Prof Bill Rawlinson AM is the Senior Medical Virologist and Director of Virology at South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Health Service. He is Director of the Area virology reference laboratory, a virology clinical trials unit, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) licensed laboratory testing organs donors for blood borne viruses, and the virology research laboratory.
Prof Rawlinson completed his MBBS and BSc(Med) at the University of Sydney in 1983, then obtained his Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in Infectious Diseases, and subsequently specialised in virology, receiving his Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists Australasia in Microbiology. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 1994, for his studies of the genomes of human and murine CMV. Prof Rawlinson is now a molecular virologist with particular scientific expertise in herpes viruses (CMV), hepatitis virus (HCV), enteroviruses, and respiratory viruses.
His contributions to science includes new testing algorithms for common viral illnesses, sequencing and analysis of the murine CMV genome, unique studies of congenital CMV and the placenta, unique data on endogenous viruses and cancer, and he continues to directly supervise projects within these areas. Prof Rawlinson has received multiple awards in science (see below), and is on advisory boards to the NSW and Commonwealth Departments of Health.
Projects & Research Interests
Program 1: CMV pathogenesis, placental infection and adverse pregnancy outcomes
During pregnancy, human cytomegalovirus (CMV) can infect the placenta, and the developing fetus, resulting in congenital CMV illness. There are ~2000 Australian infants born each year with congenital CMV infection, and ~10% develop symptoms including sensorineural hearing loss and mental disability. Understanding pathogenesis of CMV infection is critical for developing more effective treatments for congenital CMV.
These studies investigate pathways of CMV-induced placental damage, transplacental transmission, and factors influencing disease outcome. We have discovered CMV modulates signaling pathways involved in placental development and are now further characterizing these changes in experimental models of human primary placental cells, which allow experiments that are not possible in pregnant women. Ultimately this work aims to prevent congenital CMV.
Project leader: Dr Wendy van Zuijlen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Program 2: Enteroviruses and Type I Diabetes
Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes (T1DM) is increasing rapidly in our community and we do not know why. Enteroviruses are the most common viruses affecting children and have been linked to childhood T1DM. We have found enterovirus infections are more common in children who develop diabetes associated autoantibodies (an early marker of diabetes) and at onset of T1DM, compared with controls. Little is known about the mechanism by which the viruses induce apoptosis and/or functional impairment of pancreatic ß-cells.
This study will investigate the molecular characteristics of enterovirus isolates in children at risk of developing diabetes and the abilities of enteroviruses to induce cellular and functional damage of ß-cells.
Project leader: A/Prof Maria Craig, email@example.com
Program 3: Respiratory Viruses
Respiratory infections are a common cause of illness and an important cause of death in the community. The recent outbreak of H1N1’09 virus (‘swine flu’) shows there is much to be understood about the transmission and containment of respiratory viruses. Using a novel method developed in collaboration with researchers at The Woolcock Institute and The University of Sydney, we collect viruses shed as aerosols from patients with chronic respiratory diseases suffering respiratory infections and detect these viruses using molecular assays. We are interested in using this method to examine:
- Bio-aerosol production over the time course of a natural infection with rhinovirus and/or influenza
- The role of respiratory viruses in exacerbation of chronic airway diseases (e.g. asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis)
- The prevalence of emerging respiratory viruses in the population
Project leader: Dr Sacha Stelzer-Braid, firstname.lastname@example.org
Program 4: Clinical Molecular Diagnosis of Blood-borne Viruses’ Transmission
Research projects include the development and evaluation of real-time molecular techniques for the rapid characterisation of blood-borne viruses (HIV, HCV, HBV and CMV) and use of these tests in investigating cases of transmission, particularly in health-care settings, and tissue and organ transplantation.
Project leader: Dr Vidiya Ramachandran, email@example.com
2008-2009 RCPA Visiting Professorship
2007-2011 NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship
2005 Fenner Australian Society for Microbiology Prize
1995 Award for Advanced Research in Infectious Diseases, Glaxo
1992 The Eric de Bunsen Award, King’s College (Cambridge, UK)
1990-1991 The Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Medicine
1989-1993 Overseas Research Students ORS Award, Committee of vice-chancellors and principals of the universities of the UK (University of Cambridge)
1989 Royal Australasian College of Physicians MSD Fellowship in Infectious Diseases
1985-2000 The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Fellowship
1979 BSc(Med) student research award (Eli-Lilly)
Rawlinson WD, Palasanthiran P, Hall B, Al Yazidi L, Cannon MJ, Cottier C, van Zuylen WJ, Wilkinson M. (2018) Neonates with congenital Cytomegalovirus and hearing loss identified via the universal newborn hearing screening program. J Clin Virol. May;102:110-115.
