School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Head of School's Biography

image - Head of School's Biography

Professor Raina MacIntyre is a public health physician and an expert in infectious diseases epidemiology. She is involved in studies of the transmission and prevention of infections in populations. Her most significant research is on the transmission and control of infectious diseases. She has current research projects encompassing clinical trials and epidemiologic studies of face masks, vaccines, antivirals and other preventive measures in communicable diseases control. She is also a specialist in biosecurity, bioterrorism and health security.  She also has projects in special risk populations such as health care workers, immunosuppressed, refugees and the frail elderly. Among many competitive grants, she leads a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Population Health in Epidemic Response.

With regular grant success and over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals, she leads by example in research excellence and is the top performing professor as measured by research metrics at SPHCM. She also sits on several national and international expert groups and on editorial boards of several international journals including BMJ open, Epidemiology & Infection and Vaccine Council of 100.  Among numerous career awards, she received the Sir Henry Wellcome Medal and Prize, from the Association of Military Surgeons of the US for her work on bioterrorism, and has previously been awarded the Frank Fenner award for Advanced Research in Infectious Diseases (2003). She was also the winner of the 2012 Dean’s award, the highest honour awarded at UNSW Medicine, and the 2014 National Immunisation Achievement Award from the Public Health Association of Australia, as well as the 2014 Peter Baume Public Health Impact Prize. More details on her research lab are available here.

She conceived and initiated the Master of Public Health Specialisation in Infectious Diseases and other specialisations such as public security, health economics and Aboriginal Health and Well Being, the Internship program at SPHCM, as well as the UNSW Future Health Leaders Program, which she directed until 2017, all part of her vision to make health learning relevant to the workplace and break down the barriers between academia and workforce in health. She has also led important teaching collaborations in India, taking the UNSW brand to India and fostering mutually beneficial relationships in health education, launching a new MPH for the Indian market in 2016. She teaches across undergraduate medicine and postgraduate coursework programs, and supervises graduate research students. She has a passion for field-based epidemiology training and in developing models of workforce training that are relevant and current for the public health and health service workforce. She is a co-director of the ARM network, Australia's infectious diseases emergency response network.

As Head of School, she is committed to excellence at SPHCM, UNSW Medicine and UNSW, and to building and fostering the vibrant, international community of our staff, students and alumni. She has also introduced staff support, communication and development opportunities such as the newsletter The Globe, "Language Lunch", where staff and students come together to learn different languages, cultures and traditions, and Career Cafe, a career development forum for early career researchers. She has introduced many new initiaives including pioneering the first Plus Alliance programs for UNSW, and other innovative new courses and programs.  She created innovative new fully online courses, Bioterrorism and Health Intelligence and Infectious Diseases Intelligence using novel methods such as a webmovie, Pandemic, which was nominated for 4 awards at the Melbourne Webfest.

Under her leadership, SPHCM has led in fully online learning across UNSW, and has has seen continual growth in student numbers (about 400 coursework students a year in 2008, when she commenced as HOS and over 1000 in 2017), in research revenue and publications.