Professor Nicholas Wood MBBS, DCH, MPH, FRACP
Associate Director, Clinical Research and Services – Executive Management Team
Senior Medical Officer
Dr Helen Quinn BSc (Hons), PhD, MAppEpid
Senior Research Fellow – Executive Management Team
Senior Medical Officer/Clinical Lecturer

Lucy Deng is a general paediatrician and a Senior Medical Officer 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.

Dr Anny Huang MBBS/BA, FRACGP, DCH, MPH, MAppEpid, CTM
Senior Medical Officer and Clinical Lead, AusVaxSafety

Anny Huang joined NCIRS in January 2022. She is a GP with additional public health training. She is currently the clinical lead for AusVaxSafety. Before joining NCIRS, she was an MPhil of Applied Epidemiology Scholar at Health Protection NSW.

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.

Thuy Nguyen MPH, PhD 
Senior Epidemiologist

Thuy Nguyen joined NCIRS in January 2024. She completed a Master of Public Health at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (NL) in 2013, and a PhD in Medical Studies at the University of Tasmania in 2022. With over a decade of experience in public health, Thuy specialises in infectious disease surveillance and response, applied epidemiology training, and health service provision and utilisation research. Prior to joining NCIRS, she worked as a senior epidemiologist in Tasmania and trained as a biostatistician with the NSW Ministry of Health. In her role as senior epidemiologist, she provides critical support to NCIRS vaccine safety programs, including AusVaxSafety, for a range of data analysis, reporting and research activities.

Laura Lopez PhD, BMarSc
Research Officer 

Laura Lopez 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.

Lucy Dawes
Research Officer

Lucy Dawes holds a Master of Public Health and has a strong background in biomedical research spanning over 10 years. She completed her PhD in ocular cell biology at the University of East Anglia (UK) and has held postdoctoral research positions in biomedical science in both the UK (University of East Anglia) and Australia (Save Sight Institute – University of Sydney). 

After taking a career break to raise her young family, Lucy transitioned to a Master of Public Health degree (University of Sydney). While undertaking this, she developed a strong interest in infectious disease epidemiology – in particular, vaccine-preventable disease epidemiology and surveillance.

Melissa Hopkins
Research Nurse

Melissa Hopkins 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 Tapper 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.

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 Patton joined NCIRS in 2021. She 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 June 2024