Shand AW, Luk W, Nassar N, Hui L, Dyer K, Rawlinson W. (2018) Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and pregnancy-potential for improvements in Australasian maternity health providers’ knowledge. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. Oct;31(19):2515-2520
Allen DW, Kim KW, Rawlinson WD, Craig ME. (2018) Maternal virus infections in pregnancy and type 1 diabetes in their offspring: Systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Rev Med Virol. May;28(3):e1974.
Rawlinson WD, Boppana SB, Fowler KB, Kimberlin DW, Lazzarotto T, Alain S, Daly K, Doutré S, Gibson L, Giles ML, Greenlee J, Hamilton ST, Harrison GJ, Hui L, Jones CA, Palasanthiran P, Schleiss MR, Shand AW, van Zuylen WJ. (2017) Congenital cytomegalovirus infection in pregnancy and the neonate: consensus recommendations for prevention, diagnosis, and therapy. Lancet Infect Dis. Jun;17(6):e177-e188.
Stelzer-Braid S, Liu N, Doumit M, D’Cunha R, Belessis Y, Jaffe A, Rawlinson WD. (2017) Association of rhinovirus with exacerbations in young children affected by cystic fibrosis: Preliminary data. J Med Virol. Aug;89(8):1494-1497.
Hall B, Wong D, Healy C, Tracy MB, Tracy SK, Rawlinson WD. (2017) The presence of vaginal Lactobacillus species does not contribute to a measureable difference in amniotic fluid lactate levels collected from the vaginal tract of laboring women. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. Apr;96(4):487-495.
Lau KA, Theis T, Gray J, Rawlinson WD. (2017) Ebola Preparedness: Diagnosis Improvement Using Rapid Approaches for Proficiency Testing. J Clin Microbiol. Mar;55(3):783-790.
Homaira N, Briggs N, Pardy C, Hanly M, Oei JL, Hilder L, Bajuk B, Lui K, Rawlinson W, Snelling T, Jaffe A. (2017) Association between respiratory syncytial viral disease and the subsequent risk of the first episode of severe asthma in different subgroups of high-risk Australian children: a whole-of-population-based cohort study. BMJ Open. Nov 8;7(11):e017936.
Hutterer C, Milbradt J, Hamilton S, Zaja M, Leban J, Henry C, Vitt D, Steingruber M, Sonntag E, Zeitträger I, Bahsi H, Stamminger T, Rawlinson W, Strobl S, Marschall M. (2017) Inhibitors of dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinases (DYRK) exert a strong anti-herpesviral activity. Antiviral Res. Jul;143:113-121.
Bartlett AW, McMullan B, Rawlinson WD, Palasanthiran P. (2017) Hearing and neurodevelopmental outcomes for children with asymptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus infection: A systematic review. Rev Med Virol. 2017 Sep 6.
Kim KW, Ho A, Alshabee-Akil A, Hardikar AA, Kay TW, Rawlinson WD, Craig ME. (2016) Coxsackievirus B5 Infection Induces Dysregulation of microRNAs Predicted to Target Known Type 1 Diabetes Risk Genes in Human Pancreatic Islets. Diabetes. Apr;65(4):996-1003.
Stelzer-Braid S, Tovey ER, Willenborg CM, Toelle BG, Ampon R, Garden FL, Oliver BG, Strachan R, Belessis Y, Jaffe A, Reddel HK, Crisafulli D, Marks GB, Rawlinson WD. (2016) Absence of back to school peaks in human rhinovirus detections and respiratory symptoms in a cohort of children with asthma. J Med Virol. Apr;88(4):578-87.
Naing ZW, Scott GM, Shand A, Hamilton ST, van Zuylen WJ, Basha J, Hall B, Craig ME, Rawlinson WD. (2016) Congenital cytomegalovirus infection in pregnancy: a review of prevalence, clinical features, diagnosis and prevention. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. Feb;56(1):9-18.
Sonntag E, Hamilton ST, Bahsi H, Wagner S, Jonjic S, Rawlinson WD, Marschall M, Milbradt J. (2016) Cytomegalovirus pUL50 is the multi-interacting determinant of the core nuclear egress complex (NEC) that recruits cellular accessory NEC components. J Gen Virol. Jul;97(7):1676-85.
Lusk MJ, Garden FL, Rawlinson WD, Naing ZW, Cumming RG, Konecny P. (2016) Cervicitis aetiology and case definition: a study in Australian women attending sexually transmitted infection clinics. Sex Transm Infect. May;92(3):175-81.
