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Professor Reena Ghildyal

Associate Professor Reena GhildyalPosition

Professor in Microbiology

Contact details

Tel: +61 2 6201 5755


Reena Ghildyal obtained her PhD in Life Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India; a premier Indian research university. This was followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the State Department of Agriculture, and Macfarlane Burnet Institute in Melbourne, Australia. 

In 2004 Reena was invited to establish a respiratory virology research group as part of a new Chinese Government initiative within Fudan University, Shanghai. On her return to Australia in 2007, she has continued her association with Fudan University and has been instrumental in establishing several bilateral research collaborations between Chinese and Australian scientists.

Reena moved to University of Canberra in 2010 where she is currently Professor in Microbiology and Director, Centre for Research in Therapeutic Solutions.

The focus of Reena's research is molecular pathogenesis of respiratory viruses with special reference to asthma exacerbations. Current projects include the validation of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine candidates in vitro and in vivo; elucidating the role of cytoskeleton in RSV assembly, investigating the role of rhinovirus (HRV) proteases in disease.

Reena collaborates with research groups within Australia (Monash University, University of Queensland) and Internationally (University of South Florida, University of Georgia, Imperial College, Fudan University) and her research is funded by National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia-China Science Research Fund and Australia-India Science and Technology Research Fund.

Research interests

  • Molecular pathogenesis of respiratory viruses
  • Molecular basis of asthma
  • Respiratory virus assembly

Selected publications

  1. Ghildyal, R, Hartley, C., Varrasso, A., Meanger, J., Voelker, D. R., Anders, M. and Mills, J. 1999. Surfactant protein A (SP-A) neutralizes respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by binding to the fusion (F) glycoprotein. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 180:2009.
  2. Ghildyal, R, Mills, J, Meanger, J. 2003. The matrix (M) protein of Respiratory syncytial virus localises to the nucleus and inhibits host cell transcription. Archives of Virology. 148:1419.
  3. Ghildyal R, Li D, Peroulis I, Shields B, Bardin PG, Teng MN, Collins P, Meanger J and Mills J. 2005. Interaction between the respiratory syncytial virus G glycoprotein cytoplasmic domain and the matrix protein. Journal of General Virology; 86: 1879.
  4. Ghildyal R, Ho A, Wagstaff KM, Dias MM, Barton CL, Jans P, Bardin PG and Jans DA. 2005. Nuclear import of the respiratory syncytial virus matrix protein is mediated by importin b1 independent of importin a. Biochemistry. 44:12887.
  5. Ghildyal R, Ho A and Jans D. 2006. Central role of the respiratory syncytial virus matrix protein in infection. FEMS Microbiology Reviews. 30:692.
  6. Yu X, Wang S, Guan J, Mahemuti, Purhati, Gou A, Liu Q, Jin X, Ghildyal R. 2007. Analysis of the cause of increased measles incidence in Xinjiang, China in 2004. Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal. 26:513.
  7. Yu X, Cheng Y, Shi B, Qian F, Wang F, Liu X, Yang H, Xu Q, Qi T, Zha L, Yuan Z, Ghildyal R. 2008. Measles virus infection in adults induces production of IL-10 and is associated with increased CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells. Journal of Immunology, 181:7356.
  8. Li D, Jans DA, Bardin PG, Meanger J, Mills J, Ghildyal R. 2008. Association of respiratory syncytial virus M protein with viral nucleocapsids is mediated by the M2-1 protein. Journal of Virology. 82:8863.
  9. Ghildyal, R, Ho, A, Dias, M, Soegiyono, L, Bardin, PG, Tran, KC, Teng, MN, Jans, DA. 2009. The Respiratory Syncytial Virus Matrix Protein Possesses 1 a Crm1-Mediated Nuclear Export Mechanism. Journal of Virology, 83:5353.
  10. Ghildyal, R, Jordan, B, Li D, Dagher H, Bardin, PG, Gern JE, Jans, DA. 2009. Rhinovirus 3C Protease can Localise in the Nucleus and Alter Active and Passive Nucleocytoplasmic Transport. Journal of Virology, 83:7349.
  11. Walker EJ, Younessi P, Fulcher AJ, McCuaig R, Thomas BJ, Bardin PG, Jans DA, Ghildyal R. 2013. Rhinovirus 3C protease facilitates specific nucleoporin cleavage and mislocalisation of nuclear proteins in infected host cells. PLoS One. 8(8):e71316.
  12. Bajorek M, Caly L, Tran KC, Maertens GN, Tripp RA, Bacharach E, Teng MN, Ghildyal R, Jans DA. 2014 The Thr205 Phosphorylation Site Within Respiratory Syncytial Virus Matrix (M) Protein Modulates M Oligomerization and Virus Production. Journal of Virology. 88(11):6380-93.
  13. Wulan WN, Heydet D, Walker EJ, Gahan ME, Ghildyal R. 2015 Nucleocytoplasmic transport of nucleocapsid proteins of enveloped RNA viruses. Frontiers in Microbiology. 6:553. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00553.
  14. Yu X, Shahriari S, Li HM, Ghildyal R 2016. Measles Virus Matrix Protein Inhibits Host Cell Transcription. PLoS One. 23;11(8):e0161360.
  15. Walker RJ, Jensen LM, Croft SN, Wei KW, Fulcher AJ, Jans DA, Ghildyal R. 2016. Rhinovirus 16 2A protease affects nuclear localization of 3CD during infection. Journal of Virology. 2016 Sep 28. pii: JVI.00974-16.

