Australian centre for genomic epidemiological microbiology

  Contact : +61 2 4640 6333



Ausgem comprises two separate founding organisations, the ithree institute and EMAI, and additional collaborators across Australia and internationally. The governance imperative for Ausgem is to foster collaboration through multidisciplinary research, to provide enhanced funding opportunities and critically to deliver outcomes and impacts for infectious disease risk management that cannot be achieved without this collaborative effort on genomic epidemiology.

Ausgem will operate through three main bodies:

  1. Governing Board
  2. Scientific Management Committee
  3. Advisory Board

Professor Martyn Jeggomartyn-jeggo

Independent Chair

Professor Jeggo qualified as veterinary surgeon in the UK in 1972 and after a short four-year spell in general practice has worked in research and research management of infectious diseases. This included spells in a number of developing countries, at the UK high containment laboratory and within the United Nations. During this period of 18 years at the UN, he managed programs of support for animal health in the developing world with research related projects in some 150 countries. One such program involved support to laboratories in 40 countries assisting the global eradication of rinderpest. In 2002 he became Director of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory and as such was a member of the Australian Animal Health Committee and Chair of SCHALS. In 2013 he retired from AAHL and works on a part time basis within the framework of the Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases – a One Health consortium. He is on the Board of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Advisory Board of GALMED.

(*) Members of the Scientific Management Committee together with senior representatives of the partner research Organizations.

Mr Bruce M. Christiebruce-christie-bw

Deputy Director General, Biosecurity and Food Safety, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI)

Bruce has over 30 years of experience working in biosecurity initially as a veterinarian dealing with animal health and production issues affecting food production animals and since 2004 across the broader biosecurity spectrum of animal and plant pests and diseases. His earlier work concentrated on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in cattle, pigs, goats and poultry. He has been involved with the development of disease diagnostic, monitoring and vaccination programs for diseases such as Newcastle Disease, Brucellosis, Anthrax, Haemorrhagic Septicaemia and Classical Swine Fever. As NSW Chief Veterinary Officer he led responses to a number of exotic disease incursions, including the successful eradication of Equine Influenza (EI) from NSW and Australia. He presently holds the position of Executive Director Biosecurity NSW a division of the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.

(*) Members of the Scientific Management Committee together with senior representatives of the partner research Organizations.

Jim Rothwell*

Jim Rothwell

Director EMAI

Jim Rothwell has spent a decade working in diagnostic veterinary pathology in Australian and USA, more than a decade in research development and consulting roles in the pharmaceutical and livestock industries and a decade in universities. He has a wide range of career experience and a proven ability to conduct and manage research with practical outcomes. Jim has an excellent knowledge of animal diseases, especially parasitic ones. He is able to write clearly, communicate research findings and speak in front of a range of audiences to deliver a message. Jim has a good understanding of a range of organisations, how business and government operate and is a competent and experienced manager able to lead professional and technical staff.

(*) Members of the Scientific Management Committee together with senior representatives of the partner research organisations.

Dr Branwen Morgan

General Manager, Ausgem

Over the last fifteen years, Branwen has held numerous senior  roles that bridge academic organisations, publicly listed companies, government and NGOs. She has a PhD in neuroscience conducted at Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Branwen has consulted to  several pharmaceutical companies, notably Astra Zeneca, where she worked on a variety of business projects that encompassed company restructuring, new sales initiatives, and internal communication channels. This included leading the development of a digital technology initiative to improve internal communications and being appointed the Australia/New Zealand project lead on a AZ/MedImmune global project team for implementation of a new social intranet.

Her STEMM network, biomedical knowledge and digital understanding has led to her advising a startup business that is part of PWC’s 21st Century Minds (21CM) programme and being employed as a research translation and innovation consultant to global science publishing house Springer Nature, for whom she has been writing since 2009. Branwen has chaired a number of Springer Nature panels and was a keynote speaker at ACCORD’s 2016 national conference where she spoke on risk and innovation.

Professor Steve Djordjevicutssteven-djordjevic-bw

Deputy director, ithree institute, UTS

Ausgem research lead, UTS

Professor Steven Djordjevic gained his PhD in 1988 and completed postdoctoral studies at the Australian National University characterising the surface glycocalyx of nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium spp. In 1989, he commenced employment with the NSW Department of Primary Industries working at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute. From 1989-2008 he i) developed diagnostic tests for zoonotic animal- and insect-specific pathogens, ii) characterised virulence gene profiles and serotypes of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli from Australian cattle and sheep, iii) developed molecular typing schemes for key virulence genes in shigatoxigenic  Escherichia coli and iv) developed and assessed live attenuated and subunit vaccines for mycoplasmal pathogens. In 2009 he was appointed to the University of Technology, Sydney where he applys the latest developments in NextGen sequencing to study the carriage and movement of antibiotic resistance genes in zoonotic and other medically-important pathogens. He is a leader in the application of proteomics to study microbial pathogenesis and is the current Chair of the International Organisation for Mycoplasmology.

(*) Members of the Scientific Management Committee together with senior representatives of the partner research Organizations.

Professor Liz Harry

Director, ithree institute, UTS

Liz Harry is a professor of biology and the director of the ithree institute (infection, immunology and innovation) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She leads the Cell Division and Antimicrobials group located in ithree. Liz obtained her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Sydney. Awarded a series of prestigious fellowships (International National Institutes of Health (USA) (Fogarty) research fellowship, Australian Research Council (ARC) postdoctoral fellowship, ARC QEII fellowship) she undertook post-doctoral research at Harvard University and the University of Sydney. Head-hunted by UTS in 2005, Liz was promoted to professor of biology in 2010, and became director of ithree in 2016.