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Vaccines and Infectious Disease Unit

The Vaccines and Infectious Disease Unit (VIRTU) investigates urgent priorities in infectious disease prevention and includes clinical trials in new vaccines, infectious and social epidemiology, and public health.

We are one of only two research units in Australia using social science research methodologies to investigate community acceptance of immunisation programs, and the only unit assessing community attitudes to the introduction of new vaccines. 

We have been involved in over fifty paediatric, adolescent and adult clinical trials, in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and infectious disease epidemiology including a landmark study, the largest study of its kind in the world to assess the impact of a Meningococcal B (MenB) vaccine on herd immunity in 35,000 school students in South Australia.

Lead researcher: Professor Helen Marshall

Research team

Research support


  • Communicable Disease Control Branch, SA Health - South Australia
  • Menzies School of Health Research - Northern Territory
  • National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance - New South Wales
  • Vaccine Trials Group - Telethon Kids Institute, Western Australia
  • Oxford University - Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Public Health England - United Kingdom

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.