Investigators

Professor Raina MacIntyre

UNSW Sydney

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

1. Personal protective equipment

2. Vaccinology

3. Epidemic response and emerging infectious diseases

4. Bioterrorism prevention

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.  Her voice as a thought leader speaking out for better protection of health workers during the Ebola epidemic is commented on in the New Atlantis. She has a particular interest in adult vaccination with a focus on the elderly. Specific vaccination interests include influenza, pneumococcal disease, HPV, smallpox and herpes zoster. 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. 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 leads Biosecurity in Global Security PLuS.

She leads a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Epidemic Response, ISER, the first in Australia to be dedicated to epidemic response. ISER is international and multi-sectoral, and addresses gaps in global systems for epidemic response and biosecurity. This includes an epidemic observatory through Epiwatch. Epiwatch is focused on developing automated intelligence systems for epidemic alert for the Asia-Pacific region. It also includes the ISER academy, which brings together stakeholders from all discplines involved in large scale epidemic response, such as health, emergency management, defense, law enforcement, legal and ethics experts.

She has over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Her research is underpinned by extensive field outbreak investigation experience. She is a graduate of the only Australian Field Epidemiology Training program, the MAE at ANU, and has extensive experience in shoe-leather epidemiology of infectious diseases outbreaks including influenza, meningococcal disease, clostridium perfringens, hepatitis A, legionella, mycoplasma, pertussis and gastroenteritis to name a few. 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. Her passion for field epidemiology led her to co-found the ARM network for Australian outbreak response. She also has an interest in the ethics of medicine, and specifically in dual-use research of concern.  She is also working on research collaborations across the PLuS Alliance, with researchers from Arizona State University, and has an adjunct appointment at The College of Public Affairs and Community Solutions at ASU. She is also an adjunct Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Interested in Raina's story? Read "First Responder".

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Professor Martyn Kirk

Australian National University

Professor Kirk is a National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow conducting research into health threats from foods, waters and the environment. Professor Kirk previously ran the Master of Philosophy Applied Epidemiology (MAE) program — the Australian Field Epidemiology Training Program — and was instrumental in establishing the OzFoodNet foodborne disease surveillance program. During the last twenty five years, Prof Kirk has worked at State, National and international levels at the intersection between applied research and government policy.

Professor Archie Clements

Australian National University

Professor Clements is the Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Western Australia, the largest Faculty in the largest University in Western Australia. Until April 2018 Archie was the Director of the Research School of Population Health (RSPH), Australian National University (ANU), Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and NHMRC Senior Research Fellow His research focus on improving the efficiency/effectiveness of public health interventions for a range of infectious diseases including parasitic diseases; mosquito-borne diseases; and emerging healthcare-acquired infections.

Professor Paul Komesaroff

Monash University

Paul Komesaroff, a physician, medical researcher, ethicist and philosopher at Monash University in Melbourne, where he is Professor of Medicine. His academic training has been in pure mathematics, philosophy, social theory and medicine. He is a practising clinician, specialising in the field of endocrinology, and his scientific research work focuses on the effects of hormones on the cardiovascular system. He is also Executive Director of the international NGO Global Reconciliation. Within the CRE he will lead research on ethical aspects of disaster response.

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.

Professor Sahotra Sakar

University of Texas, Austin, U.S.

Professor Sarkar is Professor in the Departments of Integrative Biology and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin and External Faculty at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). By training, he is a philosopher of science and applied mathematician. Besides these disciplines, his laboratory focuses on disease ecology and epidemiology and conservation biology. Work in the laboratory focuses on comprehensive multi-purpose spatial planning using formal techniques from ecology and decision theory.

Professor Quanyi Wang

Beijing Centre for Disease Control, China

Professor Wang is Professor of Epidemiology and Director of Institute for Infectious Disease and Endemic Disease Control, Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control. He is currently working as a medical epidemiologist at Beijing CDC in charge of prevention and control of major infectious diseases including plague, cholera, avian influenza, influenza, and new emerging infectious diseases in Beijing area. He has done research on emerging infectious diseases and PPE.

Professor William Rawlinson

Prince of Wales Hospital (SEALS Microbiology) & UNSW Australia

Professor William Rawlinson is Conjoint Professor at University of NSW in the School of Medical Sciences (Faculty of Medicine) and School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences (Faculty of Science), Senior Medical Virologist, Director of the Virology Division SEALS, and consultant at the Royal Hospital for Women, Prince of Wales and Sydney Children’s Hospitals. He undertakes research focused on understanding virus pathogenesis, and novel diagnostic assays, linking basic and clinical research. His research group has developed internationally novel models to examine molecular and cellular events during viral infection, and collaborates closely with diagnostic researchers in academic and diagnostic company spheres. Professor Rawlinson received a 2011 Order of Australia (AM) for service to the medical sciences.

