UNSW’s Kirby Institute will partner with Australia’s leading experts in clinical, laboratory and public health research on a new initiative to boost the country’s response to infectious disease outbreaks.

A $5 million grant to create The Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Diseases Emergencies (APPRISE) was announced today by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The centre is led by Professor Sharon Lewin of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), a joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

NHMRC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Anne Kelso AO, said the new NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence will play an important role in Australia’s readiness to respond to future pandemics and other infectious disease emergencies.

The Kirby Institute’s Professor John Kaldor, a Chief Investigator for the centre, said that the new initiative will enhance Australia’s ability to respond to infectious disease emergencies by bringing together key networks to create synergies in implementing new treatments and prevention strategies, in partnership with government and community agencies.

As the lead national organisation over many years in surveillance for HIV, viral hepatitis and a number of other important infectious diseases, the Kirby Institute will contribute its experience in designing and running systems for epidemic monitoring.

Read the official announcement here.