Dr David McMillan

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Dr David McMillan


Senior Lecturer, Microbiology

PhD W'gong, Grad Cert (Research Management) S.Cross, BSc(Hons) W'gong.

+61 7 5456 5852
+61 7 5456 5010
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Dr David McMillan


Dr David McMillan completed his PhD at the University of Wollongong and completed post-doctoral studies at the Queensland Institute for Medical Research and the German Research Centre for Biotechnology, Braunschweig, Germany. He was appointed Senior Research Fellow at USC in 2013.

Research interests

The major research interests of my group are the study and prevention of Streptococcus pyogenes infections and discovery of novel antibiotics.

S. pyogenes infection results in half a million deaths each year. The bacterium is one of the leading bacterial killers of humans for which no vaccine is available. Research in this theme is focused on

  • Development and evaluation of novel group A streptococcal vaccines
  • Understanding the genetic basis of group A streptococcal disease
  • Population genetics of streptococci

The emergence and global expansion of antibiotic resistant bacteria is having a major impact on our ability to treat once preventable diseases. For some bacterial strains, failures in ‘antibiotics of last resort’ have been reported. Research in this theme is focused on

  • Identification and testing novel antibiotic compounds from natural sources
  • Characterisation of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms

Bacterial colonisation of medical devices is a leading cause medical device failure and hospital acquired infection. As the major species of bacteria associated with medical device in continue to increase in antibiotic resistance, the threat to health that medical device infections pose continues to increase. Research in this theme is focused on

  • characterisation of bacterial communities present on medical devices
  • evaluating novel procedures for prevention of medical device colonisation

Honours and postgraduate projects

Our research group has research projects available in all above themes. Please contact Dr David McMillan for more information.

Research funding

Dr McMillan has attracted competitive research funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, National Heart Foundation, Australian Infectious Disease Research Centre, and Innovation connections. He has also been successful in attracting funds from commercial sources.

Selected funding

  • Innovations Connections Grant 2017, $56,244
  • Soust M, and DJ McMillan. Identification and characterization of novel antimicrobial products in Lactobacilli.
  • NHMRC Project Grant 2013-2016, $944,798.
  • Rickard, C, J Fraser, J Webster, A Marshall, J Young, G Playford, DJ McMillan, M McGrail, J Gowardman, O Thom, H Reynolds, J Whitby, J. Crilly, K. Dunster, N Marsh, N, S Keogh, and L Zhang. The SAVE Trial: Securing All intraVenous devices Effectively in hospitals. A randomised controlled trial.
  • NHMRC Project grant 2012-2014, $590,000
  • McMillan, DJ, N Ketheesan, L Hafner, M Sanderson-Smith and K Sriprakash. Evaluation of a vaccine to combat common streptococcal diseases.
  • National Heart Foundation Grant in Aid 2011-2012, $127,456.
  • McMillan, DJ, N Ketheesan and L Hafner. A vaccine to reduce rheumatic heart disease and other streptococcal diseases.
  • NHMRC Project grant 2008-2010 $1,535,435
  • Rickard C, M Wallis, J Young, J Gowardman, M Whitby, DJ McMillan, J Fraser, and L Zhang. Intravascular device administration sets: Replacement after Standard Versus Prolonged use (The RSVP Trial).
  • NHMRC Project grant 2008-2010 $400,874
  • McMillan, DJ Identifying the conditions that promote lateral gene transfer and evolution of streptococcal pathovars.

Selected publications

    1. Buckley SJ, P Timms, MR Davies and DJ McMillan. 2018 In silico characterisation of the two-component system regulators of Streptococcus pyogenes. PlosOne 13:6 e0199163.
    2. Sikder, S., NL Williams, AE Sorenson, MA Alim, ME Vidgen, NJ Moreland, CM Rush, RS Simpson, BL Govan, RE Norton, MW Cunningham, DJ McMillan, KS Sriprakash and N Ketheesan. 2018. Group G streptococcus induces an autoimmune IL-17A/IFN-gamma mediated carditis in the Lewis rat model of Rheumatic Heart Disease." J Infect Dis 218:324-335
    3. Rickard, CM., N Marsh, J Webster, N Runnegar, E Larsen, MR McGrail, F Fullerton, E Bettington, JA Whitty, MA Choudhury, H Tuffaha, A Corley, DJ McMillan, JF Fraser, AP Marshall and EG Playford. 2018. Dressings and securements for the prevention of peripheral intravenous catheter failure in adults (SAVE): a pragmatic, randomised controlled, superiority trial. Lancet 392(10145): 419-430.
    4. Vallejo, A., MC Wallis, E Horton and DJ McMillan 2018. Low-frequency ultrasonic debridement and topical antimicrobial polyhexamethylene biguanide for use in chronic wounds: A case series. Wound Practice & Research: Journal of the Australian Wound Management Association 26: 4-12
    5. McNeilly C, Cosh S, Vu T, Nichols J, Henningham A, Hofmann A, Fane A, Smeesters P, Rush C, Hafner L, Ketheesan N, Sriprakash S, and McMillan DJ. 2016 Predicted coverage and immune-safety of a recombinant C-repeat region based Streptococcus pyogenes vaccine candidate. PLOSOne e0156639
    6. Choudhury MA, March N, Banu S, Paterson D, Rickard CM, McMillan DJ. 2016. Molecular Comparison of Bacterial Communities on Peripheral Intravenous Catheters and Matched Skin Swabs. PLOS One 11:e0146354
    7. Hule GP, Karmarkar MG, Cameron A, Hase N, Khopkar U, Mehta PR, McNeilly CL, McMillan DJ, Sriprakash KS. 2015. Seropositivity for Antibodies to DRS-G, a Virulence Factor from Streptococcus dysgalactiae equisimilis, Is an Independent Risk Factor for Poststreptococcus Glomerulonephritis and Chronic Kidney Disease in Mumbai, India. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 22(8):938-42.
    8. Smyth DJ, Shera J, Bauer MJ, Cameron A, McNeilly C, Sriprakash KS and McMillan DJ. 2014. Conjugative transfer of ICESde3396 between three β-hemolytic streptococcal species. BMC Research Notes e7:521
    9. Da Cunha V, Davies MR, Douarre PE, Rosinski-Chupin I, Margarit I, Spinali S, Perkins T, Lechat P, Dmytruk N, Sauvage E, Ma L, Romi B, Tichit M, Lopez-Sanchez MJ, Descorps-Declere S, Souche E, Buchrieser C, Trieu-Cuot P, Moszer I, Clermont D, Maione D, Bouchier C, McMillan DJ, Parkhill J, Telford JL, Dougan G, Walker MJ, Consortium D, Holden MT, Poyart C, Glaser P, Consortium D. 2014. Streptococcus agalactiae clones infecting humans were selected and fixed through the extensive use of tetracycline. Nat Commun 5:4544.
    10. Bauer MJ, Georgousakis MM, Vu T, Henningham A, Hofmann A, Rettel M, Hafner LM, Sriprakash KS, McMillan DJ. 2012. Evaluation of novel Streptococcus pyogenes vaccine candidates incorporating multiple conserved sequences from the C-repeat region of the M-protein. Vaccine 30:2197-2205.
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