Christopher Blyth

Professor, MB BS(Hons) PhD W.Aust., DCH, FRACP, FRCPA

  • The University of Western Australia (M561), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

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Personal profile

Biography

Prof Blyth is a clinical academic and mid-career clinician-scientist. He is Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (School of Medicine, University of Western Australia) and co-director of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases (WCVID; Telethon Kids Institute).

He established the Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) and is a Clinical Microbiologist with PathWest Laboratory. He has fifteen years experience in conducting clinical paediatric and infectious diseases research focusing on questions relevant to public policy and practice.

His research focuses on influenza, COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable respiratory tract infection. His PhD (Preventing influenza morbidity in Australian children through vaccination; 2016) evaluated the WA preschool influenza vaccination program, significantly influencing national influenza policy.

He has been supported by a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2016-19; 1111596) and more recently a NHMRC EL2 Investigator Grant (2020-24; 1173163). In 2019, he became an Associate Member of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science and was elected to the Scientific Steering Committee of the Global Human Vaccines Project.

He was appointed as a member of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) in 2012, serving until December 2021. He was deputy chair from 2015 and co-chair from 2018, leading development and implementation of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program. He was appointed to the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments for Australia Science and Industry Technical Advisory Group (SITAG) in August 2020 and continues in this role.

Roles and responsibilities

Co-director: Wesfarmers Centre for Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, TKI, WA

Co-lead: Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, Wesfarmers Centre for Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, TKI, WA

Professor: School of Medicine, UWA

Infectious Diseases Physician: Department of Infectious Diseases, Perth Children's Hospital, WA

Clinical Microbiologist: PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA, QEII Medical Centre, WA

Member: COVID-19 Vaccines & Treatment for Australia Science & Industry Technical Advisory Group

Associate Editor: Journal of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of America

Funding overview

Prof Blyth co-director of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, a centre of >100 researchers based at Telethon Kids Institute. He is co-lead of a productive research group focusing on influenza, COVID-19 and other vaccine preventable diseases.

He is or has been chief investigator on current grants totalling >A$20 million (Gates Global Health Grant, NIH RO1, NHMRC partnership and project grants and NHMRC fellowship). In addition, he is chief investigator on numerous commonwealth and state government funded projects.

Teaching overview

Prof Blyth is a significant contributor to paediatric teaching at UWA. In addition to bedside teaching and lecturers, he has provide significant paediatric input into the MD curriculum. 

Prof Blyth is currently supervising 5 PhD student. He has supervised 6 PhD and 4 Masters students to completion. This mentoring has resulted in numerous research publications involving junior doctors or medical students. He was voted as the Princess Margaret Hospital Consultant Teacher of the Year in 2011 and a nomination for Excellence in Teaching, Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences, UWA in 2013

Research

His current research focus include the epidemiology, diagnosis, management and prevention of childhood infection with particularly focus on influenza, upper and lower respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, respiratory co-infection, emerging viral pathogens and vaccine safety. 

In addition, Prof Blyth has published widely in the field immunisation, influenza, viral respiratory infection and pneumonia: this includes >200 peer reviewed publications including >70 manuscripts as first or senior author (>3800 citations; h-index 35). His research was recognised nationally as a finalist in the 2020 Eureka Prizes for Infectious Diseases Research. His science communication and engagement was recognised as a 2021 WA Tall Poppy in Science Award Recipient.

Research expertise keywords

  • Paediatric infectious disease
  • Microbiology

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