About Professor Nicholas King

My passion is understanding how organisms in nature survive and evolve to co-exist successfully with other living things.

This laboratory is investigating the mechanisms of interaction of neurotropic Flaviviruses with the vertebrate host immune system that cause immune-mediated disease (immunopathology).

This laboratory is investigating the interaction of neurotropic Flaviviruses with the vertebrate host immune system to discover how it causes immune-mediated disease (immunopathology).
Nicholas King is currently Head of the Department of Pathology, and melds cell biology, virology, embryology and immunology into world-leading expertise in flavivirus-host interactions in mouse and human models, where he has made seminal contributions over 20 years. West Nile virus has come to prominence since the 1999 outbreak of encephalitis in New York. He discovered that flaviviruses paradoxically direct the upregulation of MHC and adhesion molecules on infected cells, making them more visible to the immune system. He proposed a novel immunological decoy theory to explain this and associated flaviviral immuno-pathology, which has generated strong interest in the mathematical community for modelling infection. His recent work has begun to elucidate the mechanisms of this paradox and explains how viruses might trigger auto-immune disease, and recurrent immune abortion of the embryo via immunopathological events.

Publications: He has co-authored 95 original scientific papers in international refereed journals, as well as 18 peer-reviewed articles on teaching development/research. More than 25% are in the top-ranking journals in their field, including J. Immunol. (5 papers), J. Virol. (4), Biol. Reprod. (3), J. Infect. Dis. (3), J. Invest. Derm. (2), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (US) (2), J. Exp. Med. (1), Thorax (1), Cancer Res. (1) and Invest. Ophth. Vis. Sci. (1) Many of these are referenced in the Flaviviruses chapter in Fields Virology. Additionally, Dr King has 2 invited chapters in separate edited books on flaviviruses.

Competitive research funding: Attracted, in the last 10 years, solely or collaboratively, more than $8.7M (NHMRC $3.6M) in competitive grant funding, with more than $400,000 in teaching grants, including 2 CUTSD grants.

• 20 PhD students (16 completed) and 1 MSc(Med) by research, 8 BSc (Med) research projects and 21 BSc (Hons) projects completed (20 1st Class Hons, two prizes for Best Thesis of the Year)
• Awarded one of only three Vice Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching Awards, USyd (2002); represented the University in the National Teaching Awards (2002).
• All PhD students have remained in research, taking fellowship positions at such locations as the Dana Farber Inst., Boston, U. of Minnesota, HKU., WEHI, Melbourne U., The Heart Research Institute, Sydney, Dept of Pathology, USyd, Sydney Eye Hospital and RNSH. Of 15 PhD graduates, four have academic positions, including one full Professor.

Selected publications

For a comprehensive list of Professor King's publicatons, please visit his Sydney Medical School profile page.