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PROF Fiona Russell


  • Respiratory infections, global child health, vaccine preventable diseases, vaccine impact evaluations



  • Professor Fiona Russell is a paediatrician, epidemiologist and translation researcher. She is Director of the Child and Adolescent Health PhD Program, within the Department of Paediatrics; and sits in the Centre for International Child Health (WHO Collaborating Centre for Child Health) also within the Dept. of Paediatrics. She is Group Leader for Asia-Pacific Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and is a member for the Melbourne Children’s Global Health Leadership team. She is a member of the WHO PCV Expert Advisory group. Recently, she won the Australian Society of Infectious Diseases Frank Fenner Award for her research in Infectious Diseases. Globally, pneumonia is the commonest cause of childhood death, beyond the neonatal period. Despite the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) being available for 19 years, there are a number of outstanding issues in its role to prevent pneumonia: PCV introduction in the Asia-Pacific region lags behind the rest of the world; how do we monitor serotype replacement in the post-PCV era; and how do we measure herd protection in the absence of disease surveillance, given its critical role in the global plans to reduce the number of PCV doses in the immunisation schedule? These complex problems need new solutions. Her PhD on pneumococcal vaccine schedules on different dosage schedules and epidemiology informed WHO policy. She leads large-scale pneumococcal vaccine impact studies in the Asia-Pacific region funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, and has developed novel methods to measure the vaccine’s impact.    


Member of

  • Australasian Society of Infectious Diseases. The ASID Annual Scientific Meeting is the leading Australasian meeting for adult and paediatric infectious disease and clinical microbiology specialis 2018 -
  • WHO PCV Extended Partners Group. Extended Partners Group 2016 -
  • NHMRC Post-doctoral Reference Group. member 2012 -
  • NHMRC Research Translational Faculty. member 2012 -
  • Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA). member 2000 -
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians 2000 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Current Projects; 1. Using nasopharyngeal carriage surveillance in children hospitalized with respiratory illness or pneumonia to demonstrate direct and indirect effects of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Bill & Melinda Gates foundation 2014-2019 2. RACP Paediatric International Grant. 2019 3. Fiji one dose HPV study. 2017-2019 4. TRIP Fellowship- Implementing PCV in Pacific island countries. 2018-2019 5. Preventing Infections in Young Infants with Azithromycin in Labour (PreYIAL): a blinded placebo-controlled randomised controlled trial. NHMRC 2018-2019 6. Meningococcal Vaccine Evaluation Project. 2019    


Education and training

  • Grad Dip (Clin Epi), University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • PhD, University of Melbourne 2011
  • FRACP, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow 2000
  • MPHTM, James Cook University of North Queensland 2000
  • DipPaed, University of New South Wales 1995
  • BM BS, Flinders University of South Australia 1991

Awards and honors

  • Frank Fenner Award, 2019
  • Shortlisted for L'Oreal Australia & New Zealand Women in Science Award, 2016
  • The Dean's Prize for Excellence in a PhD thesis, 2012
  • The Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in a PhD thesis, 2012
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 2010
  • Public Health Association of Australia, 2009
  • National Health and Medical Research Council Scholarship, 2007
  • Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Victoria, 2002
  • Victorian Branch of Public Health Association of Australia, 2000., 2000
  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 2000



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Areas of interest include international child health and vaccine preventable diseases. Previous experience in research and epidemiology desirable.