Using immunology to identify optimal vaccination strategies in children living in high-risk settings.

The Vaccine Immunology group conducts research to better understand the human immune response to childhood vaccines and infections. Our focus is aimed at using immunology to identify optimal vaccination strategies in high-risk settings and ultimately to improve child health through improved access to vaccines in resource-limited settings.

Our group is led by Associate Professor Paul Licciardi who has more than 15 years of experience in examining immune responses in children (and adults) using sophisticated immunological approaches as part of large clinical trials.

The group has expertise in pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs), human papillomavirus vaccines (HPV), COVID-19 vaccines and respiratory syncytial virus infections. These vaccines are very expensive and are not widely available in many parts of the world. We are particularly interested in how we can best use these vaccines to protect our most vulnerable children, including those born preterm, those with malnutrition, those who are immunocompromised and more broadly, those who live in high disease burden settings.

Our research is designed to answer important questions related to vaccination strategies, including optimal vaccination schedules, duration of protection, identifying correlates of protection and biomarkers of severe disease. We utilise a range of immunological approaches to study antibody, B cell and T cell responses with the overall aim of improving access to these life-saving vaccines. We work with national and international research groups, governments and key stakeholders to improve vaccine access.