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First published Thursday 13 June 2019.

Meet Dr Lea-Ann Kirkham

Introducing Dr Chris Blyth


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Dr Lea-Ann Kirkham

Dr Lea-Ann Kirkham is an internationally respected infectious diseases microbiologist and Co-head of the Bacterial Respiratory Infectious Disease Group at the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases. Her vision is to develop improved therapies, including vaccines and vaccine schedules, to significantly reduce the global burden of childhood ear and lung diseases.

Originating from Scotland, Dr Kirkham has always had a passion for infectious diseases research. Her PhD research at Glasgow University led to development of a vaccine antigen to prevent pneumonia and meningitis, and Dr Kirkham is dedicated to sharing her broad range of knowledge and experience in this field by mentoring early career researchers and guiding their career progression.

Dr Chris Blyth

Dr Chris Blyth is Head of Infectious Diseases at Perth Children’s Hospital and Co-head of the Infectious Diseases Epidemiology at the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases. As a paediatrician working with patients in a clinical setting, Dr Blyth has first-hand knowledge of deadly diseases affecting children and is heavily involved in the latest national and global research on influenza, pneumonia and immunisation.

Dr Blyth completed his PhD at the University of Western Australia by focusing on the WA preschool influenza vaccination program, and this work was instrumental in influencing national influenza policy and ensuring all children aged under five years receives a free flu vaccine.

Dr Blyth is a vocal advocate for childhood immunisation and is dedicated to educating the general public about the benefits of immunisation through media interviews and online articles.