Undergraduate Subjects Currently Taught at University of Canberra

Pathobiology – This subject introduces students to the molecular mechanisms and characteristics of the major diseases.

Required Subject in Bachelor of Medical Science; Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science; Bachelor of Human Nutrition; Major in Human Biology: from cells to organism (Bachelor of Science); Minor in Human Biology (Bachelor of Science)

Integrated Studies of Disease – This subject aims to utilize a problem-based learning approach to studying and communicating about disease and serves as a capstone unit in the last semester of study within the degree.

Required Subject in Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science; Major in Biological Chemistry (Bachelor of Medical Science). Restricted choice subject in Major in Human Biology: Chemical and Molecular Principles (Bachelor of Biomedical Science)

Professional Practice in Applied Science – Students undertake a 3 week placement at an approved host institution, with the aim to support their professional development towards a career of their choice.

Restricted Choice subject in Bachelor of Medical Science, Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science, Bachelor of Environmental Science, Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Science

Research Project in Applied Science – Students undertake a short research project with a research group, with the aim to gain an understanding of the workings of a research lab to support their progress into the Honours program.

Restricted Choice subject in Bachelor of Medical Science, Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science, Bachelor of Environmental Science, Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Science

Positions held in the Higher Education Sector

2016-present  Professor in Microbiology, University of Canberra

2013-2015       Associate Professor in Microbiology, University of Canberra

2010-2012       Assistant Professor in Microbiology, University of Canberra

2011-present  Visiting Fellow, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra

2010-present  Affiliate, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Melbourne

2005-present  Associate Professor, Fudan University, Shanghai; adjunct Professor since 2007

2007-2010       Senior Research Fellow, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Melbourne

2005-2007       Principal investigator, Respiratory virus research, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, Jinshan, Shanghai

2002-2006       Honorary Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Melbourne

Current Grants


Title: KPT-335 as a Novel Therapeutic for Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Investigators: Ralph Tripp (University of Georgia); Reena Ghildyal; Patricia Jorquera (University of Georgia)


Title: Natural Exportin 1(XPO1) inhibitors as antiviral agents against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Investigators: Reena Ghildyal; Cynthia Mathew (PhD student); Andrea Bugarcic (Endeavour College of Natural Health)

Selected Completed Research Grants

NHMRC, Rhinovirus Protease Subcellular Trafficking and Host Cell Targets; Relevance to Asthma exacerbation and vaccine approaches

NHMRC, Respiratory Syncytial Virus Matrix Protein-Host Protein Interactions as Targets for Therapeutics

Australia China Science Research Fund, Genomics and Bioinformatics for Human Health and the Environment

Australia-India Science Research Fund, Australia India Senior Visiting Fellowship

Boehringer Ingelheim, Airway fibroblast responses to rhinovirus infection in allergic asthma and COPD

Centre for Research in Therapeutic Solutions

Dr Reena Ghildyal leads the Respiratory Virology Group within the Centre for Research in Therapeutic Solutions (CResTS) at University of Canberra.

Research within the group is focussed on molecular pathogenesis of rhinovirus (HRV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), two viruses of significant medical importance. An area of special interest is the mechanism/s underlying virus induced asthma exacerbations.

Crest Group 1

Members of the group:

Dr Erin Walker (Research Fellow)
Ms Bilquis Ara (PhD student)
Ms Sarah Croft (PhD student)
Ms Cynthia Mathew (PhD student)
Ms Shadi Shahriari (PhD student)
Mr Eoin O’Callaghan (Honours student)
Mr Trevor Hong (Honours student)
Mr Van Diep (Honours student)
Ms Emaly Tran (Honours student)