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 14 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

•    Lecturing in VET273, ANS102, BMS101, BMS315

BMS211 provides basic knowledge and practical skills in medical immunology together with molecular and quantitative genetics. Sections comprise features of the immune response in both health and disease, including an understanding of immunopathogenic mechanisms of disease. Emphasis is also given to the structure and functioning of genes and how this molecular knowledge is increasingly being applied to diagnosis and treatment. Both units include a practical laboratory component and a written assignment on a selected topic within immunology.

Research areas

Active research in:

Neonatal Immunology, Preterm Infant Sepsis, Antimicrobial Peptide Therapies, Paediatric Vaccinology, Tumour Immunology

Major techniques: Flow cytometry, real-time PCR, RNAseq, 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 AMPs and antibiotics to treat infant and adult sepsis

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

 

 

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:

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

 

Doctoral and masters supervisions

Undergraduate/Postgraduate Supervision (Current):
Coordinating supervisor -
Ms Emma de Jong, Ph.D. candidate – Murdoch University, Commenced 2012 -How does perinatal inflammation modulate the function and maturation of the immune system in preterm infants?

Ms Divya Muthiah, Honours student – Murdoch University, Current, submission in 2012 – Investigating antimicrobial peptide responses in the human preterm infant

Ms Caitlyn Granland, Honours student – Murdoch University, Passed (IIA) 2011 – Investigating the role of NOD-like receptors in defence against infection in the newborn

Co-supervisor -
Ms Stephanie Trend, Ph.D. candidate – UWA. 2011, First year student – The influence of human milk on bacterial colonization and infection in the newborn

Ms Angela Fuery, Ph.D. candidate – UWA. 2008, Final year, submission in August 2012 – Identifying the Cellular Mechanisms That Promote Effective Meningococcal Vaccine Responses in Infants

Previous Supervision:

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.
Ms Andrea Maladovich, Honours student – Curtin University. Passed (IIA) 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:

Human Infant Memory B Cell and CD4+ T Cell Responses to HibMenCY-TT Glyco-Conjugate Vaccine. A Fuery, PC Richmond, AJ Currie. 2015. PloS one 10 (7), e0133126

Leukocyte Populations in Human Preterm and Term Breast Milk Identified by Multicolour Flow Cytometry. S Trend, E de Jong, ML Lloyd, CH Kok, P Richmond, DA Doherty, …AJ Currie. 2015. PloS one 10 (8), e0135580