Head of the Strep A Pathogenesis & Diagnostics team, Deputy Director of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases
Tim Barnett is a NHMRC Hot North Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute, Perth, and has worked in the area of Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus, GAS) research since his PhD (2000). He pursued postdoctoral studies in two of the leading GAS research laboratories at Emory University (June Scott) and the University of Queensland (Mark Walker), and made a number of significant contributions to this field. These include the first characterisation of the enzymes (sortases) that covalently attach proteins to the GAS cell wall, demonstration that growth phase changes in gene expression are mediated by changes in mRNA stability, and the description of a novel mechanism that GAS uses to evade the innate immune pathway that protects host cells from intracellular bacteria (autophagy).
In 2017, he joined Telethon Kids Institute to investigate disease-causing mechanisms, antibiotic resistance and adverse immunological outcomes associated with GAS skin and throat infections.