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mRNA Lecture Series 2: Lecture Three – Preparing for Disease X

April 11 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am AEST


Based on the demand and success of the first lecture series, mRNA Victoria and BioMelbourne Network, are pleased to host a second series of four lectures beginning in November 2023 for the Victorian RNA community.

These lectures present an opportunity for global leading specialists in the RNA field to share their knowledge with the local RNA community. The accompanying networking sessions are an opportunity to foster connections between researchers, industry and government to build a connected and collaborative ecosystem in Victoria.

Explore Series 1 and 2 lectures and recordings here

Series 2 comprises four lectures:

Lecture One: The RNA Platform: The Breadth of Possibility Beyond mRNA | Friday 10 November 2023, 8:00am – 11:00am
Lecture Two: mRNA Clinical Trials: Enhancing Research-Clinician Collaboration to Accelerate Patient Outcomes | Tuesday 20 February 2024, 8:00am – 11:00am
Lecture Three: Preparing for Disease X | Thursday 11 April, 8:00am – 11:00am
Lecture Four: Details tbc | Tuesday 28 May 2024, 8:00am – 11:00am


Countries around the world have extracted valuable learnings about pandemic preparedness from the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the global focus of researchers, companies and governments is turning to preparation for the next pandemic – Disease X. But how do you prepare for a pandemic when you don’t know what the disease will be? This session will explore research, infrastructure and processes under development to prepare for the emerging threat of Disease X.

Our speakers will discuss the following topics:

  • Introducing disease X, detection and prevention – Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Director and CEO, Burnet Institute
  • Moderna’s mRNA platform, pandemic preparedness, and global public health – Jacqueline Miller, Senior Vice President Infectious Diseases, Moderna
  • Preparing for the known unknown: better data for better decisions – Professor Jodie McVernon, Director of Doherty Epidemiology, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity; Member, World Health Organization.

Who should attend?

The intended audience for this lecture are researchers and scientists, government officials, policymakers, healthcare professionals, corporate professionals and the general public who are interested in infectious diseases, epidemiology, public health, emergency preparedness and global health security.Overall, the lecture would suit a diverse audience interested in understanding the challenges and strategies associated with preparing for unknown future pandemics, particularly in light of lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lecture Three Details:

Date: Thursday 11 April 2024
Time (AEST):
7:45am: Guest arrival, registration
8:00am: Networking breakfast (executive lounge)
9:00am: Welcome and opening remarks
9:15am: Presentations and Q&A
10:30am: Networking, tea and coffee (executive lounge)
11:00am: Close
Format: In-person only
Venue: Treasury Theatre, Lower Plaza, 1 Macarthur Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002
Facilitator: Professor Brendan Crabb AC PhD FAA FAHMS FASM, Director and CEO, Burnet Institute
Opening remarks: Ms Phoebe Dunn, Acting CEO, mRNA Victoria
Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Director and CEO, Burnet Institute
Jacqueline Miller, Senior Vice President Infectious Diseases, Moderna
Professor Jodie McVernon, Director of Doherty Epidemiology, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity; Member, World Health Organization
Valentina Tan, Research and Industry Development Officer, mRNA Victoria
David Herd, Chair, BioMelbourne Network


BioMelbourne Network Members: $0
BioMelbourne Network Non Members: $85


Full refund given up to 7 days prior to the event.
No refunds within 7 days of the event.

About mRNA Victoria

mRNA Victoria is responsible for leading the Victorian Government’s commitment to establish a world-class mRNA and RNA industry in Victoria, by supporting supply chain, research and development for pre and clinical research, commercialisation and manufacturing investments.Its role is to identify key capabilities, gaps, opportunities and lead the Victorian Government’s engagement, investment and partnerships with domestic and international companies, researchers and stakeholders to build RNA capability.

This lecture series is delivered in partnership with mRNA Victoria and the State Government of Victoria.


Jacqueline Miller, Senior Vice President Infectious Diseases, Moderna 

Jacqueline Miller is the Head of Development for Infectious Diseases, where she leads the team responsible for Phase 1-4 development of vaccine candidates. She led the development team for Spikevax, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, and has brought four additional programs to Phase 3 development since joining Moderna 3.5 years ago. Previously, she spent 15 years at GSK Vaccines where she contributed to the development and launch of 5 novel vaccines and most recently was Head of US Vaccine Clinical R&D at GSK until 2020. She trained as a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia after medical school at Northwestern University, and has spent the last 23 years in vaccine development.

Professor Jodie McVernon, Director of Doherty Epidemiology, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity; Member, World Health Organization

Professor Jodie McVernon is a public health physician and epidemiologist. For the past 18 years she has been building capacity in infectious diseases modelling in Australia and our region to inform immunisation and pandemic preparedness policy. She has led nationally distributed networks of modellers informing responses to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the COVID-19 pandemic. Her particular interest is in the heterogeneity of impact of infectious diseases, including interventions for their control, and the need for a whole of society lens in preparedness and response.

Facilitator: Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Director and CEO, Burnet Institute

Professor Brendan Crabb AC PhD FAA FAHMS FASM is a molecular biologist and infectious disease researcher with a special interest in malaria. He has been the Director and CEO of the Burnet Institute since 2008. The Burnet Institute is a research institute with a focus on infectious diseases and maternal and child health, especially for populations most in need.

His interest is to use science and innovation to improve the health of all peoples, especially to contribute to a more equitable Australia, local region and lower income world.

The Burnet Institute’s vision is a more equitable world through better health.

The Burnet Institute and Professor Crabb played a major role in the COVID-19 pandemic through modelling, research, advising the community and governments and advocating for public health action.

Professor Crabb is Chair of the Australian Global Health Alliance and the Pacific Friends of Global Health. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. In 2015, he was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia.

Opening Remarks: Ms Phoebe Dunn, Acting CEO, mRNA Victoria

Phoebe Dunn is the Acting CEO of mRNA Victoria, the government agency responsible for building Victoria and Australia’s leading mRNA vaccine hub. Established in April 2021, the agency leads investment in mRNA and RNA research, translation, commercialisation, and manufacturing of vaccines and therapeutics. mRNA Victoria is responsible for managing delivery of major government investments, including BioNTech’s clinical research and manufacturing facility and Moderna’s population scale vaccine manufacturing plant in Melbourne.
As Chief Investment Officer of mRNA Victoria, Phoebe was responsible for attracting and facilitating major investments into Victoria’s growing mRNA ecosystem, including the two leading mRNA innovators - Moderna and BioNTech. Phoebe has extensive experience designing, developing and delivering major policy reform and capital projects as well as a deep understanding of government and the law.
Throughout her 30+ year career, Phoebe has held a broad range of leadership, senior management, and strategic advisory positions across legal, commercial, government and community organisations. Prior to joining mRNA Victoria, Phoebe was a Member of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal for three years and has previously held board positions for several not-for-profit organisations, including as Chair of the Phillip Adams BalletLab Board. Phoebe holds a Bachelor of Law (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts from Monash University.


April 11
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Free - $85
Event Category:


BioMelbourne Network
+61 3 9667 8181


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