Antibiotic resistance research -
MERINO Clinical Research Network


The main focus of our team’s research is to explore the incidence, distribution, prevention and control of antibiotic resistant infections. Through our research, our mission is to create and lead clinical and scientific discoveries and solutions for global translation against antimicrobial resistance.

Our team is comprised of four specialisation areas:

  1. Clinical trial management
  2. Medical microbiology
  3. Pathogen genomics 
  4. Bioinformatics.

Our team’s expertise spans across clinical infectious diseases, medical microbiology, epidemiology, bioinformatics and clinical trials/studies planning, setup, execution and management.

We are a rapidly rising research team who pride ourselves on our national and international collaborative network we work alongside and continue to expand upon.

A notable achievement for our team was the development, execution and completion of the MERINO Trial, which is currently the world’s largest randomised controlled trial on treatment for multi-resistent gram-negative bacteria. JAMA - Harris et al., September 2018


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Please see below for a snapshot of our current clinical research:

  • Game Changer RCT (UQ Sponsor) - Investigator driven randomized controlled trial exploring the use of a new antibiotic (Cefiderocol) versus standardly used therapies for particular healthcare-associated and hospital-acquired blood stream infections.  NCT03869437
  • T2 and Septicyte RAPID Duration Study (UQ Sponsor) - Measuring the duration of bloodstream infections as measured by conventional cultures compared with new culture independent systems and persistence of chemical markers produced by the body that have an association with severe infection. NCT04821661
  • New Diagnostics in Neutropenia Study (UQ Sponsor) - Investigating new diagnostic instruments and how they perform for the diagnosis of severe infections in neutropenic patients with cancers that begin in blood-forming tissues of the body. NCT05174546
  • Superinfections in Patients with COVID-19 Study (UQ Sponsor) - Investigating the risks of bacterial and fungal superinfection in patients with COVID-19 who either have new in onset or pre-existing immunosuppression and who have been admitted to the ICU.  NCT05256316
  • Australasian COVID-19 Trial (ASCOT) Adaptive Platform Trial (ADAPT) (Monash University, UQCCR QLD coordinating centre) - An international multi-centre randomised adaptive platform clinical trial to assess the clinical, virological and immunological outcomes in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19). NCT04483960
  • EMBRACE Trial (Janssen Research and Development, LLC) - The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the efficacy of 9-valent extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli vaccine (ExPEC9V) compared to placebo in the prevention of the first invasive extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli disease (IED) event caused by ExPEC9V O-serotypes. NCT04899336
  • ASAP Trial (Monash University, UQCCR QLD coordinating centre) - Combination Surgical Prophylaxis with Vancomycin versus Standard Prophylaxis for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infections following Elective and Expedited Surgery.  ACTRN12618000642280

Within our molecular microbiology laboratory we have in-house expertise in molecular applications such as nucleic acid extraction, PCR, short and long read sequencing.  Additionally, we undertake bacterial and yeast identification, Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (Broth microdilution, Etest and disc testing) as well as specialised microbial testing suited to any clinical or research project. 

 Our laboratory processes are in accordance to NATA and include:

  • BMD undertaken according to AS ISO 20776.1-2017, EUCAST and CLSI.
  • All testing ISO 17025 Competence of Testing and Calibration Labs
  • Equipment: Equipment-assurance-in-house-calibration-and-equipment-verification.pd
  • Culture Collection Curation: Maintenance-of-Microbiological-Reference-Culture-Collections-MRCC v. Aug 2021
  • Inhouse media QC: Guidelines-for-the-Quality-Assurance-of-Medical-Microbiological-culture-media-2nd-edition-July-2012
  • Experiments with verification or validation according to: NATA Tech Note 17 Validation of Quantitative Methods Oct 2013

Our research is supported by successful funding achievements through government grants, commercial partnerships and philanthropic donors. If you would like to discuss an opportunity to support our game-changing research, please contact Professor David Paterson,

Through our research we have established a strong and engaging collaborative network of clinicians, researchers and hospital sites from around the world. This network of collaborators currently includes academic and clinical sites across:

  • Australia

  • New Zealand

  • Singapore

  • Thailand

  • Malaysia

  • Taiwan

  • Turkey

  • Lebanon

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Italy

  • Spain

  • USA

  • Canada

  • United Kingdom

Within our research team, we welcome the opportunity to discuss future educational opportunities with anyone interested in infectious diseases research. We have a wide-spanning knowledge base and collaborative network that we work alongside, so we are more than happy to assist and guide you with your research questions. To discuss opportunities please contact Tiffany Harris-Brown,

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Dr Patrick Harris

“The world is facing a looming crisis with rising antibiotic resistance. The research I’m involved in looks to define the best ways to prevent, detect and treat serious infections involving drug-resistant organisms.”

Read Patrick’s story