Suresh Mahalingam is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Professor at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University in Australia. He has made numerous advances in our understanding of viral inflammatory diseases. Perhaps his greatest achievement has been the large body of work over 10 years identifying mechanisms in alphavirus musculoskeletal disease. His discovery of interplay between viral infection and bone homeostasis has led to understanding of how arthritogenic alphaviruses cause joint disease. His contribution to fundamental research is complemented by clinical and translational ‘spin-offs’ supported by highly productive collaborations with clinician-scientists and commercial partners. This led to the identification of drugs to treat viral-induced inflammation, which has entered clinical trials. In 2016 he was made a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology for contributions to virology.