Queensland COVID-19 research

This page of Queensland’s research related to the COVID-19 pandemic is compiled from information provided by Queensland universities and research institutes.

While many of our researchers are working on potential vaccines, treatments and other medical interventions, other researchers are applying their expertise to other impacts of the pandemic upon our economy and other aspects of society. The data includes immediate research activity, recent relevant work, proposed research (subject to available funds) and other responses using the resources and expertise of our research organisations.

Listing all of 121 responses.

  • Researchers develop low-cost ventilator to help countries still fighting COVID-19 using a system to automate the ambu bag June 2020

    A team led by Professor Yongsheng Gao at GU have created the Ventil-8, a device that turns ambu bags, the self-inflating hand pump bag used in resuscitation into automated ventilators. “This replacement ventilator needed to be low-cost and built quickly and relatively easily anywhere in the world. A key design requirement was that all its components have to be available locally and accessible within one day, and in sufficient quantities to create thousands.” Professor Gao said. The team settled on a prototype driven by an easily available car windscreen wiper motor that cost just AUS $600. “The makeshift ventilator meets the doctors’ needs, with adjustable volume and speed or breaths per minute and three different Inspiratory/Expiratory (I/E) ratios” said Dr. Mousa Hadipour, a research fellow at GU's Institute for Integrated and Intelligent Systems.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    Institute for Integrated and Intelligent Systems
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Professor Yongsheng Gao
    Director
    yongsheng.gao@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 3735 3652
  • Covid-19 influences on tourists perceptions of health risks and travel destination choices July 2020

    This USQ research study aims to rigorously test a comprehensive model to assess health risk-related behaviours and travel destination choices of tourists during and following COVID-19. The study is based on a modified and expanded version of the Health Belief Model (HBM). It is hoped the modified model will be applicable to tourism and hospitality research in other health-related crises. The project involves an online questionnaire distributed to an international sample of potential tourists that will examine the relationship between psycho-social and psychometric constructs with an emphasis on their influence on consumer behavior and destination attractiveness - all critical to destination management during the recovery phases of health crises.

    #Business and economics

    Centre

    Institute for Resilient Regions
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Associate Professor Lynda Crowley-Cyr
    Associate Professor, School of Law and Justice
    Lynda.Crowley-Cyr@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4687 5647
    Collaborations
    • Dr. Villy Abraham (Department of Technological Marketing, Sapir Academic College, Israel)
    • Mercedes Carreño (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and CENP Tourism School, Spain)
    • Dr. Kerstin Bremser (Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, Germany)
    • Cote Moreno Martin (PhD student, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and Escuela Universitaria Felipe Moreno, Spain)
  • Griffith’s additive manufacturing expertise being used to help in supply of essential personal protective equipment April 2020

    Griffith Universty's expertise and 3D printers are being used to help manufacture essential protective equipment for frontline health workers across Australia. As part of a call-out by the state’s health authorities, hospital-grade designs were shared with volunteers with access to 3D printers. Griffith’s Advanced Design and Prototyping Technologies Institute (ADaPT) and Queensland College of Art (QCA) are producing face shields and other personal protective equipment (PPE) using 3D printers from a number of facilities and schools across the university to help maintain supplies during the COVID-19 crisis. ADaPT Manager Derek Smith said it was perfectly placed to respond. “ADaPT already works closely with the Gold Coast University Hospital on a range of projects, and we’ve been able to move fast to make PPE parts,” he said. “We’re leading the different disciplines across the university that are working on this project, from design and engineering to health.”

    #Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

    Centre

    Advanced Design and Prototyping Technologies Institute
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Mr Derek Smith
    Technical Manager
    derek.smith@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 56780547
    Collaborations
    • Metro North Hospital and Health Service
    • Queensland College of Art
  • The significance of viral communities in bats in the spillover of bat-borne viruses into other animals April 2020

    Dr. Alison Peel, a veterinarian and wildlife disease ecologist, and her team at the Wildlife Disease Ecology Group at GU's Environmental Futures Research Institute have been undertaking a long term study of how the environment, animals, viruses and people interact across multiple scales to cause viral spillover from bats into horses and humans. The research aims to develop a better understanding of the dynamics of wildlife diseases which can be used to ensure scientifically sound decisions relating to the health of wildlife, domestic animals and people, as well as conservation and to provide sustainable solutions that protect future generations from novel zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19. The importance of Dr. Peel’s research is paramount when you consider that bats have also been implicated in the transmission of coronaviruses and Ebola to people—again, potentially as a result of human disruption to natural environments.

    #Zoonotics

    Centre

    Environmental Futures Research Institute
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Doctor Alison Peel
    a.peel@griffith.edu.au
    +61 467 806 660
  • Deployable capability in extracting DNA from saliva & nasal swabs. April 2020

    Building on more than ten years’ experience as a paleogeneticist, researching the population genetics with specific expertise in ancient DNA retrieval and analysis, Dr. Sally Wasef at GU is using ancient DNA (aDNA) to help Indigenous communities identify and repatriate the remains of their ancient people. Dr. Wasef has deployable capability in extracting DNA from saliva & nasal swabs.

    #Diagnostics

    Centre

    Environmental Futures Research Institute
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Doctor Sally Wasif
    Lecturer
    s.wasef@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 3735 4728
  • Building on years of experience in streptococcus and malaria research to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. April 2020

    Professor Michael Good AO and his research team based within the Laboratory of Vaccines for the Developing World at GU's Institute For Glycomics, are building on many years of vaccine development experience in streptococcus and malaria research to identify critical target points on the coronavirus that may be susceptible to immune attack and to use that information to develop a highly focussed vaccine. The team are working closely with the other researchers in the Institute and with colleagues at the Gold Coast University Hospital and China’s Olymvax Biopharmaceuticals Inc.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    Institute for Glycomics
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Professor Michael Good
    Principal Research Leader
    michael.good@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5552 9435
    Collaborations
  • Using propriety drug screening approaches for the rapid screening of known drugs April 2020

    Professor Michael Jennings and Dr. Christopher Day at GU's Institute of Glycomics have developed propriety biophysical drug screening approaches that allow for the rapid screening of known drugs that can be repurposed to target crucial steps in infectious disease processes. These approaches in combination with computational biology (led by fellow Research Leader, Associate Professor Thomas Haselhorst) are being applied to find solutions to COVID-19.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    Institute for Glycomics
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Professor Michael Jennings
    Deputy Director
    m.jennings@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5552 7050
  • Rapid assay system to evaluate potential drug and vaccine candidates to prevent the entry of SARS-CoV-2 April 2020

    Professor Johnson Mak and his research team at GU's Institute of Glycomics are working to establish a rapid assay system to evaluate potential drug and vaccine candidates that can prevent the entry of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in collaboration with the other research teams within the Institute.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    Institute for Glycomics
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Professor Johnson Mak
    Research Leader
    j.mak@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5552 8077
    Collaborations
    Institute for Integrated and Intelligent Systems
  • Using advanced ex vivo (outside the body) human respiratory system models to evaluate existing drugs to prevent or treat COVID-19 April 2020

    Professor von Itzstein AO and his research team at GU's Institute of Glycomics are using advanced ex vivo (outside the body) human respiratory system models to evaluate existing drugs, and combinations, as drug candidates to prevent or treat COVID-19. The team is working in collaboration with Queensland Health Departments including Gold Coast University Hospital clinicians and Forensic Scientific Services as well as the Fraunhofer International Consortium for Anti-infective Research (iCAIR). iCAIR was established between the Institute for Glycomics and two German institutions, the Hannover Medical University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine, in 2017.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    Institute for Glycomics
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Professor Mark von Itzstein
    Director
    m.vonitzstein@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5552 7025
    Collaborations
  • Griffith University researchers on the road to COVID-19 vaccine April 2020

    Griffith University researchers have joined forces with scientists from Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), a leading vaccine manufacturing company based in Hyderabad, India to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. They aim to develop a live attenuated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine or COVID-19 vaccine using the latest codon de-optimisation technology (a method for producing live weakened virus vaccines). Using this technology, they will make changes to the virus’s genome to decrease replication efficiency in human cells and rendering it harmless. “This technology is promising for developing a live-attenuated vaccine for preventative, active, single dose immunisation against coronavirus in humans, with an enhanced safety profile,” said Professor Suresh Mahalingam from Menzies Health Institute Queensland. The aim is to produce a vaccine provide long-lasting immunity against SARS-CoV-2 following a single immunisation and cross-protection against other coronaviruses such as MERS and SARS-CoV-1.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ)
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Professor Suresh Mahalingam
    NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
    s.mahalingam@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5678 0664
    Collaborations
    Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL)
  • Can a new modifed BCG tuberculosis vaccine also help protect COVID-19? April 2020

    JCU researchers are exploring the possibility of repurposing the BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guérin) vaccine to protect front-line health workers against COVID-19. BCG is the widely used vaccine against tuberculosis and is associated with reduced rates of COVID-19 infection.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine
    James Cook University

    Contact details
    Doctor Andreas Kupz
    andreas.kupz@jcu.edu.au
    +61 7 4232 2048
  • Developing T-cell vaccine for COVID-19 that is easy to administer, transport and store April 2020

    Professor John Miles is utilising JCU's hyperstable peptide vaccine platform to identify a COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the form of a potentially highly efficient nasal spray that does not require cold chain transport and storage and is easy to administer. Based at JCU's Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, the group, including Professors Louis Schofield and Denise Doolan, is working on pre-clinical development with a view to clinical trials in 18 months. They are seeking investment to continue and accelerate this vaccine development work.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine
    James Cook University

    Contact details
    Professor John Miles
    john.miles@jcu.edu.au
    +61 7 4232 1284
    Collaborations
    • Co-researcher:
    • Professor Denise Doolan
    • Professor Louis Schofield
  • Researchers warn about the potential increase in COVID-19 cases and remind Nigerians to practice “physical” distancing April 2020

    Following analysis of the cumulative number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the first day of importation to selected African countries and the worse affected countries outside Africa, researchers from AITHM at JCU and the Federal University of Technology, Nigeria have warned that Nigerians should practice “physical” distancing. They warned that it is important to understand that the travel ban imposed by the Federal Government has prevented or reduced future importations according to their simulation study which found that the effects of the international travel ban imposed by the Australia Government resulted in an 80% reduction in COVID-19 importations. Researchers at AITHM are writing important timely analyses of COVID-19, with an Australian perspective. The reports may be very valuable at time of publishing, but may have less value a month later, once peer review is completed. AITHM are therefore making all their preprint reports publically available.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine
    James Cook University

    Contact details
    Doctor Oyelola Adegboye
    Research Fellow
    oyelola.adegboye@jcu.edu.au
    +61 7 4781 5707
    Collaborations
    Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
  • Estimating the case detection rate and temporal variation in transmission of COVID-19 in Australia April 2020

    Working with researchers from the Peter Doherty Institute, the University of Melbourne and Curtin University, AITHM have been estimating the case detection rate and temporal variation in transmission of COVID-19 in Australia. Researchers at AITHM are writing important timely analyses of COVID-19, with an Australian perspective. These reports may be very valuable at time of publishing, but may have less value a month later, once peer review is completed. AITHM are therefore making all their preprint reports publically available.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine
    James Cook University

    Contact details
    Doctor Michael Meehan
    Research Fellow
    michael.meehan1@jcu.edu.au
    +61 7 4781 4573
    Collaborations
    • The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
    • The Universityof Melbourne
    • Curtin University
  • Drug discovery team use super-computer to screen compounds for treatment of COVID-19 April 2020

    The QUT Cancer and Ageing Research Program’s drug discovery team is using a super-computer to screen thousands of FDA-approved therapeutics and millions of drug-like compounds to see if any of them could be effective in treating COVID-19. In parallel, they have the capacity to physically screen 40,000 therapeutics in their TRI-based laboratory.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    Cancer and Ageing Research Program
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Professor Derek Richard
    derek.richards@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3443 7236
    Collaborations
    • Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
    • Translational Research Institute
    • PA Research Foundation
  • Ancient Australian plant may help in production of COVID-19 vaccine April 2020

    QUT researchers are embedded in an international team of scientists developing technologies to produce large amounts of low-cost vaccines. Professor Peter Waterhouse has developed a roadmap for biotechnologists who are turning to the new technique of producing antibodies, vaccines and therapeutics, in plants - biofactories. Plants can be grown in large amounts using simple agricultural technologies, that are within reach of developing countries that may lack sophisticated protein production methods. In this “molecular farming” discipline, biotechnologists can alter the DNA instructions in a plant to make it produce the antibody or vaccine in the cells and sap of its leaves and the plant does the rest. Professor Waterhouse said several international biotech companies have already been given fast-tracked access to the entire chromosome-level genome sequence of the Australian-native plant Nicotiana benthamiana. QUT have made this previously unpublished information available to any team working on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic to allow them to ‘tweak’ the genome to produce better quality vaccines and therapeutics. The plant is being used all over the world as the vaccine plant biofactory of choice and the genome sequencing has been led by Professor Waterhouse in partnership with the European Horizon 2020 Newcotiana consortium.

    #Bioeconomy

    Centre

    Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Professor Peter Waterhouse
    peter.waterhouse@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 7793
    Collaborations
    European Horizon 2020 Newcotiana consortium
  • COVID-19 movement restrictions can be more targeted to allow relaxing of lockdowns April 2020

    Professor Raja Jurdak, from QUT’s Centre for Data Science who specialises in tracking infectious disease outbreaks using dynamic network modelling and graphing based on people’s movement patterns says blanket COVID-19 lockdowns could become targeted to designated hotspots or neighbourhoods with the increased availability of personal location data. Professor Jurdak said as the pandemic continued to restrict people’s movements, data about transmission sources and location or transport route ‘hot spots’ were paramount to prevention methods. “We need to have a transparent conversation about what the public has to say about privacy and whether some individual freedoms can be relaxed at this critical point to secure public health benefits,” Professor Jurdak said. “If we had all that data where people are moving and who they are in contact with then we would be able to zoom in and control the spread of the disease much faster and that would then better inform the public and influence policy decisions. “The privacy considerations are equally important here, where individuals need to maintain control over what data they share. “There are technologies that can be used to balance this need and automate contract tracing while preserving citizen privacy, such as a proposal that would involve transferring only encrypted contact data to a central server.” Professor Jurdak, in collaboration with researchers from CSIRO, John Hopkins University and University of New South Wales has recently conducted a case study using smart card travel data in Sydney to identify highly influential travellers for spreading disease on a public transport system.

    #Data Science

    Centre

    Centre for Data Science
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Professor Raja Jurdak
    r.jurdak@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 4249
    Collaborations
    • University of New South Wales
    • Johns Hopkins University
    • CSIRO
  • Corona-anxiety: how to recognise warning signs in kids & adolescents April 2020

    What are the signs of anxiety in young people caused by the upheaval to their world from COVID-19. QUT researcher Dr. Judith Howard, from QUT’s Faculty of Education, is a behaviour support specialist who is a national leader in trauma-aware education. She said the sudden changes to our way of life, and fears about health and money, could cause anxiety for children as well as adults. “Our children and young people need to know that the adults in their worlds remain their ‘safe havens’,” she said. “They need to know that parents, carers, teachers and others are there to listen to their fears, to respond honestly, to help them understand what is happening, and to know that none of what has been going on will last forever. It will come to an end one day. We also need to keep reminding ourselves of that!” Dr. Howard said anxiety often showed itself in three different ways – ‘fight’, ‘flight’ and ‘freeze’ behavioural responses.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    Faculty of Education, School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Doctor Judith Howard
    Senior Lecturer
    ja.howard@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 3934
  • Indoor precautions essential to stem airborne COVID-19 April 2020

    Research has already demonstrated that viable airborne viruses can travel beyond 1.5m on airflow when exhaled by an infected person. It is likely that COVID-19 spread among cruise ship passengers through the ventilation systems whilst confined to their cabins. Prof. Lidia Morawska from the QUT International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health has urged health authorities to immediately recognise the role of airborne transmission of COVID-19 virus droplets from an infected person beyond 1.5m in order to stem the disease’s spread. A world-leading air quality and health expert Prof. Lidia Morawska and Prof. Junji Cao from Chinese Academy of Sciences have in an Environment International article called on health bodies to initiate research into the airborne transmission of COVID-19 as it is happening. Prof. Morawska has also led a plea, published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, by 239 scientists from 32 countries to international health authorities to recognise and mitigate airborne transmission of COVID-19.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health (ILAQH)
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Professor Lidia Morawska
    Director
    l.morawska@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 2616
    Collaborations
    Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Medical Engineering Research Facility part of national team of experts that joined forces to boost ventilator stocks April 2020

    QUT's Medical Engineering Research Facility has played a central role in bringing together researchers, engineers, medical specialists and industry to create new ventilators and other urgent medical equipment. The national team collaborated on developing the OzVader Ventilator project – a new Intermittent Mandatory Ventilator (IMV) design which could be used to treat ICU patients locally and globally. Leading intensive care specialists and respiratory experts from The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane and two Melbourne hospitals provided clinical guidance on the ventilator design.

    #Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

    Centre

    Medical Engineering Research Facility
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Professor Cameron Brown
    Director
    cp.brown@qut.edu.au
    +61 434 606 973
    Collaborations
    • Co-Director: Professor Roass Crawford
    • Collaborator:
    • Prince Charles Hospital
    • Centre for Biomedical Technologies
    • Olitek
    • Elexon
    • Titley Scientific
    • Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Hub
    • Narm Rubber
    • Austin Hospital - Melbourne
    • Epworth Hospitals - Melbourne
  • Recovery ratios reliably anticipate COVID-19 pandemic progression April 2020

    COVID-19 has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, but a new predictor model devised at QUT offers glimmers of hope, suggesting the worst has passed and indicating well under 1000 deaths for Australia. The team at QUT, led by physician, mathematician and Future Fellow Dan Nicolau, has developed what they believe to be a more accurate model to predict the trajectory of the virus and its mortality, based on reliable, country-independent data. The predictions, updated daily, are available at covidwave.org and look at the ratio of known infections to recoveries in each country. The team then compared this ratio with the number of reported daily deaths in each country. This country-by-country breakdown also gives a big picture view, which shows that the world is currently in the middle of a second global wave of COVID-19, likely to last for some weeks. Remarkably, the data pattern is the same for most countries, including Australia.

    #Modelling

    Centre

    Science and Engineering Faculty, School of Mathematical Sciences
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    A/Professor Dan Nicolau
    Future Fellow, Science and Engineering Faculty
    dan.nicolau@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 5238
    Collaborations
    University of Oxford
  • New virus-filtering mask material developed by QUT to be fast-tracked to market April 2020

    A new material, developed by QUT process engineer Dr Thomas Rainey and his research team, is very effective at removing particles smaller than 100 nanometres, the size range of virus droplets. The material is easier to breathe through than high-quality face masks including surgical masks which is important for people with existing respiratory issues. The mask can be quickly made in large quantities using simple equipment and is biodegradable. Made from agriculture and forestry waste material, it has been thoroughly tested and compared with high-quality commercially available masks. In a joint venture between QUT and Innovyz announced in July 2020, a new company - CelluAir, will work to scale up the technology to bring it to market as soon as possible.

    #Advanced Manufacturing

    Centre

    Science and Engineering Faculty, School of Mechanical Medical & Process Engineering
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Doctor Thomas Rainey
    Coordinator
    t.rainey@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 1977
    Collaborations
  • Queensland hospitals begin testing drugs in COVID-19 clinical trial April 2020

    Queensland hospitals (see collaborations) have started testing two potential treatments on patients with COVID-19 as part of an international clinical trial involving The University of Queensland. Patients admitted to participating Queensland hospitals after testing positive for the disease were involved in the Australasian COVID-19 Trial (ASCOT) study, being led by the Doherty Institute in Melbourne. Queensland hospitals are working with researchers to help test the effectiveness of an HIV drug and a malaria medication for treating COVID-19 at 11 of the state’s hospitals and Wesley Medical Research. The Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital pharmacy is approved by the Therapeutics Goods Australia to undertake the packing and distribution of the ASCOT study investigational medications to hospitals across Australia and New Zealand. The randomised response adaptive trial will allow researchers to objectively assess whether patients who receive a specific treatment fare better, worse or the same as patients who receive a different therapy. The ASCOT trial involves 2500 patients at more than 70 hospitals, covering every state and territory of Australia, and 12 hospitals in New Zealand.

    #Clinical Trials

    Centre

    Centre for Clinical Research
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Professor David Paterson
    d.paterson1@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3346 6074
    Collaborations
    • Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital
    • Princess Alexandra Hospital
    • Caboolture Hospital
    • Cairns Hospital
    • Logan Hospital
    • Mackay Base Hospital
    • Mater Brisbane
    • Redcliffe Hospital
    • Sunshine Coast University Hospital
    • The Prince Charles Hospital
    • Townsville Hospital and Health Service
    • Wesley Medical Research
    • Trial lead: Peter Doherty Institute
    • Funder: Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Foundation
    • Funder: Australian Government
    • Funder: The Anthony Pratt Foundation
    • Wesley Medical Research
    • Minderoo Foundation
    • Health Research Council of New Zealand
    • Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies
  • Australian researchers trace sewage for early warning of COVID-19 spread April 2020

    Researchers from the University of Queensland and CSIRO have demonstrated the first step towards an early warning surveillance system to track the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community. The researchers have found RNA fragment of SARS-CoV2, the virus which leads to the disease COVID-19, in wastewater samples from two wastewater treatment plants in South East Queensland. The RNA fragments of SARS-CoV2 would have been shed in the wastewater stream by COVID-19 infected people. The research builds on techniques for testing wastewater for illicit drugs and other chemicals and prior on wastewater analysis for emerging recombinant noroviruses by researchers in the Netherlands and the United States of America.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Professor Kevin Thomas
    Centre Director
    kevin.thomas@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 344 32443
    Collaborations
    CSIRO Land and Water Science
  • UQ COVID-19 vaccine shown to induce potent protective response moves into human trials April 2020

    Researchers at UQ working on emerging disease preparedness with funding from the global Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), began work on a COVID-19 vaccine in early January 2020. They announced in April that their lead COVID-19 vaccine, which uses a pioneering patented ‘molecular clamp’ technology to lock a component of the deadly virus into a shape that the immune system can easily detect and destroy, had shown an ability in pre-clinical testing to raise high levels of antibodies that can neutralise the virus. Additional funding support to advance manufacturing in parallel with these early studies, was secured from the Queensland and Australian Governments along with generous support from philanthropic foundations and donors. The next critical phase for The University of Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccine is underway with the research effort moving out of the lab and into human trials with the first vaccine dose given at the Herston Health Precinct in Brisbane on 13 July 2020 with preliminary results expected in around three months. If successful they will progress onto the next stage: a larger trial and much larger group from a range of ages. Additional pre-clinical studies are ongoing through UQ’s cooperative partnership with the Netherlands’ Viroclinics Xplore. If successful the UQ vaccine will be progressed by their partners CSL with the potential to distribute an emergency vaccine in 2021. Brisbane-based Thermo Fisher and Swedish Cytiva (provider of technology in therapeutics development and mass manufacture), have also contributed to the accelerated timeframes. UQ and CEPI have entered into a partnering agreement with Australian biotech giant CSL which will take responsibility for Phase 2 clinical studies onwards and, if the clinical trial endpoints are met, will scale up its production facility in Melbourne to manufacture tens of millions of doses in 2021. The Australian Department of Health advise that as the vaccine is still being developed, negotiations with CSL for a formal supply agreement are still ongoing, however Australians will have priority access to a COVID-19 vaccine. CEPI’s dose allocation will be procured and distributed through the COVAX Facility, a mechanism which will make vaccines available globally through an equitable allocation system. According to Advance Queensland, UQ’s vaccine is one of a relatively small group of vaccines under development in the world to have secured a manufacturing deal of such proportion.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Professor Paul Young
    p.young@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3365 4622
    Collaborations
  • Placebo-controlled randomized Clinical Trial of Perispinal Etanercept (Enbrel) in Australian patients affected by stroke July 2020

    There is a 37% increase of the incidence of stroke in those infected by COVID-19. The underlying pathology of COVID-19 is systemic inflammation and is closely related to post-stroke pathology. Etanercept (Enbrel) has been used for many years to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. A recent trial led by Associate Professor Stephen Ralph from GU's Menzies Health Institute Queensland showed a significant decrease in post-stroke pain levels and reduced muscle spasticity experienced by people affected by stroke. Subject to funding and approvals this treatment will be trialled in Australian COVID-19 patients affected by stroke.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    https://science.des.qld.gov.au/research/capability-directory/?title=Menzies+Health+Institute+Queensland

    • Griffith University
    • University of Southern Queensland
    Contact details
    Associate Professor Stephen Ralph
    Co-investigator
    s.ralph@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5552 8583
    Collaborations
  • Social Media Analytics using machine learning algorithms to understand the mental health status as a result of COVID-19 lockdown July 2020

    COVID-19 has caused significant disruptions to normal life resulting in deteriorated physical and mental health. Medical professionals are struggling to handle the levels of mental trauma. Using sophisticated AI algorithms, this USQ project attempts to classify the mental health state of a person from numerical and textual data and fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Image) images of the brain. Numerical and textual data is collected through a simple survey. The primary goal of this research is to develop a model that aids the medical practitioners to analyse heterogeneous data from a wider population through a single affordable test to classify a patient’s mental state including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety, stress, depression, bipolar disorders and phobia pertaining to the context of COVID-19.

