New vaccines group

Research Overview

Under the campus partnership, our research is embedded in MCRI.  Full research profile may be found at

The New Vaccines Group, led by Professor Kim Mulholland, works across three distinct but closely-related sub-groups to develop, evaluate and enhance vaccination strategies worldwide:

  • Clinical and Epidemiology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology

The group is currently conducting a vaccine clinical trial in Ho Chi Minh City and vaccine impact studies in Mongolia, Lao PDR, and Papua New Guinea. In Fiji, the group is currently conducting a clinical trial.

The pneumococcal research program covers two main areas:


With the support of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the team has established a major research program in Ho Chi Minh City, in partnership with Menzies School of Health Research and the Pasteur Institute.  The main trial, which compares various schedules of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines (PCV10 and PCV13) with co-administered Infanrix-Hexa, uses the full range of pneumococcal immunological tests, along with a novel new B-cell assay developed in Fiji, and the microbiology technology developed as part of the PneuCarriage project, to evaluate the vaccines and schedules. Already the most detailed and comprehensive pneumococcal vaccine trial, it is now being developed further and extended, with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Vaccine Impact in Asia

There are two components to this issue: the burden of pneumonia in Asia, and the contribution of pneumococcus to that burden.  To contribute to the first component we are undertaking, in partnership with Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin and the Pasteur Institute of Ho Chi Minh City, a study of the pneumonia burden in Ho Chi Minh City.  Vaccine impact is the only way to accurately determine how much of the pneumonia burden is vaccine preventable. We are currently leading studies in Laos and Mongolia to evaluate the impact of pneumococcal vaccine introduction on pneumonia incidence and pneumococcal carriage. Most countries are unable to show evidence of vaccine impact. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding a study to demonstrate how carriage surveillance in children with pneumonia can be used to estimate the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine coverage required to show evidence of herd immunity, and monitor the vaccine’s impact on carriage, and thereby provide information for national planners to maximize the effectiveness of their immunization programs. This is led by Professor Fiona Russell.


  • Professor Kim Mulholland, Group Leader
  • Associate Professor Paul Licciardi, Team Leader - Immunology
  • Associate Professor Catherine Satzke, Team Leader - Microbiology
  • Dr Grant Mackenzie, Clinical Epidemiologist
  • Dr Eileen Dunne, Senior Research Officer
  • Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, Research Fellow
  • Dr Claire von Mollendorf, Senior Research Officer
  • Dr Sam Manna, Senior Research Officer
  • Dr Sophie La Vincente, Research Fellow
  • Dr Nick Fancourt, Honorary Research Fellow
  • Dr Cattram Nguyen, Biostatistician (Research Fellow)
  • Dr Lien Anh Ha Do, Senior Research Officer - Virology
  • Eleanor Neal, Research Assistant and PhD Candidate
  • Belinda Ortika, Senior Research Assistant
  • Casey Pell, Research Assistant
  • Ahmed Alamrousi, Research Assistant
  • Monica Nation, Research Assistant
  • Rachel Marimla, Research Assistant
  • Leena Spry, Research Assistant
  • Dr Jocelyn Chan, PhD student
  • Dr Ruth Lim, Master's Student
  • Helen Thomson, Research Manager
  • Kathryn Bright, Clinical Coordinator - based in Vietnam
  • Dr Kerryn Moore, Research Officer
  • Beth Temple, Program Manager - Vietnam Project
  • Dr Jayne Manning, Research Officer
  • Dr Ryan Toh, Research Officer
  • Dr Laura Boelsen, Honorary Research Assistant
  • Haset Samuel, Personal Assistant
  • Emma Watts, Project Manager
  • Dr Alicia Quach, PhD Student


  • Centre for International Child Health, The University of Melbourne
  • Lao PDR Ministry of Health
  • Laos Oxford Mahosot Wellcome Research Unit
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Menzies School of Health Research
  • Ministry of Health, Fiji
  • Mongolian Ministry of Health
  • Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research
  • Pasteur Institute, Vietnam
  • The Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU) /Wits, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • St George’s Hospital, London, UK
  • St George’s, University of London (SGUL), UK
  • Telethon Kids
  • Universitas Padjadjaran (UNPAD), Bandung, Indonesia
  • University of Oxford, UK
  • World Health Organization (WHO), Western Pacific Regional Office
  • World Health Organization (WHO) HPV Reference Laboratory, The Women’s Hospital
  • World Health Organization (WHO) Rotavirus Regional Reference Laboratory, MCRI
  • Women’s Centre for Infectious Diseases, University of Melbourne


  • DFAT
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • GAVI Alliance
  • National Health and Medical Research Council

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Projects

For project inquiries, contact our research group head.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Professor Kim Mulholland

Department / Centre


Unit / Centre

New vaccines group

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.