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Pathologist and infectious diseases expert makes Australia Day honours list

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29th January, 2024

Dr Matthew O’Sullivan AM from our Westmead laboratory has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to medicine.

He was involved in treat­ing some of the first COVID-19 patients in Aus­tralia and has now been hon­oured for his years of work in the field of infec­tious diseases.

Dr O’Sullivan is the Super­vis­ing Pathol­o­gist at our Micro­bi­ol­o­gy Lab­o­ra­to­ry at West­mead Hos­pi­tal, where he is also Head of the Depart­ment of Infec­tious Diseases.

He has a clin­i­cal inter­est in staphy­lo­coc­cal infec­tion, trop­i­cal med­i­cine, HIV, infec­tions in immuno­com­pro­mised hosts and diag­no­sis, and in the man­age­ment and clin­i­cal bio­con­tain­ment of infec­tious dis­eases, such as Ebo­la and COVID-19.

His research inter­est is in geno­typed-based sur­veil­lance of pathogens respon­si­ble for hos­pi­tal-acquired infections.

A man working in a laboratory.
Dr Matthew O’Sul­li­van at work in the lab.

In ear­ly 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, Dr O’Sullivan trav­elled to Christ­mas Island to help man­age 278 Aus­tralians who were quar­an­tined there.

“We did a rapid assess­ment of every evac­uee as they arrived and iden­ti­fied those who need­ed fur­ther test­ing,” Dr O’Sullivan said.

“We actu­al­ly set up a lab­o­ra­to­ry on the island, which was a major achieve­ment and sup­port­ed the whole operation.

“That meant we could do the pri­ma­ry test­ing there and have results with­in hours, rather than a three-day wait if we need­ed to send them to the mainland.

“We also did check-ups every day, but a lot of our work became keep­ing peo­ple occu­pied and enter­tained for the two weeks of isolation.”

We’re proud to have you on our team Dr O’Sullivan, con­grat­u­la­tions on this well-deserved honour!

A man stands with his arms crossed in front of shelves filled with equipment.
Dr O’Sul­li­van was part of the team that went to Christ­mas Island at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.



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