About us

CIIDIR is an important and timely initiative of Barwon Health and Deakin University which aims to unify our infectious disease, microbiome and immunology expertise bringing together a vibrant network of researchers working collectively to reduce the burden of infectious and immune-mediated disease in our community.

Meet the team Partnerships

Core mission

CIIDIR conducts innovative discovery and translational research on human infectious and immune-mediated diseases to develop novel strategies for prevention, treatment and control.




A partnership between Deakin University and Barwon Health, CIIDIR will leverage existing strengths in human infectious disease, microbiome and immunology research.
Cross-disciplinary collaboration for innovative, locally relevant and internationally important research that will enhance the prevention, control and treatment of infectious and immune-mediated diseases.
CIIDIR will link with external partners as a 'Hub of Research Excellence' in population-based research, focusing on regional and rural communities in Australia and internationally.

A Centre that is excellent, collaborative and community-focused, that will conduct innovative research on infectious and immune-mediated disease in rural and regional Victoria, Australia and the world.

Barwon Health and Deakin University are working closely together to address some of the community’s biggest health challenges. As partners, we bring together clinical and academic teams to tackle important clinical issues to benefit the community. CIIDIR will capitalise on prior investment and track record in infectious diseases, microbiome, immunology and population health research. Researchers within the Centre will be embedded in the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT).

Leadership and Governance


Scientific Director: Professor Alyssa Barry

Head of the Systems Epidemiology of Infection Unit of IMPACT/School of Medicine, Deakin University and Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Infectious Diseases Systems Epidemiology Working Group at the Burnet Institute. Currently her group includes two postdoctoral researchers, four PhD students (as primary supervisor), two Research Assistants, a bioinformatician-modeler, and a computer scientist. She has been Lead Chief Investigator (CI) or CI on six NHMRC Project Grants, and a Synergy Program Grant, and is Program Director (Molecular Survelliance) on an Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ‘Health Systems Strengthening’ Grant, Co-Investigator with Professor Eugene Athan on a Victorian Government DHHS grant and Associate Investigator on two NHMRC Ideas Grants, a NHMRC Program Grant and the Australian Centre of Research Excellence in Malaria Elimination (ACREME). She is also playing a leading role in major multi-centre research programs and networks overseas including the NHMRC eAsia Joint Research Program, National Institutes of Health USA, International Centres of Excellence in Malaria Research (ICEMR) Program, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Grant.

Prof. Barry has a long track record of establishing and sustaining successful collaborations both within Australia and overseas in Europe, USA, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. Since joining Deakin two years ago, she has successfully led and grown the Deakin University -Burnet Institute partnership.

Clinical Director: Eugene Athan

Head of Department of Infectious Disease at Barwon Health and Professor in the School of Medicine. Prof. Athan has a long and distinguished record of achievement in infectious diseases research and control. Since commencing at Barwon Health, Prof. Athan established an academic Infectious Diseases Department and is manager for over 80 clinical team members. He is Head of the Bacterial Pathogenesis Stream of the IMPACT group currently with 2 postdoctoral researchers, 8 PhD students and 2 Honours students. He is co-founder of the Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases (GCEID), Co-Director of the Australian Rickettsia Reference Laboratory (ARRL) and Foundation Director of the Barwon Southwest Public Health Unit. He has co-authored over 200 papers in peer reviewed journals and is Chief investigator for multiple NHMRC, MRFF, Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services grants totalling over $8 million.

Professor Athan has extensive collaborations with Burnet, Doherty, Monash, Deakin Institute for Frontier Materials, CSIRO Australian Centre of Disease Preparedness and Duke University Clinical Research Institute among many partners. He has led the regional public health COVID-19 response and acted as Deputy Chief Health Officer in the DHHS and Commonwealth Department of Health.

CIIDIR Governance Team

Co-Director Alyssa Barry Professor IMPACT, School of Medicine

Head of Infectious Diseases Systems Epidemiology Work Group, Burnet Institute

Co-Director Eugene Athan Head of Department of Infectious Disease, Barwon Health

Professor School of Medicine, Deakin

Co-Chair Barwon Health Ajai Verma


Chief Medical Officer, Barwon Health

Affiliate Associate Professor, School of Medicine, Deakin University

Co-Chair Deakin Rachel Huxley Alfred Deakin Professor, Executive Dean, Faulty of Health, Deakin University
Translational Expert Representative Alison Hutchinson Alfred Deakin Professor, Chair in Nursing, Barwon Health
Deakin Representative Ken Walder Chair in Metabolic Diseases, School of Medicine, Deakin University
Barwon Health Representative Philip Campbell Director of Cancer Services, Barwon Health
CSIRO Representative Debbie Eagles Deputy Director, Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), CSIRO

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay up to date on the latest news and events from CIIDIR.