November report for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Modelling

4 November 2020

New grants/funding

Martyn Kirk, Katie Glass and team have been successful with an MRFF Pathogen Genomics Flagship grant led by the Doherty Institute at Uni of Melbourne, titled ‘Precision Public Health in Australia through Integrated Pathogen Genomics (P2HAGE)’ for ~$10 million. The project will implement and evaluate a nationally synchronised approach to public health pathogen genomics with a real-time genomic analysis and reporting platform to facilitate rapid and coordinated responses to infectious disease.

Keynote and invited presentations

Meru Sheel has presented the following guest lectures: Health and Security, National Security College’s EL1 National Security Development Program: Framing the Future – October 2020, and; Disease, Security and Biological Weapons.


Meru Sheel was a finalist for the Queensland University of Technology Outstand Alumni 2020 Awards – Young Alumnus Category.

Outreach and engagement

Brett Lidbury and a team of 3 co-investigators have conducted and authored a major report entitled “Exploration of Integrated NATA – RCPAQAP Predictive Modelling to Improve Pathology Quality” for the Commonwealth Department of Health (Quality Use of Pathology Programme).

The contact tracing e-Modules the MAE team and Society, Culture and Health group developed in partnership with Public Health Canada are now being translated into French, and TEPHINET have provided additional funds to support translation into Spanish. WHO have reached out and want to make the modules available in all the WHOs official languages.  CDC Train are linking to all the modules on their training clearinghouse. 

Tambri has been contacted by the CEO of who has requested to host the eModules on their training hub.

Health Direct have also reached out and requested the contact tracing training materials Tambri developed for ACT Health and the Commonwealth, they have also been linked to the eModules. The materials will be used to train a cadre of contact tracers across the country as surge capacity.

Tambri Housen and MAE Alumnus Julie Collins were invited by the National Department of Health in Papua New Guinea to provide support for their Epidemiology and Surveillance Cluster. This is a relationship fostered through the ongoing support for the Papua New Guinea Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). A partnership between ANU, University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Public Health Unit and the National Department of Health. Tambri and Julie are both now in PNG and it’s great to be working with our FETP colleagues on strengthening the response to COVID in this beautiful but challenging context.

Media releases/interest

Meru has appeared on the ABC Radio National LifeMatters podcast on retrospective contact tracing. More information can be found here:

Papers accepted/published:

Hand RM, Ganga Senarathna SMDK, Page-Sharp M, Gray K, Sika-Paotonu D, Sheel M et al. Quality of benzathine penicillin G: A multinational cross-sectional study. Pharmacology Research and Perspectives.