Professor Kirsten Spann

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Director of the Centre for Immunology and Infection Control, and Respiratory Virus Research Group Leader

PhD (University of Queensland), Bachelor of Science with Honours (University of Queensland)

Prof. Kirsten Spann is currently the Director of the Centre for Immunology and Infection Control, Faculty of Health, and also head of the Respiratory Virus Research Group. She leads research in the field of  respiratory viral infections, that encompasses disease pathogenesis; in particular the interplay between viruses and the immune responses, and virus transmission via aerosols and surface contamination. She graduated with a PhD at the University of Queensland in 1997. She was then a research fellow at CSIRO in the field of aquaculture disease diagnostics and management until 2000, as which time she moved to the USA to take a position as a research scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).  At NIAID, she was involved in the generation of recombinant vaccine candidates for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common childhood infection. In 2006 she returned to Australia to start her own research group at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane focusing on research pertaining to respiratory viral infections.  In 2015, she became an Associate Professor at QUT and has a continuous research and teaching position.  In 2018 she was promoted to Professor and continues to lead in both the research and teaching aspects of  the School of Biomedical Science and Faculty of Health.

Additional information

Prof Spann is involved in research collaborations with hospital partners to solve health challenges in paediatric health including asthma and otitis media (chronic ear infections), and also rhinosinusitis and COPD in adults. She is also collaborating with hospitals to understand and reduce respiratory virus transmission via aerosols and surfaces. This includes SARS-CoV-2; the viruses causing COVID-19 and influenza.  She has been conducting research and publishing in the field of respiratory virology for over 20 years. She has held 4 NHMRC projects grants, 2 ARC discovery project grants, and several grants from hospital and philanthropic societies.