Dr Paul De Barro

CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship, Australia

Dr Paul De Barro is a Senior Principal Research Scientist and is the Research Director of the CSIRO Biosecurity, Risk Evaluation and Preparedness Program. Dr De Barro joined CSIRO in 1994 after completing a PhD on insect ecology at the University of Adelaide in 1992 and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Southampton and established an internationally recognised research program focused on managing the silverleaf whitefly and his research has contributed considerably to its control in Australia and our global understanding of invasive whitefly pests.   In 2014 Paul and his whitefly research team was awarded CSIRO’s highest honour, the Chairman’s Medal, for its delivery of a long-term, sustainable pest control solution for Australia’s horticultural, nursery, cotton and grain legume industries against the damaging invasive pest, silverleaf whitefly.

Professor Michael Baker

University of Otago, New Zealand

Professor Baker is a trained medical practitioner, specialist public health physician and professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington.  He is a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) and the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine (NZCPHM). Professor Baker has a leadership role in research at the University of Otago. He is Director of the Health Environment and Infection Research Unit (HEIRU), Co-Director of He Kainga Oranga / Housing and Health Research Programme, and a Principal Investigator with the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities and One Health Aotearoa

Associate Investigators

  • Professor Obijiofor Aginam, United Nations University-International Institute for Global Health, Malaysia

  • Dr Anthony Stewart, Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, WHO (Geneva) and Centre for International Health, Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health

  • Associate Professor Joanne Travaglia, University of Technology

  • Dr Gina Samaan, WHO Influenza Program (Geneva)

  • Dr Anita Heywood, University of New South Wales, Australia

  • Dr Nicholas Coatsworth, former Director, National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC), Darwin, Australia; now Director of Infectious Diseases, Canberra Hospital.

Associates

Visiting Senior Fellows

  • CAPT Chip Fowler, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

  • Associate Professor Matthew Scotch, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Assistant Director, Center for Environmental Security, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University.

  • Associate Professor Brian Gerber, Director, Emergency Management & Homeland Security program, College of Public Service & Community Solutions I Arizona State University

Professional Research Persons

PhD students

  • Dr Vijay Nath  (UNSW/WHO)

  • Ms Maria Martinez

  • Dr Aye Moa (UNSW)

  • Dr Chau Bui (UNSW)

  • Dr Trang Khieu (University of Otago)

  • Jane Oliver (University of Otago)

  • Leah Grout (University of Otago)

  • Sherif Ammar (University of Otago)

  • Liza Munira (ANU)

  • Angela Cadavid Restrepo (ANU)

  • Kefyalew Alene (ANU)

  • Eimear Cleary (ANU)

  • Chau Bui (UNSW)

  • Mohamed Assoum (UQ)

  • Kei Owada (UQ)

  • Lin Tian (Peking University)

  • Xiaoyan Zhou (UQ)

  • Diana Wong  (UNSW)

  • Sonia Isaacs (UNSW)

  • Ece Egilmezer (UNSW)

  • Beverley Hall (UNSW)

  • Xi Chen (UNSW)

  • Dillon Adam (Mphil student at UNSW)

Members of Scientific Advisory Committee

  • LTCOL Peta Mantel (Chair): Strategic Health, Australian Defence Force.

  • Prof Mark Ferson: Director and Public Health Officer, Public Health Unit, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.

  • A/Prof Matthew Scotch: Associate Professor Department of Biomedical Informatics and Assistant Director of the Biodesign Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University.

  • Prof Fleur Johns, Professor and Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales

  • Dr Rose Leontini, Lecturer, School of Public health and community medicine, University of New South Wales.

  • Dr Salanieta Saketa, Acting Deputy-Director, Public Health, Division, Research, Evidence and Information Programme.

  • Ms Caroline O’Hare, Detective Chief Inspector and leader of Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command.

  • Ms Linda Winn: Deputy Director, NSW Health Emergency Management Unit.Office of the State Health Service Functional Area Coordinator, Health Emergency and aeromedical Services

  • Ms Rhonda Owen, Director / Epidemiologist at Australian Department of Health.