• 19 Innovation walk, 76

    3800 Monash University


  • Room 252, 19 Innovation Walk, 76

    3800 Melbourne

1988 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Professor Trevor Lithgow graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry from La Trobe University in 1992. In 1993, he was awarded a Long-Term Fellowship from the Human Frontiers Science Program and moved to a postdoctoral position with Professor Gottfried (Jeff) Schatz at the University of Basel. In 1999, Lithgow was awarded the HFSP Tenth Anniversary Award that recognised the top ten Research Fellows in the first ten years of the Human Frontiers Science Program. A capstone to these discoveries came with recent work on the high-resolution structural analysis of the mitochondrial protein import “TOM” complex published in papers in Science, Molecular Cell and Nature.

Lithgow was awarded an ARC Federation Fellowship to build capacity for studying host–pathogen interactions at Monash University, starting in 2008. In 2014, he took up an ARC Laureate Fellowship to build capacity in nanoscale imaging approaches to investigate bacterial cell biology. This included developing applications of single particle cryoEM, neutron reflectrometry, atomic force microscopy and super-resolution imaging of bacterial cells. The fundamental discoveries from this work include how bacterial outer membranes are assembled and the intracellular complexity of the bacterial cytoplasm and periplasm. Lithgow also led the NHMRC Program in Cellular Microbiology that used the fundamental knowledge of bacterial cell biology to better understand mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the mechanics driving entry of bacteriophage into bacteria and the mechanisms by which phages control host cell biology. 

Professor Lithgow is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. In 2020, he was appointed as Director of the new, inter-Faculty, Centre to Impact AMR. The Centre brings together engineers, social scientists and anthropologists, molecular and microbiologists, chemists, computational and evolutionary scientists, and clinicians, in order to find sustainable solutions to the growing and global problem of AMR.

Research interests

Uncovering clues to new disease control strategies Discoveries on ways to visualize the bacterial cell surface lays the foundation for helping scientists to develop new ways to fight disease. Nanoscale imaging technologies at Monash University mean that these machines can be seen in unprecedented detail, with this level of scrutiny highlighting their weak-points too, with new antimicrobial approaches now in the pipeline.

These same approaches to understanding bacterial cell biology are being applied to investigate the interaction of bacteriophages (phages) with bacterial cell surfaces. Phage therapies are on the horizon as a major means to treat AMR infections.

"All of this matters if we are to become creative enough to design new ways to prevent the increasing numbers of bacterial infections that are resistant to off-the-shelf antibiotics."



External positions

Director, Centre to Impact AMR

1 Jan 2020 → …

Research area keywords

  • antimicrobial resistance
  • bacterial evolution
  • membrane biochemistry
  • bacterial cell biology
  • protein transport

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.


Research Output

Characterization of BamA reconstituted into a solid-supported lipid bilayer as a platform for measuring dynamics during substrate protein assembly into the membrane

Ding, Y., Shiota, T., Le Brun, A. P., Dunstan, R. A., Wang, B., Hsu, H-Y., Lithgow, T. & Shen, H-H., 1 Sep 2020, In : Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes. 1862, 9, 10 p., 183317.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Characterization of the Core Ribosomal Binding Region for the Oxazolidone Family of Antibiotics Using Cryo-EM

Wright, A., Deane-Alder, K., Marschall, E., Bamert, R., Venugopal, H., Lithgow, T., Lupton, D. W. & Belousoff, M. J., 12 Jun 2020, In : ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science. 3, 3, p. 425-432 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

DeepVF: a deep learning-based hybrid framework for identifying virulence factors using the stacking strategy

Xie, R., Li, J., Wang, J., Dai, W., Leier, A., Marquez-Lago, T. T., Akutsu, T., Lithgow, T., Song, J. & Zhang, Y., 22 May 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Briefings in Bioinformatics. 15 p., bbaa125.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Dynamic epidemiology and virulence characteristics of carbapenem-resistant klebsiella pneumoniae in wenzhou, China from 2003 to 2016

Zhao, Y., Zhang, S., Fang, R., Wu, Q., Li, J., Zhang, Y., Rocker, A., Cao, J., Lithgow, T. & Zhou, T., 31 Mar 2020, In : Infection and Drug Resistance. 13, p. 931-940 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Global Trends in Proteome Remodeling of the Outer Membrane Modulate Antimicrobial Permeability in Klebsiella pneumoniae

Rocker, A., Lacey, J. A., Belousoff, M. J., Wilksch, J. J., Strugnell, R. A., Davies, M. R. & Lithgow, T., 14 Apr 2020, In : mBio. 11, 2, 16 p., e00603-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access


1000 Talents Program Foreign Expert Prize

Lithgow, Trevor (Recipient), 2017

Prize: National/international honour

Beckman-Coutler Discovery Science Award

Lithgow, Trevor (Recipient), 2008

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Distinguished Alumni Award

Lithgow, Trevor (Recipient), 2010

Prize: National/international honour

Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences

Lithgow, Trevor (Recipient), 2010

Prize: Election to learned society

Fellow of the Australian Society of Microbiology

Lithgow, Trevor (Recipient), 2017

Prize: National/international honour


  • 3 Contribution to conference
  • 1 External research organisation, centre or institute
  • 1 Membership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board
  • 1 Membership of industry collaboration/ network

Protein Transport Across Cell Membranes (Gordon Research Conference) 2018

Trevor Lithgow (Session chair)


Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference

Melbourne Museum-Gut Feeling exhibition

Trevor Lithgow (Contributor)

Mar 2018Jul 2019

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic event

Bacterial Protein export

Trevor Lithgow (Invited speaker)

2018 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference

Faculty 1000 (External organisation)

Trevor Lithgow (Member)


Activity: Industry, Government and Philanthropy Engagement and PartnershipsMembership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Scientific Director

Trevor Lithgow (Fellow)


Activity: External Academic EngagementExternal research organisation, centre or institute

Press / Media

Mysterious mechanism of plant-rotting bacterium exposed

Trevor Lithgow & Rhys William Grinter


1 item of Media coverage, 3 Media contributions

Press/Media: Research

It takes a village: how Monash researchers built their own microscope to decipher superbugs

Trevor Lithgow, Sachith Dilshan Gunasinghe & Toby Desmond Maynard Bell


4 items of Media coverage, 3 Media contributions

Press/Media: Research

Key to ‘superbug’ antibiotic resistance discovered

Matthew James Belousoff & Trevor Lithgow


12 items of Media coverage, 6 Media contributions

Press/Media: Research

Genome scale model of a superbug

Trevor Lithgow, Jian Li & Jiangning Song


2 Media contributions

Press/Media: Research