Professor Raina MacIntyre leads a NHMRC CRE, titled "Immunisation in under studied and special risk populations: closing the gap in knowledge through a multidisciplinary approach" which has commenced in 2012 in collaboration with a multidisciplinary and collaborative team across UNSW, The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (NCIRS), The Children's Hospital at Westmead, The Kirby Institute, Westmead Hospital, The University of Sydney and the University of Antwerp.
A very talented team of postdoctoral researchers will work with senior researchers to fulfil the goals of the CRE. New vaccines and vaccine combinations will continue to be developed, not only for prevention of acute infectious diseases, but for prevention of chronic diseases as well. Vaccination is an increasingly complex field, and represents the single largest public health preventive program in Australia. However, much of the vaccine research which informs national policy, particularly large clinical trials, is conducted by the pharmaceutical industry. However, there are critical research gaps in special-risk and under-served populations where targeted research is not commercially viable or too complex because of the mixed methodology required. These include research in the extremes of age, Indigenous Australians, migrants, refugees, immunosuppressed and traveller populations.
This CRE is devoted to addressing research gaps in such populations, which have not been addressed elsewhere, using novel multidisciplinary methods spanning both quantitative and qualitative research. Over the 5 years of the program this CRE will conduct multidisciplinary, collaborative research, develop research capacity and translate its findings into policy and practice in the field of vaccinology across the whole of life. We will have a focus on developing advanced mixed methods research to improve the population health impact of vaccination programs.
The CRE team brings together a highly collaborative, international team of experts in quantitative and qualitative methods in vaccine research, spanning clinical research, epidemiology, modelling, health economics and social sciences. The team will build Australian capacity in identified, talented postdoctoral researchers and has the existing links to directly inform national and international policy in vaccine policy.