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 22 matching responses out of 142 total responses.

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy in patients with Haematological Malignancy (COVEM) March 2021

    This study will collect blood samples from patients receiving vaccination for SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We will examine cellular and humoral immune responses to vaccination in patients who have received treatments for haematological malignancies targeting specific immune cells, B cells, and those who have undergone bone marrow transplantation. This will enable us to understand how these treatments affect the immune response to COVID-19 vaccination and whether vaccination will provide effective protection in patients with haematological malignancies.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

    Contact details
    Doctor Andrea Henden
    Research Officer
    andrea.henden@qimrberghofer.edu.au
    +61 7 408 742 334
    Collaborations
  • Advancing a clinical drug targeting the complement system to treat COVID-19. April 2021

    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
    Doctor John Lee
    Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellow
    j.lee9@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 336 52384
    Collaborations
    Alsonex Pty Ltd
  • Drug discovery team use super-computer to screen compounds for treatment of COVID-19 May 2021

    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.richard@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 34437236
    Collaborations
    • Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
    • Translational Research Institute
    • PA Research Foundation
  • Telehealth and coronavirus: Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) activity in Australia April 2021

    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

    Centre for Online Health, Centre for Health Services Research
    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
  • Application of separation technologies for rapid treatment of COVID-19 and related outbreaks. August 2021

    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
    Doctor Craig Bell
    UQ Amplify Researcher
    c.bell1@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 334 60322
    Collaborations
    Aegros
  • 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
    Doctor Camila Shirota
    Research Fellow
    c.shirota@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 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
  • 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
    +61 7 5678 0103
    Collaborations
    Autism Queensland
  • Development of a novel antiviral agent to treat and prevent infections of SARS-CoV-2 May 2021

    Existing antivirals have only limited efficacy against COVID-19. With the threat of immune escape variants of the SARS-CoV-2 emerging, a broad-spectrum antiviral treatment is needed. This project will adapt our patent-pending defective interfering particles (DIPs) production platform to make SARS-CoV-2 DIPs, which will be investigated for anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in cell-based assays and in a mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

    Contact details
    Associate Professor David Harrich
    Senior Research Fellow
    david.harrich@qimrberghofer.edu.au
    +61 7 3845 3679
    Collaborations
    • Dongsheng Li
    • Andreas Suhrbier
    • Min-Shuan Lin
  • Development and translation of epigenetic drugs for infectious diseases including COVID-19 and also heart failure August 2021

    A team of QIMR Berghofer researchers lead by A/Prof James Hudson have discovered some of the ways COVID-19 damages the heart. By screening for drugs using human cardiac organoids they have identified a class of drugs that could potentially protect or reverse this cardiac injury. In severe cases of COVID-19, the immune system overreacts to the infection, releasing inflammatory molecules called cytokines into the bloodstream. This so-called ’cytokine storm’ can damage multiple organs, including the heart. Canadian company Resverlogix has used the QIMR Berghofer research findings as the basis for expanding its clinical trial of the drug, apabetalone, in COVID-19 patients. This project is one of several projects enabled by a $5 million funding injection, in 2020, from the Queensland Government.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

    Contact details
    Associate Professor James Hudson
    Group Leader
    james.hudson@qimrberghofer.edu.au
    +61 7 43225 8331
    Collaborations
  • The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce - Primary and Chronic Care Committee August 2021

    As clinicians work to provide the best possible care for Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working to keep them up-to-date with the latest evidence. Clinician researchers Prof Sarah Larkins, James Cook University and Dr. Mark Morgan, Bond University co-chair the Taskforce Primary and Chronic Care Panel. This panel is synthesizing emerging evidence about best care for people with acute COVID-19 and longer term symptoms following COVID-19 infection. This is presented in clinical flowcharts and recommendations, to assist clinicians at the point of care.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening
    James Cook University

    Contact details
    Professor Sarah Larkins
    Director, Research Development, DTHM
    sarah.larkins@jcu.edu.au
    +61 4 0888 2639
    Collaborations
  • Decoding the Epigenome in SARS-Cov-2: Novel Avenue for therapeutics for COVID-19 August 2021

    People infected with the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) who display no viral symptoms (asymptomatic) are capable of being highly contagious as the virus is shed from the upper respiratory tract at unusually high levels at this time. This represent a significant danger of spread of the virus. As the COVID-19 virus persists and is anticipated to cause further disease waves, there is an urgent need for new post-exposure preventative (prophylaxic) drugs or PEPs. Prof Sudha Rao and her team are developing the first-in-class PEP-based drugs and have identified re-purposed drugs in a targeted manner to combat the virus. These inhibitors prevent the virus for entering cells and replicating, thereby reducing the severity of infection and providing time for the person to mount appropriate anti-viral immune responses. They have harnessed their knowledge from drug development in the immuno-oncology field to help combat this pandemic. The team is seeking further funding to undertake critical primate studies to advance this novel class of PEPs to clinical trials.

    #Treatment

    Centre

    Gene Regulation and Translational Medicine Laboratory
    QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

    Contact details
    Professor Sudha Rao
    Group Leader
    sudha.rao@qimrberghofer.edu.au
    +61 4 1141 5440
    Collaborations
  • 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 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
  • 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
    Ass Prof Clint Moloney
    Clint.Moloney@usq.edu.au
    +61 7 4631 2931
    Collaborations
  • 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
    fraser@wosic.com
    +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
    Ass Prof Gianluigi Li Bassi
    ICU Specialist, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital
    g.libassi@uq.edu.au
    Collaborations
    Co-researcher: Prof John Fraser, Director ICU, St Andrews War Memorial Hospital
  • 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
    Doctor 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
  • 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 7 336 53549
    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
  • 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
  • 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
    Doctor Mitchell Sullivan
    Mater Research Career Track Fellow
    mitchell.sullivan@mater.uq.edu.au
    Collaborations
    Mater Misericordiae Ltd
  • 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
    Doctor Mark Adams
    Strategic Research Fellow
    mn.adams@qut.edu.au
    +61 7 3443 7324
    Collaborations
    CARP Pharmaceuticals
  • 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/?id=Menzies-Health-Institute-Queensland

    • Griffith University
    • University of Southern Queensland
    Contact details
    Ass Prof Stephen Ralph
    Co-investigator
    s.ralph@griffith.edu.au
    +61 7 5552 8583
    Collaborations
  • 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

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
Rapid Research Information Forum (RRIF)
COVID-19 Expert Database

Key international COVID-19 initiatives

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