Lee's role is responsible for the management of the Communicable Disease Unit as part of Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services and the WHO/FAO/OIE Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Leptospirosis, Australia and Western Pacific Region.
The Communicable Disease Unit incorporates state, national and internationally recognised reference centres. The laboratories comprising the unit are well equiped and house a comprehensive range of modern laboratory equipment facilitating the use of world-leading techniques. The Unit also offers high quality surveillance and epidemiological typing data.
The reference laboratory's purpose is to provide specialised services pertaining to Leptospirosis as requested by the World Health Organisation, Office of International Epizooties and Queensland Health and to monitor state, national and international trends and issues relating to Leptospirosis.
Lee is currently an executive member of International Leptospirosis Society and Chair of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Leptospiraceae.
Dr Robert Norton
Major research interests are in melioidosis, Q fever and rheumatic fever. These are in collaboration with colleagues from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University and School of Medicine James Cook University.
In particular, research is being done in determining the ecological niche of Burkholderia pseudomallei the causative agent of melioidosis, determining clinical markers of disease, cytokine and T cell responses, diagnostics relevant to the organism, use of an animal model to assess novel therapies, molecular typing and the virulence factors involved.
Q fever is being studied from an epidemiological perspective.
In rheumatic fever research, the T cell response to specific peptides from streptococcal M protein is being investigated along with the possible inclusion of subclinical carditis as a possible criterion for diagnosis.
Dr Norton also holds an adjunct appointment as an Associate Professor with the School of Medicine , James Cook University.
Dr Graeme R. Nimmo
Dr Nimmo's major research interests include surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in human pathogens, the epidemiology of multiresistant nosocomial pathogens, virulence determinants in Staphylococcus aureus and the epidemiology of community-acquired MRSA.
Dr Nimmo is chairman of the Australian Group for Antimicrobial Resistance, President of the Australian Society for Antimicrobials, and a member of the editorial board of Pathology. He is also Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Pathology in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Queensland. He chaired the 13th International Symposium on Staphylococci and Staphylococcal Infection in September 2008.
Dr Nimmo heads the Division of Microbiology, Pathology Queensland Central laboratory which provides reference and consultative services for laboratories throughout Queensland and beyond. He is also State Director of Microbiology, Pathology Queensland.
Dr Michael Ray
Dr Ray has been carrying out research work at The Prince Charles Hospital laboratory for over 20 years, culminating in the establishment of The Haemostasis Research Laboratory. The main areas of interest have been the standardisation of prothrombin time testing, causes and prevention of excessive bleeding after cardiopulmonary bypass surgery, and flow cytometric evaluation of platelet activation.
Other research includes the mechanism and prevention of excessive bleeding after orthopaedic surgery, mechanisms of platelet inhibition by GPIIb/IIIa antagonists during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and the evaluation of point of care instrumentation used during PCI.
Recent research includes the use of double bolus tirofiban and low molecular weight heparin during PCI. Future research will include the investigation of heparin induced thrombocytopenia in cardiac transplant patients.
In 2005-6 Dr Ray researched the effect on platelets of the direct thrombin inhibitor Bivalirudin during its use in PCI. In addition Dr Ray will be investigating the relative efficiency of two GPIIb/IIIa inhibitors in inhibiting platelets during PCI. These are tirofiban at a new high dose in comparison to the standard dose of abciximab.
In 2007-8 Dr Ray investigated platelet CD40 ligand and computer tomography coronary angiogram measurement as predictors of adverse cardiac events after total hip arthroplasty.
In 2009 Dr Ray will investigate blood borne tissue factor levels in pro-thrombotic patients.
Dr Belinda Clarke
Dr Clarke has been practising as a consultant anatomical pathologist for more than 25 years, with experience in public hospital, private and academic practice. Prior to being awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 1982, Dr Clarke completed a full-time PhD studying crescent formation in experimental glomerulonephritis.
Dr Clarke's post-doctoral research experience includes several collaborations, the two most notable to date being on the role of hypertension in diabetic glomerular disease with Prof. George Jerums and Assoc. Prof. Mark Cooper at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, and on lung neoplasia and preneoplasia with the group led by Assoc. Prof. Kwun Fong at The Prince Charles Hospital.
Dr Clarke is co-supervisor of a PhD student in the Thoracic Research Laboratory at The Prince Charles Hospital.
Dr Cheryl Bletchly
The Molecular Diagnostic Unit is currently involved in various research projects to enhance the diagnostic menu for infectious disease.
Lambert SB, Whiley DM, O'Neill NT, Andrews EC, Canavan FM, Bletchly C, Siebert DJ, Sloots TP, Nissen MD. Comparing nose-throat swabs and nasopharyngeal aspirates collected from children with symptoms for respiratory virus identification using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Pediatrics. 2008 Sep;122(3):e615-20. Epub 2008 Aug 25.
Alvarez AC, Brunck ME, Boyd V, Lai R, Virtue E, Chen W, Bletchly C, Heine HG, Barnard R. A broad spectrum, one-step reverse-transcription PCR amplification of the neuraminidase gene from multiple subtypes of influenza A virus. Virol J. 2008 Jul 9;5:77.
McBride WJ, Hannah RC, Le Cornec GM, Bletchly C. Cutaneous chancroid in a visitor from Vanuatu. Australas J Dermatol. 2008 May;49(2):98-9.
Bialasiewicz S, Whiley DM, Lambert SB, Jacob K, Bletchly C, Wang D, Nissen MD, Sloots TP. Presence of the newly discovered human polyomaviruses KI and WU in Australian patients with acute respiratory tract infection. J Clin Virol. 2008 Feb;41(2):63-8.