Vaccine and Immunisation group research

Research Overview


The Vaccine and Immunisation Research Group is a Melbourne School of Population and Global Health Partnership Group. VIRGo works in partnership with the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. Our research enables us to advise policy makers on the optimal use of vaccines in national schedules, in
pandemic influenza preparedness and counter-measures, and in vaccine safety. Our work provides practical bridges (translation) between theory and the real-world delivery of vaccine programs. We undertake the following streams of work:

  • Clinical Trials: We draw on two decades of experience to explore the effectiveness, antibody responses and safety of new vaccines in standard or novel schedules. We have the largest and longest running child and adolescent vaccine trials program in Australia and are one of
    the leading sites internationally.  Our studies also include adults for high priority conditions such as influenza
  • Epidemiology: We assess the incidence and population susceptibility of potentially vaccine-preventable diseases. We also research the social and environmental factors behind the spread of infection, such as the social networks that help spread infectious diseases. Our virus discovery
    work, in partnership with molecular virologists, searches for as yet undescribed viruses that cause respiratory illnesses
  • Vaccine hesitancy: Our research in vaccine hesitancy involves studying factors that determine decision-making by clients and health professionals in relation to vaccine use and acceptance. Much of our work involves collaboration and innovation. For example, a collaboration
    with three other Australian research centres supported our pioneering research into the effectiveness of immunising babies against pertussis soon  after birth. And we have led a national influenza serosurvey, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO)  Centre for Reference
    and Research on Influenza and Red Cross Blood Service

Vaccine and Immunisation Research Group contact details

Level 5, 207 Bouverie Street
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
The University of Melbourne
Victoria, 3010, Australia

Tel: +61 3 8344


Prof Terry Nolan (Unit Head)

Assoc Prof Jodie McVernon (Principal Research Fellow)

Marita Kefford (Research Manager)

Dr Margie Danchin (Senior Research Fellow)

Dr Kirsten Perrett (Senior Research Officer)

Dr Nicole Rose (Study Doctor)

Dr Lana Horng (Study Doctor)

Clare Brophy (Research Assistant)

Janet Briggs (Research Assistant)

Annmarie McEvoy (Research Assistant)

Adam Parslow (Research Assistant)

Mairead Phelan (Research Assistant)

Jane Ryrie (Research Assistant)

Marie West (Research Assistant)

Judith Spotswood (Phlebotomist)

Jacinta O'Keefe (Research Assistant)

Bernie McCudden (Phlebotomist)