Dr Kirsten M Spann

BSc Hons (UQ), PhD (UQ) Virology, Head, Respiratory Virus Research Unit, Clinical Medical Virology Centre, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, UQ and Sir Albert Sakzewski Virus Research Centre, Queensland Children’s Hospital and Health District (RCH)

Tel: +617 3636 8718
Email: k.spann@uq.edu.au
Web: www.sasvrc.qld.gov.au

Our overall objectives are to investigate the pathogenesis of the respiratory paramyxoviruses respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and metapneumovirus (hMPV). These viruses cause severe respiratory disease in children; are not vaccine preventable; and have been linked to the development of asthma.  One of our key goals is to identify and unravel host-virus interactions that are essential for survival of the virus and may provide targets for antiviral therapies. Specifically we are investigating host-virus interactions that promote viral replication and also mechanisms by which these viruses evade the antiviral defenses of the innate immune response. We are also interested in the role of these viruses in the inception and development of asthma. Why are asthmatics more susceptible to viral infections and why are some viruses associated with asthma more than others?