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A/PROF Barbara Coulson


  • Rotavirus



  • Assoc. Prof. Barbara Coulson researches the mechanisms underlying rotavirus cellular tropism and pathogenesis. She completed her PhD supervised by Ian Holmes, and her early postdoctoral research in collaboration with Ruth Bishop, the co-discoverers of human rotaviruses. She has been an NHMRC Research Fellow since 1991 and is a member of the J. Virol. Editorial Board. She led in the development of monoclonal antibodies for rotavirus diagnosis and serotype definition, and showed stool antirotaviral IgA is protective. Her discovery that integrins are rotavirus receptors was an important milestone, followed by the demonstration of human rotaviruses usage of sialic acids and histo-blood group antigen. She was integral to the uncovering of a possible link between rotavirus and type 1 diabetes. Her group has discovered how rotavirus may modulate diabetes in mice, and rotavirus effects on innate immune responses. Her research supported the rationale for development of live attenuated oral rotavirus vaccines, which are utilized worldwide.   


Member of

  • BioMedCentral Microbiology. Associate Editor 2008 -
  • American Society for Microbiology. International Member 1999 -
  • Asian Group for Rapid Viral Diagnosis. Life (Foundation) Member 1988 -
  • Australian Society for Microbiology Inc.. Member 1977 -
  • The Journal of Virology Editorial Board. Member of the Editorial Board 2011 - 2014
  • Editorial Board of BioMedCentral Microbiology. Editorial Board Member 2005 - 2008


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 1983
  • BSc(Hons), University of Melbourne 1977



Available for supervision

  • N