Dr Andrew Currie
PhD, 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 15 years of experience in the fields of paediatric innate immunity, inflammation, and infectious disease. I was awarded my PhD (with distinction) in 2001 from UWA and commenced 3 years post-doctoral training in an infectious diseases laboratory at the Institute for Women and Children’s Health in Vancouver. I returned to Perth as an independent Research Fellow with the Tumour Immunology Group, UWA and later worked as a BrightSpark Research Fellow at the UWA School of Paediatrics and Child Health. I  was very pleased to rejoin Murdoch (I completed my undergraudate training here in Biotechnology) in June 2010 to coordinate the immunology teaching in veterinary and biomedical sciences.

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, including antimicrobial protein and peptide immunobiology.

Teaching area

•    Unit Coordination of:

BMS211. Medical Immunology and Molecular Genetics

BIO378. Systems Biology

•    Lecturing in:

VET211, VET273, ANS102, BMS101, BMS315, BMS322

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.

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

Developing a rapid diagnostic test for canine sepsis

Antibacterial properties of coconut oil and its activity against neonatal pathogens

 

 

Awards and grants

Funding since 2007, >$5 million in competitive grant/fellowship funding as CI, including NHMRC (#APP1031635, #572548, #572669, #513847, #458533), Cancer Council of WA, Raine Medical Research Foundation, Australian Lung Foundation.

Grant funding in the last 5 years:

Strunk T, Currie A, 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.

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, Commenced 2015

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, Passd 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.

 

Co-supervisor

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

Publications: 51 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 (Google Scholar, 2015): 1530 total citations wand h-index of 22.

Most recent publications:

Liu, S., Lei, J., Hancock, S., Scanlan, V., Broomfield, S., Currie, A., Thompson, A. Lamb survival, glutathione redox state and immune function of neonates and lambs from periparturient Merino ewes supplemented with rumen-protected methionine. Archives of Animal Nutrition. 70(5); 389-401. 2016.

 

Hing, S., Currie, A., Broomfield, S., Keatley, S., Jones, K., Thompson, R.C.A., Narayan, E., Godfrey, S.S. Host stress physiology and Trypanosoma haemoparasite infection influence innate immunity in the woylie (Bettongia penicillata). Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 46; 32-39. 2016.

 

Trend, S., Strunk, T., Lloyd, M.L., Kok, C.H., Metcalfe, J., Geddes, D.T., Lai, C.T., Richmond, P., Doherty, D.A., Simmer, K., Currie, A. Levels of innate immune factors in preterm and term mothers’ breast milk during the 1st month postpartum. British Journal of Nutrition. 115(7); 1178-1193. 2016.

 

Lockwood, A., Currie, A., Hancock, S., Broomfield, S., Liu, S., Scanlan, V., Kearney, G.A., Thompson, A.N. Supplementation of Merino ewes with cholecalciferol in late pregnancy improves the Vitamin D status of ewes and lambs at birth but is not correlated with an improvement in immune function in lambs. Animal Production Science. 56(4); 757-766. 2016.