    #Data Science

    Centre

    Centre for Health Research
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Professor Raj Gururajan
    Raj.Gururajan@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 3470 4539
    Collaborations
    • Xiahui Tao (USQ)
    • Xujuan Zhou (USQ)
    • Rajendra Acharya (Singapore)
    • Revathi Venkataraman (India)
    • Dr. Soman Elangovan (Belmont Private Hospital - Brisbane)
  • COVID-19 - Reset and re-imagine your business July 2020

    This research project will evaluate the impact on women and their enterprises from their particition in the WiRE Reset and re-imagine your business COVID-19 economic recovery program. The WiRE (Women in Rural, Regional and Remote Enterprise) project enables project participants to re-design their business journey while starting and growing their business/venture. Funded by the Queensland Government, the program supports women business owners to take steps towards their business goals - reviewing, re-imagining, re-planning or rebuilding their business as a result of the current COVID-19 crisis. This program is an evidence-based program that enables rural, regional and remote women to achieve and lead in their chosen business ventures.

    #Business and economics

    Centre

    Institute for Resilient Regions
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Professor Retha Wiesner
    Retha.Wiesner@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 3470 4519
    Collaborations
    Funding: Queensland Government, Advancing Women in Business, Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.
  • Pivoting to online teaching during crisis using an engagement framework July 2020

    The COVID-19 crisis has required many universities to pivot from face-to-face to online teaching. The rapidity of this transition is challenging academics unfamiliar with online teaching. This USQ project will evaluate an existing, user-friendly capacity-building tool, the Online Engagement Framework through conducting interviews with novice online educators from across the globe. Data will contribute to existing research on developing educators’ online teaching capabilities, in addition to informing conceptual, theoretical and practical knowledge of online engagement.

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    Institute for Resilient Regions
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Doctor Alice Brown
    Senior Lecturer
    Alice.Brown@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 3470 4120
    Collaborations
    • Associate Professor Petrea Redmond (USQ)
    • Professor Jill Lawrence (USQ)
    • Dr. M Foote (Gardner Institute, North Carolina, USA)
    • Associate Professor Cathy Stone (University of Newcastle)
  • Co-parenting and care arrangements during Covid-19 July 2020

    Extending the research from the 'The Experiences of Separated Parents with the Schooling System', this project led by Dr. Renee Desmarchelier at USQ, aims to understand the impact of Covid-19 restrictions and concerns on co-parenting arrangements of separated and divorced parents within the Australian Education system in order to inform policy and develop best practices.

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    Institute for Resilient Regions
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Doctor Renee Desmarchelier
    Associate Dean Learning, Teaching and Student Success
    Renee.Desmarchelier@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 2591
    Collaborations
  • Reducing COPD Emergency Department presentations through the implementation of a Nurse Case Management Role. July 2020

    With COVID-19 cases presenting to our Emergency Departments (ED), it is important that we understand how to effectively manage the impact of COVID-19 on COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) patients. Based upon the findings of pre-COVID-19 research by USQ's Associate Professor Clint Moloney into the value of Nurse Case Managers in improving outcomes for both COPD patients and EDs, a pilot research project is planned for the Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH). A Nurse Case Manager, proposed to be based in the GCUH ED, would facilitate avoidable ED and hospital admission for patients with COPD and establish a sub-group of patients affected by COVID-19. This will form part of a larger research initiative focused on the economic and relative patient outcomes stemming from the introduction of a Nurse Case Manager role.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    School of Nursing and Midwifery
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Associate Professor Clint Moloney
    Clint.Moloney@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 2931
    Collaborations
  • Preparation, anxiety and COVID-19 narratives for Children July 2020

    Previous work from researchers in this team has examined the effect of parental anxiety on the way parents prepare – or fail to prepare – their children for trauma or disaster. This USQ project will apply that understanding in the context of COVID-19 in Australia. By analysing public narratives of COVID-19 directed towards children, including television programs, advertisements, and stories, the project will consider the experience of trauma and its production of anxiety, growth or resilience in both parents and children. In this way, it seeks to understand appropriate coping narratives for children in a range of traumatic and disaster contexts.

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Associate Professor Jessica Gildersleeve
    Associate Professor of English Literature
    Jessica.Gildersleeve@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 1043
    Collaborations
    • India Bryce
    • Amy Mullens
    • Beata Batorowicz
    • Kirstie Daken
    • Barbara Ryan
  • Economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism, hospitality, leisure and events industries. July 2020

    Dr. Shahab Pourfakhimi at USC is extending his research on the tourism, hospitality, leisure and events industries to examine economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in these industries. He is particularly interested in investigating the effectiveness of post-crisis tourism recovery strategies, specifically from a regional tourism operators’ perspective. Shahab’s research interests generally involve studying consumer behaviour in tourism, hospitality and events, particularly the socio-psychological dimensions of tourists’ perceptions, choices and experiences.

    #Business and economics

    Centre

    USC Business School
    University of Sunshine Coast

    Contact details
    Doctor Shahab Pourfakhimi
    Lecturer, Tourism, Leisure and Event Management
    spourfak@usc.edu.au
    +61 7 5456 5690
    Collaborations
  • Mental Health Support in Rural and Remote Communities June 2020

    Suicide rates in Australia may increase as a result of COVID-19, as individuals battle the social and economic impacts of the virus. The impacts will be greatest among those who live in rural and regional Australia. There is an urgent need to ensure that mental health services are able to meet a dramatic increase in demand. In partnership with Wesley Medical Research, the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation will implement a pilot program for improved mental health services in the Bowen Basin. A pilot program will be developed after a comprehensive review of existing services in the region and provide a targeted response to the increased mental health issues arising due to COVID-19.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    Australian Centre For Health Services Innovation (AusHSI)

    Contact details
    Professor Steven McPhail
    Academic Director, AusHSI
    steven.mcphail@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3406 2266
    Collaborations
    Partners - COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Centre, Wesley Medical Research
  • National COVID-19 Community Survey June 2020

    A national longitudinal survey on the health and wellbeing of Australians living through COVID-19 is collecting data from Australian adults to investigate what people know and what health-related behaviours people adopt throughout the term of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CQU research examines the associations between psychological distress and changes in selected health behaviours since the onset of COVID-19 in Australia and included measures of depression, anxiety, stress, physical activity, sleep, alcohol intake and cigarette smoking.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
    CQUniversity

    Contact details
    Doctor Robert Stanton
    Senior Lecturer
    r.stanton@cqu.edu.au
    +61 7 4923 2275
    Collaborations
    • Co-researchers:
    • To Quyen
    • Saman Khalesi Taharoom
    • Susan Williams
    • Stephanie Alley
    • Tanya Thwaite
    • Andrew Fenning
    • Corneel Vandelanotte
    • Collaborator - Appleton Institute
  • Use of convalescent plasma in clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 June 2020

    Australian research into the use of convalescent plasma in clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 should be supported according to a leading immunologist from Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics. Professor Michael Good AO, a member of the National COVID-19 Health and Research Advisory Committee and chair of the working group on convalescent plasma therapy, said the working group’s conclusions included the active support of research into trials of convalescent plasma for treatment and prophylaxis. “Convalescent plasma therapy involves the transfusion of blood plasma collected from patients recovered from COVID-19. As they will have produced antibodies against the disease, the aim is to provide passive immunity in infected patients, as opposed to active immunity in patients that would be induced by a vaccine.” said Professor Good. Convalescent plasma is not a new therapy and has been used and trialled in influenza, SARS-CoV-1 and Ebola infection, as well as in many established diseases such as diphtheria and tetanus.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    Institute for Glycomics
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Professor Michael Good
    Principal Research Leader
    michael.good@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5552 9435
  • Queensland Family Cohort Study investigates impacts of COVID-19 on Queensland babies June 2020

    A Queensland-first trial that will assess the impacts of COVID-19 on expectant parents and their unborn babies is being carried out at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals. Augmenting the current Queensland Family Cohort Study, the Mater Research research team are recruiting 300 families who have endured the stress brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, while being pregnant. Mater Research Professor Vicki Clifton said it was important to capture data from both expectant mothers and fathers during this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic to see what the impacts of the crisis were on families, the pregnancy and their babies as they developed. “We know from previous research undertaken on the impacts of the 2011 Queensland floods that you don’t need to be directly affected by a crisis to have increased stress hormones in your system and we know that this affects the placenta and there is a change in the developmental profiles of the baby.” “It’s important that while we have, and continue to experience a pandemic, that we are evaluating the impacts on these families and also how this will influence their babies’ development up until they are school age,” Professor Clifton said. The Queensland Family Cohort Study pilot began in 2018 with the aim to address disease at its core and determine how a baby’s health and exposure in early life influences the onset of disease in the future.

    #Diagnostics

    Centre

    Mater Research

    Contact details
    Professor Vicki Clifton
    Senior Research Fellow
    vicki.clifton@mater.uq.edu.au
    +61 422 939 723
    Collaborations
    • University of Queensland
    • Queensland University of Technology
    • Griffith University
  • Motivating ‘buy in’ to engage in social distancing June 2020

    This USQ project forms part of an international research collaboration to understand how individuals engage with social distancing messaging related to COVID-19. Data has been collaboratively generated and pooled via 30 individual teams across 19 countries to contribute to a large open-source dataset. The overall aim of the project is to understand the most effective means through which messaging reflecting social distancing regulations is crafted. It is being coordinated by the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, USA.

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    Centre for Health Research
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Associate Professor Charlotte Brownlow
    Associate Dean Graduate Research School
    Charlotte.Brownlow@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 2982
    Collaborations
  • Social connection in older Australians in regional Western Australia June 2020

    Social connection is a fundamental need. Location and other social factors may put older people in regional areas of Australia at increased risk of experiencing loneliness and social isolation. The unexpected onset of COVID-19 has imposed social isolation. An exploratory study was undertaken by USQ with participants who have high levels of social capital as active members of organised groups, and in staying in contact with family members, friends and neighbours. The findings around the effects of unexpected social isolation on older people, may inform future research and knowledge about successful ageing.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    Centre for Health Research
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Doctor Tanya Machin
    Senior Lecturer (Psychology and Counselling)
    Tanya.Machin@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 5576
    Collaborations
  • Impact of COVID19 on educators June 2020

    This research by USQ will explore the impact of COVID-19 on educators (from early childhood up through to higher education). The study will use established and validated surveys such as Kessler 10 and self-efficacy (Utrecht Work Engagement Scale). The survey will be conducted online. A snowballing method of collecting participants will be used, starting with the researchers' personal and professional networks.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    Centre for Health Research
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Associate Professor Petrea Redmond
    Associate Professor (Educational Technology)
    Petrea.Redmond@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 2318
    Collaborations
  • Understanding social support and mental health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 June 2020

    This USQ study explores social media use during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the focus is on predictors of social media use, including personality traits, empathy, loneliness, copying styles, depression, stress, and anxiety, need to belong, and fear of COVID-19. The purpose of this project is to extend on previous studies that have examined factors linked to social media use, and exploring these individual differences in the current pandemic environment. Specifically, we are exploring frequency of social media use and how individuals use social media (e.g., antisocial or prosocial purposes).

