Deborah Williamson

Research Overview

The Williamson research group focuses on the development and application of diagnostic technologies, including genomics, to infectious diseases. Our 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.

Our research interests include the diagnosis and molecular epidemiology of infections caused by antimicrobial resistant pathogens, particularly sexually-transmitted infections and emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and mpox. Another of our focuses is pathogen genomics including metagenomic next generation sequencing (mNGS) direct from clinical samples for rapid pathogen identification to be used in clinical care and public health monitoring.

View Professor Williamson's latest PubMed publications listing here.



Prof Deborah Williamson, Director, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL); Professor of Public Health Microbiology, Department of Infectious Diseases, Melbourne Medical School

Dr Shivani Pasricha, Research Fellow

Dr Prashanth Ramachandran, Clinical Metagenomics Research Fellow

Dr George Taiaroa, Research Fellow

Dr Gina Pollock, Research Fellow

Dr Eike Steinig, Research Officer – Bioinformatics

Dr Soo Jen Low, Research Officer – Bioinformatics

Socheata Chea, Research Support Officer

Marcelina Krysiak, Research Support Officer

Kirti Deo, Sequencing Support Officer

Janath Fernando, Research Support Officer - Genomics

Jacqueline Prestedge, Research Program Manager

Simran Chahal, Project Support Officer

Chhay Lim, Study Coordinator

Mona Taouk, PhD student

Yi Nong, PhD Student

Cheryll Sia, PhD Student

Eloise Williams, PhD Student

Franca Azzato, PhD Student


Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL)

Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU)

Royal Melbourne Hospital

Melbourne Sexual Health Centre

Department of Health, Victoria

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI)


2020 – 2024 NHMRC Investigator Grant ($1,393,588). Applying pathogen genomics to the prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance. D Williamson.

2021-2024 MRFF Pathogen Genomics Grant ($6,984,360). META-GP: Delivering a clinical metagenomics platform for Australia. Williamson D

2021-2024 MRFF Pathogen Genomics Grant ($9,999,499). Precision Public Health Pathogen Genomics. Howden B

2022-2026 NHMRC Partnership Project ($1,256,040). Novel strategies for improving syphilis testing and control. M Chen, D Williamson, J Hocking, E Chow, M Temple-Smith, J Ong, J Tomnay, C Fairley, L Zhang, J Kaldor.

2020-2024 NHMRC Partnership Grant ($537,855). Developing and implementing an ethical framework for HIV phylogenetic analysis in Australia. Lewin SR, Williamson D, Wright E, Fairley C, Hocking J, Ward J, Keogh L, Crouch S, Alpren C

2021-2025 ARC ITRP Research Hub to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance ($5 million).

2021-2023: DFAT IndoPacLab ‘Integrated laboratory support for high impact infectious diseases in the Indo-Pacific region during the COVID-19 era’ ($5,204,667).

2020-2021 NHMRC MRFF Grant ($2,699,278). COVID-19 Strategic Planning and Delivery of Testing. Lewin SR, Howden B, Stinear T, Williamson D, Catton M, Monk I, Guerillot R, Lee J, Sherry N, Bond K.

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to Masters by Research to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Publications

View Professor Williamson's latest PubMed publications listing here.

Research Projects

For project inquiries, contact our research group head.

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Professor Deborah Williamson

Department / Centre

Infectious Diseases

Unit / Centre

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