Even before COVID-19 made everyone an "expert" on running RATs, hundreds of millions of lateral-flow point of care (POC) tests were used each year for detection of antigens (such as HCG for pregnancy, and pathogen-specific antigens for hepatitis B and malaria diagnosis), antibodies (such as HIV, hepatitis C), and small molecules (drugs of abuse and some vitamins). The Global Health Diagnostics Laboratory (GHDDL) at the Burnet Institute has had a strong focus on biomarker discovery and POC test development for priority unmet medical needs for diagnostics in low-middle income countries, and I will discuss a number of these tests including CD4 T-cells (Visitect CD4), syphilis, liver disease and cirrhosis, and dimeric IgA and neutralising antibodies in COVID-19.


David Anderson is Chief Scientific Officer of the Burnet Diagnostics Initiative and Deputy Director (Partnerships) of the Burnet Institute in Melbourne, Australia, where he has spent his entire professional career since starting as a student in 1982, with a major focus on point of care (POC) diagnostics.

His work has led to diagnostic innovations including the Visitect® CD4 point of care (POC) test for monitoring of CD4+ T-cells in HIV, commercialised by Omega Diagnostics, Scotland and recently achieving WHO prequalification as an essential diagnostic, which serves as a paradigm for future cell-based POC tests including CD64 in sepsis and severe infection; novel POC tests for liver disease and confirmation of active syphilis; and novel POC tests for detection of acute COVID-19 and neutralizing antibodies to COVID-19. He is the author of more than 90 papers and book chapters, and an inventor of 10 families of patents.

In 2013 he led the establishment of Burnet spinoff company, Nanjing BioPoint Diagnostic Technology Ltd, to progress the development and commercialisation of diagnostics R&D from the Burnet. He serves as President and CEO of the Company which has both R&D and GMP, ISO13485-certified manufacturing facilities in Nanjing.

He is a Member of OzSAGE, a multi-disciplinary network of Australian experts from a broad range of sectors relevant to the well-being of the Australian population during and after the COVID-19 pandemic; and an Executive Member of the Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology (ACH2), a network of laboratory research experts with a focus on translational research.

About School research seminars

Seminars cover all aspects of chemistry and molecular biosciences and are delivered by visiting national and international academics. PhD completion seminars are also incorporated into the program.

Seminars are usually held in person and via zoom. All are welcome to attend.