Established in 2011, the Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre is a multidisciplinary network based at The University of Queensland, and the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.
Dr Leon Hugo (Perpetual JT Wilson Fellow)
Dr Leon Hugo is a Senior Research Officer in the Mosquito Control Laboratory at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (Group Leader – Greg Devine).
Leon researches the entomological factors affecting mosquito-borne disease. He investigates the susceptibility and vector competence of mosquitoes to established and emerging arboviruses (dengue, chikungunya, Ross River and Zika viruses) and conducts research into new surveillance and disease control opportunities.
Leon has recently been involved with the development of transmission models for chikungunya virus and Plasmodium (in the context of human malaria clinical trials).
He is investigating the prevalence of the biological control bacteria Wolbachia and its potential to reduce arbovirus transmission.
He is a co-investigator on a Grand Challenge Explorations grant to develop a rapid diagnostic test for the detection of multiple pathogens within mosquitoes.
Leon has guided collaborative projects in areas of mosquito vector competence, molecular ageing in mosquitoes, the ecology of Wolbachia and protein biomarker discovery.
Leon currently applies mosquito infection and transmission experiments for his research, which involve inoculating mosquitoes via blood feeding or injection and tracking infections using cell culture, molecular detection and imaging techniques.
He utilises state-of-the-art biosecurity level 2 and 3 insectaries at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute to work on pathogenic and quarantined agents and provides training and oversight in the development of experimental procedures.