School of Paediatrics and Child Health

Vaccine Trials Group

Further Information

A-Z Staff Research ProfilesFind out what our postgraduates are researching

Research electives

We welcome medical students from other institutions to join us for elective terms of up to six weeks.


For more information on completing an elective, contact:

Team Members:

Areas of Research: 

  • promote vaccine use in our community
  • study the safety and effectiveness of immunisation
  • conduct high quality clinical, epidemiological and laboratory research
  • prevent infection and improve the treatment of infection
  • provide training in clinical research and vaccinology

Research Overview:

To improve the health of the community through immunisation and the prevention of infectious diseases.

Infectious diseases are still the most common cause of death in children and the most common reason that children under two years of age are admitted to hospital. World-wide, 10 million children under the age of five die from infection each year. Our research teams are evaluating new vaccines for a range of diseases such as influenza and meningitis and common infections such as otitis media (glue ear).

Phase II-III studies of pneumococcal conjugate, human papilloma virus, DTaP-IPV, DTaP-HepB-IPV, MMR-varicella, and Hib-meningococcal C combination vaccines that led to their use on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for Australian children. 

Studies of influenza vaccine in children in 2005-6 were critical for WA’s decision to introduce the vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years of age in 2008. The evaluation of this program (WAIVE study) has informed national influenza policy through the ATAGI Influenza working party leading to a national ATAGI recommendation for influenza vaccine in children in 2011.

Epidemiological studies of rotavirus infections, otitis media and pneumococcal meningitis have been critical in cost-effective analyses for successful introduction of the vaccines on the NIP. 

Avian influenza vaccine trials have led to registering a prototype H5N1 influenza vaccine for use in children, adults & the elderly and informed national pandemic planning. 

Studies of the pandemic swine flu H1N1 vaccine in children in 2009 led to its registration and roll out in 2009 within 6 months of the pandemic onset in Australia, USA & New Zealand.

Investigation of adverse events following influenza vaccine that lead to the suspension of the paediatric influenza vaccine program nationally in April 2010, the identification of the CSL influenza vaccine as the responsible vaccine and restarting of the paediatric program by the CMO in July 2010 and creation of the WA Vaccine Safety Surveillance System in 2012

Vaccines researched through Phase I-III trials in last 5 years now registered for use include H5N1 avian influenza, meningococcal B (Bexsero licensed in Europe), Hib-meningococcal CY conjugate (licensed in USA), intranasal and intradermal influenza vaccines (licensed in USA - Flumist™; and Australia - Intanza™). Other novel vaccines studied include Staphylococcus aureus, dengue, Ross river virus, and live attenuated intranasal RSV-parainfluenza vaccines.

Demonstration that neonatal vaccination with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is safe and immunogenic and does not interfere with immune maturation or response to concomitant vaccines in infants in PNG. (NHMRC project grant no.303123).

Neonatal infants have deficient pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines innate immune responses to bacteria and toll-like receptor agonists (NHMRC project grant no. 513847)

Current Research:

  • Industry sponsored clinical trials of meningococcal B and ACWY vaccines in children and young adults, avian influenza vaccines in the elderly, dengue and Ross River virus vaccines in adults and seasonal influenza vaccines in children
  • Effectiveness study of maternal influenza vaccine in prevention of influenza in infants (NHMRC Project Grant App 1020035 2012-16)
  • Incidence and outcome of febrile seizures following vaccination in children (NHMRC Project Grant App 1049557 2013-15)
  • Intervention to promote uptake of school based HPV vaccination (NHMRC Project Grant App 1026765 2012-14)
  • Evaluation of the efficacy of 10 valent-pneumococcal-Protein D conjugate vaccine in reducing respiratory exacerbations in children with suppurative lung disease (NHMRC Project Grant APP1019904 2012-2014)
  • Infectious disease surveillance for influenza vaccine effectiveness in children (WAIVE study; funded by WA Dept. of Health 2008-2014); 
  • Paediatric adverse events and disease surveillance in children (funded by Commonwealth Dept of Health and Ageing 2010-2014)
  • Datalinkage studies to investigate aetiology, risk factors and impact of immunisation on acute lower respiratory tract infections in children (NHMRC Project Grant APP1045668 2013-2014)
  • Immunogenicity and safety of 10-valent and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) in PNG infants (ICRAS Funding 2011-2013)
  • Dissolving the glue in glue ear: assessment of the use of Dornase alpha as an adjunct therapy to ventilation tube insertion (Funding: Health Dept of WA SHRAC Research Translation Project & PMH Foundation 2011-2013)


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Last updated:
Monday, 4 August, 2014 4:47 PM