Australia

Centre Director
Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases
NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow
Monash Institute of Medical Research

Professor Paul Hertzog is an Australian who was educated at the University of Melbourne where he obtained his PhD in Biochemical Pathology studying the molecular basis of liver disease.  He then undertook postdoc positions in cancer research, firstly in the USA at the Eppley Institute of Cancer Research in Omaha; then at the University of York in the UK.  The latter period included a brief training program in monoclonal antibody production and use at the Basel Institute of Immunology, a technology that has both fuelled his interest in immunology and provided a technology to underpin his research moves.

He moved back to Australia in the early 1980’s to continue his research in cancer, its mechanisms and diagnosis and the effects of the recently cloned interferons. In the Biochemistry Department and the Centre for Molecular Biology and Medicine, he became interested in the molecular mechanisms of interferon action in host defence against not only cancers, but also infectious diseases.

In 1991 he moved to the medical campus of Monash University in Clayton to a newly established Institute (now Monash Institute of Medical Research) to join Ismail Kola who was establishing gene targeting technology to generate knockout mice, a technology that promised, and indeed delivered on the ability to characterise molecular function of a gene product in vivo in the whole animal, rather than in test tubes or cells. They utilised gene targeting technology to generate murine models to study the role of interferons, the immune response, features of Down syndrome, the ETS family of transcription factors, oxidative stress, newly discovered cytokines in collaboration with Smith Kline Beechem and Millenium.

In subsequent years Paul’s research interests have broadened to include the role of interferons in the context of innate immune signaling via pattern recognition receptors, the role of type I interferon receptors in signaling, negative regulation by SOCS proteins, characterization of our newly discovered interferon epsilon and a systems biology approach to the innate immune response.

Paul has served on national and international grant review panels, editorial boards and committees of the ISICR. He convened the 2003 ISICR meeting in Cairns, Australia and will co-convene the 2014 ICIS meeting in Melbourne. He is founder of the Victorian Infection and Immunity Consortium, its Industry Alliance Program and co-convenes the Lorne Infection and Immunity annual conference.