Professor Raina MacIntyre

Professor Raina MacIntyre is NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Professor of Global Biosecurity and PLuS Alliance Fellow. She heads the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute, which conducts research in epidemiology, vaccinology, bioterrorism prevention, mathematical modelling, public health and clinical trials in infectious diseases. The research falls under 4 areas:

1. Personal protective equipment

2. Vaccinology

3. Epidemic response and emerging infectious diseases

4. Bioterrorism prevention

She is best known for research in the detailed understanding of the transmission dynamics and prevention of infectious diseases, particularly respiratory pathogens such as influenza, tuberculosis, bioterrorism agents and vaccine-preventable infections. She has led the largest body of research internationally on face masks and respirators in health care workers. Her research has been influential in informing guidelines for health workers on PPE.  Her voice as a thought leader speaking out for better protection of health workers during the Ebola epidemic is commented on in the New Atlantis. She has a particular interest in adult vaccination with a focus on the elderly. Specific vaccination interests include influenza, pneumococcal disease, HPV, smallpox and herpes zoster. She has done a body of work on vaccine effectiveness of influenza vaccine against myocardial infarction. She led a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in immunisation for high risk populations, and is now head of UNSW-VIRL, a vaccine research centre focused on adult and high-risk group vaccination. Her face mask research has focused on health care workers and hospitals. She has also done research on using risk-analysis methods for analysing emerging infectious diseases outbreaks such as MERS-CoV and is a leader in new approaches to biosecurity through cross-disciplinary response. She leads Biosecurity in Global Security PLuS.

She leads a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Epidemic Response, ISER, the first in Australia to be dedicated to epidemic response. ISER is international and multi-sectoral, and addresses gaps in global systems for epidemic response and biosecurity. This includes an epidemic observatory through Epiwatch. Epiwatch is focused on developing automated intelligence systems for epidemic alert for the Asia-Pacific region. It also includes the ISER academy, which brings together stakeholders from all discplines involved in large scale epidemic response, such as health, emergency management, defense, law enforcement, legal and ethics experts.

She has over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Her research is underpinned by extensive field outbreak investigation experience. She is a graduate of the only Australian Field Epidemiology Training program, the MAE at ANU, and has extensive experience in shoe-leather epidemiology of infectious diseases outbreaks including influenza, meningococcal disease, clostridium perfringens, hepatitis A, legionella, mycoplasma, pertussis and gastroenteritis to name a few. Her in-depth understanding of the science of outbreak investigation draws from this experience combined with her academic training through a Masters and PhD in Epidemiology. Her passion for field epidemiology led her to co-found the ARM network for Australian outbreak response. She also has an interest in the ethics of medicine, and specifically in dual-use research of concern.  She is also working on research collaborations across the PLuS Alliance, with researchers from Arizona State University, and has an adjunct appointment at The College of Public Affairs and Community Solutions at ASU. She is also an adjunct Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Interested in Raina's story? Read "First Responder".


Research Highlights:

o    She won many career awards including the Sir Henry Wellcome Medal and Prize, from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States in 2007 for her work on a risk-priority scoring system for category A bioterrorism agents; and the highest national award in infectious diseases, the Frank Fenner Award for Research in Infectious Diseases in 2003. She won the Public Health Association of Australia National Immunisation Achievement Award in 2014, and also the Peter Baume Public Health Impact Prize in 2014. In 2012 she won the UNSW Medicine Dean's award for outstanding achievement, the highest award in the faculty of Medicine. She has previously held a NHMRC PhD scholarship and a NHMRC Career Development Award, and been a Harkness Fellow. She spent her Harkness fellowship studying the transmission of tuberculosis in prisons in the US, at Johns Hopkins University.

o    She has published the largest body of clinical trials of face masks in prevention of respiratory infections for health workers internationally, which has been a major new contribution to knowledge for pandemic planning. 

o    She runs a highly strategic research program spanning epidemiology, mathematical modelling, public health and clinical trials in infectious diseases.

o    She initiated and led the creation, funding and training of the Network of Infectious Diseases Modellers of Australia through a NHMRC CBG in Population Health. This is a national network spanning three states and five Universities, which has had a prolific research output. She is interested in applying risk analysis methods to public health.

o    She leads a large program of vaccination clinical research, including studies in frail elderly vaccinology.

o    Leads a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence, titled "Immunisation in under studied and special risk populations". 

