Professor Natkunam Ketheesan
Professor in Biomedical Science - School of Science and Technology
Phone: +61 6773 2991
Professor Ketheesan is an academic with interests in teaching, research and research training. He obtained his MD at the Vinnitsa State Medical University and after briefly working as a clinician he went on to complete his MSc in Clinical Immunology and PhD at the University of Leeds. He held post-doctoral positions at the universities of Leeds, Western Australia and Queensland and in 2000 joined James Cook University. There he was rapidly promoted from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor before being conferred the title of Professor with a Personal Chair in Infection and Immunity in 2011.
In 2018 he joined the University of New England as Professor in Biomedical Science to develop teaching and research programmes in Infection and Immunity. He concurrently holds an Honorary Professorial Research Fellowship with the Menzies School of Health Research in the Northern Territory of Australia. He has conducted sabbaticals at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the Institute of Glycomics at Griffith University. Professor Ketheesan is the Principal Consultant for Australian Tropical Solutions.
Professor Ketheesan’s research efforts focus on investigating the interactions between selected bacterial pathogens and the human host, enabling the development of strategies to better identify and combat infections and their complications. His group has developed novel rodent models to determine host-pathogen interactions in rheumatic heart disease, melioidosis, tuberculosis and Q fever. Professor Ketheesan publishes extensively (>100 pubs) and is invited to present both nationally and internationally.
Under his supervision over 40 research theses have been completed. Due to his commitment to research and research training he has been awarded fellowships by the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.
PhD, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
MSc, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
MD (Hons), Vinnitsa Medical University, Ukraine
FFSc RCPA - Fellow of the Faculty of Science Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
FACTM - Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine
Cert. Higher Education Pedagogy, Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning, Harvard University
Graduate Cert. Education, University of Queensland, Australia
Faculty of Science, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
Australasian College of Tropical Medicine
Australian Society for Medical Research
Australasian Society for Immunology
British Society for Immunology
Ketheesan's research efforts focus on investigating the interactions between selected bacterial pathogens and the human host, enabling the development of strategies to better identify and combat infections and their complications. Over the last two decades he has developed novel laboratory models to determine host-pathogen interactions in rheumatic heart disease, melioidosis, tuberculosis and Q fever. His work has been supported by both international and national funding agencies including the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.
Under Ketheesan's mentorship over 40 research theses and projects have been completed. At UNE he is working in collaboration with researchers within Science & Technology and Medicine to conduct research. He also has a significant commitment mentoring Early Career Researchers, HDR Students, Honours Students and Interns.
Ten selected peer-reviewed manuscripts (of 100+ career total)
Sikder S, Williams NL, Sorenson AE, Alim MA, Vidgen ME, Moreland NJ, Rush CM, Simpson RS, Govan BL, Norton RE, Cunningham MW, McMillan DJ, Sriprakash KS, Ketheesan N (2018) Group G streptococcus induces an autoimmune IL-17A/IFN-γ mediated carditis in the Lewis rat model of Rheumatic Heart Disease. Journal of Infectious Diseases (Accepted for Publication 62737R1)
Morris JL, Bridson TL, Alim MA, Rush CM, Rudd DM, Govan BL, Ketheesan N (2016) Development of a diet-induced murine model of diabetes featuring cardinal metabolic and pathophysiological abnormalities of type 2 diabetes. Biology Open; 5(8):1149-62
Gorton D, Sikder S, Williams N, Chilton L, Rush CM, Govan BL, Cunningham MW, Ketheesan N (2016) Repeat exposure to group A streptococcal M protein exacerbates cardiac damage in a rat model of rheumatic heart disease. Autoimmunity 25; 1-8
Martinez N, Ketheesan N, West K, Vallerskog T, Kornfeld H (2016) Impaired Recognition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Alveolar Macrophages from Diabetic Mice. Journal of Infectious Diseases 214(11):1629-1637.
Batzloff MR, Fane A, Gorton D, Pandey M, Rivera-Hernandez T, Calcutt A, Yeung G, Hartas J, Johnson L, Rush CM, McCarthy J, Ketheesan N, Good MF (2016) Preclinical immunogenicity and safety of a Group A streptococcal M protein-based vaccine candidate. Human Vaccine Immunotherapy 12(12):3089-3096
McNeilly C, Cosha S, Vu T, Nichols J, Henningham A, Hofmann A, Fane A, Smeesters PR, Rush CM, Hafner LM, Ketheesan N, Sriprakash SK, McMillan DJ (2016) Predicted coverage and immuno-safety of a recombinant C-Repeat Region based Streptococcus pyogenes vaccine candidate PLoS One 11(6) PMID: 27310707
Hodgson K, Morris J, Bridson T, Govan B, Rush C, Ketheesan N (2015) Immunological mechanisms contributing to the double burden of diabetes and intracellular bacterial infections. Immunology 144(2):171-185
Williams NL, Morris JL, Rush CM, Ketheesan N (2014) Migration of dendritic cells facilitates systemic42 dissemination of Burkholderia pseudomallei. Infection and Immunity 82(10):4233-40
Morris J, Williams N, Rush C, Govan B, Sangla K, Norton R, Ketheesan N (2012) Burkholderia pseudomallei triggers altered inflammatory profiles in a whole-blood model of type 2 diabetes-melioidosis comorbidity. Infection and Immunity 80(6): 2089-99
Gorton DE, Govan BL, Sive AA, Norton RE, Currie BJ, Towers RJ Mascaro-Blanco A, Cunningham MW, Ketheesan N (2011) Cardiac myosin epitopes for monitoring progression of rheumatic fever. Paediatric Infectious Diseases 30(11); 1012-13
Ketheesan N (2012) Editor-in-Chief of Melioidosis: a century of research and observation; Elsevier Press ISBN 0 444 522025 0