Prof Seshadri Vasan


“Vas” is Director Research of the Department of Health, Western Australia, and Honorary Professor of Health Sciences at the University of York, UK. Previously he was the CSIRO’s COVID-19 Science Leader, and has also worked for Public Health England, NHS England as Delivery Director, and prior to that for Oxford University and its spin-out Oxitec as Head of Public Health. An ex-McKinsey consultant, Rhodes scholar, and fellow of several professional bodies, he has a doctorate from Oxford, MPH from Manchester, and MSc from the Indian Institute of Science.

As CSIRO’s Science Leader based at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, he led on data science-driven research and development of medical countermeasures for dangerous pathogens, especially those requiring high containment at biosafety level 3 or 4. The portfolio of COVID-19 projects he successfully initiated and led as Principal Investigator (with external funding) includes evaluation of leading vaccines in ferrets (CEPI), drug repurposing (MRFF), and research on how SARS-CoV-2 is mutating and its impact on vaccines and countermeasures (US FDA). He led his project team to the Chairman’s Medal, the highest award bestowed by the Australia’s science agency, for critical intramuscular and intranasal evaluation of the Oxford-AZ vaccine in early 2020.

Vas directs the Office of Medical Research and Innovation, which oversees ethics, governance, research and innovation priorities and funding administered by the Department of Health and the FHRI (Future Health Research and Innovation) Fund.

Recent Publications

FDA Grand Rounds Data Science Lecture

Abstract – Combating the pandemic with data science