Dr. Sharon Chen is a research physician and microbiologist with a PhD in Mycology. She is Deputy Director of the Clinical Mycology Laboratory, Centre for Infectious Diseases Laboratory Services (a reference centre for medical mycology) and a member of the Molecular Mycology Research Laboratory.
She has co-chaired (2002-04) the Australia and New Zealand Mycoses Interest Group (ANZMIG), a national body devoted to the study of fungal infections and mycological–related diseases and to education in mycology. She is the current chair of the Scientific Committee for ANZMIG and is nationally recognised for her role as convenor/co-convenor of numerous epidemiological and applied clinical studies. These include a multicentre trial using serological and molecular tools for diagnosing invasive aspergillosis in haematology patients, the Australian Candidemia Study, Australian Scedosporium Study and a Cryptococcus gattii study in collaboration with the British Columbia Centre for Diseases Control (2008-2013). She is principal site investigator of international antifungal drug trials and actively contributed to the writing of Australian guidelines for use of antifungal agents.
Her PhD focused on an Australia-wide molecular epidemiology study of Cryptococcus neoformans and the identification of phospholipase enzymes produced by this fungus. This included enzyme characterisation, studies of virulence in a mouse model and active contribution to work on gene deletion experiments in collaboration with Duke University, USA, and on determining factors influencing in vitro phospholipase production. She also assisted in developing an ELISA to detect phospholipase in vivo.