Dr Renae Walsh is Senior Medical Scientist and Early Career Researcher within the division of Molecular Research and Development at Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL). Her scientific expertise is in the fields of virology and protein biochemistry.
Renae’s research focuses on the molecular proteomics of hepatitis B virus (HBV). She investigates the roles of HBV proteins in chronic disease progression and cure, and translational research for the development of next generation diagnostic assays for reporting HBV vaccine escape and biomarkers for predicting treatment responses, with potential therapeutic applications to influence clinical outcome in chronic HBV.
Renae completed her PhD at Monash University in 2006, and has since undertaken postdoctoral training at CSIRO and VIDRL with an interest in virology and protein engineering. She has received several grants and industry funding to support her research.
Renae’s research achieved the discovery of a novel therapeutic antibody domain targeting the HBV precore protein, developed as an ‘intrabody’ to function inside infected cells to disrupt immune tolerance. Her most recent research achieved the development of a novel assay for the HBV surface antigen, which identifies viral fingerprints predictive of clinical response on therapy.