Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Professor Katherine O’Brien

Professor-Department of International Health & Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States of America.

Head shot of Katherine O'Brien

Katherine O’Brien, MDCM, MPH, FRCPC, is a Professor in the Department of International Health & Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH). On 4 October 2013 Professor O’Brien was appointed as the Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), a year after taking the helm as the Center's Acting Director. Professor O'Brien brings a wealth of experience as a pediatric infectious disease physician, epidemiologist, and vaccinologist.

In addition to her role with IVAC, Dr. O'Brien serves the Center for American Indian Health at JHSPH as both an Associate Director of the Center and Director of the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Program.

Professor O’Brien received her medical degree at McGill University in 1988, has a fellowship in paediatric infectious disease and master of public health. For over 20 years she has worked in the area of vaccine research on paediatric, maternal and adult vaccine issues domestically and internationally. Her research expertise lies in the areas of large field based vaccine clinical trials, epidemiology studies, impact assessments, and disease burden modeling of pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, influenza, and rotavirus. Professor O’Brien also served on Data Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMBs) for international vaccine clinical trials, including malaria and maternal influenza vaccine.

Apart from vaccine research, Professor O’Brien has extensive experience in linking scientific evidence to policy formulation domestically and internationally to support vaccine policy decision- making in the global, regional, and country level. She has contributed to the US policy formulation on pneumococcal vaccines through the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). She has presented and conducted work for SAGE on various occasions related to pneumococcal vaccine policies, and has led projects in collaboration with various international institutions such as WHO, GAVI, CDC, MSF, and the Gates Foundation.

Last updated: 28 October 2013