Vaccine Development and Immunisation

Ensuring vaccine effectiveness
Vaccines remain the most cost efficient way to prevent and control infectious diseases. Our research covers basic immunology, vaccine development, policy guidance and vaccine uptake.
Our world-leading experts develop and test vaccines against the most threatening bacterial and viral infections including tuberculosis (TB), SARS CoV-2, herpesviruses, influenza and HIV. Our social and behavioural reseachers look at ways to reduce vaccine hesitancy by developing programs to improve vaccine uptake.

Meet our experts

Protective immunity

Prof Cunningham is an infectious diseases physician, clinical virologist and scientist, well known internationally for his research on the immunobiology of HIV and herpesviruses, his work on vaccine development and trialling, especially for shingles and herpes, and as an antivirals expert. 

Development and testing

Prof Triccas is a bacteriologist who uses a multidisciplinary approach to define immunity to chronic bacterial pathogens and develop new treatments to control infection. His group has progressed tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19 vaccines from the initial discovery phase (e.g. antigen discovery) to the development of products that are being prepared for clinical trials.

  • Claudio Counoupas
  • Gabriella Scandurra
  • Caroline Ashley
  • Sibel Alca
  • Lachlan Smith
  • Erica Stewart
  • Kia Ferrell
  • Sherridan Warner
  • Hannah Lukeman
  • Sarah Baird

Research team page

Prof Wood is a staff specialist general paediatrician and leads the NSW Immunisation Specialist Service and coordinates the Immunisation Adverse Events Clinic at The Children's Hospital at Westmead. He is interested in maternal and neonatal immunisation, as well as research into vaccine safety and the genetics of adverse events.

Policy guidance

Prof Macartney is a paediatrician specialising in infectious diseases and vaccinology. Her research interests include translation of evidence into policy and practice, vaccine safety, and most other areas of vaccine preventable diseases research, particularly in relation to rotavirus, varicella zoster virus and influenza. 

Vaccine uptake

Professor Leask is a social scientist in the School of Public Health and co-lead of the Social and Behavioural Insights in Immunisation Research Group. She has academic qualifications in nursing and midwifery, a Master of Public Health (USYD, 1998) and PhD in public health (USYD, 2002).  Her research focuses on the behavioural and social aspects of vaccination and vaccine-preventable diseases, including programmes and policies. She applies knowledge and methods from psychology, sociology, public health ethics, communication and implementation science.

Dr Wiley’s research focuses on the social and behavioural aspects of vaccination and infectious disease prevention and their implications for policy and practice.  Her current activities include the drivers of vaccine uptake globally; how social science is embedded in public health decision-making; the human social and behavioural drivers of Japanese Encephalitis prevention; Hendra vaccine decision-making among horse owners; the decision-making processes of non-vaccinating parents; immunisation policy acceptability; the ethical considerations in responding to vaccine refusal; barriers and facilitators to Q fever vaccination among Australian cattle farmers;  attitudes to immunisation in pregnancy among women and antenatal health care providers; and developing empirically-driven interventions and communication approaches to increase vaccine uptake.