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    Centre for Health Research
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Doctor Jessica Marrington
    Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology and Counselling
    Jessica.marrington@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 3812 6150
    Collaborations
  • Understanding immune dysregulation and secondary bacterial/fungal pneumonia in COVID-19 patients (the CoViBac study) June 2020

    Associate Professor Erin Price and her colleagues at the Pathogen-Omics lab at the Sunshine Coast Health Institute, USC are using metagenomics and metatranscriptomics (gene expression of microbes in natural environments) to characterise the airway microbiome of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with a view to improving the diagnosis and treatment of infections that drive disease. This work now includes performing dual RNA-seq to better understand the aberrant host immune responses and causes of secondary bacterial/fungal pneumonia in COVID-19 patients (the CoViBac study) in collaboration with clinical partners at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

    #Diagnostics

    Centre

    Pathogen-Omics lab - Sunshine Coast Health Institute
    University of Sunshine Coast

    Contact details
    Associate Professor Erin Price
    Co-lead of the Pathogen-Omics lab team
    eprice@usc.edu.au
    +61 7 5456 5568
    Collaborations
  • Urban Design and Town Planning in response to COVID-19 June 2020

    This USC project offers a 'systems thinking' perspective to assist in the exploration and description of the impacts of COVID-19 on public spaces in Australia. The approach utilises Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems methodologies to examine activities that were restricted under lockdown, and how such restrictions affect system performance and community wellbeing. The project utilises a pre-COVID systems model of public space as a basis for exploring the necessary changes required when considering the requirements of social distancing for disease minimisation and mitigation. Such whole-of-system based perspectives of urban design and town planning permit a clearer interpretation and integration of global and national health priorities in the design and use of public space at the human scale.

    #Urban design and town planning

    Centre

    School of Social Sciences and Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems
    University of Sunshine Coast

    Contact details
    Doctor Silvia Tavares
    Lecturer in Urban Design and Town Planning
    stavares@usc.edu.au
    +61 7 5456 5884
    Collaborations
  • The Longitudinal Adolescent Brain Study (LABS) now includes the potential influence of COVID-19 June 2020

    The Longitudinal Adolescent Brain Study (LABS) now includes the potential influence of COVID-19. The world-first, five-year research project at USC's Thompson Institute aims to better understand the adolescent brain. Using four-monthly brain imaging and neurocognitive assessments, the researcher work with young people to track changes that occur in the brain from ages 12-18. This research aims to inform the development of evidence-based youth mental health programs to support young people and their families and now includes questions related to COVID-19, to aid understanding of how youth mental health can be supported through impacts like spatial distancing and feelings of uncertainty. This long-term study is in a unique position to be able to investigate changes in adolescent brain development and mental wellbeing before, during and after the pandemic.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    Sunshine Coast Mind & Neuroscience - Thompson Institute
    University of Sunshine Coast

    Contact details
    Doctor Larisa McLoughlin
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Youth Mental Health
    lmclough@usc.edu.au
    +61 7 5456 3887
  • Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on patients with reduced heart function June 2020

    Patients with reduced heart function may be particularly at risk as data indicates that severe COVID-19 infections can cause heart muscle damage and heart failure. Research led by Dr. Rivers, a Cardiologist at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital (part of Wesley Medical Research), aims to find out why COVID-19 is of particular risk to people with heart issues. The project involves 100 patients with reduced heart function who are diagnosed with COVID-19. Using smartphone technology to avoid the need to attend healthcare facilities, the impact of COVID-19 infection on measured heart function and symptoms of heart failure will be monitored over a period of 6 months.

    #Diagnostics

    Centre

    COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Centre
    Wesley Medical Research

    Contact details
    Doctor John Rivers
    Cardiologist at St Andrew’s Memorial Hospital
    +61 7 3016 1111
  • Global characterisation of COVID-19 June 2020

    Professor John Fraser is leading a global research study “COVID Critical - Global ICU Data Collection and Analysis to Better Understand and Treat Patients” involving more than 300 health centres across 49 countries. To date, there has been no real data on how best to care for COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, particularly the most vulnerable people. In this project, hospitals around the world will contribute critical care data about patients which will be analysed by Dr. Fraser’s research team at the St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital (part of Wesley Medical Research) to identify the treatments that work best for different patients in different scenarios.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Centre
    Wesley Medical Research

    Contact details
    Professor John Fraser
    Director of the Intensive Care Unit, St Andrews Memorial Hospital
    +61 7 3834 4225
    Collaborations
    • Co-researcher: Associate Professsor Gianluigi Li Bassi
    • Partner: The Common Good
    • Pro-bono support: Amazon and IBM
  • The Long-term Impact of COVID-19 on survivors June 2020

    Evidence from the 2003 SARS outbreak indicates that COVID-19 could substantially affect the quality of life in survivors . This two-year study, led by Associate Professor Gianluigi Li Bassi, ICU Specialist, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital (part of Wesley Medical Research), will investigate the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the millions of people infected with the virus around the world, to understand their future medical care. The work by A/Prof Gianluigi Li Bassi aims to understand the impact of COVID-19 on health outcomes such as renal, pulmonary, liver and neurological dysfunction and general health-related quality of life.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Centre
    Wesley Medical Research

    Contact details
    Associate Professor Gianluigi Li Bassi
    ICU Specialist, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital
    Collaborations
    Co-researcher: Professor John Fraser, Director ICU, St Andrews War Memorial Hospital
  • Protecting frontline workers from COVID-19 June 2020

    Prof Bala Venkatesh, Director of the Intensive Care Unit at the Wesley Hospital is leading the “Protecting frontline workers from COVID-19” research project. The project, due for completion in July 2020, sets out to determine whether the safe, low-cost, orally available agent – hydroxychloroquine – will prevent COVID-19 infection in healthcare workers. HCQ has shown promising efficacy in preventing COVID-19 in previous research – but needs to be tested in a large multi-site clinical trial. Every day, front-line healthcare workers come face-to-face with COVID-19; putting their lives at risk in order to save others. In the 2003 SARS pandemic, healthcare workers accounted for 21% of global cases. This trial does not use of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19, it is only being tested with healthy healthcare workers for preventative or prophylactic use.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Centre
    Wesley Medical Research

    Contact details
    Professor Bala Venkatesh
    Director of the Intensive Care Unit at The Wesley Hospital
    balasubramanian.venkatesh@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3721 1500
    Collaborations
    Partners: The George Institute for Global Health
  • CQU part of national APPRISE COVID-19 research project on the challenges present by the pandemic for First Nations people. March 2020

    First Nations people will face some unique challenges with COVID-19, including risks for infection, availability of preparedness plans, applicability of quarantine and isolation and risks of severe disease given the high prevalence of cardiovascular disease and hypertension in First Nations people. Professor Adrian Miller from CQU is one of the Indigenous researchers in the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies (APPRISE) COVID-19 team. APPRISE is a national network of leading experts, institutions and researchers involved in clinical, laboratory, public health, and ethics research. Its mission is to inform Australia’s emergency response to infectious diseases.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research
    CQUniversity

    Contact details
    Professor Adrian Miller
    Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous Engagement
    a.miller@cqu.edu.au
    +61 7 4726 5382
    Collaborations
    • Lead organisation - Doherty Institute
    • Funder - Paul Ramsay Foundation
  • GRIDD researchers take next step in COVID-19 vaccine development March 2020

    Mouse model trials are being run for several COVID-19 vaccine candidates developed by Griffith University scientists. Lead researcher Professor Bernd Rehm at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD) has spearheaded the development of the platform technology which uses a synthetic version of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) which means selected virus components are assembled by safe microbial cell factories. This allows rapid vaccine design combined with a high-yield bioprocess for mass production of the vaccine. “Our Centre for Cell Factories and Biopolymers has developed a technology which allows us to quickly adapt to emerging threats by precision engineering vaccines. The approach is based on hijacking the assembly pathways of microbial cells to assemble our own targets in this process.” Professor Rehm, who is the author or co-author of nearly 60 patent applications, said his team has already developed four vaccine candidates containing components of the virus which causes COVID-19. GRIDD developed a platform technology to rapidly respond to newly emerging pathogens not only enabling fast design of new vaccines but also employing a manufacturing process that can be ported across to an industrial production facility to enable supply of vaccine to millions of people within weeks. They have now partnered with Brisbane-based biomanufacturing company Luina Bio to deliver the vaccine candidates.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Professor Bernd Rehm
    Director
    b.rehm@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 3735 4233
    Collaborations
    Luina Bio
  • Delaying the COVID-19 epidemic in Australia: Evaluating the effectiveness of international travel bans March 2020

    Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China late 2019, different countries have put in place interventions such as travel ban, proper hygiene, and social distancing to slow the spread of this novel virus. Researchers from AITHM at JCU, in collaboration with Victoria University and Monash University, evaluated the effects of travel bans in the Australia context and projected the epidemic until May 2020. The modelling results closely align with observed cases in Australia indicating the need for maintaining or improving on the control measures to slow down the virus. Researchers at AITHM are writing important timely analyses of COVID-19, with an Australian perspective. The reports may be very valuable at time of publishing, but may have less value a month later, once peer review is completed. AITHM are therefore making all their preprint reports publically available.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine
    James Cook University

    Contact details
    Doctor Adeshina Adekunle
    Research Fellow, Infectious Diseases Modeller
    adeshina.adekunle@jcu.edu.au
    +61 7 478 16659
    Collaborations
    Monash University
  • Flattening the curve is not enough, we need to squash it: An explainer using a simple model March 2020

    At the end of March 202, COVID-19 had been diagnosed in over 4,000 Australians. Up until mid-March, most were from international travel, however there then followed a rise in locally acquired cases. The 'Flattening the curve is not enough, we need to squash it:An explainer using a simple model' study uses a simple transmission dynamic model to demonstrate the difference between moderate changes to the reproduction number and forcing the reproduction number below one. Lowering local transmission is becoming important in reducing the transmission of COVID-19 and to maintain control of the epidemic, the focus should be on those in the community who do not regard themselves as at risk. Researchers at JCU's AITHM are writing important timely analyses of COVID-19, with an Australian perspective. The reports may be very valuable at time of publishing, but may have less value a month later, once peer review is completed. AITHM are therefore making all their preprint reports publically available.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine
    James Cook University

    Contact details
    Professor Emma McBryde
    Professor of Infectious Diseases Modelling and Epidemiology
    emma.mcbryde@jcu.edu.au
    +61 7 4781 6547
    Collaborations
    School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University
  • Modelling the impact of COVID-19 upon intensive care services in New South Wales March 2020

    In collaboration with A/Professor Gregory Fox, University of Sydney and Senior Research Fellow, Monash University, Professor Emma McBryde at JCU modelled the impact of COVID-19 upon intensive care services in New South Wales. The Australian healthcare system faces a mounting burden due to COVID-19. Modelling performed in a comparable population in the United Kingdom anticipates a substantial burden for intensive care departments. This analysis, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, uses two approaches to estimating intensive care unit (ICU) bed demands associated with COVID-19 in the context of local health districts in NSW. Researchers at AITHM are writing important timely analyses of COVID-19, with an Australian perspective. The reports may be very valuable at time of publishing, but may have less value a month later, once peer review is completed. AITHM are therefore making all their preprint reports publically available.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine
    James Cook University

    Contact details
    Professor Emma McBryde
    Professor of Infectious Diseases Modelling and Epidemiology
    emma.mcbryde@jcu.edu.au
    +61 7 4781 6547
    Collaborations
    • The University of Sydney - Central Clinical School
    • Monash University - School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
  • The value of early transmission dynamic studies in emerging infectious diseases March 2020

    In this timely article published in the Lancet, Professor Emma McBryde from AITHM explained the importance of early transmission dynamic studies in emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19, at the point when the world was braced for a public health emergency of international. Person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, started in December, 2019, in Wuhan, China and quickly spread to become a global pandemic. Modelling studies aided understanding of COVID-19 dynamics from the first announcement of the epidemic and publication of the genetic sequence of the causative virus. Initial phylogenetic analysis of closely related viruses suggested highly linked person-to-person spread of SARS-CoV-2 originating from mid-November to early December, 2019. Following this, modellers provided simple calculations that identified a mismatch between reported cases in China and reported importations of cases from travellers. Based on travel volumes, modellers inferred that cases in Wuhan were underestimated by a factor of 40—a crucially important finding. Researchers at AITHM are writing important timely analyses of COVID-19, with an Australian perspective. The reports may be very valuable at time of publishing, but may have less value a month later, once peer review is completed. AITHM are therefore making all their preprint reports publically available.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine
    James Cook University

    Contact details
    Professor Emma McBryde
    Professor of Infectious Diseases Modelling and Epidemiology
    emma.mcbryde@jcu.edu.au
    +61 7 4781 6547
  • Economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak: the need for 1 epidemic preparedness March 2020

