Co-Director, Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases; Co-Head, Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, Honorary and NHMRC Career Development Fellow
MBBS (Hons) DCH FRACP FRCPA PhD
Dr Chris Blyth is a clinical academic and NHMRC Career Development Fellow. He is Associate Professor of Paediatrics with the School of Medicine, University of Western Australia (UWA) and Research Fellow with Wesfarmers Centre for Vaccines and Infectious Diseases (WCVID; Telethon Kids Institute [TKI], WA). Dr Blyth took on the position of Co-director of WCVID in July 2019, in addition to leading the Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at Perth Children's Hospital (PCH) and performing the role of Clinical Microbiologist with PathWest Laboratory.
Dr Blyth has more than a fifteen years of 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. Dr Blyth holds a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2016-2019: Evaluation and optimisation of paediatric vaccination programs in Australia and the region) which is evaluating influenza and pneumococcal vaccination programs in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
He co-leads the WCVID Infectious Disease Epidemiology team, which uses administrative data, case-control and cohort studies, and clinical trials to investigate the burden of specific respiratory patterns. This information is used to identify better ways to diagnose, treatment and prevent acute respiratory infections in children. Dr Blyth 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.
In 2012 Dr Blyth was appointed as a sitting member of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), Australia’s peak immunisation advisory group to Government, and he assumed the role of deputy chair in 2014 and co-chair in 2018. In addition, he is chair of the ATAGI Pneumococcal Working Party and has previously chaired the ATAGI/CNDA Rabies Working Party. Through these positions, he has been instrumental in a number of significant changes in the national immunisation policy.