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Fellows Directory

Robert Webster


Robert Webster’s interests include the emergence and control of influenza viruses, viral immunology, the structure and function of influenza virus proteins and the development of new vaccines and antivirals. Together with the late Graeme Laver, he developed one of the first subunit vaccines for influenza that is still being produced in Australia.

The major focus of his research has been the importance of influenza viruses in wild aquatic birds as a major reservoir of influenza viruses, the establishment of their ecological principals and their role in the evolution of new pandemic strains for humans and lower animals.

He contributed to the establishment of the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research at the University of Hong Kong and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, United States, and to our understanding of the continuing evolution and control of novel influenza viruses. He has published over 700 original articles and reviews on influenza viruses with pandemic potential. He has trained many scientists who now contribute to our understanding of the evolution and pathogenesis of influenza and to vaccine development.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Antivirals, aquatic birds, Influenza ecology, pandemic-emergence, reassortant, reservoirs, Vaccines