- Research Focus
Dr Ashish Shrestha was awarded his PhD from the University of Queensland in September 2016. His fields of research and expertise include medical microbiology, public health and health services. He has worked in various sectors of microbiology including as a research scholar at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, a medical school lecturer and a quality control officer in the pharmaceutical industry.
Ashish commenced his THRF Early Career Fellowship in Professor Gowans’s Virology Group at the BHI in July 2017.
Dr Ashish Shrestha’s research aims to develop a universal hepatitis C virus (HCV) vaccine against the four most common HCV genotypes found globally. This builds on the patented vaccine already developed by the Gowans group, and aims to generate a cocktail of four cytolytic DNA vaccines each of which evokes a broad immune response to a different genotype of HCV. He will also examine the ability of the existing cytolytic DNA vaccine to provide effective protection against the Zika virus (ZIKV). Zika and HCV belong to the same family of Flavivridae viruses and have a similar genome organisation, providing hope that generation of an analogous vaccine to the existing cytolytic DNA HCV vaccine is possible. Zika is an emerging disease, contracted after being bitten by an infected mosquito, which results in a non-specific illness with fever, rash, muscle and joint pain. Infected individuals can transmit the virus via infected blood or by sexual transmission. The major beneficiaries of a vaccine will be women of child-bearing age, as mothers infected during pregnancy are more likely to have children with microencephaly (small brain syndrome) for which there is no treatment.
2016: PhD, School of Medicine, University of Queensland. Ashish was funded by a University of Queensland International scholarship (2013-2016), and during this time received a graduate school international travel award and obtained a position in an international training program for young investigators (International Society of Blood Transfusion, Working Party on Transfusion Transmitted Infectious Diseases, 2015).
2009: Masters degree, medical microbiology
2005: BSc in general microbiology