Homaira N, Sheils J, Stelzer-Braid S, Lui K, Oie JL, Snelling T, Jaffe A, Rawlinson W. (2016) Respiratory syncytial virus is present in the neonatal intensive care unit. J Med Virol. Feb;88(2):196-201.
Homaira N, Oei JL, Mallitt KA, Abdel-Latif ME, Hilder L, Bajuk B, Lui K, Ferson M, Nurkic A, Chambers GM, Rawlinson WD, Snelling T, Jaffe A (2016) High burden of RSV hospitalization in very young children : a data linkage study. Epidemiology & Infection 144 :1612-1621
Jensen TO, Stelzer-Braid S, Willenborg C, Cheung C, Andresen D, Rawlinson WD, Clezy K (2016) An outbreak of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in immunocompromised adults on a haematology ward. Journal of Medical Virology. doi: 1002/jmv.24521.
van Zuylen WJ, Ford CE, Wong DDY, Rawlinson WD (2016) Human Cytomegalovirus Modulates Expression of Noncanonical Wnt Receptor ROR2 To Alter Trophoblast Migration. Journal of Virology 90(2): 1108-1115
van Zuylen WJ, Rawlinson WD, Ford CE. (2016) The Wnt pathway: a key network in cell signalling dysregulated by viruses. Rev Med Virol. Sep;26(5):340-55.
Lim KL, Hewitt J, Sitabkhan A. Eden JS, Lun J, Levy A, Merif J, Smith D, Rawlinson WD, White PA (2016) A Multi-Site Study of Norovirus Molecular Epidemiology in Australia and New Zealand, 2013-2014. PLoS ONE 11(4)
Tovey ER, Stelzer-Braid S, Toelle BG, Oliver BG, Reddel HK, Willenborg CM, Belessis Y, Garden FL, Jaffe A, Strachan R, Eyles D, Rawlinson WD, Marks GB. (2015) Rhinoviruses significantly affect day-to-day respiratory symptoms of children with asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. Mar;135(3):663-9.e12
Gralton J, McLaws ML, Rawlinson WD. (2015) Personal clothing as a potential vector of respiratory virus transmission in childcare settings. J Med Virol. Jun;87(6):925-30.
Naing Z, Webel R, Hamilton S, Schmeiser C, Scott G, Marschall M, Rawlinson W. (2015) Stimulatory effects of human cytomegalovirus tegument protein pp71 lead to increased expression of CCL2 (monocyte chemotactic protein-1) during infection. J Gen Virol. Jul;96(Pt 7):1855-62.
Morère L, Andouard D, Labrousse F, Saade F, Calliste CA, Cotin S, Aubard Y, Rawlinson WD, Esclaire F, Hantz S, Ploy MC, Alain S. (2015) Ex vivo model of congenital cytomegalovirus infection and new combination therapies. Placenta. Jan;36(1):41-7
Martinez MC, Kok CC, Baleriola C, Robertson P, Rawlinson WD. (2015) Investigation of occult hepatitis B virus infection in anti-hbc positive patients from a liver clinic. PLoS One. Mar 12;10(3):e0117275
Gordon A, Raynes-Greenow C, Bond D, Morris J, Rawlinson W, Jeffery H. (2015) Sleep position, fetal growth restriction, and late-pregnancy stillbirth: the Sydney stillbirth study. Obstet Gynecol. Feb;125(2):347-55.
Jensen TO, Robertson P, Whybin R, Chambers I, Lahra M, Rawlinson W, Post JJ. (2015) A signal-to-cutoff ratio in the Abbott architect HIV Ag/Ab Combo assay that predicts subsequent confirmation of HIV-1 infection in a low-prevalence setting. J Clin Microbiol. May;53(5):1709-11
CF322 Stelzer-Braid S, Tovey E, Willenborg C, Toelle B, Ampon R, Garden F, Oliver B, Strachan R, Belessis Y, Jaffe A, Reddel H, Crisafulli D, Marks G, Rawlinson WD (2014) Absence of back to school peaks in human rhinovirus and asthma exacerbations in a cohort of children with asthma contrasts to community incidence of disease exacerbations. TZANZ 2015 Gold Coast (Abstract)
CF323 Burrows F, Ramachandran V, Rawlinson WD (2014) Importance of pharmacokinetic (PK) considerations in the development of ganciclovir-resistant cytomegalovirus (GR-CMV) infections after lung transplantation (LTX). International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation Annual Meeting Nice April 2015 (Abstract)
CF324 Kim KW, Ho A, Al Shabeeb A, Hardikar AA, Rawlinson WD, Craig ME (2015) Coxsackievirus B5 infection induces dysregulation of microRNAs predicted to target known Type 1 diabetes risk genes in human pancreatic islets. Islet Society Meeting July 2015 Sydney (Abstract)