Society Memberships & Professional Activities  

  • Fellow, Royal Society of NSW (elected 2016)
  • Member, Australian Infection Prevention & Control Ebola Expert Advisory Group - 2014
  • Member, WHO SAGE Committee on Varicella and Zoster Vaccine (2013-2014).
  • Member, US National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Committee on Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers Against Novel H1N1 Influenza A, 2009.
  • Member of Council, Faculty of Public Health Medicine of Australia (2014-16)
  • Member, Word Organization of Medical Editors (WAME) (2003-current)
  • Member, Australian Society for Infectious Diseases (1998-2013)
  • Member, Public Health Association of Australia - PHAA (current)
  • One Health Special Interest Group committee, PHAA (current)
  • Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Fellow, Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine
  • Member, Specialist Influenza Advisory Group to the Chief Medical Officer of Australia, 2007-2010
  • Member, Pandemic Influenza Advisory Group to the Chief Medical Officer of Australia, 2007-2010
  • Member, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (2007-2009)
  • Member, Infectious Diseases Subgroup of the Detention Health Advisory Group, Australia, 2007-.2008
  • Member, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Expert Advisory Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (EAGAR) (2005-2008).
  • Member, Hepatitis B working party of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on AIDS, STDs and Hepatitis.
  • Member, Working Parties for the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation: Influenza, Hepatitis A; Pneumococcal disease; Varicella zoster; Rotavirus   

Editorial Boards

Epidemiology and Infection

BMJ Open

Vaccine Council of 100

Qualifications : 

MBBS (1st Class Honours) University of Sydney 1988

Master of Applied Epidemiology, Australian National University 1992

PhD (Epidemiology) Australian National University 1998

Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) 1994

Fellow, Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (FAFPHM) 1995

Grants : 

2016 NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence. R MacIntyre, M Kirk, A Clements, P Komesaroff, D Heslop, Q Wang, S Sakar, P Debarro, W Rawlinson, M Baker. Intergrated Systems for Epidemic Response.

2015 NHMRC Project grant. R MacIntyre, L Gardner, A Heywood. “Real time models to inform prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases

2015 NHMRC Project grant. A Newall, R MacIntyre, R Menzies, J Wood, P Beutels. Economic evaluation of alternative pneumococcal vaccination strategies

2012 NHMRC Project Grant #1048180. B Liu, A Newall, R MacIntyre, P McIntyre. Providing the evidence to guide adult immunisation strategies: a novel approach using a large prospective cohort study and record linkage.

2011 NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Population Health

Investigators: CR MacIntyre, PB McIntyre, R Booy, N Woods, C Jones, J kaldor, P Beutels, R Menzies, D Dwyer.

Subject: Immunisation in under studied and special risk populations: closing the gap in knowledge through a multidisciplinary approach


2011 ARC DP120100189

Investigators: CR MacIntyre, N Zwar, H Worth, A Heywood, H Seale, M Sheikh, M Smith.

Title: "Travellers visiting friends and relatives: new approaches to understanding and reducing infectious disease risks"


2009 NHMRC Urgent H1N1 influenza 2009 grant # 630787

Investigators Prof CR MacIntyre; Prof DE Dwyer; Dr H Seale

Subject Efficacy of face masks against H1N1 swine influenza


2009-2012 ARC Linkage Grant # LP0990749

Investigators Prof CR MacIntyre; Prof DE Dwyer; A/Prof PT Nga; Prof NM Ferguson; A/Prof M McLaws; Prof L Maher; Dr H Seale; Dr JG Wood; Dr AT Newall

Subject Economic, social and cross cultural issues in non pharmaceutical protection of front line responders to pandemic influenza and emerging infections.


2007-2008 ARC Discovery Grant #DP0773987

Investigators CR MacIntyre; AJ Plant; RE Watkins

Subject Who acquires infection from whom across international borders? New approaches for control of emerging infections through understanding travel patterns


2006-2009 ARC Linkage Grant #LP0668279

Subject Economic and Social Benefits of treating and preventing influenza in Aged Care Facilities

Investigators R Booy; CR MacIntyre; D Dwyer; RI Lindley


2006 NHMRC Strategic Research Grant for Potential Avian Influenza-Induced Pandemic — Urgent Research #373646

Subject Pandemic influenza: developing a model to enhance preparedness in the business sector

Investigators Plant, Aileen; MacIntyre, Raina; Merianos, Angela; Donovan, Robert; Watkins Rochelle.


