Dr Erin Price

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Dr Erin Price


USC Senior Research Fellow

PhD Qld.UT, Grad Cert Res Comm Qld.UT, BAppSci (Hons) Qld.UT

+61 7 5456 5568
+61 7 5430 1111
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Dr Erin Price


Dr Erin Price is a microbiologist and molecular geneticist who joined USC as a Senior Research Fellow in January 2017. Dr Price’s research interests include better understanding the phylogeography, transmission, antibiotic resistance and evolution of bacterial pathogens affecting humans and animals, with a focus on dangerous pathogens and those that cause chronic respiratory disease. Dr Price has a keen interest in microbial genomics and transcriptomics as tools to better understand and treat infectious diseases. She has previously held post-doctoral research positions in Arizona and Darwin investigating the population biology and evolution of high-threat bacterial pathogens. Dr Price’s current research projects include a $1.2M NHMRC grant with Prof. Bart Currie at Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, investigating the transmission, evolution and antibiotic resistance of the melioidosis bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei, which is estimated to kill as many people globally as measles. She is currently supervising four PhD students in the area of microbial genomics.

Key publications

  • Price EP, Viberg LT, Kidd TJ, Bell SC, Currie BJ, Sarovich DS. 2018. Transcriptomic analysis of longitudinal Burkholderia pseudomallei infecting the cystic fibrosis lung. Microb Genom 4(8).
  • Viberg LT, Sarovich DS, Kidd TJ, Geake JB, Bell SC, Currie BJ, Price EP. 2017. Within-host evolution of Burkholderia pseudomallei during chronic infection of seven Australian cystic fibrosis patients. MBio. 8(2):e00356-17.
  • Price EP, Sarovich DS, Smith EJ, MacHunter B, Harrington G, Theobald V, Hall CM, Hornstra HM, McRobb E, Podin Y, Mayo M, Sahl JW, Wagner DM, Keim P, Kaestli M, Currie BJ. 2016. Unprecedented melioidosis cases in northern Australia caused by an Asian Burkholderia pseudomallei strain identified by using large-scale comparative genomics. Appl Environ Microbiol 82(3):954-63.
  • Price EP, Sarovich DS, Nosworthy E, Beissbarth J, Marsh RL, Pickering J, Kirkham LA, Keil AD, Chang AB, Smith-Vaughan HC. 2015. Haemophilus influenzae: using comparative genomics to accurately identify a highly recombinogenic human pathogen. BMC Genomics 16:641.
  • Sarovich DS, Price EP. 2014. SPANDx: a genomics pipeline for comparative analysis of large haploid whole genome re-sequencing datasets. BMC Res Notes 7:618.
  • Price EP, Sarovich DS, Mayo M, Tuanyok A, Drees KP, Kaestli M, Beckstrom-Sternberg SM, Babic-Sternberg JS, Kidd TJ, Bell SC, Keim P, Pearson T, Currie BJ. 2013. Within-host evolution of Burkholderia pseudomallei over a twelve-year chronic carriage infection. MBio 4(4):e00388-13.

Research grants

Project name Investigator/s Funding body Year(s) of operation Focus
The Darwin Prospective Melioidosis Study: Years 27-31 Prof Bart Currie, Prof Paul Keim, Dr Erin Price, Dr Derek Sarovich, Dr Mirjam Kaestli, Mr Mark Mayo NHMRC, Host institution: Menzies School of Health Research 2016–2020 The Darwin Prospective Melioidosis Study has documented 914 cases since 1989, with 115 fatalities. A surge in Darwin melioidosis cases over the past 5 years has been linked to urban development and the discovery of a new bacterial strain. Whole genome sequencing of our unique 25+ year set of bacteria and their linked patient data will unravel the changing epidemiology and identify important virulence factors, forming a foundation for future diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.
Molecular tracking and transmission mechanism exploration for the recent intercontinental spread of B. pseudomallei strains Dr Xiao Zheng, Prof Bart Currie, Dr Erin Price, Dr Derek Sarovich, Mr Mark Mayo National Natural Sciences Foundation China (NSFC), Host institution: China CDC 2016–2019 The ST-562 clone of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, has recently been identified in both northern Australia and Hainan, China, indicating that the geographic barrier between B. pseudomallei populations is being broken. This project is applying genetic and genomic strategies to investigate the origin and transmission of ST-562 between the two continents.

Research affiliations

  • Sunshine Coast Health Institute

  • Honorary Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research

  • Research Affiliate, Northern Arizona University

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