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Professor Jodie McVernon
Associate Professor Jodie McVernon is a Monash University Medical Graduate with specialty training in Paediatrics, Public Health and Vaccinology. She has extensive expertise in clinical vaccine trials, epidemiologic studies and mathematical modelling of infectious diseases gained at the University of Oxford, Health Protection Agency London and University of Melbourne. She heads the Modelling and Simulation Unit within the Infection and Immunity Theme at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, and remains affiliated with the Vaccine and Immunisation Research Group, within which this unit began. Her research group uses mathematical and computational models to synthesise insights gained from basic biology and sociological research to advance understanding of infectious disease epidemiology and inform policy for disease prevention and control. Associate Professor McVernon is a member of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and a Director of the Influenza Specialist Group.
- NHMRC Career Development Fellow and Head, Modelling and Simulation Unit, Murdoch Childrens Research Insitute and Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics
- NHMRC Career Development Fellow, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne
Associate Professor McVernon's primary interests include the drivers of infection spread in populations and the likely impact of social and pharmaceutical interventions such as vaccines on transmission and disease. Her modelling and simulation group considers the complex biological and social systems underlying infectious diseases epidemiology, engaging national and international collaborators in basic sciences, psychology, sociology, ethics and urban planning with a view to identifying optimally efficient and acceptable control strategies. The group's research projects and outputs target systems at multiple scales, from individual hosts to populations, translating bench insights into public health policy and practice in Australia and internationally.
Much of the group's work focuses on understanding and controlling seasonal and pandemic influenza, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, an NHMRC-funded influenza program led by Professor Anne Kelso and the Australian Government Office of Health Protection. Other projects consider the best use of current vaccines against diseases such as pertussis, in response to the resurgences of diseases in highly-immunised populations. We also consider the possible impact of new and future drugs and vaccines against pathogens including malaria, meningococcus serogroup B and group A streptococcus.
- Translating insights from animal models and historical epidemiological observations into population models of disease transmission and control
- Identifying drivers of vaccine preventable disease epidemiology, to determine optimal vaccine scheduling (with case study in pertussis)
- Explaining relatedness and diversity in Group A Streptococcal populations, to inform predictions of likely vaccine impact
- Defining household and local area influences on social connectedness, to understand differences in health status associated with disadvantage
- Improving communication of uncertainty and complexity in scientific advice for policy makers
Isaacs D, McVernon J. Introducing a new group B meningococcus vaccine. BMJ 2014;348:g2415
McCaw J, Glass K, Mercer G, McVernon J. Pandemic controllability: a concept to guide a proportionate and flexible operational response to future influenza pandemics. J Pub Health 2014, 36(1):5-12.
Valkenburg SA, Quinones-Parra S, Gras S, Komadina N, McVernon J, Wang Z, Halim H, Iannello P, Cole C, Laurie K, Kelso A, Rossjohn J, Doherty PC, Turner SJ, Kedzierska K. Acute emergence and reversion of influenza A virus quasispecies within CD8+ T cell antigenic peptides. Nature Communications 2013; 4:2663.
Geard N, Dorin A, Korb K, McCaw J, McVernon J. Synthetic population dynamics: a model of household demography. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 2013; 16(1):8.
Campbell P, McIntyre P, Quinn H, Hueston L, Gilbert GL, McVernon J. Increased population prevalence of low pertussis toxin antibody levels preceding a record epidemic in Australia. PLoS ONE 2012; 7(4):e35874.
Bolton KJ, McCaw J, Moss R, Morris R, Wang S, Burma A, Darma B, Narangerel D, Nymadawa P, McVernon J. Likely effectiveness of interventions for mitigating influenza in Mongolia. Bull WHO 2012: 90(4): 264-71.
McVernon J, Mason K, Petrony S, Nathan P, LaMontagne Anthony D, Bentley R, Fielding J, Studdert D, Kavanagh A. Recommendations for and compliance with social restrictions during implementation of school closures in the early phase of the influenza A (H1N1) 2009 outbreak in Melbourne, Australia. BMC Infectious Diseases 2011; 11:257.
Glass K, McCaw J, McVernon J. Incorporating population dynamics into household models of infectious disease transmission. Epidemics 2011; 3: 152-158.
Moss R, McCaw JM, McVernon J. Diagnosis and antiviral intervention strategies for mitigating an influenza epidemic. PLoS ONE 2011; 6(2):e14505.
McVernon J, Laurie K, Nolan T, Owen R,. Irving D, Capper H, Hyland C, Faddy H, Carolan L, Barr I, Kelso A. Seroprevalence of antibody to influenza A (H1N1) 2009 in Australian blood donors, October-December 2009. Euro Surveill 2010; 15(40): pii:19678.