Professor Marc Pellegrini

Professor Marc Pellegrini



Professor Marc Pellegrini in the lab



BSc MBBS PhD Melbourne FRACP

Joint Division Head

Lab focus: chronic infections

My laboratory focuses on understanding why some infections are not cleared from our body, but persist within cells. These are called chronic infections. HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and tuberculosis are three globally significant chronic infections. Together they cause more than five million deaths globally each year. 

There is no cure for HIV or HBV. Antibiotic resistance is increasing in the bacteria causing tuberculosis. New therapies that control or cure chronic infections are urgently required. 

Our research is revealing how microbes sabotage the processes that normally eradicate infections. Our goal is to discover and deliver new therapies that can promote clearance of chronic infections.

Research interest

Our research is focused on understanding host-pathogen interactions. We are particularly interested in defining the impact that intracellular pathogens have on host cell signalling, cell survival and cell death molecular pathways. The aim of our work is to manipulate host cell signalling pathways to preferentially promote clearance of infected cells and thereby eradicate chronic infections. 

Our work spans the broad areas of basic, translational, pre-clinical, clinical and ‘in the field’ research. Our goal is to develop novel therapeutics and interventions that mitigate morbidity and mortality associated with chronic human infections including HIV, HBV, tuberculosis and human herpes virus.

Visualisation of SARS-CoV-2

Our researchers are working towards better approaches to diagnose, treat and prevent the spread of coronaviruses, both to address the current COVID-19 global outbreak as well as in preparedness for likely future coronaviral disease outbreaks.


Answers to some frequently asked questions about COVID SHIELD, the clinical trial looking at hydroxychloroquine as a preventative therapy for COVID-19.

Clinician with patient

Australia's first clinical trial to determine whether hydoroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19 is open. The trial is recruiting frontline and allied healthcare workers from hospitals across the country.

Three researchers in a laboratory with model diagnostic device

Institute researchers have developed a fast, new test for infections and infectious diseases that could transform Australia’s ability to provide targeted clinical care and respond to pandemics and biosecurity threats.