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Dan is The Hospital Research Foundation’s Early Career Research Fellow and is a member of the Virology Group at the Basil Hetzel Institute, led by Professor Eric Gowans. Prior to this he completed his First Class Honours degree and PhD at the Australian National University (ANU) where he remains a visiting fellow of the John Curtin School of Medical Research.

His research interests are to better understand how the body’s ‘army or shield’ (the immune system) combats viral infections and other ‘infectious invaders’ (or pathogens). This will pave the way for developing effective vaccines that will give our immune system a competitive edge when encountering deadly pathogen infections.

Read about Dan’s research in a story “Research to combat HIV and Hepatitis C” on THRF’s website or listen to him explain his research in this RiAUS Science Channel video “Vaccination STEM careers“.

Dan’s current research aims are to:

  • develop novel and cost-effective DNA/viral based vaccines against chronic viral infections (e.g. HIV and hepatitis C virus), and
  • to understand how unique vaccines developed in our laboratory operate mechanistically to broaden the clinical implications of these promising vaccines

This research could not only benefit people in South Australia, but it has the potential to have a global impact. This is because it involves elucidating immune mechanisms that are known to be involved in the control of many infections and even cancers.

The Virology lab welcomes any students who are interested in vaccine development and immunology to contact us to discuss project ideas.

Read about Dan’s research in a story “Research to combat HIV and Hepatitis C” on THRF’s website.


  • Bachelor of Biotechnology (First Class Honours)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Immunology)

Professional Associations

  • Member of Australasian Society for Immunology
  • Visiting Fellow at the John Curtin School of Medical Research
  • Golden Key Honour Society Member

Positions held

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Basil Hetzel Institute (current)
  • ANU Research Officer (2013-2014)
  • Student Representative at the John Curtin School of Medical Research Executive Committee (2013)
  • ANU Technique Teacher (2012)
  • Laboratory Technical Officer (2009-2010)


  • The Westmead Institute for Medical Research Young Achiever Award (HIV), 12th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology (2017)
  • Robert Dixon Award, Annual Meeting of the Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology (2015)
  • The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) Early Career Research Fellowship (2014)
  • AIDS 2014 Conference International Scholarship (2014)
  • The Finkel Prize (2013)
  • Keystone Symposia Scholarship (2013)
  • ANU Vice-Chancellor’s Higher Degree Research Travel Grant Award (2012)
  • Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM) Scholarship for Travel and Accommodation (2012)
  • Australasian Society for Immunology (ASI) Travel Bursary Award (2011)
  • ANU International PhD Scholarship (2010)
  • ANU College of Science Honours Scholarship (2008)

Dan is available to talk to the media about:

  • vaccine development
  • chronic viral infections
  • HIV
  • immune system

Dan was invited by The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) to speak at the launch of the 2014 THRF Home Lottery, and to be interviewed on Adelaide’s Coast FM 88.7 radio station to promote medical research in June 2015 (photo, left). He was an invited speaker for Adelaide’s Science in the Pub session on “The truth about vaccines” in November 2015. Dan was a Science Career Ambassador at Science Alive! 2016 and volunteered at the BHI booth at Science Alive! 2017 (photo, right).