2006 NHMRC Strategic Research Grant for Potential Avian Influenza-Induced Pandemic —Urgent Research #410224

Subject Assessment of interventions for controlling pandemic influenza and determining data needs to inform these assessments

Chief investigators Becker, Niels G; Glass, Kathryn; Mathews, John; Dwyer, Dominic; Nolan, Terrence; MacIntyre, Raina; Barendregt, Jan; Barnes, Belinda; Caley, Peter; McCaw, James; McVernon, Jodie; Philp, David; Wood, James


2005-2009 NHMRC Capacity Building Grant in Population Health #358425

Subject Mathematical modeling of infectious diseases

Investigators MacIntyre CR, Becker N, Law M, Plant AJ, Nolan T, Brown GV


2005-2008 NHMRC Project grant #352337

Subject Clinical trial of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in hospitalized geriatric patients.

Investigators MacIntyre CR, Lindley R, McIntyre PB, Sullivan J, Gilbert GL.


2005-2008 NHMRC Centre for Clinical Research Excellence #264625

Subject Interdisciplinary clinical and health ethics research and training to improve outcomes in immunosuppressed haematology patients

Investigators Sorrell T, Bradstock K, Kerridge I, Gilbert GL, Gottlieb D, MacIntyre CR, Dwyer D, Ankeny R.

Location Westmead Hospital and NSW Bone Marror Transplant Network


2006-2007 Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, Office of Health Protection grant

Subject A Cluster Randomised, Controlled clinical trial of surgical masks and particulate respirators in households for Control of Respiratory Virus Transmission.

Investigators MacIntyre CR, Booy R, Plant AJ, Dwyer D, Wang H, Burgess M, Browne, G, Seale H, Iskander M.

Awards : 


Elected a Fellow of The NSW Royal Society


Public Health Association of Australia, National Immunisation Achievement Award.


Peter Baume Public Health Impact Prize


Certificate of Recognition Award to The NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in immunization from the NSW Refugee Health Service during 2014 Refugee Week, for Highly valued contribution to the promotion of health and wellbeing of refugees and humanitarian entrants.


ARM Network shortlisted for Australian Innovations Award

2012                  Deans Award for Outstanding Achievement, UNSW Medicine. This is the highest award made by the Faculty of Medicine in recognition of significant achievements, usually over a prolonged period of time, by academic staff in the areas of education, research and community activity.  This award recognises achievements of the highest standard that give great credit to the individual and to the Faculty.

2007                  Sir Henry Wellcome Medal and Prize from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States of America. Unsolicited award for the following work: MacIntyre CR, Secull A, Lane M, Plant AJ. Development of a risk priority scores for category A bioterrorism agents as an aid for public health policy. Military Medicine. 171(7):589-94, 2006 Jul.

2004                  Robert & Elizabeth Albert Study Grant, Royal Australasian College of Physicians. 

2003                  Frank Fenner Award (Australian Society for Infectious Diseases) for Advanced Research in Infectious Diseases 

2001                  Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Best poster prize, Division of Adult Medicine 

1997                  ASID/ICI (Australian Society for Infectious Diseases) travelling scholarship 

1995                  AEA (Australian Epidemiologic Association) travelling scholarship for outstanding new researchers 

1992                  Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (Victoria) – best advanced trainee presentation.

Undergraduate Medicine and other Prizes - Sydney University

1984                 A C Stephen Prize for English prose

1985                David Sugerman Prize for Pathology

1985                 Allan Douglas Gillies Memorial Prize for Pathology

1985                 Parkinson Memorial Prize for Pathology

1988                 1st class honours in medicine (top 10% of class of >200 students)


1982                Dux (top ranked student in HSC) of Sydney Girl’s High School

1979 & 1980   City of Sydney Eisteddfod medal for debating

1978 & 1979   UNICEF Art awards.

Keywords : 


clinical trials




infectious disease control

infectious disease epidemiology

infectious diseases outbreak

infectious diseases



emerging infectious disease

Mission statement

To reduce the immunisation gap between adults and children through research, teaching and advocacy, with a special focus on the elderly, high risk and vulnerable populations.

Contact Us

Professor Raina MacIntyre

Raina MacIntyre

NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Global Biosecurity.

+61 2 93850920

Dr Elizabeth Kpozehouen

Dr Elizabeth Kpozehouen

Research Associate

02 9385 0082