Professor Damian Purcell is head of the molecular virology laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne and theme leader for Viral Infectious
Diseases at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
After receiving a PhD from the University of Melbourne in 1987 he was a CJ Martin traveling fellow of the NHMRC working at the Laboratory for Molecular Microbiology of the NIAID, NIH
examining human retroviruses (HIV and HTLV). He returned to the Burnet Institute in Melbourne in 1995 and moved to The University of Melbourne in 2001.
He studies RNA-mediated control of HIV and HTLV-1 replication during productive and the latency phase of infection. He uses molecular insights of the viral infection to develop new
antiviral and latency-breaking drugs, vaccines and biomedical interventions.
He is Past President of the Australasian Virology Society and on executive committees of the Australian Society for HIV Medicine, and ACH2 and has led their respective HTLV-1 working groups. He is the Australasian representative on the governing council of the International Retrovirology Association and convenor of the 2021 HTLV congress in Melbourne.