Professor Fiona Russell is a paediatrician with qualifications in public health and epidemiology. In particular she is interested in vaccination and completed her PhD evaluating alternative pneumococcal vaccination schedules in infants in Fiji, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). She was awarded both the Chancellor and Dean's Prize for PhD Excellence by The University of Melbourne. The findings informed the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) schedules in the latest WHO PCV position paper.
She has undertaken consultancies for WHO, UNICEF, and Australian Aid in the Asia-Pacific region, and Africa on the disease burden of vaccine preventable diseases, provided technical advice of new vaccine introduction in the region, and has written national child health policies to accelerate progress towards Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) four and five – to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.
Prof Russell was awarded the Young Investigator Award by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2001 and the Early in Career Researcher from the Public Health Association of Australia in 2008. Until recently she was based in Hanoi, and prior to that she lived in Fiji.