BSc (UQ) Microbiology, PhD (London) Virology
Professor of Virology and Head of School
+61 7 336 54646

I completed my PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and was appointed to a lectureship in the University of London in 1986. I returned to Australia as Senior Research Fellow at the Sir Albert Sakzewski Virus Research Centre in 1989 and joined the University of Queensland as a Senior Lecturer in 1991. I am the current President of the Australian Society for Microbiology and the President of the Asia Pacific Society for Medical Virology.

Brief Research Description: 
Molecular virology
Research Focus and Collaborations: 

My research into viral replication employs molecular and structural biology and protein chemistry. My expertise includes the immunopathology of medically important viral infections including Ebola.  Understanding the process of viral replication is essential for the development of improved diagnostics, vaccines and anti-viral therapeutic control strategies. Current studies are focused on three different viruses; dengue virus, a serious mosquito-borne disease in many tropical countries, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a major cause of hospitalization of children with respiratory infections and KoRV, a retrovirus of koalas which we have shown is currently invading the koala germline and is linked with high rates of cancer in this iconic species. Ongoing projects involve:

  • Structural and molecular biology based studies on the dengue and West Nile virus proteins, NS3 (the viral protease) and E (a virus surface protein involved in cell binding and entry) and the RSV protein F (the viral fusion protein) as targets for antiviral drug design;
  • Sub-unit and DNA based vaccines for the engue viruses and respiratory syncytial virus
  • Developing recombinant protein based platforms for improving viral diagnostics;
  • Elucidation of the spread and impact of KoRV in the Australian koala population.
  • The role of selected retroviral proteins in immune-suppression
Funded Projects: 

NHMRC Development Grant 2014-2016 ( B. Hankamer, P. Young, M.A Kendall, M. Oey)
Dengue virus vaccine production in the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Total value of grant: $591,894

NHMRC Development Grant 2014-2016 (M.A Kendall, P.R Young, S.R Corrie)
Micropatch kits for extraction and detection of circulating biomarkers from skin
Total value of grant: $796,599

ARC Linkage Project 2010-2013 (J Meers, P Young)
Retroviral invasion of the koala genome prevalence, transmission and role in immunosuppressive disease
Total value of grant: $300,00

ARC Linkage Project 2012-2014 (M Cooper, P Young, S Mahler, H Faddy)
The first integrated multimodal assay for the utrasensitive detection of dengue contamination of blood
Total value of grant: $490,000

NHMRC Project Grant 2012-2014 (P Young, S Kellie)
Activation of the respiratory syncytial virus fusion protein
Total value of grant: $562,350

NHMRC Project Grant 2012-2014 (D Fairlie, P Young)
Flavivirus proteases as viable targets for antiinfective drugs
Total value of grant: $599,685

Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Worldwide 2009-2012 (P Young, J Meers)
Koala disease research program - koala retrovirus (KoRV)
Total value of grant: $115,000

Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Research Capacity Grant 2011-2012 (P Young, P Sly)
Viral-bacterial interactions in inducing and exacerbating respiratory diseases in children
Total value of grant: $180,000

Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Challenges Global Explorations 2009-2010 (P Young)
Altruistic vaccines for mosquito-borne pathogens
Total value of grant: $100,000


Molecular virology, viral pathogenesis, immunology, biotechnology and medicine

MICR3002   Virology (Course Coordinator)

MICR3001   Microbes and Human Health

MICR6008   Immunology and Infectious Disease

BIOL1020   Genes Cells and Evolution

MEDI1000  Foundations of Medical Practice

Awarded the Australian Society for Microbiology “David White Excellence in Teaching Award” for 2008

Significant Professional Activities and Awards: 
  • President of the Australian Society for Microbiology
  • President of the Asia Pacific Society for Medical Virology
  • Immediate-Past President Australasian Virology Society
  • Research Excellence Award in 2009 from the Asia Pacific Society for Medical Virology
  • NH&MRC Panel member 2006 and 2008
  • Consultant to WHO on dengue diagnostics
  • Member of UQ Institutional Biosafety Committees
  • Member of the Federal Government O-GTR Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee

WO 02/42326 A1 Enhanced expression of novel synthetic RSV F gene. Mason, Young and Tucker

Student Supervision

PhD: 26 since 1991, 4 graduated in the last 3 years, currently 4 enrolled
Honours: 39 since 1991, currently 3 enrolled

Selected Publications: