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Department of Infectious Diseases

About Us 

The Barwon Health Department of Infectious Diseases and Infection Prevention is an academic tertiary referral program and incorporates:

  • Expert infection prevention/control service across all Barwon Health sites.
  • Infectious diseases services including consultations, inpatient care and antimicrobial stewardship to all acute care sites.
  • Accredited advanced training in infectious diseases and microbiology.
  • Specialised ambulatory and outpatient services for general infectious diseases, Hospital in the Home, HIV management, sexual and reproductive health, viral hepatitis and refugee health service with multidisciplinary models of care and pediatric input.
  • Psychiatry and pharmacy specialist liaison services and comprehensive community case management programs (HIV/HARP).
  • 24-hour community HIV post-exposure prophylaxis service.
  • Extensive infectious diseases research programs in clinical, basic sciences, public health and epidemiology.

The Department works closely with Deakin University, with many of our physicians and staff having teaching roles and academic appointments with the university. We also have close links with the GCEID, a collaborative, multidisciplinary research partnership between Deakin University, Barwon Health and the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and links with Alice Springs Hospital (with our registrars rotating to Central Australia for six-month placements).

The Department has active research collaborations locally and internationally, as well as running an active infectious diseases clinical trials unit.

Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases (GCEID) in partnership with the Department of Infectious Diseases

Research Program

We are a multidisciplinary research team including basic genomic and pathogen biology scientists, environmental scientists, public health specialists, epidemiologists and expert clinicians.

We are tackling diseases of public health importance including: emerging infections such Mycobacteria ulcerans (Buruli ulcer), zoonotic infections: Coxiella, Rickettsia, Biofilm infections of medical devices - orthopaedic and cardiac, and virulent pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections, Endocarditis and Clostridium difficle.

Our research team and laboratory is uniquely placed across several campuses with access to patients, population cohorts, clinical samples, bio-banking and clinical trials platforms including Phase 1 through 3 studies.

Our work includes host-pathogen relationships, molecular epidemiology, disease transmission and dynamics and future preventative strategies for at-risk populations.

Department summary

This year, the Department of Infectious Diseases has been able to return to a more business-as-usual focus as the COVID pandemic reduced in severity and intensity. Nevertheless, there remained significant hard work and commitment from the department to provide excellent leadership and support to the COVID response in Barwon Health and the community. 

Other notable highlights for 2023 include;

  • One new infectious diseases consultant joining the department: Dr Maxwell Braddick was previously an ID registrar at Barwon Health and brings clinical excellence, broad experience including public health and great commitment and enthusiasm that adds significantly to the unit.
  • The further development and integration with the Barwon South West Public Health Unit which has allowed a close and successful working relationship develop between clinical infectious diseases and community based public health that helps protect the community from the impacts of infectious diseases.
  • Some fantastic research performed and disseminated, both basic science and operational, that have made a significant impact on the fields of infectious diseases and public health. Some of this work has been recognised with research prizes including: Eugene Athan and team winning the Barwon Health Deakin University Best Paper of the Year Award in the clinician research category, Jessica O’Keefe winning the Barwon Health SMSG HMO Research Award, and, Naomi Clarke and Christine Roder and their teams winning the Barwon Health Deakin University Best Poster Award for Population Health and Medical respectively.

Of note, we farewelled ID consultant A/Prof Deborah Friedman, who has taken on the leadership role of VICNISS and a clinical position at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Deb was an integral and highly valued member of the ID team since 2008. We thank her for her contributions over the years to clinical service, teaching, registrar supervision, research and functioning of the unit and wish her all the best for the future.

We look forward to another exciting year in 2024. There is no doubt that the department will continue to be called upon and challenged to provide leadership and support in the hospital, community and region in response to infectious disease challenges. However with the skills, leadership, work ethic and ability to work together, we are confident the team will successfully meet the challenges presented.

Meet the team

Our Research

Publications (select a year)

Last Modified: Tuesday, 28 May 2024