KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

 

As keynote speakers are confirmed, their details will be added below. 

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Professor Julie Leask

Professor, Sydney Nursing School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health, Visiting Fellow, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, The University of Sydney

Julie Leask is a social scientist and professor in the Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney. She is affiliated with the School of Public Health and Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity at USYD and is visiting professorial fellow at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance.

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Professor Florian Krammer

Professor, Microbiology, Pathology, Molecular and Cell Based Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Prof. Florian Krammer received his advanced training in biotechnology and applied virology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (Mentor: Dr. Reingard Grabherr), where he gained extensive experience with expression and purification of recombinant (glyco-) proteins and influenza virus-like particles. He established various expression systems for these proteins using insect cells/baculovirus, mammalian cells, bacteria, yeast and plants. Furthermore, he worked on a novel influenza virus rescue system based on baculovirus transduction of mammalian cells and a novel bioassay to measure inhibition of the influenza virus polymerase complex by cap-snatching inhibitors. He graduated from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna in 2010.

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Professor Jodie McVernon

Director Of Doherty Epidemiology, The Peter Doherty Institute For Infection And Immunity

Professor Jodie McVernon is a public health physician and epidemiologist. She has extensive expertise in clinical vaccine trials, epidemiologic studies and mathematical modelling of infectious diseases, gained in Oxford, London and Melbourne. For the past 15 years she has been building capacity in infectious diseases modelling in Australia to inform immunization and pandemic preparedness policy. She has led nationally distributed networks of modellers informing responses to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dr Joep de Ligt

Lead Bioinformatics & Genomics, ESR | Institute of Environmental Science and Research

Dr. Joep de Ligt is the Lead bioinformatics & genomics at ESR New Zealand, where the team's work covers Human and Infectious disease genomics. 
The pathogen genomics team supports the Ministries of Health and Primary industries in the surveillance of notifiable diseases.
Genome sequencing is becoming an increasingly important tool in monitoring incursions, investigating outbreaks and helping understand drug resistance.
The team was able to respond quickly to the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrated the capability and value of rapid whole genome sequencing in New Zealand’s COVID-19 response.
The research done within the team ranges from understanding virulence of certain species to applied research geared at delivering on the health impact potential of sequencing-based technologies.

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Professor Christopher Blyth

Prof Blyth is a clinical academic and mid-career clinician-scientist. He is Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (School of Medicine, University of Western Australia) and co-director of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases (WCVID; Telethon Kids Institute).

He established the Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) and is a Clinical Microbiologist with PathWest Laboratory. He has fifteen years experience in conducting clinical paediatric and infectious diseases research focusing on questions relevant to public policy and practice.

His research focuses on influenza, COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable respiratory tract infection. His PhD (Preventing influenza morbidity in Australian children through vaccination; 2016) evaluated the WA preschool influenza vaccination program, significantly influencing national influenza policy.

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Professor Miles Davenport

Program Head - Infection and Immunity, The Kirby Institute, UNSW

Miles Philip Davenport. MB BS, D.Phil. 

Professor Miles Davenport is head of the Infection Analytics Program at the Kirby Institute, at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney Australia. His background is in clinical medicine and experimental immunology before retraining in analytics and modelling over 20 years ago. He now directs a team of applied mathematicians applying statistical and computational approaches to understand host-pathogen interactions in SARS-CoV-2, HIV, and malaria. He works with a wide collaborative network of clinicians and experimentalists around the world. In 2021 his team identified neutralizing antibodies as an important immune correlate for protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection. This work has helped predict waning immunity and loss of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants, and has been cited in multiple statements / guidelines on SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination.

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Professor Fiona Russell

Group Leader, Asia-Pacific Health Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Professor Fiona Russell is a paediatrician, infectious diseases epidemiologist, vaccinologist and public health researcher. She is Deputy Chair of the ASID Vaccination Special Interest Group. She leads the NHMRC CRE in Pneumococcal Disease Control in the Asia-Pacific region. Her research provides evidence for policy decisions regarding immunisation and child health in low- and middle-income countries. Her research focuses on novel vaccine impact evaluations including the first study on vaccine effectiveness against hypoxic pneumonia using the test-negative design, understanding herd immunity, prevention of mother to infant transmission of infections, and VPD surveillance. Her research has changed global, regional and country policy; is cited in WHO PCV Position Statements; has led to a paradigm shift in the number and timing of vaccine doses used; and led to new vaccine introduction in the region. She has undertaken >30 international consultancies to advise governments on immunisation and child health policy. She has been a regular advisor to WHO Immunization and Vaccine Research. She advises DFAT and WHO on COVID-19 vaccine use in the Asia-Pacific region and is a member of the WHO COVID-19 and schools TAG.

