Dr Helen Farrell

Senior Research Officer

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Faculty of Science
h.farrell1@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 54270

Overview

Dr Helen Farrell is a molecular virologist and an expert in the modelling of herpesvirus infections. Her research focus is understanding how herpesviruses spread, how they persist and tackling novel approaches for more efficient diagnoses and antiviral interventions. Dr Farrell uses molecular tools to generate novel herpesvirus mutants and transgenic mice to dissect viral-host interactions, with particular interest in the role of viral chemokine/chemokine receptor homogues and the development of nasal vaccines.

Dr Farrell was awarded a Royal Society Florey Fellowship to pursue postdoctoral studies at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory for Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge. She returned to Australia as a CJ Martin Fellow to initiate a programme of site-directed deletion analysis of the mouse cytomegalovirus genome. Dr Farrell also spent 8 years at the Animal Health Trust (UK) studying veterinary virus infections. She arrived at the University of Queensland in 2006 and has developed a portfolio of basic research, as well as preclinical and diagnostic development.

Research Interests

  • Herpesviruses: understanding how they spread and how they persist
    Using animal models to track spread of herpesviruses in vivo and identification of key viral proteins in pathogenesis.
  • Investigating improved approaches in detecting resistance to herpesvirus antiviral therapies
    Harnessing molecular approaches to rapidly identify rising herpesvirus infection in pediatric transplant patients undergoing antiviral therapies.
  • Developing novel therapies for treatment of herpesvirus latency.
    Using animal models in preclinical evaluation of viral receptor-toxin fusion proteins in reducing the latent viral load.

Research Impacts

Research outputs in Dr Farrell's laboratory have provided major contributions to the herpesvirus research community. Dr Farrell participated in the sequencing and analysis of the mouse cytomegalovirus genome, which is a key resource to other scientists in the field. Dr Farrell has shared numerous novel herpesvirus mutants to other researchers which have been used widely in preclinical vaccine models. Dr Farrell's work with Dr Philip Stevenson has fundamentally changed our understanding of how herpesviruses enter and spread and reveals new opportunities for antiviral intervention.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Western Australia
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Science (Advanced), University of Western Australia

Publications

  • Xie, Wanxiaojie, Bruce, Kimberley, Stevenson, Philip G. and Farrell, Helen E. (2024). Indirect CD4+ T cell protection against persistent MCMV infection by NK cells requires IFNγ. Journal of General Virology, 105 (1). doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.001956

  • Speck, Peter, Mackenzie, Jason, Bull, Rowena A., Slobedman, Barry, Drummer, Heidi, Fraser, Johanna, Herrero, Lara, Helbig, Karla, Londrigan, Sarah, Moseley, Gregory, Prow, Natalie, Hansman, Grant, Edwards, Robert, Ahlenstiel, Chantelle, Abendroth, Allison, Tscharke, David, Hobson-Peters, Jody, Kriiger-Loterio, Robson, Parry, Rhys, Marsh, Glenn, Harding, Emma, Jacques, David A., Gartner, Matthew J., Lee, Wen Shi, McAuley, Julie, Vaz, Paola, Sainsbury, Frank, Tate, Michelle D., Sinclair, Jane ... Young, Paul (2023). Statement in Support of: “Virology under the Microscope—a Call for Rational Discourse”. Journal of Virology, 97 (5), e0045123. doi: 10.1128/jvi.00451-23

  • Speck, Peter, Mackenzie, Jason, Bull, Rowena A., Slobedman, Barry, Drummer, Heidi, Fraser, Johanna, Herrero, Lara, Helbig, Karla, Londrigan, Sarah, Moseley, Gregory, Prow, Natalie, Hansman, Grant, Edwards, Robert, Ahlenstiel, Chantelle, Abendroth, Allison, Tscharke, David, Hobson-Peters, Jody, Kriiger-Loterio, Robson, Parry, Rhys, Marsh, Glenn, Harding, Emma, Jacques, David A., Gartner, Matthew J., Lee, Wen Shi, McAuley, Julie, Vaz, Paola, Sainsbury, Frank, Tate, Michelle D., Sinclair, Jane ... Young, Paul (2023). Statement in Support of: “Virology under the Microscope—a Call for Rational Discourse”. mSphere, 8 (3), e0016523. doi: 10.1128/msphere.00165-23

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Molleskov-Jensen, Ann-Sofie, Oliveira, Martha Trindade, Farrell, Helen Elizabeth and Davis-Poynter, Nick (2015). Virus-encoded 7 transmembrane receptors. The molecular basis of viral infection. (pp. 353-393) edited by P. J. Klasse. Maryland Heights, MO United States: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/bs.pmbts.2014.10.010

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • McLean, C. S., Erturk, M., Ni Challanain, D., Jennings, R., Duncan, I. A., Bolt, S. L., Boursnell, M., Farrell, H., Minson, A. C. and Inglis, S. C. (1994). Vaccination studies with a gH-deleted HSV-1 virus. Publ by Inst of Chemical Engineers.

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision