Professor Monica Slavin is an Infectious Diseases physician; Director of Peter Mac's the Infectious Diseases Department, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; leads the Infections in the Immuncompromised Host Service, Royal Melbourne Hospital; Director of the NHMRC funded Centre of Research Excellence; Director of the National Centre for Infections in Cancer (NCIC).
She is internationally recognised for identifying risk factors and improving early diagnosis and prevention of infection in patients whose immune systems are compromised. Over the course of her 26 year career she has made many, and lasting, contributions to research teaching and clinical medicine. She is held in high international regard for guidance on management and risk mitigation for patients who are at risk of life threatening infection.
Her original and novel research has changed clinical practice and resulted in new management guidelines, definitions of fungal infections for clinical trials and translation of new diagnostic tests into practice.
Monica is a distinguished infectious diseases clinician researcher making significant contributions to teaching, mentoring, innovative research and advocacy. From 2007-2014 she was a Councillor for the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) and was a founding member of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases Mycoses Interest Group (ANZMIG) in 1997.
During 2 decades of continuous service to ANZMIG as chair and executive committee member she has overseen and been integral to this group’s activities in promoting collaborative multicentre research and teaching in mycology. Under her leadership ANZMIG has defined the epidemiology of fungal infections in Australia (19 publications spanning epidemiology, susceptibility and whole genome sequencing).
Prof Slavin chaired the writing groups for the ASID consensus guidelines for the use of antifungal agents in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2018 (and currently being updated for 2021). She is the only non-European invited to participate in the European Conference on infections in Leukemia (ECIL) guideline writing group whom published the revised international guidelines in 2020. She is the first Australian president of the International Immunocompromised Host Society (ICHS) and hosted the International ICHS meeting online in 2021, with over 300 delegates. In 2019 she delivered the Antimicrobial Society of Australia Howard Florey Oration, a prestigious invited oration presented by a Scientist who has made a significant contribution to a greater understanding of antimicrobials and their appropriate use
Despite spending 80% of her time as a hospital-based clinician, Monica has established an impressive research portfolio. In the last 5 years she has been awarded over $15 million from the NHMRC, and both private and public philanthropic foundations for research into managing infections in cancer. She regularly participates in grant review panels for the NHMRC and reviews grant applications for Wellcome Trust, European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, and government granting bodies in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. Over her career she has 300 peer reviewed publications and has been cited over 5,200 times in publications such as the Lancet, Lancet Infectious Diseases and Annals Internal Medicine. Recently she was listed as being in the top 1.4% of all authors from Scopus (based on H-index and citations) and in the top 1.5% of the Microbiology subfield (PLOS Biology in October 2020).
Monica has made significant contributions to improve diagnosis, treatment and care of many immune compromised patients. Her seminal studies of antifungal prophylaxis (J Infect Dis, 1995, 730 cites) changed practice world-wide and improved survival after stem cell transplantation. She undertook the first randomised diagnostic strategy study in aspergillosis, demonstrating the clinical value of the novel fungal diagnostics Aspergillus PCR and galactomannan; diagnostic tools which today are standard practice and resulting in Aspergillus PCR being accepted as a diagnostic criterion of aspergillosis. As a principal investigator and protocol committee member for numerous clinical trials her work has facilitated access to emerging antifungal therapies for many Australians.
Monica is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences