, D. Doherty. 2008-2010. Innate immunity in premature infants: the role of Toll like receptors in susceptibility to infection. NHMRC Project Grant #513847. $422,550.

Professional and community service

Administrative duties:
Academic Chair – Honours in Biomedical Science

Society membership:

WA Committee member – Australasian Society for Immunology

State Representative – ASI Special Interest Group for Infection and Immunity




Doctoral and masters supervisions

Undergraduate/Postgraduate Supervision (Current):

Coordinating supervisor -

Ms Laura Brookes, Ph.D. candidate – Murdoch University, Commences 2017

Ms Sherrianne Ng, Ph.D. candidate – Murdoch University, Passed 2019

Ms Stephanie Trend, Ph.D. candidate – UWA, Passed 2015

Ms Angela Fuery, Ph.D. candidate – UWA, Passed 2015

Ms Emma de Jong, Ph.D. candidate – Murdoch University, Passed 2016

Ms Ivana Poznic, Honours student – Murdoch University, Passed 2016

Ms Divya Muthiah, Honours student – Murdoch University, Passed 2012

Ms Caitlyn Granland, Honours student – Murdoch University, Passed 2011

Mr Steve Broomfield, Ph.D. candidate – UWA. 2007-09; Passed 2009

Mr Mathew Brown, Ph.D. candidate – UWA. 2004-07; Passed 2008

Ms Alison Smith, Ph.D. candidate – UWA. 2004-08; Passed 2009

Mr Malte Welhausen Medical Masters Candidate – UWA. 2nd year student; Completed

Mr Paul Campsall, Independent undergraduate research student – University of British       Columbia, Canada. Passed 2003.

Mr Agus Po, University of British        Columbia, Canada. Independent undergraduate         research student – University of British         Columbia, Canada. Passed 2003.

Ms Simi Bharya, University of British Columbia, Canada. Medical trainee research student Passed 2002.



Mr Aaron Ramon, Ph.D. candidate – Murdoch University, Commenced 2014

Ms Jane Penelope Wesson, Ph.D. candidate – Murdoch University, Commenced 2014

Ms Kimberely Miller, Honours student – Murdoch University, Passed 2016.

Ms Sonika Patel, Honours student – UWA Anatomy, Passed 2016.

Ms Andrea Maladovich, Honours student – Curtin University. Passed 2006.


Publications: 66 publications, including relevant high impact specialist publications in the Journal of Immunology, Journal of Pediatrics, Clinical Immunology, Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Cellular Microbiology, in addition to Cancer Research, Journal of Immunotherapy and Cell Death and Differentiation. Citation details (Scopus, 2017): 1785 total citations and h-index of 25.

Most recent publications:

Strunk, T.,  Gummer, J.P.A.  Abraham, R.,  Abraham, S.,  Hibbert, J.,  Patole, S.,  Currie, A. Topical Coconut Oil Contributes to Systemic Monolaurin Levels in Very Preterm Infants, Neonatalogy 2019 DOI: 10.1159/000501280.

Findlay, E.G.,  Currie, A.J.,  Zhang, A.,  Ovciarikova, J.,  Young, L.,  Stevens, H.,  McHugh, B.J.,  Canel, M.,  Gray, M.,  Milling, S.W.F.,  Campbell, J.D.M.,  Savill, J.,  Serrels, A.,  Davidson, D.J. Exposure to the antimicrobial peptide LL-37 produces dendritic cells optimized for immunotherapy. OncoImmunology. 2019 8: e1608106

de Jong E, Hancock D, Hibbert J, Wells C Richmond P, Simmer K Burgner D, Strunk T and Andrew J Currie A. Identification of generic and pathogen-specific cord blood monocyte transcriptomes reveals a largely conserved response in preterm and term newborn infants. J. Mol. Med. 2018 Feb;96(2):147-157