The Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society is a leading global research institute dedicated to the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, with a particular focus on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections. Administratively a division of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales, the institute has a team of over 200 scientists and associated support staff.
The Institute was formed by the Australian Government in 1986 as a response to the then emerging and little understood HIV epidemic. Originally the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (NCHECR), it was renamed the Kirby Institute in 2011 for the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, former judge of the High Court of Australia, in recognition of his services at a national and international level to HIV/AIDS prevention and human rights.
The Kirby Institute’s research is undertaken across a spectrum that ranges from laboratory studies of basic pathogenesis, through clinical trials of new therapies and prevention agents, to public health surveillance and impact evaluation. Across all the domains of research, they work closely with governments and international agencies to ensure that policies and programs are based on the most accurate evidence, so that their effectiveness can be maximised.
The Institute’s clinical and public health research programs are all conducted in partnership with affected communities, so that the most relevant questions are investigated, and research methodologies are sound from ethical and practical perspectives. Their research has had a strong emphasis on populations experiencing health disadvantage, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and communities in lower income countries of the Asia-Pacific Region. Over the past two decades, the Institute has developed strong collaborations in several countries that have involved research, public health surveillance and evaluation, and training of health workers and health researchers as well as advising governments on public health and clinical policy. Long-term partnerships have been established in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and more recently in Fiji and Solomon Islands.
For more on The Kirby Institute, visit their website