Director, Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases; Co-Head, Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, Honorary and NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow
MBBS (Hons) DCH FRACP FRCPA PhD
Professor Chris Blyth is a clinical academic, NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow and Director of Wesfarmers Centre for Vaccines and Infectious Diseases (WCVID; Telethon Kids Institute [TKI]). He is Professor of Paediatrics with the School of Medicine, University of Western Australia, a Paediatric Infectious Diseases Physician at Perth Children's Hospital (PCH) and a Clinical Microbiologist with PathWest Laboratory.
Professor Blyth has nearly two decades experience in conducting clinical paediatric and infectious diseases research focusing on questions relevant to public policy and clinical practice. The majority of his research is in influenza, vaccine-preventable respiratory tract infection, pneumonia and vaccine safety. His PhD (Preventing influenza morbidity in Australian children through vaccination; 2016) evaluated the WA preschool influenza vaccination program and has been instrumental in influencing national and state influenza policy. Professor Blyth has previously held a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2016-2019: Evaluation and optimisation of paediatric vaccination programs in Australia and the region) and more recently was awarded a NHMRC Emerging Leader Fellowship (2020-2024: Paediatric Acute Respiratory Infection Management & Prevention: Platforms for the Future). He is an Associate Member of the Australasian Academy of Health and Medical Science and sits on the Scientific Steering Committee of the Human Vaccines Project.
Professor Blyth co-leads the WCVID Infectious Disease Epidemiology team, a multidisciplinary group of researchers using administrative data, case-control and cohort studies, and clinical trials to investigate the burden of specific respiratory pathogens and identify better ways to diagnose, treatment and prevent acute respiratory infections in children. He collaborates broadly with other research groups within WCVID, TKI, Perth Children’s Hospital, other Australian paediatric tertiary hospitals and the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research.
Professor Blyth was appointed as a member of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) in 2012, serving until December 2021. He was the ATAGI deputy chair from 2015, and co-chair from 2018, playing a key role in the development and implementation of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program. Professor Blyth was appointed to the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments for Australia Science and Industry Technical Advisory Group (SITAG) in August 2020 and, through these positions, he has been instrumental in a number of significant changes in national immunisation policy.