MEL-BER Network

Tackling the public health challenges of today and tomorrow through collaborative research

The MEL - BER Network is an international research training group established by the University of Melbourne in partnership with the Berlin University Alliance (BUA), a collective of four leading universities in Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

The group was formed as a part of the Berlin University Alliance’s second 'Grand Challenge Initiative' (CGI), which addresses the field of Global Health as an emerging discipline.

Together, the BUA and the University of Melbourne aim to strengthen their international approach to Global Health challenges by giving joint PhD candidates the opportunity to work on a globally collaborative research project, gain international experience and insights and become part of an excellent research environment in Berlin and Melbourne.

Our partner: the Berlin University Alliance

The Berlin University Alliance is an organisation born of the cooperative relationship between three of Berlin’s premier universities and one of Europe’s largest university hospitals. The research performed at these four institutions helps to make Berlin one of Germany’s leading sites for academia and research. More than 100,000 students study at these institutions, which serve as a magnet for scholars and scientists from all over the world and a site of training for outstanding next-generation talent in academia and the sciences.

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The MEL - BER Network researchers participate in collaborative research with Melbourne and the Berlin University Alliance by way of the latter’s member institutions. Both the group’s researchers and joint PhD candidates alike are based out of the University of Melbourne and one of the four BER partners:

Joint PhD opportunity

Control of ticks and tick-borne pathogens using anti-tick microbial vaccines

Ticks are parasites that feed on blood. Not only do they cause paralysis and allergic reactions, but they also transmit several pathogens. Traditionally, chemicals have been used to control ticks and tick-borne diseases. However, this practice has led to the emergence of resistance in ticks and is not environmentally sustainable. This PhD project aims to develop an alternative method for controlling ticks by researching tick microbiota.

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Professor Tu’uhevaha Kaitu’u-Lino

Meet our academic lead

Prof Tu’uhevaha Kaitu’u-Lino is a NHMRC RD Wright (CDF2) and Dame Kate Campbell Fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mercy Hospital for Women, University of Melbourne. Prof Kaitu’u-Lino leads the Diagnostics Discovery and Reverse Translation in Pregnancy team under the wider Translational Obstetrics Group, a team of clinicians and scientists who are focused on developing concepts in the laboratory, and taking these to the clinic.

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First published on 1 September 2022.

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