Global Health Diagnostics Development Group

Head: Associate Professor David Anderson

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Accurate diagnostic techniques are a cornerstone of the control and management of both infectious and non-infectious diseases. Tests for most diseases that are prevalent in developed countries are well established in clinical laboratories.

This is not the case in disadvantaged populations (such as indigenous communities and those in developing countries), where access to laboratory infrastructure, sample transport, and communication are often lacking. This hampers efforts to control the impact and spread of disease, and is a major source of inequity in health outcomes.

Our laboratory has been active in the development of rapid, point-of-care (RPOC) tests for diagnosis of a number of infectious diseases, and more recently in tests for improved patient management in the case of HIV and AIDS, viral hepatitis and liver disease, and other conditions in Africa and other resource-poor settings.

We work closely with Industry partners to achieve commercially available and sustainable diagnostic solutions, including Omega Diagnostics, UK (CD4 tests); Burnet spinoff, Nanjing BioPoint Diagnostic Technology Co. Ltd., PR China (ALT1 test, plasma separator, and others); and Axxin Ltd, Melbourne (instruments and design capability).

We also work closely with international partners, and with other working groups across the Institute, to progress R&D on new diagnostics in malaria, hepatitis C, tuberculosis and other diseases.


New projects are focused on infectious disease agents and disease biomarkers.

Major techniques employed in laboratory

  • Standard serological testing methods (ELISA)
  • Protein expression (transfection of mammalian cells)
  • Protein characterisation and purification (western immunoblotting, chromatography)
  • Iterative RPOC assay development and evaluation (screening of reagents, assembly of prototype devices with different parameters, testing of disease and control sera)
  • Assembly of prototypes and validation testing in laboratory and field settings.


  • Development of VISITECT® CD4 POC test with Burnet’s Professor Suzanne Crowe AM and collaborators.