Investigators

Professor Raina MacIntyre

UNSW Sydney

Professor Raina MacIntyre (MBBS Hons 1, FRACP, FAFPHM, M App Epid, PhD) is

NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Global Biosecurity. She heads the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute, which conducts research in epidemiology, vaccinology, bioterrorism prevention, mathematical modelling, genetic epidemiology, public health and clinical trials in infectious diseases. Her research falls under 4 areas:

Personal protective equipmentVaccinologyEpidemic response and emerging infectious diseases, and Bioterrorism prevention. She is a dual-specialist physician with training in epidemiology and modelling. Her research is underpinned by her clinical training, vaccine program experience and extensive field outbreak investigation experience. She is a graduate of the Australian Field Epidemiology Training program, the MAE at ANU, and has extensive experience in shoe-leather epidemiology of infectious diseases outbreaks. Her in-depth understanding of the science of outbreak investigation draws from this experience combined with her academic training through a Masters and PhD in Epidemiology. She is best known for research in the detailed understanding of the transmission dynamics and prevention of infectious diseases, particularly respiratory pathogens such as influenza, tuberculosis, bioterrorism agents and vaccine-preventable infections. She has led the largest body of research internationally on face masks and respirators in health care workers. Her research has been influential in informing guidelines for health workers on PPE. She has extensive expertise in vaccination programs, with a particular interest in adult vaccination with a focus on the elderly and vaccines for bioterrorism. Specific vaccination interests include influenza, pneumococcal disease, HPV, smallpox, herpes zoster and SARS-CoV2. She has done a body of work on vaccine effectiveness of influenza vaccine against myocardial infarction. She led a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in immunisation for high risk populations, and is now head of UNSW-VIRL, a vaccine research centre focused on adult and high-risk group vaccination. Her face mask research has focused on health care workers and hospitals. Her lab conducts research on aerosol dynamics and movement of respiratory droplets, in collaboration with aerospace and fluid mechanics engineers at UNSW. She has also done research on using risk-analysis methods for analysing emerging infectious diseases outbreaks such as MERS-CoV and is a leader in new approaches to biosecurity through cross-disciplinary response. She is involved in several research studies on COVID-19. She leads Biosecurity in Global Security PLuS and is interested in emerging threats to health security. She also designed and co-convenes a course, Bioterrorism and Health Intelligence, taken by students at UNSW and ASU.  She has led a pandemic simulation (Exercise Mataika, 2018 and Pacific Eclipse, 2019) in Australia and the US, which underpinned by modelling research and covers issues such as surveillance, diagnosis, health system capacity, mass quarantine, maritime transport and infected cruise ships, travel bans and the foundations of epidemic control. An online version of this, Unknown Biothreat Simulation, can be done as a self-paced exercise.

 

She leads a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Epidemic Response, ISER, the first in Australia to be dedicated to epidemic response. She has over 380 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Her passion for field epidemiology led her to co-found the ARM network for Australian outbreak response. She is currently on the Global Accreditation Board for TEPHINET, the network of global field epidemiology programs. She also has an interest in the ethics of medicine, and specifically in dual-use research of concern. and has been on the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) committee for developing Guidelines For Responsible Conduct in Veterinary Research Identifying, Assessing and Managing Dual Use Research. She has research collaborations across the PLuS Alliance, with researchers from Arizona State University and Kings College London, and has an adjunct appointments at The College of Public Affairs and Community Solutions and the College of Health Solutions at ASU. She is also an adjunct Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She started a new cross-disciplinary journal, published by UNSW, Global Biosecurity, launched in February 2019.

 

Interested in Raina's story? Read "First Responder". and Lunch with Raina MacIntyre

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Associate Professor David Heslop

UNSW

Dr David Heslop (FRACGP MBBS PhD(Medicine) MPH BSc (Adv) Hons 1) is an Associate Professor at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW, and retains significant military responsibilities as Senior Medical Adviser for CBRNE to Special Operations Headquarters Australia and to Australian Defence Force (ADF) joint senior leadership. He was appointed as Senior Medical Officer for Special Operations Command for 2014, and was the Officer Commanding and Senior Medical Officer to the ADF CBRN medical incident response element at Special Operations Engineer Regiment from 2012-2015.  Dr Heslop is a practicing vocationally registered General Practitioner, a senior trainee in Occupational and Environmental Medicine with RACP, and a fellowship candidate for the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. Dr Heslop’s doctoral research focussed on the central autonomic anatomy and integrative neurophysiology relating to the cardiovascular response to noxious inescapable physiological stimuli such as severe haemorrhage and visceral pain. He is an international expert in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) and general military medicine, and regularly is consulted and participates in the development and review of national and international clinical and operational CBRNE policy and doctrine. He is a peer reviewer for the journals Military Medicine (AMSUS) and Journal and Military and Veterans Health (AMMA). Dr Heslop’s current research effort and interests touch on complexity science, agent based and deterministic modelling, emergent complex adaptive systems phenomena, test and evaluation of systems, policy research, epidemic modelling, exotic and emerging infections, disaster preparedness and response, organisational resilience in health care, development of robust socio-technical systems in health care, and the modelling, simulation and investigation of public health interventions and systems.

Program team

Program manager

Ms Aye Moa 

 

Research associates

Ms Xin (Jessie) Chen - Research associate

Miss Anjali Kannan - Research Assistant

Miss Mohana Kunasekaran -Research Assistant/ PhD Student

Dr Elizabeth Kpozehouen - PhD Student/ Research Associate

Miss Flora Lau - Research Assistant

Mrs Ashley Quigley - Research Assistant/PhD Student

Ms Mallory Trent - Research Assistant/PhD Student

 

Visiting Senior Fellows

Dr Bayzidur Rahman - Adjunct Senior Lecturer

Dr Abrar Chughtai -  Visiting Researcher

Dr Nusrat Homaira - Visiting Fellow

Dr Matthew Scotch - Senior Visiting Fellow

Ms Phi Yen Nguyen - Casual Academic

 

Machine Learning Engineer

Dr Patrick Veenstra

 

PhD students

Mr Prateek Bahl

Ms Valentina Costantino

Mr Shovon Bhattacharjee

Ms Haley Stone

 

Masters students

Tyson Carney

Thomas Ricks 

 

ILP students

Yi An Lai

Jenny Wei

Russell Jefferson

Qi Sheng Loo

William Ross