2023 Annual Scientific Meeting

The 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting will be held on Sunday 5th and Monday 6th February. This event is of particular interest for the scientific and medical community, government health officials, academics and delegates from other health related NGOs.

Immunisation Coalition


The 2023 ASM will be a hybrid meeting held on Sunday 5th and Monday 6th February at the Pullman Albert Park, Melbourne.

This event will be of particular interest for the scientific and medical community, government health officials, academics and other health related NGOs.

This meeting will be hosted by Lou Irving and you can download the program below.


Event Chair:

Associate Professor Lou Irving is a Respiratory Physician at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Director of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine and Director of Clinical Training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Associate Professor Irving has clinical, teaching and research interests in lung cancer, advanced bronchoscopy and COPD and has published over 250 scientific papers. 

Registrations open

Face-to-face attendance will be by invitation only. Virtual attendance is unrestricted and you can register below.


Session 1

Influenza: 2022 and 2023

  • Ian Barr

Very Latest in Influenza Prevention

  • Paul Griffin

Co-administration of Routine Adult Vaccines

  • Rajeka Lazarus

Should We Vaccinate Children Against COVID, Flu & RSV?

  • Shamez Ladhani

Prof. Ian Barr is currently the Deputy Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza (one of 5 globally) based at the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Australia which has operated since 1992.  The Centre plays an active role in the regional surveillance of human influenza. Ian has over 35 years’ experience in Research and Development both with academic and commercial groups including over 22 years at the Centre and has authored or co-authored nearly 300 publications including over 250 peer reviewed journal articles, reviews and editorials on various aspects of influenza. He holds an Honorary Professorial position in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne.

Director of Infectious Diseases, Mater and Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Queensland. Fellowships in Infectious Diseases, Clinical Microbiology and Tropical Medicine. Principal Investigator/Medical Director, Nucleus Network: Principal Investigator on over 125 clinical trials including 6 vaccines for COVID-19. Microbiologist: Particularly clinical applications of faecal metagenomic sequencing. Director/Scientific Advisory Board member, Immunisation Coalition: has become a media spokesperson during the COVID-19 pandemic featuring on prominent programs across television, radio, print and online including The Project, Sunrise, Today Show, A Current Affair, and internationally including BBC and CTV.

Dr. Rajeka Lazarus is a Consultant in Infection at the University Hospital Bristol & Weston. She is the Principal Investigator for the COVID-19 vaccine trials for the West of England Clinical Research Network.  She completed her doctorate on the immunology of pneumococcal vaccines in older adults in 2010 whilst working as a research fellow in the Oxford Vaccine Group.  She is interested in all aspects of adult vaccination and established the Clinical Vaccine Network UK in 2017 to raise the profile of adult vaccination.




Dr. Shamez Ladhani is a paediatric infectious disease specialist at St Georges University of London.  He is a consultant epidemiologist at Public Health England where he is the clinical lead for a number of vaccine preventable infectious diseases, including haemophilus influenzae,  streptococcus pneumoniae, and neisseria meningitidis.

Session 2

The Role of the Respiratory Viral Diagnostic Laboratory

  • Bill Rawlinson

When the Clinic Meets the Lab in COVID-19

  • Tony Kelleher

Immunological Response to Influenza and SARS-COV2

  • Kanta Subbarao

Prof. William Rawlinson AM FAHMS is Director of Serology and Virology Division (SAViD), Director Organ and Tissue Donor screening laboratory, Director NSW State Reference Laboratory for HIV, Chair Biosecurity Quality Assurance Program (QAP) RCPAQAP, Deputy Chair Serology Quality Assurance Program (QAP) RCPAQAP, Chair WHO National Verification Committee for Measles and Rubella, and past Chair NSWMOH COVID19 Expert Reference Panel.  He is a clinician scientist researching viral pathogenesis, particularly herpesviruses, respiratory viral infections, congenital infections, and enteroviruses in type 1 diabetes mellitus. He established, and oversees, serology and virology clinical research programs, statewide transplant donor screening, and national quality programs for serology and biosecurity. He is conjoint professor at UNSW with over 500 publications, H-index of 80 and over 23,000 citations from his publications in basic research, diagnostic and clinical virology.

He is Director of NSW’s largest public testing laboratory for COVID-19. He has produced numerous webinars in partnership with NSW Health, and is founding member of national health organisations working on the COVID19 response – including the Public Health Laboratory Network, the Communicable Diseases Genomics Network, Expert Review Panels for Serology and Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS), as well as the National COVID-19 Health and Research Advisory Committee (NCHRAC) for the NHMRC.

