Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases

Research at the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases has led to ground-breaking discoveries in innate immunology and the microbiome that are changing our understanding and treatment of cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases. 

Professor Richard Ferrero ARC Discovery Projects success

Acting Centre Head Professor Richard Ferrero


The Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases (CiiiD) houses the largest group of inflammation and immunity researchers in Australia. They are world leaders in studying the body’s innate, or first-line, immune response and how it and the microbiome trigger inflammation, leading to cancer, autoimmune conditions (lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis), lung (COPD, emphysema, silicosis) and infectious diseases (gastroenteritis, influenza, pneumonia).

The Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases goals are to

    • Discover the steps and connections that turn inflammation on and off

    • Develop new treatments for inflammatory diseases and cancer

    • Identify markers that help diagnose and detect disease earlier.

Inflammation – the cause of disease

Scientists now know that uncontrolled destructive inflammation is the cause of more than 50 per cent of deaths worldwide and underpins hundreds of chronic diseases.

Inflammation is an essential immune response for survival. Although it protects against invaders (viruses, bacteria), it can also cause serious damage and even death. By finding the complex interconnections in inflammation, the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases scientists are finding new ways to treat common and serious illnesses from birth to old age.

In the past five years, the Centre’s scientists have published more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, including works in prestigious journals, such as Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Communications, Nature Microbiology, PNAS USA, PLoS Pathogens, EMBO Molecular Medicine, Gastroenterol, Gut, and Journal of Clinical Investigation. Their fundamental discoveries have led to numerous national and international industry collaborations.

They were co-founders of the Victorian Infection and Immunity Network (VIIN) and the Australian TLR research network (TLROZ), and are involved in several national and international collaborations, such as the Australian Inflammation Cent

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Diseases we research

Research groups

Respiratory and Lung

COVID-19, Influenza

Gastrointestinal Infection and Inflammation

Antimicrobial resistance, Gastroenteritis, Inflammation and cancer, Stomach cancer

Microbiota and Systems Biology

Antimicrobial resistance, COVID-19, Gastroenteritis, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Microbiome in health and disease

Nucleic Acids and Innate Immunity

COVID-19, Inflammation and cancer, Influenza, Lupus

Innate Immune Responses to Infection

Antimicrobial resistance, Gastroenteritis, Microbiome in health and disease, Pneumonia

Regulation of Interferon and Innate Signalling

COVID-19, Inflammation and cancer, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Influenza, Microbiome in health and disease, Lung cancer, Ovarian cancer, Endometriosis

Cancer and Immune Signalling

Cell Death and Inflammatory Signalling

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Influenza, Pneumonia

Pattern Recognition Receptors and Inflammation

COVID-19, Influenza, Pneumonia

Host-Pathogen Interactions

Antimicrobial resistance, Gastroenteritis, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Viral Immunity and Immunopathology

COVID-19, Influenza, Pneumonia

View all Centre researchers