Professor Peter White

3112, L3 East, Bioscience South E26
(+612) 9385 3780
(+612) 9385 1483

For more details about the White Lab see:


  • B.Sc. Hons (King’s College, London) 1992
  • PhD (University College, London) 1996

Professional experience

  • 2013-current: Professor, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences (BABS)
  • 2008-2012: Associate Professor, School of BABS
  • 2003-2007: Senior Lecturer, School of BABS, UNSW
  • 2003-current: Honorary Consultant Virologist, Prince of Wales Hospital
  • 1998-2002: Hepatitis Group Leader, Virology Division, Prince of Wales Hospital
  • 1997-1998: NHMRC-funded Postdoctoral Researcher, Macquarie University
  • 1996-1997: Royal Society Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Macquarie University

Research Contribution

Peter is a Professor in Microbiology and Molecular Biology. His current work focuses on molecular virology with a particular interests in antiviral agents, viral replication, viral recombination, viral evolution and identification of pandemic noroviruses. He has a breadth of experience in the development of novel molecular assay systems to investigate viral infections. He also has interests in antibiotic resistance in gram-negative bacteria and applied biotechnology.

Following a BSc (Hons) in Biotechnology from King’s College London, University of London (1992), Peter completed a PhD at University College, London (1996) in molecular microbiology, where he identified and studied virulence proteins from bacterial pathogens. He commenced his postdoctoral research at Macquarie University in Sydney as a recipient of a Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellowship. He spent two years working on integrons and their role in antibiotic resistance in gram-negative bacteria, before moving to the Microbiology of Department at the Prince of Wales Hospital as Hepatitis Group Leader.  From 1998 to 2003 he continued his work on drug resistance in bacteria and he began a major norovirus research program, supported by Professor Bill Rawlinson and staff at the Prince of Wales Hospital.

In 2003 he took up an appointment at the University of New South Wales as a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology and Molecular Biology, where he continued to work on hepatitis C virus (HCV), norovirus and antibiotic resistance. Peter has supervised 9 PhD, one M.Sc student and 26 Honours students and he has 76 publications in the field of microbiology. He is the current President of the Australian Centre for Hepatitis Virology.

Peter heads the Molecular Microbiology Laboratory in the School of BABS, located in state-of-the-art facilities. Research in this multi-disciplined group encompasses the themes of molecular virology, evolution, antivirals and biotechnology. Projects currently focuses on two viruses, norovirus and hepatitis C virus, but other projects involving dog viruses, bovine fat stem cells, microbiological reference standards and antiviral topical creams are also running.

Active Research Projects

Research Grants

  • Melbourne Water Corporation: Assessing the risk and source of virus contamination in surface, ground and reused water, White, 2015-2016, $42,000
  • National Health and Medical Research Council Project: APP1083139, Norovirus replication and pathogenesis, Mackenzie and White, 2015-2017, $496,000
  • ARC Discovery Grant: DP1201014073, Maintaining fidelity in viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerases, White, 2011-2014, $216,000


Courses I contribute to teaching

BABS1202 - Applied Biomolecular Sciences (1st year)

MICR2011 - Microbiology 1 (2nd year) (Course Co-convenor)

MICR3061 – Viruses and Disease (3rd year) (Course Convenor)

BABS3200 -Synthetic Biology (3rd year)

1st and 2nd year Medicine

Professional affiliations and service positions

External - Societies

  • Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology (ACH2). Executive Committee member (2011-present)
  • Australasian Virology Society, Committee Member (2009-2017)
  • Chair, Australia and New Zealand Norovirus Surveillance Network (2007-present)
  • Fellow of the Australian Society of Microbiology (FASM) (2012-present) 
  • Member of the America Society for Microbiology (2004-present)
  • Member of the Society for General Microbiology (1994-present)
  • Australian Centre for Hepatitis Virology (ACHV) (President 2011-2013)
  • Australian Centre for Hepatitis Virology, (Vice President 2006-2011)
  • Australian Centre for Hepatitis Virology, (Treasurer 2002-2006) 
  • Australian Society of Microbiology, Division 2 Chair (2008-2010)
  • Australian Society of Microbiology, Member of the National Scientific Advisory Committee 2008-2010
  • ICTV Caliciviridae Study Group

Internal - UNSW

  • UNSW Institutional Bio-Safety committee member (2003-2017)
  • Postgraduate Coordinator School of BABS (2007- 2011)
  • Honours Coordinator, School of BABS (2007-2010)
  • UNSW Faculty of Engineering, External Promotion Committee Member (Associate Professor) (2008-2009)
  • Committee Member, Human Research Ethics Advisory Panel D: Biomedical 2006-07


  • 2015: Titan of Teaching Award, School of BABS, UNSW
  • 1996: Royal Society (UK) Postdoctoral Fellowship 
  • 1992-1996: Medical Research Council (MRC) PhD Scholarship


  • Australian Centre For HIV and Hepatitis Virology (ACH2), Scientific Convenor, National meeting, Terrigal Jun, 2009, Yarra Valley 2010
  • Australian Virology Group, Organising Committee, Lorne Dec 2009
  • Australian Society of Microbiology (ASM), Division 2 Chair (Virology), Sydney 2010 and member of the National Scientific Advisor Committee (NSAC), Jul 2010

Current PhD students

Jennifer Lun
Natalie Netzler
Daniel Enosi Tuipulotu
Alice Russo
Grace Yan

Supervision Opportunities/Areas

Contact Peter about research supervision opportunities:
In the School of BABS we teach undergraduates, mentor postgraduate research students and conduct research in the disciplines of biotechnology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, microbiology, environmental microbiology, medical microbiology and immunology. We empower our students, giving them the tools and experience to embark on a career that is richer, more fulfilling and constantly fascinating.


Click here for Professor White's publications list