About the Kirby Institute

The Kirby Institute is a leading global research institute dedicated to the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

We were established in 1986 in response to the then emerging HIV epidemic. We now contribute to knowledge on a broad range of diseases, including viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections. 

Our primary work relates to the coordination of national surveillance programs, population health and epidemiological research, clinical and behavioural research and clinical trials. Our research projects are conducted in partnership with communities most affected by epidemics. Together we implement trials of behavioural and biomedical interventions designed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in vulnerable populations.

Our work in the laboratory is focused on finding ways to control infections, develop new therapies and ultimately towards the development of preventative vaccines. Outside of the laboratory, we provide critical leadership to decision makers in Australia and internationally on the most effective, efficient and sustainable strategies to address deadly epidemics.

Our research has increasingly taken on a regional focus. Over the past two decades, we have developed collaborative programs in several countries that have involved training health workers and health researchers in the Asia Pacific region, advising governments on public health and clinical policy, informing international treatment guidelines and working to increase access to essential medicines. We have particularly strong partnerships in Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Fiji and the Solomon Islands.

Our world-class team comprises over 260 public health, clinical and laboratory scientists, research assistants and postgraduate students.

Our Director

David Cooper
Scientia Professor David Cooper AO FAA is the inaugural director of the Kirby Institute. Professor Cooper’s leadership in HIV research and treatment spans more than three decades. His contributions have been broad-ranging, covering basic, clinical and epidemiological research as well as membership on advisory groups to establish HIV treatment guidelines. He has been a global advocate for regional engagement and capacity building for many years, particularly through clinical research.

Our Patron

Michael Kirby
The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG has been the Kirby Institute’s Patron since 2011. When he retired from the High Court of Australia on 2 February 2009, Michael Kirby was Australia’s longest serving judge. Alongside his judicial achievements, Mr Kirby has served on many national and international bodies, including as a member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Commission on AIDS (1988 – 1992); President of the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva (1995 – 1998); as UN Special Representative Human Rights in Cambodia (1993 – 1996); a member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (1995 – 2005); a member of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Judicial Reference Group (2007 –) and a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights (2004 –). He is currently a member of the UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines.

Location

Events