    COVID-19 has not only become global pandemic and a public health crisis but also affected the global economy and financial markets. Significant reductions in income, rise of unemployment and disruptions in transportation, service and manufacturing industries are among the consequences of governments’ disease mitigation measures. It has become clear that most governments in the world had underestimated the risks of rapid COVID-19 spread and were mostly reactive in their crisis response. As the disease outbreaks are not likely to disappear in the near future, proactive international actions are required to not only save lives but also protect economic prosperity. Researchers at AITHM, JCU are writing important timely analyses of COVID-19, with an Australian perspective. The reports may be very valuable at time of publishing, but may have less value a month later, once peer review is completed. AITHM are therefore making all their preprint reports publically available.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine
    James Cook University

    Contact details
    Doctor Anton Pak
    Research Fellow
    anton.pak@jcu.edu.au
    +61 7 4781 5834
    Collaborations
    • North Coast Public Health Unit, New South Wales Health
    • The University of Sydney
  • COVID-19 UNMASKED: Supporting young children and their parents May 2020

    This collaborative project led by Dr. Alexandra De Young from Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health will conduct a longitudinal examination of the mental health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 for infants and young children (1-5 years) and their parents through isolation and up to 1 year following the lifting of restrictions. It also examines child and parent use of digital and telehealth supports, along with acceptability and usefulness of these. De Young is leading a Global Collaboration with researchers who are about to commence COVID-19 Unmasked projects in USA, Poland, Spain, and the Netherlands.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health - Children's Health Queensland
    Queensland Health

    Contact details
    Dr. Alexandra De Young
    Research Fellow
    adeyoung@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3069 7343
    Collaborations
  • Telehealth for children, adolescents and adults with autism across Queensland May 2020

    Researchers from GU's Menzies Health Institute Queensland are proposing to undertake research that will support community organisations in their transition to telehealth service delivery for children, adolescents, and adults with autism and their families across metropolitan and regional Queensland as telehealth services become more widely used in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    Austism Centre of Excellence - Menzies Health Institute Queensland
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Associate Professor David Trembath
    Deputy Research Director
    d.trembath@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5678 0103
    Collaborations
    Proposed partner– Autism Queensland
  • Deployable capability to sequence extracted COVID-19 samples May 2020

    The DNA Sequencing Facility has deployable capability to sequence extracted COVID-19 samples. Steve Bentley's team at the DNA Sequencing Facility at Griffith University provide independent, high quality and competitively priced DNA Sequencing and Fragment Analysis services. Steve's genetic research is focused on identifying known and novel genetic causes for familial Parkinsonism in Queensland.

    #Diagnostics

    Centre

    DNA Sequencing Facility
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Steve Bentley
    Operator
    s.bentley@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 3735 6541
  • Developing a highly sensitive biosensor for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage May 2020

    Dr. Ido Bar, a researcher at GU's Environmental Futures Research Institute, is proposing, subject to funding, to develop a highly sensitive biosensor for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Environmental Futures Research Institute
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Doctor Ido Bar
    i.bar@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 3735 7292
  • Atomistic simulation of the interaction between the spike protein of COVID-19 virus and the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 May 2020

    The strong binding of a protein (S-protein) on the surface of the COVID-19 virus to part of an enzyme (ACE2) in human cells present in the lungs (and arteries, heart, kidney, and intestines) leads to severe respiratory infection. Understanding of the interaction of this protein with this enzyme is essential for the drug/vaccine discovery for COVID-19. Based on recent cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) experiments, this project proposes to simulate the interface between the virus and human cells at the atomic level. The expected outcomes include the optimised atomic structures of the interface, identification of the driving force for binding, and developed principles for blocking the binding of the virus to human cells. Such information will be used to screen the molecule candidates with fusion inhibiting the potential for the development of drugs and vaccines for COVID-19.

    #Modelling

    Centre

    Environmental Futures Research Institute
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Doctor Yun Wang
    Senior Lecturer
    yun.wang@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5552 8358
    Collaborations
  • Understanding the effectiveness of government community engagement strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic May 2020

    Ms Maggie Muurmans, a PhD candidate with the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, is developing a working model for community engagement effectiveness. By identifying the rate and choice of engagement strategies (i.e. participation levels, activities or pathways) one could predict or formulate the expected level of effectiveness. This research aims to assist understanding the effectiveness of government community engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic and identify its reception at grass root level and how the community could be more responsive depending on a different strategy. This will help towards future community engagement strategies led by the government particularly during emergency situations.

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    Griffith Centre for Coastal Management
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Ms Maggie Muurmans
    Manager, Coastal Community Engagement Program
    m.muurmans@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5552 8823
  • Environmental Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 using microbial source tracking May 2020

    The GU Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre is providing environmental surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 sequences in watersheds and sewage samples. The laboratory receives regular/routine water and wastewater samples from water utilities across Australia and NZ. Using the RNA sequences for SARS-CoV-2, the researchers apply microbial source tracking (MST) techniques to monitor for the sources of the virus in water sources and wastewater treatment systems.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    A/Professor Helen Stratton
    Discipline Head, Bioscience
    h.stratton@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 3735 5503
    Collaborations
    • Water Research Australia - ColoSSoS project
    • Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences
  • Supporting families with parental drug abuse and other issues during the COVID-19 crisis May 2020

    Professor Sharon Dawe and Associate Professor Paul Harnett at GU are working closely with frontline practitioners across the family support and child protection system to develop online delivery for PuP (Parents under Pressure Program) training. This is being trialled across May - July 2020, with 40 practitioners. Their feedback will inform further development of the Online training process. Dawe and Harnett have also adapted PuP program material to be made available Online for practitioners to use directly with families. This innovative strategy allows practitioners to work remotely with families, providing a tailored approach to families who may experience greater pressure as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    School of Applied Psychology
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Professor Sharon Dawe
    Professor in Clinical Psychology
    s.dawe@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 3735 3371
    Collaborations
    Co-researcher - Associate Professor Paul Harnett - Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Safely relaxing social distancing comes down to the numbers May 2020

    Your house number could be the key to the safe relaxation of COVID-19-related restrictions if governments follow a new exit strategy proposal published in the British Medical Journal. Co-authored by Professor Adrian Barnett, a statistician with QUT’s School of Public Health and Social Work, An exit strategy for relaxing physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Professor Adrian Barnett
    a.barnett@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 6010
    Collaborations
    • University of Melbourne
    • University of Oxford
  • Identification of impacts of disruption (including COVID 19) and recommendations for future actions May 2020

    A USQ project is identifying the capability of small/regional law firms to meet disruption (including COVID 19) and recommendations for future actions by Queensland Law Society and law firms, to better meet disruption.

    #Business and economics

    Centre

    School of Law and Justice
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Associate Professor Caroline Hart
    Associate Head
    Caroline.Hart@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 1437
    Collaborations
    • Co-researcher: Dr. Aaron Timoshanko
    • Collaborators:
    • Associate Professor Francesca Bartlett - UQ School of Law
    • Andrea Perry-Petersen
    • Angus Murray - The Legal Forecast
  • COVID-19 UNMASKED: Supporting children, adolescents and their parents May 2020

    This collaborative project led by Professor Sonja March from USQ's Centre for Health Research is a longitudinal examination of the mental health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 for children, adolescents (6-17 years) and parents through isolation and up to 1 year following the lifting of restrictions. It also examines child and parent use of digital and telehealth supports, along with acceptability and usefulness of these for adolescents and parents.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    https://science.des.qld.gov.au/research/capability-directory/?title=Centre+for+Health+Research

    • University of Southern Queensland
    • Griffith University
    • The University of Queensland
    Contact details
    Professor Sonja March
    Professor, School of Psychology and Counselling and Centre for Health Research
    Sonja.March@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 3470 4434
    Collaborations
  • Understanding driver safety within the COVID-19 pandemic environment May 2020

    Professor Jeremy Davey of the USC-MAIC Road Safety Collaboration Unit is undertaking a study of driver safety within the COVID-19 pandemic environment involving a suspension of random breath testing and diminished numbers of drivers on our roads. The USC Road Safety Research Collaboration was established as a strategic collaboration between the Queensland Government, the Motor Accident Insurance Commission and USC in 2018 to undertake research that will positively impact the lives and safety of Queenslanders.

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    USC-MAIC Road Safety Collaboration Unit
    University of Sunshine Coast

    Contact details
    Professor Jeremy Davey
    jdavey4@usc.edu.au
    Collaborations
    Motor Accident Insurance Commission
  • Uncovering the early years literacy and numeracy learning experiences of children and their families during COVID-19 July 2020

    Members of the USQ Early Childhood Education team are undertaking a study to uncover learning experiences of children and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of the survey of Australian parents and children from prior to school and up to Year 2, will acknowledge the voices of both children and families and help to re-examine perceptions and thinking practices for future formal and informal home learning opportunities.

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    School of Education
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Michele Wright
    Lecturer
    Michele.Wright@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 3470 4231
    Collaborations
  • A scalable virus trap for the COVID-19 virus - fast COVID-19 Testing May 2020

    In an extension of research to produce a quick and inexpensive test for Dengue Fever, researchers at UQ's AIBN and the CSIRO have developed a prototype for a rapid test for COVID-19 that could deliver results in 5-15 minutes and potentially identify COVID-19 ‘silent spreaders’ within the community. It uses a simple colour change from clear to blue liquid to indicate a positive test. The test’s simplicity and suitability for mass manufacture within Australia could make it suitable for a major step-change in mass population screening. The project has progressed to the prototype testing of a lateral flow device similar to low cost red/green light pregnancy testing kits. Using a nasal or throat swab, the device uses the reaction of proteins on nano-sized particles of a yeast to provide a cheap and very quick test result. The project is now funded by under the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative of the USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) to accelerate the project for large-scale manufacture of the device.

    #Diagnostics

    Centre

    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Professor Matt Trau
    Senior Group Leader - Trau Group
    m.trau@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3346 4173
    Collaborations
  • Monitoring local exercise patterns during covid: a longitudinal observation study linking outdoor activity and vitamin D synthesis June 2020

    This project led by Dr. Nathan Downs at USQ will investigate multiple time series of personal outdoor activity for the period 2020 to 2021. Outdoor sunlight exposure periods will be measured using personal electronic sun journals. Exposure will be expressed with respect to the vitamin D action spectra for human skin. The project aims to understand how exercise, outdoor timing and vitamin D levels from solar radiation influence mood? This data will be compared to baseline data collected in late 2021. This data will be compared to baseline data collected in late 2021.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    Centre for Health Research
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Nathan Downs
    Senior Lecturer (Mathematics)
    Nathan.Downs@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 5521
    Collaborations
  • Monitoring mood responses as an indicator of mental health during COVID-19 restrictions July 2020

    Professor Peter Terry and his colleagues are focusing their ongoing work on mood profiling to examine the effects of COVID-19 restrictions on the moods of individuals. Data collection involves a one-off 3-min online mood measure known as the Brunel Mood Scale (BRUMS), gathered via the In The Mood website. Data gathered during the period of COVID-19 restrictions will be compared to pre-lockdown norms, which are based on the responses of 25,000 individuals. Just over 1,000 individuals participated in the current study.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    Centre for Health Research
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Professor Peter Terry
    Dean Graduate Research School and Professor of Psychology
    Peter.Terry@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 1681
    Collaborations
  • Developing a nanoparticle-based DNA vaccine for COVID-19 June 2020

    COVID-19 DNA vaccines hold great promise due to the short development timeline, ease of manufacture and good safety profile. This project aims to develop a DNA vaccine formulation for COVID-19, based on a UQ patented nanoparticle technology.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Professor Chengzhong (Michael) Yu
    Senior Group Leader - Yu Group
    c.yu@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3346 3283
  • Six COVID-19 drug leads identified April 2020

    A team of international researchers, including some from UQ, has tested over 10,000 approved drugs, drug candidates in clinical trials and other compounds as potential leads for fighting COVID-19. The research involved a program of high-throughput drug screening, both in laboratories and using computer software to predict how different drugs bind to the virus. The main COVID-19 virus enzyme called main protease or Mpro, was targeted as it plays a pivotal role in viral replication and transcription – but as humans don’t carry this enzyme, drugs that target Mpro are likely to have low toxicity for people. Researchers identified six drugs that appear to effectively inhibit the enzyme, with one drug of particular interest. The results of the study have been published in Nature for researchers across the world.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Professor Luke Guddat
    luke.guddat@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3365 3549
    Collaborations
    • Project Leaders: ShanghaiTech University
    • Funders:
    • National Key R&D Programmes of China
    • Project of International Cooperation and Exchanges - National Natural Science Foundation of China
    • Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality
    • Department of Science and Technology of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
  • Technology and Telepressure: Transitions from face-to-face work environment to remote working conditions June 2020

