Course Directors

Associate Professor Thiru Vanniasinkam

BSc (Flinders Uni), Hons Appl. Sci (UniSA),Grad. Dip.Med. Lab Sc. (UniSA), PhD (UniSA), FASM

Course Director / Associate Professor in Immunology
Wagga Wagga
Building 288 Room 215

After completing her  PhD Dr Vanniasinkam  undertook a Postdoctoral research fellowship in an Immunology Laboratory at the Wistar Institute (University of Pennsylvania campus) in Philadelphia, USA. Research activities included DNA vaccine development based upon antigens derived from rabies virus and HIV-1, development of adenoviral vectors based upon a chimpanzee adenovirus. Research on the development of non-viral promoters in vaccine vectors and the use of various adjuvants to enhance the immune response to DNA vaccines; development of adenoviral vector based vaccines to rabies and HIV.

Dr Vanniasinkam's research experience also includes DNA vaccine development for Rhodococcus equi, development of diagnostic tests for Campylobacter spp. and Rhodococcus equi and epitope mapping of bacterial virulence proteins. Her current research involves vaccine development and development of diagnostic techniques for veterinary pathogens such as equine adenovirus, Campylobacter jejuni and Rhodococcus equi. .

Membership in professional organisations
  • Fellow of the Australian Society for Microbiology
  • Member of the American Society for Microbiology
  • Member of the Society for General Microbiology (UK)
  • Member of the International Society for Vaccines


Current subjects taught

Immunology, Introductory Microbiology, Biomedical Research Methods, Molecular Immunology.

Teaching awards and citations
  1. Teaching Leader 2008 - 2010 (awarded by CSU Division of Learning and Teaching Services)
  2. Vice Chancellor's Award for Team Teaching - 2012
  3. Office for Learning and Teaching citation for outstanding contributions to student learning (microbiology development team) - 2013
  4. Australian Society for Microbiology Teachers’ Travel Award (2021)

Current Research

Veterinary and medical microbiology, vaccine development and bacterial pathogenesis.

Current projects:

  • Prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni in chickens and humans in NSW
  • Vaccine development for Campylobacter jejuni in chickens
  • Research on nut allergies and gliadin in wheat
Current external grant funding:
  1. Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (Chicken Meat Program) Barton, M., and Vanniasinkam, T. development of a vaccine to control campylobacter in chickens ($516,000).
  2. Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation(Horses Program) Barton, M., Vanniasinkam, T., Heuzenroder, M. An adenoviral vector vaccine against Rhodococcus equi ($88,500).

Selected Publications

1. Pumtang-on P, Mahony TJ, Hill RA, Pavic A, Vanniasinkam T. 2021. Investigation of Campylobacter
colonization in three Australian commercial free-range broiler farms. Poultry Science.100 (3).
2. Stockhammer D, Katelaris CH, Simpson MD, Vanniasinkam T. 2020. Perception of food allergy symptom
severity differs across stakeholders. Pediatric Allergy & Immunology.31 (3):321-325.

3. Devi A, Mahony TJ, Wilkinson JM, Vanniasinkam T. 2019. Antimicrobial susceptibility of clinical isolates of C. jejuni from New South Wales, Australia. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance. pii: S2213-7165. 
4. Maeder, E, Giannoutsos, J, Vanniasinkam, T, Favaloro, E. 2018. A recent review of laboratory monitoring of unfractionated heparin and an investigation into variables affecting the activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) heparin therapeutic range using different reagents. Australian Journal of Medical Science. 39 (1-2): 2-13. 
5. Irving C, Crennan M, Vanniasinkam T.2017. Can serological methods help distinguish between prophylactic and alloimmune anti-D? Transfusion Medicine Suppl 5:362-368.  
6. Giles C, Ndi O, Barton MD, Vanniasinkam T. 2016. An Adenoviral Vector Based Vaccine for Rhodococcus equi. PLoS One. 11(3):e0152149.  
7. Joshi A, McVicker W, Segalla R, Favaloro E, Luu V, Vanniasinkam T. 2015. Determining the stability of complete blood count parameters in stored blood samples using the SYSMEX XE-5000 automated haematology analyser. International Journal of Laboratory Hematology. 705-14.  
8. Devi A, Wilkinson J, Mahony T, Vanniasinkam 2014. Detection of Campylobacter in human faecal samples in Fiji. The Western Pacific Surveillance Response Journal. 5(4):30-3.  
9. McCallum C, McGregor A, Vanniasinkam T. 2013. Prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Tasmania, Australia. Pathology 45(7):681-8.  
10. Cavanagh HM, Mahony TJ, Vanniasinkam T. 2012 Genetic characterization of equine adenovirus type 1. Veterinary Microbiology 155(1):33-7. 
11. Giles C, Cavanagh HM, Noble G, Vanniasinkam T. 2010. Prevalence of equine adenovirus antibodies in horses in New South Wales, Australia. Veterinary Microbiology. 143(2-4):401-404. 
12. Vanniasinkam, T., H. Ertl, and Q. Tang, Q., 2006. Trichostatin-A enhances adaptive immune responses to DNA vaccination. Journal of Clinical Virology. 36: 292-297. 
13. Vanniasinkam, T, S. Reddy and H.C.J. Ertl. 2006. DNA vaccines driven by a non-viral promoter.  Virology. 344: 412-420. 
14. Vanniasinkam, T and H.C.J. Ertl. 2005. Adenoviral gene delivery for HIV-1 vaccination. Current Gene Therapy. 5: 203-212. 
15. Vanniasinkam, T, M D Barton and M. W. Heuzenroeder. 2004. The immunogenicity of Rhodococcus equi GroEL2-based vaccines in a murine model. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 98: 91-100. 
16. Vanniasinkam, T, M.D. Barton and M. W. Heuzenroeder. 2001. B-cell epitope mapping of the virulence-associated protein A (VapA) of Rhodococcus equi. : implications for early detection of R. equi disease in foals.  Journal of Clinical Microbiology.39:1633-1637.


  1. Vanniasinkam, T., M. W. Heuzenroeder and M. D. Barton .2001. Antigenic peptide fragments of VapA protein and uses thereof:
    Australian Patent: PQ7120
    International patent: PCT/AU01/00478
  2. Vanniasinkam, T., M. W. Heuzenroeder and M. D. Barton .2002.Chimeric vaccine for R. equi:
    Australian patent: 2002339236.
    International patent: PCT/AU/02/01460

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