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Professor James McCaw

I am Professor of Mathematical Biology and a past Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2011-15) at the University of Melbourne. I hold a split appointment between the School of Mathematics and Statistics and the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. I also hold an honorary appointment at the Doherty Institute. My interests lie in the application of mathematics and computation to a broad range of problems in infectious diseases biology, epidemiology and public health.

I am a chief investigator on the recently announced NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence, Supporting participatory evidence generation to control transmissible diseases in our region using modelling (SPECTRUM). The centre will provide continued support for infectious diseases modelling capacity development in Australia and the region. SPECTRUM builds on the research and capacity delivered by the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence for Policy Relevant Infectious Disease Simulation and Mathematical Modelling (PRISM2), which ran from 2015 - 2019. I am also a chief investigator of ACREME, the NHMRC funded Australian Centre of Research Excellence in Malaria Elimination.

If you are interested in working or studying in my group, please contact me.

Recent news

COVID-19

With Professor Jodie McVernon, I am contributing to Australia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic through provision of advice to key national committees. I am an expert member of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee. We are guiding a team of nearly 40 modellers, epidemiologists and biostatisticians. If you are thinking about how you might be able to contribute, please do get in touch.

Reports and research released on the Peter Doherty Institute website

  1. [28 May 2021] Technical report: Situational assessment of COVID-19 in Australia

  2. [17 July 2020] Technical report: Estimating temporal variation in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and physical distancing behaviour in Australia

  3. [15 May 2020] Technical report: Estimating temporal variation in transmission of COVID-19 and adherence to social distancing measures in Australia

  4. [5 May 2020] Technical report: Estimating temporal variation in transmission of COVID-19 and adherence to social distancing measures in Australia

  5. [20 April 2020] Early analysis of the Australian COVID-19 epidemic

  6. [16 April 2020] Technical report: Estimating the case detection rate and temporal variation in transmission of COVID-19 in Australia

  7. [7 April 2020] Research articles on border measures and hospitalisation capacity requirements

Media and other contributions

  1. [6 October 2021] Tired of lockdown rules? Our analysis shows most Australians have curbed mixing and helped suppress COVID, The Conversation

  2. [18 June 2021] Informing the COVID-19 response: mathematicians' contributions to pandemic planning and response

  3. [7 December 2020] Australia's Pandemic Part 1: The 12.39am email that triggered Australia's response to COVID-19, The Age

  4. [2 December 2020] Interview on ABC 7.30: COVID-19 risks

  5. [19 October 2020] Interview on ABC 7.30: COVID normal

  6. [19 October 2020] Interview on ABC Radio AM: Melburnians wake up to eased restrictions, but no relief yet for many struggling businesses

  7. [17 October 2020] Take heart, Melbourne: it’s time for the next step in easing Covid restrictions, The Guardian Opinion

  8. [9 October 2020] Sorry Melbourne. The chance of reaching an average 5 COVID-19 cases by mid-October is under 50%, The Conversation

  9. [28 September 2020] Interview on ABC 7.30: Victorian COVID roadmap

  10. [14 September 2020] Interview on 3AW with Neil Mitchell: The COVID-19 roadmap target an epidemiologist says needs review interview

  11. [12 September 2020] Virus modelling far from perfect, The Australian Opinion

  12. [28 August 2020] Special Guest on ABC The Virus Podcast

  13. [18 August 2020] Interview on ABC Radio AM: Tough interstate borders keeping families apart for public health

  14. [14 August 2020] Panel member, National Science Week Launch: The STEM experts guiding Australia’s Covid-19 success give behind-the-scenes insights for National Science Week, Science & Technology Australia

  15. [6 August 2020] Interview on 3AW with Neil Mitchell: `Just like the weather': Epidemiologist responds to predicted peak leak

  16. [30 July 2020] Interview on ABC 7.30: Victoria posts record COVID-19 cases and deaths

  17. [22 July 2020] Interview on ABC 7.30: Record number of new COVID-19 cases

  18. [6 July 2020] Interview on ABC Radio AM: Public housing outbreak has ’explosive potential’ for covid surge

  19. [3 July 2020] Special Guest on ABC The Virus Podcast

  20. [1 July 2020] Interview on ABC 7.30: COVID-19 Victorian update

  21. [25 June 2020] Interview on ABC Radio PM: Virus testing blitz underway in Melbourne suburbs

  22. [24 June 2020] Interview on ABC Radio Drive with Rafael Epstein (Melbourne): COVID-19

  23. [22 June 2020] Interview on ABC 7.30: COVID-19 in Australia

  24. [22 June 2020] Special Guest on Channel 9’s Today Show

  25. [3 June 2020] ACEMS The Random Sample Podcast: The Maths Behind Australia's Response to COVID-19

  26. [18 May 2020] Interview on ABC 7.30: Easing coronavirus restrictions

  27. [24 April 2020] Interview on 7NEWS.com.au: Coronavirus testing requirements across Australia to be softened to stop spread

  28. [23 April 2020] Australian Science Media Centre Press conference: When can Australia start to lift COVID-19 restrictions? Ask an epidemiologist

  29. [19 April 2020] Special Guest on 3RRR Radiotherapy: COVID-19

  30. [15 April 2020] Life Beyond Coronavirus: The Expert View (Episode 1), Pursuit (The University of Melbourne)

  31. [1 April 2020] Models have supported Australia’s response to COVID-19, Cosmos Magazine

  32. [11 March 2020] 13 things tech companies can do to fight coronavirus: An open letter from technologists, epidemiologists & medical professionals, Tech vs COVID-19

  33. [4 February 2020] What maths can tell us about the spread of the new coronavirus, Pursuit (The University of Melbourne)

May 2018

With our collaborators at DST Group, Rob Moss and I have been awarded the CivSec 2018 Innovation Award for Disaster Relief, Emergency Management and Humanitarian Services and the overall CivSec 2018 National Innovation Award for Civil Security for our outbreak detection and epidemic forecasting work.

Dr Tony Lau and I receive the CivSec2018 National Innovation Award for Civil Security

November 2017

I have been promoted to Professor and also now hold an honorary appointment at the Doherty Institute.

October 2017

ACREME, the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Malaria Elimination, on which I am an investigator, was announced this week, led by Professor Stephen Rogerson at the Doherty Institute. We'll be looking to hire new staff in 2018 to deliver on a 5-year program of research combining clinical, therapeutic, diagnostic, mathematical and epidemiological approaches, so contact me if you are interested in hearing more.

November 2016

With Associate Professor Julie Simpson, Dr Federico Frascoli (Swinburne) and Associate Professor Jane Heffernan (York, Canada), I received an ARC Discovery Project "Mathematical and statistical methods for modelling invivo pathogen dynamics" (2017 - 19). The grant will support our research on within-host dynamics of influenza infection and pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modelling for malaria.

August 2016

With Professor Leann Tilley, I received the 2016 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research.