Professor Kirsten Spann

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Infection and Immunity Program Leader / Respiratory Virus Research Group Leader

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

Prof. Kirsten Spann graduated with a PhD at the University of Queensland in 1997. She then was a research fellow at CSIRO in the field of aquaculture 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. She continues to lead research in the field of respiratory viral infections and in particular the interplay between viruses and the immune responses that underlie disease pathogenesis. She is also currently the leader of the Infection and Immunity Research Program within IHIBI

Additional information

Prof Spann is the leader of the “Respiratory Virus Research Group” based at the Centre for Children’s Health Research. She has been conducting research and publishing in the field of respiratory virology for 16 years. She has held 2 NHMRC projects grants as Chief Investigator A and 2 as Chief Investigator B.

Current projects are focused on the use of a live 3D model of the respiratory epithelium to investigate disease processes in the lung and the nasal passages.

These projects include:

1. The role of viruses in chronic childhood ear infections (otitis media)

2. The susceptibility of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease to respiratory infections

3. Mechanisms of viral infections in exacerbating asthma