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Professor Karin Leder

Professor (Research), Planetary Health, Professor (Research), Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine Alfred Hospital, Centre to Impact Antimicrobial Resistance, Monash University

Professor Karin Leder is an infectious diseases physician, Head of the Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unit in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, and Head of Travel Medicine and Immigrant Health Services at the Victorian Infectious Disease Service, Royal Melbourne Hospital. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, has a Masters of Public Health (Harvard University) and a PhD (Monash University, received Vice-Chancellor’s commendation for doctoral thesis excellence). She holds a NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (2019 – 2023). 

Prof Leder is involved in diverse areas of clinical and public health infectious disease research. Major foci of work include risks of infections from exposure to contaminated environments and unsafe water, factors associated with spread of infections across international borders, global surveillance of health risks associated with travel, tropical medicine, vaccination and prevention of infections, research design, and public health assessment. 

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Associate Professor Amy Jennison

Chief Scientist Public Health Microbiology, Queensland Health

Assoc Prof Amy Jennison is the Chief Scientist of the Public Health Microbiology laboratory in the Queensland Department of Health, which is the Australian state of Queensland’s reference laboratory responsible for the molecular surveillance of notifiable bacterial pathogens and characterisation of public health related outbreaks. A/Prof Jennison has led the laboratory in the application of whole genome sequencing (WGS) for pathogen surveillance and heads numerous research projects aimed at utilising WGS for improving molecular epidemiological investigation and preventing disease outbreaks of notifiable and emerging pathogens. She is a founding member of the Communicable Diseases Genomics Network (CDGN) and assisted at both the state and national level in the establishment of integrated national genomics surveillance of SARS-COV-2.

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Ms Katrina Clark

National Indigenous Immunisation Coordinator, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance

Katrina Clark is the National Indigenous Immunisation Co-ordinator who joined NCIRS in 2016. Katrina is a proud Barkindji Woman, from far Western NSW. She completed a Graduate Diploma of Indigenous Health Promotions at The University of Sydney, Diploma of Population Health, Armidale NSW, Certificate IV in Indigenous Research Capacity Building, Aboriginal Health College, Adelaide SA.

 
Katrina’s role with NCIRS involves working with the National Indigenous Immunisation Network to promote communication between the National Immunisation Committee and those involved in providing immunisation services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Katrina is committed to ensuring equity of access to vaccinations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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Associate Professor Joshua Francis

Principal Research Fellow, Menzies School Of Health Research

A/Prof Joshua Francis is a Paediatrician and Paediatric Infectious Diseases Physician at Royal Darwin Hospital, and Principal Research Fellow at Menzies School of Health Research.

A/Prof Francis leads programs in Timor-Leste focused on teaching, capacity building, health systems improvement and operational research. His research on tuberculosis, rheumatic heart disease and antimicrobial resistance in the Northern Territory and Timor-Leste has engaged communities in health system changes and significantly impacted national policy, guidelines and strategy.

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Professor Michael Francis Good

Professor, Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University

Michael Good is an NHMRC Investigator Fellow at Griffith University.  His research interests are in immunity and vaccine development for serious pathogens. He has developed candidate vaccines for malaria and streptococcus and these have entered clinical trials.
 

He graduated MD PhD from UQ and WEHI and undertook postdoctoral training at NIH. He was the Director of the CRC for Vaccine Technology and a former Director of QIMR.  He served as President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes and as Chairman of NHMRC.
 

He is an Officer of the Order of Australia, a Eureka Prize winner and a Queensland Great (2010).   He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.  He is an International Fellow of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

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Professor Sarah Gilbert

Professor Of Vaccinology, University Of Oxford

Sarah Gilbert is the Said Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford. She works on vaccines for many different emerging pathogens, including influenza, Nipah, MERS, and Lassa, and in 2020, she initiated the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine project. Working with Oxford colleagues she is able to take novel vaccines from design to clinical development, with a particular interest in the rapid transfer of vaccines into manufacturing and first in human trials. She is the Oxford Project Leader for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 which is now in use in many countries around the world.

