Professor Nigel McMillan, Program Director: Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Menzies Health Institute QLD, Griffith University


COVID-19 started with a few strange respiratory illnesses in Wuhan China just 14 months ago to a full-blown pandemic with over 2 million deaths worldwide today. It has fundamentally changed the world with the response to control being highly varied from strict lockdowns of whole cities and states to social distancing and a reliance on public buy-in on compliance. 

The research effort in the last 18 months has been spectacular, with more than 70 vaccines in current clinical trial and a large range of therapeutic modalities tested or used. The McMillan-Morris laboratory at Griffith has developed an RNA-based antiviral based on siRNA that is able to protect mice against lethal SARS-COV-2 infection. As it targets a highly conserved region of the virus genome it is designed to work against all beta coronaviruses including MERS, SARS-CoV-1 and all current variants of SARS-CoV-2, past present and future. I will present an overview of the pandemic including responses, controversies, and treatments as well as present our latest data.


Nigel McMillanProfessor Nigel McMillan is a virologist and cancer researcher whose research has focused on the novel treatments for viruses and viral cancers.  He discovered the receptor for the human papillomavirus, has developed novel RNA-based treatments for cancers caused by HPV, and has designed a range of novel nanoparticle delivery systems for gene silencing and editing technologies.

His laboratory was the first to show that cancer could be cured in vivo using CRISPR technology in 2019. He established the Griffith Centre for Cell and Gene Medicines in 2021, which includes the Griffith RNA Biofoundry. He is Professor in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences and Program Director of Infectious Diseases in the Menzies Health Institute Queensland based at Griffith University’s Gold Coast Campus.

Prof McMillan has had continuous NHMRC grant funding since establishing his laboratory in 1996 and has published 114 papers including papers in PNAS, Clinical Cancer Research, Oncology, Journal of Virology, Nature Nanotechnology and Nature Communications. He is past president of the Australasian Virology Society. His laboratory is currently developing RNA therapies to treat COVID19. 

About Seminar Series

The School of Pharmacy Seminar Series involves regular formal presentations of high-quality scholarly work with broad appeal.

The wider School community is invited to attend, including academic and professional staff, special guests, visitors, as well as HDR, postgraduate, masters and honours students.

Seminars are held on Fridays from 12pm–1pm in room 5034 in the Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence, 20 Cornwall St Woolloongabba (next to TRI and the PA Hospital).

Confirmed 2022 seminars



12-1pm, Friday 1st April (PACE R5034 and Zoom)

Dr Ran Wang, Mater Research Institute, UQ

12-1pm, Friday 22nd April (Zoom Only)

Dr Joanna Harnett, School of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney

12-1pm, Friday 29th April (PACE R5034 and Zoom)Dr Iman Azimi, Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science, University of Tasmania

12-1pm, Friday 6th May (PACE R5034 and Zoom)

Dr Larisa Labzin, Institute of Molecular Bioscience, UQ

12-1pm, Friday 20th May (PACE R5034 and Zoom)

Prof Nina Barnett, Consultant Pharmacist,

Visiting Professor Kingston University, UK, London

11am-12pm, Friday 27th May (Zoom only)

Prof Terry Hebert, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

12-1pm, Friday 3rd June (PACE R5034 and Zoom)

A/Prof Joy Wolfram, School of Chemical Engineering, UQ

12-1pm, Friday 17th June (PACE R5034 and Zoom)

Dr Rink-Jan Lohman, School of Pharmacy, UQ and

Dr Karnaker Reddy Tupally, School of Pharmacy, UQ

12-1pm, Friday 1st July (PACE R5034 and Zoom)

Dr Khay Fong, School of Environmental Life Sciences, University of Newcastle


Level 5, Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE)
20 Cornwall Street, Woolloongabba 4102
Online, or Room 5034