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Vice-Chancellor, University of Otago

In February 2022, Professor Murdoch will begin in the role of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago.

Professor David Murdoch is the co-leader of The Infection Group, the co-director of One Health Aotearoa, a Senior Associate in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and a clinical microbiologist at Canterbury Health Laboratories.

He is a clinical microbiologist, infectious diseases physician and luthier. He has worked extensively in Asia and Africa, as well as New Zealand, and has been a regular consultant for the World Health Organization, US National Institute of Health, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. One Health Aotearoa is an alliance of New Zealand infectious diseases researchers from across multiple disciplines that aims to improve health and well-being through integrated, cross-sectoral and “whole of society” approaches to health hazards.

Research interests
David’s main research interests are the epidemiology, diagnosis and prevention of respiratory tract infections, pneumococcal disease, legionellosis, bloodstream infections, and the role of vitamin D in infectious diseases.

He has a particular interest in the microbial aetiology of pneumonia, and is the Laboratory Director of the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) project which is focused on determining the causes of severe pneumonia in young children from developing countries. David has ongoing projects based in nine countries in Africa and Asia.


  • 2016–present
    Dean and Head of Campus, University of Otago, Christchurch