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Ms Donata Sackey

Director, Mater Refugee Health

Ms Donata Sackey, Director Mater Refugee Health Service and Chair of the Refugee Health Partnership Advisory Group Qld
Donata is the Director of Mater Refugee Health and Chair of the Refugee Health Partnership Advisory Group Qld.  Over the past 15 years she has been based at Mater Hospital in Brisbane, prior to the Mater, Donata held positions in various human service organisations including over a decade with QPASTT (Qld Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma). Donata is a social worker with an interest in embedding community development approaches in health policy, planning and delivery.  As Director of Mater Refugee Health Donata has facilitated integrated models of care including the delivery of refugee health services in partnership with general practices. She supports the Refugee Health Network Qld which, with communities and stakeholders , has played a critical role in promoting a more equitable response to COVID-19 in Queensland.

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Professor Allen Cheng

Professor, Research Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine Alfred Hospital, Monash University

Prof Allen Cheng is an infectious diseases physician. He is Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and is Director of the Infection Prevention and Healthcare Epidemiology unit at Alfred Health. He has a PhD (Flinders University), a Master of Public Health (Monash University) and a Master of Biostatistics (University of Queensland). He has previously worked as an infectious diseases and general physician in Darwin and Geelong, and has worked in remote communities in the Top End of Australia, and in Papua New Guinea, Thailand, the United States and Finland.

His research covers a diverse area within infectious diseases, including sepsis and severe melioidosis, tropical medicine, influenza and vaccine effectiveness, hospital infection prevention and control, antibiotic pharmacokinetics, antimicrobial drug policy and clinical infectious diseases. He has published over 280 peer-reviewed scientific publications (as well as >50 letters/editorials and 17 book chapters).

Prof Cheng is current Vice-President of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID); he was the primary author for national guidelines for H1N1/09 influenza and Clostridium difficile infection; a foundation member of the Clinical Research Network of ASID; a steering committee member for the National Prescribing Service Antibiotic Resistance initiative; and a member of expert writing groups for Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic and Respiratory. He is a member of the Expert Advisory Group revising the Australian Infection Control Guidelines for NHMRC. 

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Professor Bart Currie

Director, HOT NORTH; Team leader, Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases

Prof Currie’s passion is in coordinating links between clinicians, public health colleagues and other service providers, laboratory scientists and community.

Initially head of the early Menzies Clinical Division and then Interim Director of Menzies from August 2005 to March 2006, Prof Currie now leads the Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases team within the Global and Tropical Health Division. He is Professor in Medicine at the Northern Territory Medical Program, Flinders University, Adjunct Professorial Fellow at Charles Darwin University and Adjunct Professor at James Cook University. He works as a senior staff specialist physician at Royal Darwin Hospital, where he was Director of Infectious Diseases until 2019.

He was Director of RHDAustralia until January 2021 and remains director of HOT NORTH. He was appointed to the Technical Reference Group for the Australian Government’s Regional Health Security Initiative in July 2017 and the National COVID-19 Health and Research Advisory Committee (NCHRAC) in April 2020. He is also Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the CRE CREID and Chair of the Expert Reference Panel of the CRE APPRISE.

His collaborations across Central and Northern Australia and with clinical and scientific colleagues elsewhere in Australia and overseas have resulted in over 650 peer-reviewed publications.

Prof Currie has peer reviewed grants for the NHMRC since the 1990s and has peer reviewed for 52 journals, including The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine and a range of PLoS and BMC open access journals. He has supervised 20 successfully completed PhDs.

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Professor Kåre Mølbak

Consultant, Statens Serum Institut

Professor Kåre Mølbak is a medical doctor and epidemiologist. After training in clinical infectious diseases, Kåre Mølbak held research positions in connection with the Bandim health research project in Guinea Bissau and at several departments at Statens Serum Institut, Denmark. From 2023-2017 he served as State Epidemiologist of Denmark and from 2017-2021 as Vice-President of Statens Serum Institut. He has now retired but is still active as Professor and consultant.

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Dr Jerome Kim

Director General, International Vaccine Intitute

Jerome H. Kim, M.D., is an international expert on the development and evaluation of vaccines and is the Director General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver safe, effective and affordable vaccines for Global Health. IVI’s oral cholera vaccine is used around the world to prevent this deadly diarrheal disease. He has authored over 300 publications. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, with high honors in History and highest honors in Biology and received his M.D. from the Yale University School of Medicine.