Professor Allison Abendroth has a Bachelor of Science Honours (First class) and a PhD from the University of Adelaide, studying neurobiology of herpes simplex virus. In 1996 she undertook Postdoctoral training at Stanford University, USA where she studied varicella zoster virus (VZV) immunobiology and pathogenesis. In 2000 she established the VZV Research Laboratory and in 2001 was awarded a Rolf Edgar Lake Fellowship, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. In 2004 she was appointed to a Faculty position at the University of Sydney in the Discipline of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, where she is currently Professor in Immunology and Virology and Academic Leader (Postgraduate Research) for the Central Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney.
The VZV Research Laboratory is the only research group in Australia with a major focus on the study of VZV immunobiology and pathogenesis. Her lab has developed a range of approaches to study various aspects of VZV infection, including the development of models to study VZV infection and functions in human neuronal cells, ganglia, dendritic cells, natural killer cells and T cell interactions. The overall aim of Professor Abendroth’s work is to define molecular mechanisms underlying VZV infection and the host response to infection, which may lead to new strategies for the development of therapies to lessen the impact of VZV disease on the community.