Prof. Anthony (Tony) Kelleher a clinician scientist is Director of the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney and is also Head its Immunovirology and Pathogenesis Program, and Principal of the Infection, Immunology and Inflammation Theme at UNSW Medicine and Triple-I Clinical academic group of the Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre (AHRTC) SPHERE. As a clinical academic at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, Professor Kelleher is responsible for clinical care of patients with HIV infection and autoimmune diseases as well as oversight of the NSW State HIV Reference laboratory. He is an expert in HIV immunovirology, with seminal publications on immune escape, the modulation of the immune response and the viral reservoir by therapeutics and is exploring novel gene therapy approaches, including an siRNA based “block and lock” strategy for the control of the HIV reservoir. He has led multiple clinical trials of both therapeutics and vaccines. In the last 2.5 years he has studied the immune response to COVID-19, its impact on long COVID, its development in the context of an evolving virus and the lessons for passive immunotherapies, vaccine development and siRNA design.

Prof. Kanta Subbarao was appointed Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in 2016. Prior to her arrival in Melbourne, she was Chief of the Emerging Respiratory Viruses Section of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, NIAID, National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States from 2002-2016 and chief of the Molecular Genetics Section of the Influenza Branch at the US CDC from 1997-2002. Kanta is a virologist and a physician with specialty training in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases. She received her M.B.B.S. from Christian Medical College, Vellore in India, completed training in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases in the US and earned an M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and received postdoctoral training in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, NIAID, NIH.

Session 3

Key Note: The Bright Horizon of New and Better Vaccines

  • Terry Nolan

Long COVID (and Other Topical Aspects of COVID)

  • Ziyad Al-Aly

COVID-19: Short and Long-Term Effects

  • Speaker to be confirmed

COVID Vaccines

  • Allen Cheng



Prof. Terry Nolan AO is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, where he is a full-time researcher leading the Vaccine and Immunisation Research Group (VIRGo), a collaboration between the University and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. He trained in medicine at University of Western Australia, in paediatrics at Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and Montréal Children’s Hospital, and completed a PhD in epidemiology and biostatistics at McGill University. His research has been principally in immunisation and clinical trials of new vaccines. He has published over 250 papers in refereed scientific journals. He was the Foundation Head of the Melbourne University School of Population and Global Health between 2001 and 2019, and has been at the Doherty Institute since 2020. He was Chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) (2005-2014), and a member from 1998. He was a member of the WHO ‘SAGE’, the Scientific Advisory Group of Experts on immunisation, from 2012-18. He is chair of the Victorian Government Expert Advisory Group for COVID-19 vaccine implementation, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for mRNA Victoria. He is a technical and R+D strategy advisor to a number of major international vaccine manufacturers, and is a member of several independent Data Safety and Monitoring Boards (DSMBs) for clinical trials of new vaccines

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly is the Director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center, and the Chief of Research and Development at Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System and a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in Saint Louis. His research interests include pharmacoepidemiology, environmental epidemiology, global health, and most recently short- and long-term effects of COVID-19 on health outcomes.  His work is published in several major journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, BMJ, JAMA, JAMA-Internal Medicine, Lancet, NEJM, and others. According to Google Scholar, his work has been cited more than 75,000 times. His work is frequently featured in major national and international media outlets including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, NPR, BBC, CNN, the Guardian, Bloomberg, The New Yorker, the Atlantic, Scientific American, Science Magazine, Nature News, and several others.

Prof Allen Cheng is an infectious diseases physician. He is Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and is Director of the Infection Prevention and Healthcare Epidemiology unit at Alfred Health. He has a PhD (Flinders University), a Master of Public Health (Monash University) and a Master of Biostatistics (University of Queensland). He has previously worked as an infectious diseases and general physician in Darwin and Geelong, and has worked in remote communities in the Top End of Australia, and in Papua New Guinea, Thailand, the United States and Finland.  In 2020, Prof. Cheng became the Victorian Deputy Chief Health Officer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Session 4

COVID Treatments

  • James McMahon

The COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

  • Bridget Barber

COVID-19: A View from ATAGI

  • Katie Flanagan

Which COVID Models Were Helpful?

  • Patricia Campbell



A/Prof. McMahon is an Infectious Diseases Physician and Head of the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Unit at the Alfred Hospital and Monash University, and an Infectious Diseases Physician at Monash Medical Centre. He is the current Vice President and President-Elect for Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), sits on the  National Clinical Evidence Taskforce committees for COVID-19 Therapeutics and Monkeypox. His research interests include clinical trials focused on HIV Cure and antiretroviral therapy. and for COVID-19 randomised trials of antivirals for eearly disease and he leads an adaptive randomised trial of COVID-19 vaccine booster strategies in immunocompromised hosts.

A/Prof. Bridget Barber is an Infectious Diseases Physician at Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, Senior Research Fellow at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, and NHMRC Investigator Grant EL 2 awardee. She completed her PhD in 2014 at Menzies School of Health Research, with a focus on the emerging zoonotic malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi. At QIMR Berghofer she now leads a team conducting malaria volunteer infection studies to evaluate new antimalarials.  She co-chairs the COVID-19 Drug Treatment Panel, and the MPX Panel, of the National Clinical Evidence Taskforce.


