Ian Riley is a physician who worked in Papua New Guinea (PNG) from 1964 to 1986. His research interest in acute respiratory infections (ARI) resulted in field trials of pneumococcal polysaccharide against both adult and child pneumonia. In the early 1970s he developed a verbal autopsy instrument for demographic surveillance and to provide vaccine trial end points which was used in PNG for several decades. He coordinated the Bohol field site for the GC13 Population Health Metrics Consortium Study.
His current interests include improving the quality of cause-of-death statistics in developing countries through verbal autopsies and the medical certification of cause-of-death. He was Professor of Community Medicine at the University of Papua New Guinea from 1982 through 1985 and Professor of Tropical Health at the University of Queensland from 1987 through 2005. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Queensland and a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne.