Professor Cameron Simmons was awarded the veski innovation fellowship in June 2012.

Professor Cameron Simmons returns to Victoria to work at the Nossal Institute for Global Health and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne after 10 years in Vietnam with Oxford University. He has since moved to Monash University and currently holds the position of Professor and Director, Institute of Vector-Borne Disease.

Research project: Stop Dengue: Novel approaches to diagnose, treat and prevent dengue

Dengue is a serious virus infection carried by mosquitoes in tropical countries. High fever, debilitating headaches, nausea, muscle aches, pain behind the eyes and a rash that affects large areas of the body are among the symptoms that affect approximately 40 million infants, young children and adults that are infected each year. There is currently no preventative vaccine or specific treatments to reduce the severity of symptoms.

Cameron aims to help combat dengue by providing doctors with a set of simple methods to help diagnose dengue in patients, and predict if the patient is at risk of developing serious complications. This research is complementing pharmaceutical industry collaborations on the development of specific drugs to treat the disease.

Cameron aims to use his expertise and links in Asia to field test this novel disease control approach as part of the Eliminate Dengue initiative. These novel research strategies are uniquely placed to deliver results that could help reduce the huge social and financial burden of dengue both in Australia and overseas.

I’m at a stage in my career where I’m looking to take the next step, and I’m particularly looking forward to being a part of the Peter Doherty Institute. I’ve visited many similar institutions around the world but none match the plans for the Peter Doherty Institute.

Professor Cameron Simmons, 2012