Prof. Katie Flanagan is a clinician scientist who has worked on global health issues for more than 20 years. She is Head of Infectious Diseases at Launceston General Hospital where her department provides a clinical infectious diseases service for the population of North and NW Tasmania. She holds adjunct professor positions at University of Tasmania and RMIT where she is conducting a number of research projects. Her main research interests are in the fields of vaccinology and infectious diseases immunology.  She has led numerous vaccine immunology trials throughout the world including trials of novel malaria and HIV vaccines in African infants, and trials of the immunological effects of commonly used vaccines in the young and elderly. Her current main research applies systems biology techniques to study human responses to vaccination particularly at the extremes of age; and the role that biological sex plays in the vaccine-specific responses and non-targeted effects of vaccines.

Trish’s PhD research at The University of Melbourne into the drivers of pertussis spread and strategies to protect vulnerable infants was pivotal to the Australian Government’s decision to reinstate the 18 month pertussis booster on the National Immunisation Program. Internationally, this work has been translated into international infectious diseases policy through engagement with the World Health Organization. With a keen interest in training the next generation of researchers, Trish lectures Infectious Diseases Modelling at The University of Melbourne and supervises student projects across multi-disciplinary fields including infectious disease modelling, social epidemiology and modelling of mobility patterns.

Session 5

New Options for Prevention of RSV: Monoclonals and Vaccines

  • Peter Richmond

RSV: Epidemiology

  • Gemma Saravanos

Encephalitis and its Prevention

  • Phil Britton

Respiratory Disease Prevention & T Cells

  • Louise Rowntree

Prof. Peter Richmond is a Consultant Paediatric Immunologist and Paediatrician at Perth Children’s Hospital, and is Head of the Immunology Department at the Child and Adolescent Health Service in WA. He also heads the Vaccine Trials Group within the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases at the Telethon Kids Institute, and is Head of the Discipline of Paediatrics at the UWA Medical School. His major research interests are in the prevention of meningitis, pneumonia, respiratory infections and otitis media. He has authored over 300 scientific publications in these areas and has worked in vaccine research for over 25 years.


Dr. Gemma Saravanos is an early career researcher, educator and clinician based at the Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sydney. She also holds a post-doctoral research fellow appointment at the University of Sydney Children’s Hospital Westmead Clinical School. Dr Saravanos has expertise in public health surveillance and epidemiology, infection prevention and control, immunisation and nursing. Her research seeks to better understand the burden of severe acute respiratory infection in different groups and how this can be reduced. A focus of her work has been to understand the epidemiology of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the Australian population to inform future prevention strategies including vaccination.

Dr. Philip Britton is a paediatrician and infectious diseases physician at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and Associate Professor in child and adolescent health with the University of Sydney. He is an early-mid career clinician researcher with expertise in surveillance of severe childhood infectious disease especially neurological infections. He co-leads the Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) network in which he is lead investigator for surveillance of childhood encephalitis, Acute Flaccid Paralysis and, from 2020, COVID-19 in children and the Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally associated with SARS-COV-2 (PIMS-TS).

I am an Early-Mid Career Researcher, mentored by Prof. Katherine Kedzierska since 2019 at University of Melbourne (UoM), Doherty Institute. My work focuses on dissecting antiviral responses in high-risk groups, including Indigenous Australians, cancer patients, children and pregnant women, with a particular emphasis on T-cell epitope identification and understanding key features of T-cell responses associated with severe disease.

Monkeypox Update

  • Kasha Singh

Pneumococcal Disease Vaccines in Australia

  • Catherine Satzke

Dr. Kasha Singh is an infectious diseases physician with a wide range of interests including public and refugee health and translational research. Dr Singh worked in the UK for 10 years, completing a HIV fellowship at Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust in London. Whilst based in London, Dr Singh was also involved in running international clinical trials of tuberculosis treatment with the MRCP/UCL, including capacity development and education. Dr Singh is interested in persistent infections and the public health impact and management of infectious diseases, particularly HIV, hepatitis B and tuberculosis.


A/Prof. Catherine Satzke obtained her PhD in molecular microbiology from The University of Melbourne in 2007. She then established a microbiological research laboratory at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute within the Pneumococcal Research Group led by Prof Kim Mulholland.  A/Prof Satzke led a project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which involved over 20 international collaborators. She has since attracted further funds to establish two serotype reference centres, facilitating vaccine impact studies in Asia. She led the update of World Health Organization (WHO) standards for pneumococcal carriage studies and made important contributions to studies in Fiji, leading to vaccination introduction.

We would like to thank the following companies for supporting this event:

2022 Adult Immunisation Forum Supporters

Page Published: 28 March 2022 | Page Updated: 5 December 2022