Professor Trevor Drew CO72 – OBE, PhD, MSc, CBiol, FRSB
Director – Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness
Professor Trevor Drew is a world renowned expert in the field of infectious diseases and animal health. He is leading a team of dedicated scientists at CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness in Geelong who are working around-the-clock to understand and fight the virus which causes COVID-19.
Trevor Drew was born in Cornwall and attended Truro School from 1966 – 1971. Following his undergraduate studies in microbiology, he studied for his Masters in applied immunology at King’s College and Brunel University, London. He completed his PhD in molecular virology, as part of a research collaboration between the UK Veterinary Laboratories Agency and the Central Veterinary Institute, the Netherlands, completing in 1995.
Prof Drew is now Director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP), which brings together human and animal health, disease protection and biosecurity measures, to better protect Australia to prevent, prepare for and control highly infectious diseases of animals as well as zoonotic diseases. The Centre is a National Facility and part of an international network of laboratories able to handle some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens.
Under Professor Drew’s stewardship, this team alongside others across CSIRO have progressed the COVID-19 vaccine work to a point that would normally take years to reach, in just three months. Professor Drew told us:
“As you can imagine, things here at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP) are pretty crazy at this time. As well as the work we are doing in pre-clinical trialling of COVID-19 vaccine candidates (including one from Oxford University) we are busy carrying on our other research, investigating the basis of immunity to the disease. We are also trialling some antivirals and studying the survival of the virus on different surfaces, at different temperatures and humidity’s. As well as all this COVID-19 work, we also still have to continue to undertake investigations for notifiable diseases for the whole of Australia! I had originally considered my time here would be a relatively quiet one, providing me with an opportunity to pass on my knowledge of exotic disease response to Australian colleagues. Little did I think that I would be head of a facility that was playing such a key role in the world’s first pandemic in over 100 years!”
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