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Date posted: 04th of November 2020


Jemima Beissbarth

PhD candidate at Menzies School of Health Research, NT

Project supervisors: Prof Amanda Leach, A/Prof Heidi Smith Vaughan, Prof Allen Cheng

Jemima received a 3-year CRE_ICHEAR top-up scholarship in 2018 to support her PhD working on the CRE_ICHEAR funded project BIGDATA - Ear Health Meta-analyses


What is your project title?

Vaccine selective pressures on the microbiology of otitis media in Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander children in northern Australia


Tell us a bit more about your PhD project

My project includes 4 aspects; firstly, the creation of a combined dataset consisting of 25 years of otitis media and respiratory bacteria research, including pneumococcal serotyping and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles. Secondly, the combined dataset will be analysed to describe the long-term trends in nasopharyngeal carriage of S.pneumoniae serotypes and associated antimicrobial resistance associated with increasing valency pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. Thirdly, the possible vaccine selective impact on non-typeable H.influenzae  and finally, the analysis of randomised controlled trial data comparing two different pneumococcal conjugate vaccines to a combination schedule of both vaccines on respiratory otopathogens carriage.

These analyses will inform future clinical trial designs that combine vaccines and antibiotics to maximise clinical impact whilst maintaining close monitoring of bacterial populations and emergence of virulent or resistant strains.


When did you start your PhD and when do you hope to complete?

Started January 2018, hope to finish July 2021


What did you do before doing a PhD?

I have spent almost all of my working life in research. Before starting my PhD I was managing the microbiological processing of samples from ear and lung health research and managing data from associated trials.


Other research interests and topics?

Antimicrobial resistance, bacterial interactions, multi-disciplinary data management for clinical trials and observational studies.


What do you enjoy outside of work and studies?

Cross-stitch, crochet and reading fantasy novels


Read more about Jemima's project "BIGDATA - Ear Health Meta-analyses" here

For researchers

Otitis Media (OM), sometimes known as glue ear or runny ears…

For health practitioners

Otitis Media (OM), sometimes known as glue ear or runny ears…

For families and communities

Many Indigenous children, and almost all Indigenous children living in remote communities...