    In response to COVID-19 many businesses and staff were required to very rapidly engage in remote work conditions. Technology was heavily relied upon to connect individuals and enable remote work in many different professions. Previous research indicates that reliance on technology within the workplace is linked to increased telepressure (a preoccupation or urge to respond to electronic communication) and consistent telepressure is linked to compromised productivity, work engagement and quality of work. This USQ study used Zoom interviews to explore the effects of technology within the home workplace and the associated telepressure and perceived short and long-term benefits and disadvantages. A better understanding of potential barriers facing employees working remotely and the contributing factors to experienced telepressure may allow for identification of successful strategies and approaches for minimising negative impacts on employees working remotely.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    Centre for Health Research
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Doctor Tanya Machin
    Senior Lecturer (Psychology and Counselling)
    Tanya.Machin@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 5576
    Collaborations
    Kyra Dawbarn (Honours Student - USQ)
  • Telehealth and coronavirus: Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) activity in Australia May 2020

    In March 2020, additional telehealth item numbers were added to the Australian Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) to encourage physical distancing, for those accessing medical, nursing and allied health services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. UQ's Centre for Online Health (COH) has analysed the MBS service data and summarised telehealth uptake throughout Australia. This information will be updated on a monthly basis.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Doctor Centaine Snoswell
    Research Fellow Health Economics
    c.snoswell@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3176 5314
    Collaborations
    • Co-researchers:
    • Monica Taylor
    • Georgina Hobson
    • A/Prof. Liam Caffery
    • Dr. Emma Thomas
    • Dr. Helen Haydon
    • Prof. Anthony Smith
    • Collaborator: NHMRC Partnership Centre for Health System Sustainability
  • The impact of diabetes on the severity of COVID-19 July 2020

    The University of Queensland’s Dr. Kirsty Short says diabetes is an important factor in the severity of disease for people suffering from COVID-19, though why this may be was not well understood. In conjunction with Mater Medical Research at the Translational Research Institute, UQ is recruiting patients with and without diabetes who have been infected to determine whether all patients with diabetes are susceptible to severe COVID-19 or if there is a subset that is particularly susceptible. Researchers will also be investigating the patients’ long term immunity to the virus and determining if this wanes faster in patients with diabetes

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Doctor Kirsty Short
    Australian Research Fellow
    k.short@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3365 4226
    Collaborations
  • Physical activity behaviours and mental health indicators of Australian adults during COVID–19 restrictions June 2020

    Professor Peter Terry and colleagues are working as part of a multinational study to assess the effects of COVID-19 restrictions on physical and mental wellbeing. The team have been monitoring physical and mental health indices during lockdown, via a one-off 20-min online survey relating to (a) demographics (b) reasons for exercising, (c) physical activity behaviours, and (d) mental wellbeing, before and during the COVID–19 lockdown. Approximately 4,000 individuals have participated, including 400 Australians.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    Centre for Health Research
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Professor Peter Terry
    Dean Graduate Research School and Professor of Psychology
    Peter.Terry@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 1681
    Collaborations
    • Co-researchers:
    • Associate Professor Victoria Terry
    • Dr. Renee Parsons-Smith
    • Collaborators:
    • Professor Costas Karageorghis (Brunel University, London)
    • Dr. Jonathan Bird (Exeter University, UK)
    • Professor Mark Hamer (University College London)
    • Dr. Jasmin Hutchinson (Springfield College, USA)
    • University of Lille (France)
  • Extending the Co-SPACE Study - how families are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic and what parents can do to help support their children’s mental health. July 2020

    The UK Co-SPACE and its partner studies in Ireland, Denmark, Iran, USA and Australia will tell us how families are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what parents can do to help support their children’s mental health. It is hoped this will help us to understand the needs of families at this time. This Griffith University extension of the “Co-SPACE study: Supporting Parents, Adolescents and Children during Epidemics” examines obsessive-compulsive and related symptoms in kids and how they may be affected by COVID-19 to better support young people, their parents and family.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    School of Applied Psychology
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Associate Professor Lara Farrell
    Lead researcher
    l.farrell@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5678 8224
    Collaborations
  • UQ vaccine delivery spinout company achieves global deals on vaccine delivery technology July 2020

    The University of Queensland spinout company Vaxxas, that is developing technology based on UQ’s innovative research, has announced two partnerships that could revolutionise the manufacture and delivery of vaccines. The technology platform that allows vaccines to be administered via a small 1 centimetre squared patch with 5000 little projections that are invisible to the naked eye and prick the skin when applied. Merck, a world leader in vaccine development, will access Vaxxas’ HD-MAP technology for the development and manufacture of an undisclosed vaccine. Vaxxas has also announced that German manufacturing equipment maker Harro Höfliger will help Vaxxas develop a high-throughput, aseptic manufacturing line to make vaccine products based their technology — with a goal of eventually churning out millions of vaccine patches a week.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    The University of Queensland

  • Disadvantages of digital divide highlighted by COVID-19 pandemic May 2020

    Not all people have an equal experience in accessing to digital platforms and technologies in Australia. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the digital divide that exists in Australia, especially with the temporary closure of schools and universities forcing student that are able to switch to online learning. An Australian Research Council funding project - 'Advancing digital inclusion in low income Australian families', led by QUT researchers from the Digital Media Research Centre, will focus on families in six diverse communities from Far North Queensland to Tasmania, in urban, regional and rural locations. Digital participation has been shown to substantially increase opportunities for, and pathways to, civic engagement, financial stability and wellbeing. The aims to address the growing gap experienced by as many as three million Australians living below the poverty line and will focus on the digital inclusion implications of children's home and school learning experiences, school leavers' transitions into work, and parenting in digital times.

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    Digital Media Research Centre
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Associate Professor Michael Dezuanni
    Associate Director
    m.dezuanni@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 5978
  • COVID-19 a perfect storm for conspiracy theories August 2020

    Researchers from QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre have taken a deep dive into their world to trace wild rumours on social media claiming the coronavirus was caused by 5G technology. They found what was once being preached to the already converted was quickly fanned further afield by social media and celebrities spreading the message.

    #Data Science

    Centre

    Digital Media Research Centre
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Professor Axel Bruns
    Program Leader - Digital Publics
    a.bruns@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 5548
    Collaborations
  • Accelerating technology uptake during a pandemic: enabling and extending delivery of rehabilitation. August 2020

    COVID-19 significantly disrupted the delivery of healthcare, especially in areas that require physical interaction, such as disability and rehabilitation. Although existing technology could enable remote interventions, its widespread adoption is limited. In this Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr Camila Shirota from the Griffith University Hopkins Centre, a Technology Assessment and Adoption Framework will be co-designed across multiple stakeholders, to accelerate and facilitate the uptake of remote technology in rehabilitation settings across Queensland.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    The Hopkins Centre, Menzies Health Institute Queensland
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Dr Camila Shirota
    Research Fellow
    c.shirota@griffith.edu.au
    +617 3735 4342
    Collaborations
    • Spinal Life Australia
    • Metro South Hospital and Health Service
    • Motor Accident Insurance Commission
    • Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Hub
    • Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service
    • The University of Queensland
  • Advancing a clinical drug targeting the complement system to treat COVID-19. August 2020

    COVID-19 is an infectious and potentially lethal respiratory disease that has altered the way we all live. There is, therefore, an urgent need to identify effective drugs for this disease. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. John Lee at UQ School of Biomedical Sciences entails validating and advancing a pre-existing clinical drug that targets our immune system, in the hope of finding an effective therapy for COVID-19 patients.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    School of Biomedical Sciences
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr John Lee
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    j.lee9@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 336 52384
    Collaborations
    Alsonex Pty Ltd
  • Antiviral and antibacterial surfaces using nanotechnology for Queensland hospitals. August 2020

    The emergence of COVID-19, for which there are currently no medications or vaccines, and the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs, reveals a critical need to develop and implement technologies that prevent pathogen surface transmission. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Alka Jaggessar from QUT's School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering will use nanotechnology to develop surfaces that deactivate viruses and bacteria in Queensland hospitals, reducing the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

    #Infection management

    Centre

    School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Dr. Alka Jaggessar
    Collaborations
    • Sri Medical Devices and Healthcare Solutions
    • Panda Healthcare Pty Ltd
    • Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
  • Application of separation technologies for rapid treatment of COVID-19 and related outbreaks. August 2020

    This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Craig Bell from UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology aims to produce a rapid, first-pass treatment for COVID-19 patients, and inoculation protection for front-line health workers. This project will evaluate application of separation membranes to create concentrated antibody-rich hyperimmune sera derived from blood of recovered COVID-19 patients. Without working vaccines, hyperimmune sera are the only viable rapid turnaround treatment for infectious diseases now and in the future.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Craig Bell
    UQ Amplify Researcher
    c.bell1@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3346 0322
    Collaborations
    Aegros
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)-supported real-time assessment of ventilation and blood-flow ratio in lungs. August 2020

    COVID-19 patients have a poor gas exchange in the lungs where the lungs may be easy to ventilate but do not match blood flow. This mismatch of ventilation and blood perfusion (V/Q ratio) affects the delivery of oxygen around the body and the excretion of carbon dioxide. If not treated optimally respiratory-failure may ensue - the main cause of COVID-19-related mortality. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr Aida Brankovic with UQ's School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering will develop a bedside AI-supported tool based on electromagnetic technology for real-time assessment of gas exchange. It will dynamically image lung fluid, the amount of blood and gas in the lungs. This will allow repeat bedside scanning that minimises toxic exposures and movement of critical and infectious patients for ventilation/perfusion lung scans.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Aida Brankovic
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    a.brankovic@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3365 2697
    Collaborations
    • Co-researcher: Prof. Amin Abbosh
    • Collaborators:
    • EMvison Medical Devices
    • Princess Alexandra Hospital
    • Keysight Technology
  • Automating Infectious Disease Surveillance with Artificial Intelligence. August 2020

    During viral pandemics, bacterial infections can significantly increase disease severity and result in unnecessarily high death rates. Disease severity is further complicated by high rates of antimicrobial resistance. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Brian Forde at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research will evaluate and develop an integrated artificial intelligence platform to automate and enhance existing genomic surveillance practices to reduce the burden of these infections when healthcare resources are stretched.

    #Diagnostics

    Centre

    Centre for Clinical Research
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Brian Forde
    Fellow in Microbial Bioinformatics
    b.forde@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3346 5042
    Collaborations
    • Forensic and Scientific Services
    • Pathology Queensland
    • Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
    • Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • Banks have key role in preventing elder financial abuse as relatives experience COVID-19 economic stress July 2020

    Social isolation of vulnerable older people, financial pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic and “inheritance entitlement” have created a perfect storm for increased incidences of elder financial abuse says QUT Law researchers Associate Professor Tina Cockburn and Dr. Kelly Purser. Elder financial abuse is often enabled by abuses of an enduring power of attorney document (EPA). An EPA enables someone to make financial decisions on behalf another person who has lost capacity. Cockburn and Purser's recent research helped define and quantify elder financial abuse under an EPA and noted that under the Australian Banking Code of Practice, banks have committed to training staff to act with sensitivity, respect and compassion towards vulnerable people. COVID-19 has also highlighted the need to be able to access valid will-making when traditional wills formalities have required a physical gathering of the will-maker and witnesses. Emergency interim changes to the law have facilitated will-making and the execution of enduring documents through the use of real-time virtual technologies in Queensland. Purser and Cockburn’s research explores the consequences of this as well as whether these emergency responses have a place in the ‘new normal’ post COVID-19.

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    Australian Centre for Health Law Research
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    A/Prof Tina Cockburn
    Co-director Australian Centre for Health Law Research
    t.cockburn@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 2003
    Collaborations
  • Chimeric insect-specific viruses for laboratory and point-of-care diagnosis of emergent viral disease. August 2020

    Effective outbreak response is reliant on the rapid production of scaleable, inexpensive and accurate diagnostic assays. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Jody Hobson-Peters from the UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences will expand on an innovative program to use insect-specific viruses to produce authentic, recombinant antigens for emergent viruses, including COVID-19. These antigens will be applied to high-throughput laboratory assays and rapid hand-held diagnostics, enabling vigilant testing for viral disease in Queensland communities.

