Associate Professor Nicholas Wood MBBS, MPH, FRACP, PhD
Coordinating Principal Investigator 
Senior Staff Specialist and Associate Director of Clinical Services and Vaccine Safety, NCIRS

Nicholas Wood is a General Paediatrician, Senior Staff Specialist and Associate Director, Clinical Services and Vaccine Safety at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), where he heads the Clinical Research, AusVaxSafety and Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) programs. Nick is an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health at the University of Sydney and holds an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship. He leads the NSW Immunisation Specialist Service and coordinates the Immunisation Adverse Events Clinic at The Children's Hospital at Westmead. He is a senior investigator on the Primary Health Network Immunisation Support Program. Nick is interested in maternal and neonatal immunisation, as well as research into vaccine safety, including genetics and long-term outcomes of adverse events following immunisation.

Principal Investigator
Staff Specialist and Clinical Lead AusVaxSafety, NCIRS
Clinical Lecturer

Lucy Deng is a General Paediatrician, Staff Specialist and Clinical Lead of AusVaxSafety at NCIRS, where she oversees a team to run the multi-component national vaccine safety surveillance program. She holds a conjoint appointment as Clinical Lecturer in the Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health at The Children's Hospital at Westmead. She is also part of the NSW Immunisation Specialist Service (NSWISS) and NCIRS Clinical Research teams and works as an Emergency paediatrician. She recently completed her PhD in vaccine safety in children, looking at risk, outcome and recurrence of seizures following immunisation. Lucy is interested in research and surveillance in vaccine safety to inform policy and practice on safe vaccination options and in improving patient and provider confidence in vaccine safety. 

Dr Helen Quinn BSc (Hons), PhD, MAppEpid
Senior Research Fellow

Helen Quinn is Senior Research Fellow at NCIRS and has a conjoint academic appointment as Senior Lecturer in The University of Sydney Children’s Hospital Westmead Clinical School. Following completion of a PhD in parasitology, Helen completed further training as an epidemiologist, in the Masters of Applied Epidemiology (MAE) program. Helen has worked at NCIRS for over 17 years, across the areas of disease surveillance, immunisation policy and vaccine safety. She is the technical editor of the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Associate Professor Heather Gidding BAppSci (Biomed), GradDipEpidBiostats, MAppEpid, PhD
Senior Research Fellow/Associate Professor

Heather Gidding is Senior Research Fellow at NCIRS and Associate Professor, Principal Research Fellow Women and Babies Research, the University of Sydney Northern Clinical School. She is an infectious diseases epidemiologist and biostatistician. Heather is interested in maximising the use of routinely collected data for epidemiological research, in particular using data linkage methods, and longitudinal data analysis techniques to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of vaccine programs.

Alexis Pillsbury BA, MIPH, MPP, MAppEpid, PhD candidate
Senior Research Officer  

Alexis Pillsbury is a Senior Research Officer and epidemiologist in vaccine safety at NCIRS. In this capacity, Alexis works within the AusVaxSafety and Policy teams. She also works in the global vaccine safety space, assisting the Secretariat of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Advisory Committee of Vaccine Safety (GACVS) COVID-19 Subcommittee and contributing to analyses for the Global Vaccine Data Network (GVDN). Alexis is currently undertaking a PhD in COVID-19 vaccine safety. She completed her Master of Philosophy Applied Epidemiology (MAE) degree while working at NCIRS and also has postgraduate degrees in international public health and public policy. In addition to her interest in vaccine safety, she is also interested in infectious disease epidemiology and surveillance as well as understanding the relationship between and implications of politics and policy on public health.

Catherine Glover BS, MS
Senior Research Officer

Catherine is an epidemiologist and data manager for AusVaxSafety and PAEDS. Prior to joining NCIRS, Catherine worked in microbiology and immunology research laboratories and taught mathematics at the college level. Catherine is interested in infectious disease epidemiology, vaccine safety and vaccine hesitancy.

Narendar Manohar MPH, PhD
Senior Research Officer

Narendar joined NCIRS in June 2022. He completed a PhD in public health at the Western Sydney University in 2021. He also holds a Master of Public Health degree. Narendar has been working in research and academia for the past 10 years in varying capacities. His research interests include population health, early childhood health and nutrition, and longitudinal studies. His success in public health research is supported by a strong track record in research outputs and a number of successful competitive grants funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and NSW Health. 

Laura Lopez, PhD, BMSci
Research Officer 

Laura Lopez joined NCIRS in 2021 as a research officer and works as an epidemiologist in the fields of vaccine safety and vaccine preventable paediatric diseases. Previously, Laura completed a PhD in ecology at the University of Wollongong and was a post-doctoral researcher at UC Davis and the University of Michigan where she developed an interest in epidemiology through disease ecology research.

Kath Tapper BN, MPH
Clinical Nurse Consultant

Kath joined NCIRS in 2021. Kath is a clinical nurse consultant with post-graduate qualifications in Immunisation, Child & Family Health, Infection Control and a Master of Public Health. She has 12 years of experience in the Public Health Unit network as Immunisation Coordinator (Northern Sydney PHU and Illawarra Shoalhaven PHU). She previously worked at NCIRS from 2010 to 2015 as the Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) CNC. In her role with AusVaxSafety, she supports the team in the review of notifiable AEFI as well as collecting data for several studies.

Wagdi Hana
Program Manager

Wagdi Hana joined NCIRS in 2021. He is certified in Agile DSDM and PRINCE 2 Project Management. Wagdi worked as a senior project manager at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN), eHealth NSW and Ministry of Health since 2014. He has successfully led key state-wide implementations such as the Closed Loop Medications Management at SCHN, Westmead, which won the 2020 Annual Quality and Innovation Award for Medication Safety. He has also managed multiple state-wide program of work across all local health districts such as the Community Health Information Reporting Program for Ministry of Health, and multiple other ICT and clinical projects as SCHN Integration Program, NSW Health Pathology COVID-19 Negative SMS Notifications for patients under 16 years of age.

Nicola Carter MPH
Senior Program Officer

Nicola is a Senior Program Officer with AusVaxSafety and a PhD student at the University of Sydney. Nicola has a Master of Public Health and prior to joining NCIRS in 2018 worked in various public health roles. Nicola is interested in immunisation provider and consumer confidence in the safety of vaccines.

Yvette Patton
Project Officer

Yvette joined NCIRS in 2021. Yvette has over 10 years’ experience in various administration and management roles within the sporting sector and allied health services. Yvette holds a Bachelor of Business Administration/Bachelor of Exercise Science from Australian Catholic University.

Jackson Young
Communication Officer

Jackson joined NCIRS in 2021. Jackson has extensive experience working in government-funded health organisations where he has implemented and led a wide range of marketing and communications initiatives in Australia and the United Kingdom.

External collaborators

AusVaxSafety works in close collaboration with several external stakeholders. Read more here.

Last updated November 2022