Biosecurity Research Program and Training Centre

The biosecurity research initiative within Gulbali Institute emphasizes a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to biosecurity.

The challenge

The biosecurity research program at Gulbali Institute faces the formidable challenge of addressing the rapid evolution and spread of viruses, exacerbated by globalization and environmental changes. The program aims to harness interdisciplinary collaborations and innovative technologies to develop effective detection, prediction, and management strategies for viral threats, ensuring robust responses that protect public health and agriculture in an increasingly interconnected world.

The research is underscored by three core objectives:

Formation of a cohesive, innovative, and multifaceted biosecurity research Program dedicated to exploring the vast landscape of biosecurity.

Pioneering advanced biosecurity solutions, through the creation of predictive models, detection methodologies, risk assessment tools, and the formulation of translational products such as diagnostics, antivirals, and vaccines.

Cultivating strategic partnerships across the biosecurity spectrum, we prioritizes the establishment and coordination of partnerships with key stakeholders including governmental bodies, industry leaders, and biosecurity research organizations both domestically and internationally.

Our response

In response to the escalating challenge of viral biosecurity threats, the Gulbali Institute's research program leverages advanced surveillance technologies, predictive modeling, and interdisciplinary collaborations to swiftly identify and manage emerging viruses. It fosters global partnerships for sharing knowledge and resources, while engaging communities through education to promote preventive measures. Additionally, the program advocates for stronger biosecurity policies and addresses environmental factors contributing to viral spread, aiming to enhance resilience against viral outbreaks in a rapidly changing world.

The goal

The goals of the biosecurity research program at the Gulbali Institute are designed to comprehensively address the challenges posed by emerging and existing biosecurity threats, with a specific focus on viruses. These goals include:

To develop and deploy state-of-the-art surveillance and diagnostic tools that enable the rapid identification and monitoring of viral pathogens, enhancing the capability to detect outbreaks before they spread.

To utilize predictive modeling and risk assessment methodologies to forecast viral outbreaks and their potential impacts, facilitating preemptive actions and informed decision-making for biosecurity management.

To foster interdisciplinary research efforts that combine the expertise of virologists, epidemiologists, ecologists, data scientists, and social scientists, aiming to create holistic solutions to complex biosecurity challenges.

To build and strengthen partnerships with international organizations, research institutions, and government bodies for collaborative efforts on biosecurity, ensuring a coordinated global response to viral threats.

To actively engage with communities, industry stakeholders, and the general public through educational programs and awareness campaigns, empowering them with knowledge and practices to prevent the spread of viral diseases.

To provide evidence-based insights and recommendations to policymakers for the development and refinement of biosecurity policies and regulations, aiming to create a robust legal and operational framework to manage biosecurity risks effectively.

To integrate research on the impact of environmental changes and climate change on the emergence and spread of viral pathogens, developing strategies to mitigate these effects and enhance ecosystem resilience.

To drive innovation in the development of new biosecurity technologies, including diagnostics, vaccines, and antiviral treatments, ensuring cutting-edge responses to biosecurity threats.

Through these goals, the Gulbali Institute's biosecurity research program aspires to create a safer, more secure global environment by effectively managing and mitigating the risks posed by viral pathogens to public health, agriculture, and biodiversity.

Our team

Principal scientist

portrait of Professor Jade Forwood
Professor Jade Forwood
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Our research team

portrait of Dr Asad Asaduzzaman
Dr Asad Asaduzzaman
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portrait of Dr Richard Culas
Dr Richard Culas
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portrait of Dr Suman Gupta
Dr Suman Gupta
Veterinary Epidemiology, Biosecurity and Surveillance
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portrait of Dr Shubho Das
Dr Shubho Das
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portrait of Associate Professor Seyed Ali Ghorashi
Associate Professor Seyed Ali Ghorashi
Intensive Animal Health and Production
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portrait of Associate Professor Jane Heller
Associate Professor Jane Heller
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portrait of Professor Kris Hughes
Professor Kris Hughes
Equine Medicine
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portrait of Dr Jane Kelly
Dr Jane Kelly
Livestock production
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portrait of Dr David Leaver
Dr David Leaver
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portrait of Dr Jennifer Manyweathers
Dr Jennifer Manyweathers
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portrait of Dr Brian McSharry
Dr Brian McSharry
Molecular Virologist
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portrait of Dr Marta Hernandez-Jover
Dr Marta Hernandez-Jover
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portrait of Dr Jeffrey Nanson
Dr Jeffrey Nanson
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portrait of Dr Babu Nath
Dr Babu Nath
Molecular Biologist
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portrait of Dr Martin Pal
Dr Martin Pal
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portrait of Associate Professor Andrew Peters
Associate Professor Andrew Peters
Wildlife Health and Pathology
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portrait of Dr Gayle Petersen
Dr Gayle Petersen
Molecular Biologist
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portrait of Dr Shane Raidal
Dr Shane Raidal
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portrait of Professor Sharanne Raidal
Professor Sharanne Raidal
Equine Medicine
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portrait of Dr Justin Roby
Dr Justin Roby
Virologist and Innate Immunologist
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portrait of Dr Renate Schwab
Dr Renate Schwab
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portrait of Dr Crystall Swarbrick
Dr Crystall Swarbrick
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portrait of Dr Jessica Tout-Lyon
Dr Jessica Tout-Lyon
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portrait of Professor Leslie Weston
Professor Leslie Weston
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portrait of Dr Thiru Vanniasinkam
Dr Thiru Vanniasinkam
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Our research students

