Australian centre for genomic epidemiological microbiology

  Contact : +61 2 4640 6333



Ausgem comprises two separate organisations, the ithree institute and EMAI. 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 Martyn Jeggo qualified as veterinary surgeon in the UK in 1972 and after a short four-year spell in general practice and overseas in North Yemen, he undertook research at the UK high containment Pirbright Laboratories.  In 1986 he joined the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of the UN to establish a veterinary laboratory support program.

For 18 years he worked within the framework of UN programs of support for animal health in the developing world with research related projects in some 150 countries. In 2002 he became Director of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory.  In 2013 he joined Deakin University Medical School as the Director of the Australian Centres for Emerging Infectious Diseases. He has championed the concept of One Health for the past six years organizing the first International Conference on One Health in Melbourne in 2011. He will chair the Organizing Committee of the 4th  International One Health Congress which will again be held in Melbourne in 2016.

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

Mr Bruce Christiebruce-christie-bw

Executive Director, Biosecurity, 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.

Dr Jef Hammond*jeffrey-hammond-bw

Director EMAI

Dr Jef Hammond, Director, Centre for Animal and Plant Biosecurity at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute (EMAI), is a leading authority on prevention and control of transboundary animal diseases and spent much of his research career as a virologist with expertise in developing vaccines and diagnostics for viral diseases of livestock including FMD, swine fevers, and influenza. He has also headed up World Reference Laboratory for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (WRLFMD®) based at the Pirbright Institute, UK. Dr Hammond has durable links with international agencies including the OIE and FAO. He has strong linkages DAFF, AHA and the terrestrial animal exotic disease diagnostics team at the CSIRO AAHL in Geelong.

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

Professor Ian Charles*ian-charles-bw

Director, Institute of Food Research, Norwich, England

Professor Charles has a degree in Zoology from the University of St Andrews, Scotland and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Leicester, UK. He carried out post-doctoral studies at Cambridge University, UK after which he transferred to industry, leading groups at the Wellcome Laboratories, UK and at Glaxo-Wellcome.  He has worked on both vaccines and small molecule drug discovery.  In 1995 he returned to academia as one of the founding members of the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at University College London (UCL), one of the UK’s first institutes of translational medicine. At UCL his patent filings underpinned the formation of the spin-out company Arrow Therapeutics, focussing on the development of anti-infective agents which was sold to AstraZeneca in 2007.  In 2010 he moved to Australia where he has been responsible for establishing a world class reputation for the ithree institute in the area of infectious disease and microbial genomics.

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

Professor Steve Djordjevic*utssteven-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.