Dr Helen Quinn BSc (Hons), PhD, MAppEpid
Senior Research Fellow - Executive Management Team
Staff Specialist/Clinical Lecturer

Lucy Deng is a general paediatrician and staff specialist at NCIRS. She holds a conjoint appointment as Clinical Lecturer in the Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health, The Children's Hospital at Westmead. Lucy is the clinical lead of AusVaxSafety and is also part of the NSW Immunisation Specialist Service (NSWISS) team. She is currently completing a PhD in severe acute neurological events following immunisation.

Alexis Pillsbury BA, MIPH, MPP, MAppEpid
Senior Research Officer  

Alexis Pillsbury is a senior research officer at NCIRS within policy and vaccine safety. In her primary role, she works as an epidemiologist and coordinator of vaccine safety surveillance under the national AusVaxSafety surveillance initiative. She also works within NCIRS policy team. Alexis completed her Master of Philosophy Applied Epidemiology (MAE) degree while working at NCIRS and also has postgraduate degrees in international public health and public policy. In addition to her interests in vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccine safety, she is also interested broadly in infectious disease epidemiology and surveillance, disease control in developing countries and issues concerning public health politics.

Catherine Glover BS, MS
Senior Research Officer

Catherine is an epidemiologist for AusVaxSafety. Catherine completed academic degrees in the USA, with a Master of Science in Mathematical Biology at The Ohio State University following a Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She became interested in vaccine-preventable diseases during a graduate internship at the Ohio Department of Health, where she developed a mathematical model to examine the effectiveness of the delayed vaccination response to the 2014 measles outbreak in the Ohio Amish community. Prior to joining NCIRS, Catherine worked in microbiology and immunology research laboratories, coordinated a research study on hepatitis C in pregnancy, and taught mathematics at the college level. Catherine is interested in infectious disease epidemiology, vaccine safety and vaccine hesitancy. 

Narendar Manohar MPH, PhD
Senior Research Officer

Narendar joined NCIRS in June 2022. He completed a PhD in public health at the Western Sydney University in 2021. He also holds a Master of Public Health degree. Narendar has been working in research and academia for the past 10 years in varying capacities. His research interests include population health, early childhood health and nutrition, and longitudinal studies. His success in public health research is supported by a strong track record in research outputs and a number of successful competitive grants funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and NSW Health. 

Laura Lopez PhD, BS Marine Science
Research Officer 

Laura joined NCIRS in June 2021. Laura has a background in ecology. After completing her PhD from the University of Wollongong, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at UC Davis and then the University of Michigan where she developed an interest in epidemiology through her work  studying infectious diseases in freshwater plankton. Laura is also interested in vaccine preventable diseases and vaccine safety.

Melissa Hopkins
Research Nurse

Melissa has 15 years’ experience as a Registered Nurse and holds a Bachelor of Nursing, Graduate Certificate in Emergency Nursing and a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Nursing and Teaching.

Prior to commencing with NCIRS, she has been employed as an after hours nurse manager for the last 3 years during which time she took a secondment to the NSW Ministry of Health as a Senior Surveillance Officer with the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. In that position Melissa was responsible for investigating reported serious adverse events following COVID-19 immunisations. 

Prior to nursing, Melissa worked as a technical assistant in a Microbiology Laboratory and has a total of 30 years working within the health service.

Kath Tapper BN, MPH
Clinical Nurse Consultant

Kath joined NCIRS in June 2021. Kath is a clinical nurse consultant with post-graduate qualifications in Immunisation, Child & Family Health, Infection Control and a Master of Public Health. She has 12 years' experience in the Public Health Unit network as Immunisation Coordinator (Northern Sydney PHU and Illawarra Shoalhaven PHU). She previously worked at NCIRS from 2010 to 2015 as the Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) CNC. In her new role with AusVaxSafety, she support the team in the review of notifiable AEFI.

Wagdi Hana
Program Manager

Wagdi Hana joined NCIRS in June 2021. He is certified in Agile DSDM and PRINCE 2 Project Management. Wagdi worked as a senior project manager at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN), eHealth NSW and Ministry of Health since 2014. He has successfully led key state-wide implementations such as the Closed Loop Medications Management at SCHN, Westmead, which won the 2020 Annual Quality and Innovation Award for Medication Safety. He has also managed multiple state-wide program of work across all local health districts such as the Community Health Information Reporting Program for Ministry of Health, and multiple other ICT and clinical projects as SCHN Integration Program, NSW Health Pathology COVID-19 Negative SMS Notifications for patients under 16 years of age.

Nicola Carter MPH
Senior Program Officer

Nicola Carter joined NCIRS in July 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Human Movement and Health Education and is currently completing a Master of Public Health at the University of Sydney. Nicola comes from a health education background and has a particular interest in disease prevention and health promotion. Prior to joining NCIRS, Nicola worked in various health education roles within New South Wales Health Local Health Districts and Pillars. In her role as AusVaxSafety Project Officer, Nicola is responsible for the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of HPV and maternal pertussis active vaccine safety surveillance activities. She also fulfils a pivotal role by providing overall programmatic support to the diverse and rapidly expanding AusVaxSafety program.

Yvette Patton
Project Officer

Yvette joined NCIRS in 2021. Yvette has over 10 years’ experience in various administration and management roles within the sporting sector and allied health services. Yvette holds a Bachelor of Business Administration/Bachelor of Exercise Science from Australian Catholic University.


Last updated March 2023