portrait of Emily Cross
Emily Cross
PhD Student Topic: Understanding mechanisms of nuclear transport during viral infection
portrait of Tridip Das
Tridip Das
PhD Student Topic: Insights into the transmission and pathobiology of avian circoviruses with emphasis on novel spray dried vaccine development
portrait of Pangkaj Kumar Dhar
Pangkaj Kumar Dhar
PhD Student Topic: Assessing the role of invertebrate vectors in transmission of Beak and feather disease virus with special emphasis on subunit vaccine development
portrait of Camilla Donnelly
Camilla Donnelly
PhD Student Topic: Structural analysis of protein-protein interactions involved in pathogenesis and viral replication of Lyssaviruses and Henipaviruses Thesis Submitted 2024
portrait of Jennifer Hawker
Jennifer Hawker
PhD Student Topic: Structural and molecular mechanisms of NSs-mediated pathogenesis of bunyaviruses.
portrait of Mikayla Hoad
Mikayla Hoad
PhD Student Topic: The structural mechanisms between Adeno Associated Viruses and host proteins for nuclear Localization
portrait of Thilini Munasinghe
Thilini Munasinghe
PhD Student Topic: Structural analysis of ORF4b protein
portrait of Paige Taylor
Paige Taylor
PhD Student Topic: Investigating the molecular determinants for pathogenicity of Influenza A, primarily in its interaction with ANP32A through structural elucidation.
portrait of Emily Wagon
Emily Wagon
Honours Student Topic: Investigation of two newly emerged henipaviruses: comparing how the Langya virus and Angavokely virus matrix proteins interact with host cell nuclear import molecules.

Key research publications

  • MERS-CoV ORF4b employs an unusual binding mechanism to target IMPα and block innate immunity. TS Munasinghe, MR Edwards, S Tsimbalyuk, OA Vogel, KM Smith, M Stewart, JK Foster, LA Bosence, D Aragão, JA Roby, CF Basler, JK Forwood. Nature communications. 2022. Accepted. In press. [Impact Factor 17.7]
  • Structural basis for nuclear import selectivity of the pioneer transcription factor SOX2. B Jagga, M Edwards, M Pagin, KM Wagstaff, D Aragão, N Roman, JD Nanson, SR Raidal, N Dominado, M Stewart, DA Jans, GR Hime, SK Nicolis, CF Basler, JK Forwood. Nature communications. 2021 Jan 4;12(1):28. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-20194-0. [Impact Factor 17.7]
  • Structural basis for importin alpha 3 specificity of W proteins in Hendra and Nipah viruses. KM Smith, S Tsimbalyuk, MR Edwards, EM Cross, J Batra, TPS da Costa, D Aragão, CF Basler, JK  Forwood. Nature communications. 9 (1), 3703. 2018 Sep 12;9(1):3703. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05928-5. [Impact Factor 17.7]
  • Sarker S, Terrón M.C, Khandokar Y, Aragão, D, Hardy, J.M, Radjainia M, Jiménez-Zaragoza M, Pablo PJ, Coulibaly F, Luque Buzo D, Raidal, S.R., Forwood J.K. Structural Insights into the Assembly and Regulation of Distinct Viral Capsid Complexes. Nature Communications. 2016 Oct 4;7:13014. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13014 [Impact Factor 17.7]
  • In vivo inhibition of nuclear ACE2 translocation protects against SARS-CoV-2 replication and lung damage through epigenetic imprinting. Tu WJ, Melino M, Dunn J, McCuaig RD, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Tsimbalyuk S, Forwood JK, Ahuja T, Vandermeide J, Tan X, Tran M, Nguyen Q, Zhang L, Nam A, Pan L, Liang Y, Smith C, Lineburg K, Nguyen TH, Sng JDJ, Tong ZWM, Chew KY, Short KR, Le Grand R, Seddiki N, Rao S. Nature Communications.  2023 Jun 27;14(1):3680. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-39341-4. [Impact Factor 17.7]
  • Forwood JK, Thakur AS, Guncar G, Marfori M, Mouradov D, Meng W, Robinson J, Huber T, Kellie S, Martin JL, Hume DA, Kobe B. Structural basis for recruitment of tandem hotdog domains in acyl-CoA thioesterase 7 and its role in inflammation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2007; 104(25):10382-10387. [Impact Factor 12.8]
  • Swarbrick CMD, Nanson JD, Patterson EI, Forwood JK. Structure, function, and regulation of thioesterases. Progress in Lipid Research. 2020 Jul;79:101036. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2020.101036. Epub 2020 May 19. PMID: 32416211 [Impact Factor 14.6]
  • Kirkby B, Roman N, Kobe B, Kellie S, Forwood JK. Functional and Structural Properties of Mammalian Acyl-Coenzyme A Thioesterases. Progress in Lipid Research. 2010; 49(4):366-77. [Impact Factor 14.6]
  • Harley VR, Layfield S, Mitchell CL, Forwood JK, John AP, Briggs LJ, McDowall SG, Jans DA. Defective importin beta recognition and nuclear import of the sex-determining factor SRY are associated with XY sex-reversing mutations. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 2003; 100(12):7045-7050. [Impact Factor 12.8]
  • Wang CA, Guncar G, Forwood JK, Teh T, Catanzariti A, Schirra H, Anderson PA, Ellis JG, Dodds PN, Kobe B. Crystal structures of flax rust avirulence proteins AvrL567-A and AvrL567–D reveal the structural basis for flax disease resistance specificity. Plant Cell 2007; 19(9):2898-2912. [Impact Factor 12.1]

Our partners

Connect and collaborate

We are looking for researchers, students, funding and partners to help take our research to the next level.