Spotlight on Professor Deborah Williamson

In November, Professor Deborah Williamson commenced as the Director of the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) at Melbourne Health and Professor of Public Health Microbiology in the Department of Infectious Diseases, Melbourne Medical School both located at the Doherty Institute.

Professor Williamson is known to many through her leadership roles across the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct in clinical and public health microbiology including the COVID-19 response at the Royal Melbourne Hospital as Director of Microbiology.

Professor Williamson is a clinician-scientist, she completed a science degree and attended medical school in Glasgow before moving to London where she conducted her postgraduate training at St Mary’s Hospital and Imperial College. She then moved to Auckland in 2007 to train in microbiology and completed her PhD at the University of Auckland.

Professor Williamson is the current co-chair of the Communicable Diseases Genomics Network of Australia, a member of the Public Health Laboratory Network of Australia, an NHMRC Investigator Grant Fellow, and a Dame Kate Campbell Fellow.

The Williamson Research Group focuses on the development and evaluation of new diagnostic tests, and the translation of genomic technologies to infectious diseases. Their research has directly influenced the way microbiology is applied to clinical practice and public health, including responses to antimicrobial resistance, sexually-transmitted pathogens and COVID-19.