New vaccines for the developing world – who is responsible?
The Centre for International Health was pleased to host Professor Kim Mulholland as our 2013 McAuley Oration Keynote Speaker.
Date: Thursday, 7 November 2013
Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum
Professor Kim Mulholland
Kim Mulholland is an Australian paediatrician with considerable experience in the developing world.
During the 1980s he managed two refugee health projects in the Sudan while undergoing paediatric and immunology training at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. His doctoral thesis was on the clinical and immunological aspects of RSV bronchiolitis in young children.
In 1989 he briefly joined the WHO Programme for Control of Acute Respiratory Infections, before joining MRC Gambia.
In Gambia, between 1989 and 1995 he established a program of research into acute respiratory infections that included clinical studies of pneumonia in malnourished children and neonatal infections, treatment trials of antibiotic therapy and oxygen therapy, pharmacokinetic studies and a program of vaccine research focused on Hib vaccine.
This program included five phase two trials (including one in pregnant women) and one large phase three efficacy trial. This trial was the first to demonstrate the efficacy of Hib vaccine against pneumonia, and in doing so it gave the first real estimate of the contribution of Hib to the burden of pneumonia in a developing country setting. This design, which incorporated elements of efficacy and effectiveness studies, became the template for future pneumococcal vaccine studies and was the first trial known as a vaccine probe study.
In 1995 Kim joined WHO Geneva, initially responsible for research to support Integrated Management of Childhood Illness, and later responsible for research into Hib, pneumococcal, and meningococcal vaccines. In that role he established the pneumococcal trialists working group which established agreed endpoints for vaccine trials for which pneumonia is an endpoint.
All subsequent vaccine studies, including later Hib studies, employed the pneumonia definitions established by this group.
After leaving WHO in 2000, Kim established the Centre for International Child Health at the University of Melbourne. Research undertaken by this group in Fiji has established the burden of disease due to pneumococcus, rotavirus, HPV and Group A Streptococcus, and has now lead to a decision by the Government of Fiji to introduce pneumococcal, rotavirus and HPV vaccines.
The program of research in Fiji involved a complex phase 2 pneumococcal vaccine trial designed to evaluate alternative strategies for pneumococcal vaccine use that may be more appropriate in developing countries. It also established pneumococcal immunology and microbiology laboratories, with funded programs of research to investigate the impact of pneumococcal vaccination strategies.
Since 2005 he has been employed by London School of Hygiene an Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), where he has lead the LSHTM component of GAVI's Hib Initiative project, as well as establishing research activities in Vietnam, Ethiopia and Gambia.
He is currently jointly employed by LSHTM, the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, Australia, and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, where he has established pneumococcal research laboratories. He is a member of Australia’s Indigenous Immunization Reference Group. He is involved in an advisory capacity in a range of studies of Hib, pneumococcal and other vaccines. He was one of the founding organizers of the Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and with Dr Martin Weber has a book on pneumonia currently with the publishers.
Download Professor Mulholland's keynote