Scientific Advisory Group

The Scientific Advisory Group comprises four preeminent experts of international renown who each represent a different discipline within infectious disease research. Their roles as Scientific Advisors include visiting New Zealand to attend and present keynote papers at IDReC's research symposiums, and attending research meetings in person or via videoconference.

Bruce Levin  

Bruce R. Levin

Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Biology

  • Emory University, Atlanta, USA

Bruce Levin is a world leader in the population biology and evolution of bacteria and their viruses and plasmids. The work of the Levin Lab at Emory University addresses academic ecological and evolutionary questions, as well as applying population dynamic and evolutionary theory to health-related problems. Among the latter are investigations into the epidemiology of pathogenic bacteria; antimicrobial chemotherapy and the evolution of resistance; the pharmacodynamics and pharamacokinetics of antibiotics; and the within-host population and evolutionary dynamics of bacterial infections and their treatment with antibiotics.

Bruce's excellence in scientific research was recently recognised when he was elected into membership of the National Academy of Sciences. We're delighted that Professor Levin will be coming out to New Zealand in October 2012 to attend the First IDReC Science Symposium and to deliver a key note address entitled: "The Antibiotic Treatment of Bacterial Infections: Pharmacodynamics, Meets Population Dynamics, Meets Immunology".

Chris Dye


Christopher Dye

Director of Health Information

  • Office of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization

Chris Dye began professional life as an ecologist in the UK and went on to develop his interest in infectious diseases. Whilst he was head of the Vector Biology and Epidemiology Unit at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine he was involved in research into leishmaniasis, malaria, rabies and other infectious and zoonotic diseases in Africa, Asia and South America. In 1996, Chris joined the World Health Organization where he has developed methods for using national surveillance and survey data to study the large-scale dynamics and control of tuberculosis and other communicable diseases. Working with governments and other agencies he is continuously engaged in the process of translating science into health policy.

Chris is a Fellow of both The Royal Society and The Academy of Medical Sciences; he is Visiting Professor of Zoology at the University of Oxford; and he was Gresham Professor of Physic in the City of London between 2006 and 2009.

We are very much looking forward to hosting Professor Dye in New Zealand in October 2012 when he will be joining us for the First IDReC Science Symposium and will deliver a keynote address entitled: "Eliminating human tuberculosis in the 21st century".

Phil O'Neill

Philip O'Neill

Professor of Applied Probability

  • University of Nottingham, UK

Philip O'Neill heads the top ranking Statistics and Probability Research Group at Nottingham who are renowned for a wide range of topics from Probability Theory through to Applied Statistics. Philip's areas of expertise include statistical inference for infectious disease data, in particular the development of new Bayesian methods for analysing data from disease outbreaks. These methods have been applied to outbreaks of influenza, norovirus, measles, E. coli and healthcare associated infections such as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). He is also interested in probabilistic aspects of disease transmission models, including threshold behaviour and model analysis.

In recognition of the quality of their work, the Statistics and Probability Research Group was ranked as the 6th research group in the UK for Research Quality in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. It is a great pleasure to welcome Professor O'Neill to the IDReC Scientific Advisory Group, and we look forward to hosting him on a visit to New Zealand in the future.


Ian Gardner

Ian A. Gardner

Canada Excellence Research Chair in Aquatic Epidemiology

  • University of Prince Edward Island, Canada

Ian Gardner earned his bachelor's degree in veterinary science from the University of Sydney before gaining a PhD and master's degree in preventive veterinary medicine from the University of California. Ian worked in Australia as a veterinary officer specializing in pig and poultry diseases, and returned to UC Davies where he became the Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. In 2011, Ian moved to the University of Prince Edward Island to take up one of the prestigious Canada Excellence Research Chairs.

Ian has a wide range of expertise including risk analysis related to livestock health and food safety; diagnostic test evaluation; epidemiology of infectious diseases in livestock production systems; and the epidemiology of protozoal myeloencephalitis in marine mammals and equids. His work in developing methods to assess disease risk in terrestrial and aquatic food animals is internationally recognised and has influenced policies at the United States Department of Agriculture and the World Organization for Animal Health.

Professor Gardner is a fantastic addition to the Scientific Advisory Group, and it will be a pleasure to host him in New Zealand during the First IDReC Science Symposium in Ocrober 2012. Ian will be delivering a keynote address during the symposium entitled: "Standards for the design and reporting of validation studies for diagnostic assays used for detection of aquatic and terrestrial animal pathogens: are they needed?".