Australia’s trusted immunisation experts
06 February 2024
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Peter McIntyre is Professor in the Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health and the School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia and an Honorary Professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of Otago, New Zealand. He is qualified as a paediatrician, specialising in infectious diseases, an epidemiologist, specialising in vaccine-preventable diseases and a public health physician.
He was NCIRS director from 2005 to 2017 and continues to be a Professorial Fellow with NCIRS after moving to New Zealand in 2018. In Australia, he was ex-officio member of the National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (ATAGI) from 1999 to 2017 and, from 2005 to 2017, of the Communicable Disease Network of Australia (responsible for national communicable disease surveillance and control) and the National Immunisation Committee (responsible for implementation of immunisation programs). Internationally, he was appointed to the pertussis working party of the US Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practice in 2011 and has been asked to contribute to similar groups by the Public Health England in UK, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ministry of Health in New Zealand. For WHO, he has been a member of pertussis and pneumococcal working groups of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts between 2009 and 2014 and for 5 years (2012-17) was a member of the Immunisation and Vaccines Implementation Research Advisory Committee (IVIR-AC). In 2018 he was appointed to the International Vaccines Task Force by the World Bank, which reported to the World Health Assembly.
Robert Booy is Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney and affiliated as a Senior Professorial Fellow at NCIRS. From 2005 to 2019 he held the position of Head of Clinical Research at NCIRS. He is a medical graduate of the University of Queensland (1984), trained in paediatrics at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and has held a range of positions in the UK. Professor Booy’s research interests extend from understanding the genetic basis of susceptibility to, and severity of, infectious diseases, especially influenza, RSV and invasive disease caused by encapsulated organisms; the clinical, public health and social burden of these diseases; and means by which to prevent or control serious infections through vaccines, drugs and non-pharmaceutical measures.
Julie Leask is a social scientist and Professor at the University of Sydney, Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery. She holds an adjunct appointment in the School of Public Health and is a Professorial Fellow at NCIRS where she previously set up the Social Science unit. She was founding chair of the Collaboration on Social Science in Immunisation. She currently serves as Chair of the WHO Data for Vaccination Demand working group and is a member of the Tailoring Immunization Programme Advisory Group of Experts for the WHO European Office. Julie’s vaccination research interests include policy and evaluation, behavioural science and health communication.
Julia Brotherton is Medical Director of VCS Population Health, a division of the VCS Foundation which is a not-for-profit health promotion charity providing population health services to support the prevention of cancer and infectious diseases. She is also Professor of Cancer Prevention Policy and Implementation in the School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. Julia started her public heath medicine career as a senior research fellow at NCIRS in 2003 where she spent 5 years before moving to VCS in Melbourne where she became epidemiologist and Medical Director of the National HPV Vaccination Program Register. For the last 15 years, Julia has focused her public health activities and research on HPV vaccination and cervical cancer prevention. She is a member of the WHO Director General’s Expert Advisory Group on Cervical Cancer Elimination and a chief investigator on two NHMRC-funded Centres of Research Excellence: C4 and TACTICS. She is an editor of Papillomavirus Research and Sexual Health and peer reviews for over 50 journals. Julia is passionate about undertaking policy relevant research to provide the necessary evidence base to advance health policy and health equity.
Philip Britton is a paediatric infectious diseases specialist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and a senior lecturer in Child and Adolescent Health at the Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney. He is co-lead of the Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) network coordinating centre within NCIRS. He is an early career clinician researcher with an interest in neurological infections, tropical infectious diseases and international child health. His PhD investigated the clinical epidemiology of encephalitis in Australian children, using PAEDS surveillance. He remains involved in active surveillance of childhood encephalitis, acute flaccid paralysis (AFP – WHO polio surveillance) and influenza. He is a member of the Commonwealth Department of Health Polio Expert Panel. He is the lead author on comprehensive guidelines for the investigation and management of encephalitis in Australia and New Zealand. His doctoral studies showed childhood encephalitis to be associated with epidemics of important emerging pathogens among children in Australia, including EVA71 and HPeV3, and determined the magnitude of the contribution of influenza to this severe disease. He also leads surveillance for illness in children returned from travel at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead as part of the global GeoSentinel network, with a particular interest in optimising vaccine-preventable disease prevention among child travellers and migrants.
Ameneh Khatami is a senior lecturer in the Discipline of Adolescent and Child Health at The University of Sydney and a paediatric infectious diseases specialist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Ameneh gained her primary medical degree, and subsequent MD, from the University of Auckland. Her MD research was on the immune response to serogroup C meningococcal conjugate vaccines, and was carried out with the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford, where she was the lead doctor on several clinical vaccine trials. Ameneh subsequently completed her training in paediatric infectious diseases in 2015 and has spent 15 months working at New York University undertaking research on Group B streptococcal carriage in women. Her research interests include vaccine preventable diseases, travel medicine and global child health as well as antimicrobial resistance and stewardship, precision medicine with respect to infectious diseases and novel therapeutic options for multi-resistant infections. Ameneh has been an editor of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health since 2016, and in 2019 she was invited to be a guest editor for a special edition of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease Journal.
Anastasia Phillips is a public health physician and early career researcher. She completed her PhD in vaccine safety, which focused on Australian pharmacovigilance systems and policy, with NCIRS. Anastasia continues to undertake research and other activities relating to vaccine safety in collaboration with various NCIRS teams, and she is a member of the Global Vaccine Data Network background rates and observed-expected analysis working group. Her current role is Public Health Physician in Immunisation at the Metropolitan Public Health Unit in Perth, Western Australia. Anastasia’s research interests include barriers to vaccination, vaccine coverage among high-priority populations and vaccine safety systems. She is an Honorary Research Associate at the Telethon Kids Institute.
Margaret Burgess was the founding director of NCIRS and, on her retirement, held the position of Professor of Paediatrics and Preventive Medicine at the University of Sydney. She was a member of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation as well as a number of international committees. Professor Burgess carried out the first trials of rubella vaccination in Australia and has a long-standing clinical and research interest in vaccine preventable diseases and immunisation.