    #Diagnostics

    Centre

    School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Jody Hobson-Peters
    Research Fellow
    j.peters2@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3365 4648
    Collaborations
    • Queensland Health
    • BioCifer
    • Australian Red Cross Lifeblood
    • Agua Foundation
  • CoViBac: Host response and secondary pneumonia in COVID-19. August 2020

    Secondary infections and immune dysregulation represent life-threatening yet poorly understood COVID-19 complications. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship joint project by the GeneCology Research Centre and Sunshine Coast Health Institute, led by Dr. Olusola Olagoke, will use cutting-edge next-generation sequencing technology alongside rapid diagnostics to better understand both the co-pathogens (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) and the aberrant immune responses driving COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. The research outcomes will assist Queensland healthcare facilities to better diagnose, treat, and ultimately prevent critically ill COVID-19 cases.

    #Diagnostics

    Centre

    GeneCology Research Centre and Sunshine Coast Health Institute
    University of the Sunshine Coast

    Contact details
    Dr. Olusola Olagoke
    Vaccine Research Fellow
    Collaborations
    Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service
  • Combating the transmission of coronavirus in urban water systems through novel disinfection. August 2020

    This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Ji Lu from the UQ Advanced Water Management Centre aims to investigate the fate (occurrence, abundance, distribution and survival) of SARS-CoV-2 and address transmission risks of SARS-CoV-2 in urban water systems. In addition to evaluating the efficiency of current disinfection processes in removing SARS-CoV-2, this project will develop a novel and universal disinfection method as a proactive strategy to combat various viruses for other potential pandemics.

    #Hazard management

    Centre

    Advanced Water Management Centre
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Ji Lu
    j.lu@awmc.uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3346 9042
    Collaborations
    • BGI Australia
    • Urban Utilities
    • Queensland Health
  • Creating out loud: Developing sustainable peer-mentoring to rebuild the arts post COVID-19. August 2020

    Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Queensland’s arts sector employed 80,000+ people, around 75% of whom have lost employment due to restrictions on public gatherings. By developing and embedding a sustainable peer-mentoring program that fosters capacity, collaboration, resilience, and well-being, this Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Kate Power from UQ School of Business will help rebuild artistic and business practices, thus protecting Queensland’s significant cultural assets and enriching the lives of Queenslanders.

    #Business and economics

    Centre

    Business School
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Kate Power
    Lecturer in Management
    k.power@business.uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3346 9989
    Collaborations
    • Queensland Ballet
    • La Boite Theatre Inc
    • Arts Nexus
  • Developing an antiviral surface cleaner using the unique surface adsorption properties of gelatine-hydrolysate. August 2020

    The Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Heather Shewan at UQ School of Chemical Engineering aims to develop a novel antiviral cleaner to decrease the survival time of COVID-19 on surfaces by utilising hydrolysed gelatine to form an active film. This will be achieved through evaluation of thin-film material properties, virology and microbiology. Outcomes for Queensland include an antiviral surface cleaner product to reduce surface transmission of COVID-19 and possible new manufacturing opportunity in the State.

    #Hazard management

    Centre

    School of Chemical Engineering
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Heather Shewan
    Research Fellow
    h.shewan@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3365 4920
    Collaborations
    • GELITA Australia
    • OzKleen
  • Developing on-line oxidation measurement for remote operation of coal mines during pandemic. August 2020

    Queensland coal production is disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic because many workers cannot go to mine sites due to travel restrictions, quarantines and physical distancing rules. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Xumeng Chen from UQ's School of Chemical Engineering will develop an on-line system to measure coal oxidation, a key parameter in coal processing, to assist remote operation of coal preparation plants, which will ensure stable coal production without compromising workers’ safety.

    #Hazard management

    Centre

    School of Chemical Engineering
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Xumeng Chen
    Research Fellow Mineral Process Engineering
    x.chen7@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 334 69990
    Collaborations
    Australian Coal Research Limited
  • Development and evaluation of crisis management toolkits for Queensland industry. August 2020

    COVID-19 creates unprecedented challenges for workers, whether they remain at the frontline, or working from home. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Tristan Casey from Griffith Univertity's School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Languages will investigate emerging safety risks and proactive safety strategies throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Three crisis-management toolkits will be developed and evaluated for the hospitality, transportation, and manufacturing industries, which can be used now and into the future with other crises.

    #Business and economics

    Centre

    School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Languages
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Dr. Tristan Casey
    Lecturer
    tristan.casey@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 3735 5147
    Collaborations
    • Queensland University of Technology
    • Cater Care
    • Aurizon
    • Cavalier Bremworth
  • Development and validation of a Raman spectroscopy assay for COVID-19 antigen detection in mucus. August 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled economies, forced lockdowns and infected millions and killed throuithands globally. In collaboration with a number of partner organisations this Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by QUT's Dr. Kristyan Guppy-Coles will develop and validate a rapid, highly-accurate, inexpensive method for detecting COVID-19 in body fluid via novel surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.

    #Diagnostics

    Centre

    Science and Engineering Faculty
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Dr. Kristyan Guppy-Coles
    Collaborations
    • Metrohm
    • Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology
    • FLEW Solutions
  • Drone management technology for improved aeromedical response to pandemics and natural disasters. August 2020

    Drone delivery services are changing the way we respond to pandemics and disasters. In the COVID-19 pandemic, drones were used to deliver critical medicines and supplies to vulnerable people and isolated communities around the world. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Aaron Mcfadyen from QUT's School of Electrical Engineering & Robotics will develop drone management technology to scale up drone services and better prepare Queensland communities for future pandemics and natural disasters.

    #Emergency management

    Centre

    Electrical Engineering and Robotics
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Dr. Aaron McFadyen
    Lecturer
    aaron.mcfadyen@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 4294
    Collaborations
    Airservices Australia
  • Enhancing COVID-19 vaccination and pandemic preparedness via Nanopatch skin delivery. August 2020

    This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project, led by Dr. David Muller at UQ's School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, takes two Queensland based innovations, the nanopatch and the molecular clamp technology, and combines them to develop a SARS-CoV-2 S-Clamp Nanopatch vaccine. This fellowship will investigate the quality of the immune responses, the patient’s ability to self-vaccinate and the vaccine’s immune signature via systems vaccinology.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. David Muller
    Senior Research Fellow
    d.muller4@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3365 4881
    Collaborations
    Vaxxas Technovalia
  • Evaluation of COVID-19 antiviral and vaccine candidates, using a non-infectious virus-like-particle platform. August 2020

    In order to develop a treatment or vaccine for the COVID-19 virus, laboratory based analyses are required. Currently these are restricted to laboratories with high-containment facilities. The Griffith University Institute for Glycomics have developed a non-infectious system, which if scaled up may provide a high-capacity screening platform outside of high-containment laboratories. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Belinda de Villiers at Institute for Glycomics will enable optimisation of this novel testing platform, thereby permitting rapid pre-clinical evaluation of antiviral candidates against COVID-19.

    #Vaccine

    Centre

    Institute for Glycomics
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Dr. Belinda de Villiers
    Research Fellow
    b.devilliers@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5552 9351
    Collaborations
    Gold Coast University Hospital
  • First 100 days of COVID-19 - Australian Twitter users' concerns mapped June 2020

    Twitter users were well ahead of the authorities in calling for shutdown of large sporting events, mass gatherings and schools, according to analysis of the 2.8 million tweets mentioning coronavirus during the first 100 days of COVID-19 on the Australian Twittersphere undertaken by team led by A/Prof. Daniel Angus from the Institute for Future Environments's Digital Observatory. Twitter users turned to medical experts for information while governments discussed measures. “In early to mid-March Twitter users began putting pressure on authorities to shut down non-essential gatherings with tweets containing #coronavirus, the leading hashtag followed by #covid19, and the third most common hashtag at this time was #auspol, long used for political discussion” A/Prof Angus said. A/Prof Angus continued “When the story of this pandemic is written historians will have an unprecedented amount of as-it-happened data from social media.”

    #Social Media

    Centre

    Institute for Future Environments
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    A/Prof Daniel Angus
    Associate Professor in Digital Communication
    daniel.angus@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 8160
    Collaborations
    Collaborators: Visualisation and eResearch
  • Identifying and mitigating future risks from Queensland wastewater industry through biosolids technology innovation. August 2020

    This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Elsa Antunes from James Cook University's Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science will characterise emergent chemical contaminants and biohazards that are present in biosolids from North Queensland Councils. Technological solutions to treat biosolids and mitigate hazards will be developed to prevent future emergent contaminant related disasters. The efficacy of biosolids treatment technologies will be proven and the potential for councils to generate a value-added and saleable product will be assessed.

    #Hazard management

    Centre

    College of Science and Engineering
    James Cook University

    Contact details
    Dr. Elsa Antunes
    Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering
    elsa.antunes1@jcu.edu.au
    Collaborations
    • Burdekin Shire Council
    • Townsville City Council
    • Mackay Regional Council
    • Whitsunday Regional Council
    • Isaac Regional Council
  • Impact and implications of COVID-19 on clinical supervision in hospital settings. August 2020

    This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Priya Martin at the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service's Cunningham Centre will investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical supervision practices of health professionals and students in regional and rural Queensland Health settings. Recommendations and strategies will be developed to negate the impact of this pandemic so that effective clinical supervision practices are maintained at the point of care.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    Cunningham Centre - Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service
    Queensland Health

    Contact details
    Dr. Priya Martin
    Adjunct Fellow - Rural Clinical School
    priya.martin@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 4037 4743
    Collaborations
    • Southern Queensland Rural Health
    • UQ Rural Clinical School
    • University of South Australia
  • Improving Advanced Life Support training for frontline healthcare workers under novel conditions. August 2020

    Treating patients with a highly infectious disease, such as COVID-19, requires effective procedures to prevent in-hospital transmission and deliver critical care. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Yoriko Kikkawa from the Griffith Institute for Educational Research will deliver a new simulator and online training program that integrates infection control protocols into Advanced Life Support. This program will protect frontline workers from contracting infectious diseases and improve pandemic readiness for Queensland healthcare workers.

    #Social sciences

    Centre

    Griffith Institute for Educational Research
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    Dr. Yoriko Kikkawa
    Research Fellow
    y.kikkawa@griffith.edu.au
    Collaborations
    Mater Education
  • Like a Virus: The Coordinated Spread of Coronavirus Disinformation June 2020

    This report for the Centre for Responsible Technology at the Australia Institute by Dr. Timothy Graham and co-researcher at the QUT Digital Media Research Centre presents analysis of over 25.5 million tweets over 10 days identifies 5,752 accounts that coordinated 6,559 times to spread mis- and disinformation regarding the coronavirus for either commercial or political purposes. Almost all politically motivated activity promoted right wing governments or parties. Coordinated spreading of the China bioweapon conspiracy theory is estimated to have made over 5 million impressions on Twitter users, spread by mainly pro-Trump, partisan conservative and/or QAnon accounts.

    #Social Media

    Centre

    Digital Media Research Centre
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Dr. Timothy Graham
    Senior Lecturer
    timothy.graham@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 8187
    Collaborations
    • Co-researchers:
    • Prof. Axel Bruns
    • Guangnam Zhu - Digital Media Research Centre
    • Rod Campbell - The Australia Institute
  • MitoKhondrion: Decreasing COVID-19 mortality by increasing the functioning of our cell’s powerhouses. August 2020

    Protecting our most vulnerable from COVID-19 death is a prime medical priority. Kidney disease, often diabetes-caused, can contribute significantly to health complications in COVID-19 patients. Indeed 20-40% of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units suffer kidney failure. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Mitchell Sullivan with Mater Research aims to significantly improve COVID-19 survival rates by protecting kidneys using a novel approach with potentially broad application to coronavirus diseases.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    Mater Research
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Mitchell Sullivan
    Mater Research Career Track Fellow
    mitchell.sullivan@mater.uq.edu.au
    Collaborations
    Mater Misericordiae Ltd
  • Nanofibers with antiviral activity: potential applications for improving personal protective equipment safety. August 2020

    COVID-19 is a novel viral disease and there is no pre-existing immunity in our community. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Nasim Amiralian from UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology will develop antiviral materials using small fibres extracted from sugarcane which can be incorporated into different materials and surfaces such as face masks, plastics and metals to kill viruses. The project outcome will assist with the management of COVID-19 and preparedness for similar events.

    #Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

    Centre

    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Nasim Amiralian
    UQ Amplify Researcher
    n.amiralian@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3443 1303
    Collaborations
    • Manildra Harwood Sugar (Sunshine Sugar)
    • Evolve Group
  • Novel virus trap nanotechnology for COVID-19 detection. August 2020

    A highly innovative virus trapping nanotechnology will be developed in this Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Christopher Howard from the UQ Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology to enable rapid population-based screening of COVID-19 and other viral threats. The virus trap technology is cheap, easy-to-use, temperature stable, provides immediate results, is scalable for mass manufacture and will for the first time allow high throughput virus diagnostics for rapid screening during viral pandemics.

    #Epidemiology

    Centre

    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Christopher Howard
    Senior Research Fellow
    c.howard2@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 334 64270
    Collaborations
    Xing Technologies
  • Optimising telehealth to future-proof the delivery of autism related services. August 2020

    This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by A/Prof David Trembath from the Griffith University Hopkins Centre will support Queensland’s lead service provider for individuals with autism and their families as it responds to COVID-19 disruption and builds resilience through the transition to telehealth delivery. The work will identify and extend the most effective models to keep individuals and families supported, minimise staff impacts, and improve access to services for regional and remote Queenslanders.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    The Hopkins Centre, Menzies Health Institute Queensland
    Griffith University

    Contact details
    A/Prof David Trembath
    Deputy Research Director
    d.trembath@griffith.edu.au
    +617 5678 0103
    Collaborations
    Autism Queensland
  • Point-of-care diagnostic device incorporating microfluidic technology and electrochemical biosensing platform for COVID-19 detection. August 2020

    This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr Yusuf Kaneti will develop a novel portable point-of-care diagnostic device for the rapid and sensitive detection of COVID-19 in non-clinical settings. This diagnostic device will incorporate microfluidic technology and a portable electrochemical biosensor to provide all-in-one function for isolation, purification, and detection of coronavirus RNA. The device will have the potential to accelerate COVID-19 testing in Queensland's regional areas.

    #Diagnostics

    Centre

    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Yusuf Kaneti
    Collaborations
    AI Fluidics Pty Ltd
  • Preventing secondary harm: Scaffolding healthcare capacity to promote Indigenous adolescents’ mental health. August 2020

    COVID-19 is predicted to exacerbate the already significant prevalence of high levels of psychological distress in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescents. Partnering with three Indigenous primary healthcare services, this Cairns-based Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project, led by Prof. Janya from CQUniversity's Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research, responds by enhancing primary healthcare capacity to assess and promote adolescents' mental health and provides specific COVID-19 incident/cluster mental health prevention and intervention.

    #Mental health and wellbeing

    Centre

    Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research
    CQUniversity

    Contact details
    Prof. Janya McCalman
    Professorial Research Fellow - Indigenous Health
    j.mccalman@cqu.edu.au
    07 4037 4743
    Collaborations
    • Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service
    • Apunipima Cape York Health Service
    • Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Healthcare
  • Preventing the respiratory failure causing COVID-19 mortality, potent new drugs targeting hyperinflammation. August 2020

    This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Lisa Philp from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation will develop highly potent novel drugs to prevent and cure acute respiratory distress syndrome, the rapid-onset life-threatening respiratory failure that is killing patients with COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. These drugs will save lives by targeting adipokine receptors responsible for the extreme overreaction of the body’s immune system and hyperactive inflammatory response that underpin rapid patient decline from respiratory failure.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Dr. Lisa Philp
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    lisa.philp@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3443 7283
    Collaborations
    • Allysta Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    • Arrevus, Inc.
    • Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
    • Princess Alexandra Hospital ICU
    • Translational Research Institute
  • QUT and Oxford researchers collaborate on new COVID-19 asthma drug trial July 2020

    QUT mathematician, physician and Australian Research Council Future Fellow, A/Prof. Dan Nicolau, is a lead researcher in the STOIC (STerOids In COVID-19) trial. Along with co-researcher Prof. Mona Bafahdel from University of Oxford, A/Prof. Dan Nicolau had noticed early in the pandemic that people with asthma and the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were under-represented in the numbers of seriously ill COVID-19 patients. The STOIC trial is looking at whether asthma inhalers given to people with early stage COVID-19 can reduce progression of respiratory illness and cut emergency department presentations and hospital admissions. A/Prof. Nicolau and the QUT team will be coordinating trial data analysis, modelling of pathological mechanisms and building COVID-19 maths models to explain and use the clinical trial data to optimise patient treatment, while Prof. Bafahdel will lead the clinical trial with about 500 patients. Some patients will be given the inexpensive, widely-prescribed inhaler medication corticosteroid budesonide that is used to prevent and control asthma symptoms, while others are given a placebo. Budesonide acts to reduce irritation and inflammation of the lungs and airways.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    Science and Engineering Faculty, School of Mathematical Sciences
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    A/Prof Dan Nicolau
    Future Fellow, Science and Engineering Faculty
    dan.nicolau@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 5238
    Collaborations
    • Co-researchers: Alexander Hasson - QUT Honours student
    • Prof. Mona Bafahdel - University of Oxford
    • A/Prof. Dr Nabil Fadai - University of Nottingham
  • Queensland Tourism Workforce Strategy V2: A crisis resilience and recovery plan. August 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified workforce vulnerabilities in Tourism. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by A/Prof. Richard Robinson from UQ School of Business will seek to find strategies for recovery and resilience through extensive consultation with industry stakeholders: employees, businesses and government and peak body associations. Project outcomes will include employee and business targeted toolkits to manage crisis’ impacts, and delivery of a Queensland Tourism Workforce Crisis Resilience and Recovery Plan.

    #Business and economics

    Centre

    Business School
    The University of Queensland

    Contact details
    A/Prof Richard Robinson
    richard.robinson@business.uq.edu.au
    +61 7 3346 7091
    Collaborations
    Queensland Tourism Industry Council
  • Rapid response medical manufacturing. August 2020

    The goal of the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Ms. Naomi Paxton from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation is to develop novel 3D printed masks using local manufacturing to increase supplies in Queensland hospitals, whilst also engaging with community 3D printing labs to ensure the safe production of personal protective equipment and other medical products during crisis responses.

    #Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

    Centre

    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Ms. Naomi Paxton
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    n.paxton@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 0961
    Collaborations
    • 3D Systems
    • Metro North Hospital and Health Service
    • CSIRO
    • Edale Capital
  • Statistical modelling to support clinical decision making for critically ill COVID-19 patients. August 2020

    One in three patients hospitalised with COVID-19 require critical care. Currently, critical care specialists are faced with complex decisions about which treatments work best for different patients, in particular the use of respiratory and life support. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Nicole White with QUT's Centre for Healthcare Transformation will develop sophisticated statistical models to assist clinicians with these decisions to improve patient outcomes and optimise the use of healthcare resources.

    #Data Science

    Centre

    Centre for Healthcare Transformation
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Dr. Nicole White
    Research Fellow
    nm.white@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 6228
    Collaborations
    • The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation
    • The Prince Charles Hospital
  • Stopping COVID-19 by targeting the viral replication. August 2020

    This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Mark Adams at QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation seeks to determine the effectiveness of a novel anti-SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 causing virus) candidate named DLSK02. DLSK02 is a first-in-class inhibitor of the SARS-CoV-2 replication complex. If the drug works, it will effectively stop the ability of the virus to replicate and survive.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Dr. Mark Adams
    Strategic Research Fellow
    mn.adams@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3443 7324
    Collaborations
    CARP Pharmaceuticals
  • Survival of the smallest? Retail’s post COVID-19 future June 2020

    Retailers are facing a COVID-19 customer base that is more frugal, cautious and cocooning with a greater propensity to shop online, says QUT Business School consumer behaviour expert Prof. Gary Mortimer. “Australians are now spending almost 10 cents in every shopping dollar online. Once shoppers have set up accounts, logins, credit card details and have gained trust, online shopping will become a habitual activity. It is estimated 80 per cent of us will be shopping online by next year and with ecommerce jumping by 21.8 per cent compared to the same time last year as COVID-19 restrictions took.” Prof. Mortimer said the shift to online presented large retailers and shopping centres with several challenges such as an inability to respond quickly to consumer shifts toward digital channels. In contrast, small and micro retailers are most likely to survive and thrive during and after the COVID-19 shutdowns because many are able to pivot and adapt their business operations more rapidly than larger competitors. Shoppers maybe more inclined to patronise smaller, independent retailers, in order to avoid busy centres and crowds. With small retail businesses estimated to contribute $21.9bn to local economies, Prof. Mortimer is now researching how small retail businesses located in regional and rural areas of Queensland are adapting and responding to COVID-19. Small retail businesses are critical to the survival of regional Queensland communities. “There is an urgent need to understand how regional small businesses are responding to these emergent challenges and put in place interventions that can guide such businesses in their response to external disruptive forces, such as COVID-19” said Prof. Mortimer.

    #Business and economics

    Centre

    QUT Business School
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Prof. Gary Mortimer
    Professor QUT Business School
    gary.mortimer@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 5084
  • The impact of COVID-19 on cultural tourism: art, culture and communication in four regional sites of Queensland, Australia August 2020

    The arts, cultural and creative industries are among the most adversely affected sectors of the economy in the wake of COVID-19 social distancing measures, travel restrictions and prohibition of large gatherings of people. Focusing on Cairns, the Gold Coast, Central West and the Sunshine Coast – four regional areas of Queensland, Australia – this article by Prof. Terry Flew and research Katherine Kirkwood from the QUT Digital Media Research Centre provides an overview of impacts on cultural tourism and considers the prospects for regional cultural tourism as part of a ‘creative economy’ revival.

    #Business and economics

    Centre

    Digital Media Research Centre
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Prof. Terry Flew
    Professor of Communication and Creative Industries
    t.flew@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 8188
    Collaborations
  • The psychological impact of COVID-19 travel restriction on public sense of wellbeing August 2020

    This project led by Dr. Shahab Pourfakhimi at USC aims to investigate the impact (including psychological impacts) of COVID-19 travel restrictions on public sense of wellbeing and quality of life.

    #Business and economics

    Centre

    USC Business School
    University of Sunshine Coast

    Contact details
    Dr. Shahab Pourfakhimi
    Lecturer, Tourism, Leisure and Event Management
    spourfak@usc.edu.au
    +61 7 5456 5690
    Collaborations
  • Using Artificial Intelligence to prioritise emergency calls for suicide prevention due to COVID-19 pandemic. August 2020

    Suicide rates in Australia could rise by 50% due to COVID-19. Emergency helplines receive many hoax calls, which waste valuable resources and risk lives. Genuine distress causes involuntary physiological changes in people's voices. This Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project led by Dr. Rajib Rana from the University of Southern Queensland's School of Sciences will develop artificial intelligence algorithms to detect genuine distress in caller's voice. Enabling better service prioritisation, the project would save lives and conserve valuable resources.

    #Data Science

    Centre

    School of Sciences
    University of Southern Queensland

    Contact details
    Dr. Rajib Rana
    Senior Lecturer (Computer Science)
    Rajib.Rana@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 3470 4234
    Collaborations
    • Metro North Mental Health Services
    • NetCare Holdings Pty Ltd
  • ‘Corona? 5G? Or Both?’: The Dynamics of COVID-19/5G Conspiracy Theories on Facebook August 2020

    Focussing in detail on one key component of the infodemic surrounding COVID-19, Prof. Axel Bruns from the QUT Digital Media Research Centre and co-researchers traced the dissemination dynamics of rumours that the pandemic outbreak was somehow related to the rollout of 5G mobile telephony technology in Wuhan and around the world. The research draws on a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods including time-series analysis, network analysis and in-depth close reading. The indepth tracing of COVID-related mis- and disinformation across social networks offers important new insights into the dynamics of online information dissemination and points to opportunities to slow and stop the spread of false information, or at least to combat it more directly with accurate counterinformation.

    #Social Media

    Centre

    Digital Media Research Centre
    Queensland University of Technology

    Contact details
    Prof. Axel Bruns
    Program Leader - Digital Publics
    a.bruns@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3138 5548
    Collaborations

Other Queensland COVID-19 initiatives

Queensland Government
Coronavirus (COVID-19) business assistance finder
Life Sciences Queensland
Life Sciences Queensland joins the data-powered alliance to stop COVID-19

Key Australian COVID-19 initiatives

Australian Academy of Science
COVID-19 Expert Database
Rapid Research Information Forum (RRIF)

Key international COVID-19 initiatives

CORD-19 (COVID-19 Open Research Dataset)
Free database of 130,000 plus COVID-19 open research papers