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Sheena G. Sullivan

Adjunct Professor


DepartmentsType of Faculty
EpidemiologyPart Time
Contact Information
Areas of Interest: 

Dr Sullivan currently works with the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne, Australia.  This is one of 5 centres around the world tasked with influenza virological surveillance for the purpose of informing vaccine development.  She is the first epidemiologist to work the Melbourne Centre and a core function of this position is to expand epidemiology research at the Centre and provide epidemiological support to countries in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Her primary focus has been on using sentinel influenza surveillance data from around Australia to estimate influenza vaccine effectiveness and to understand the validity of the methods used to conduct these studies.  Lately, many research groups have used the test-negative study design to estimate vaccine effectives, but it is relatively new and its potential for bias is poorly understood.  Thus, she is working with an international network of epidemiologists who studying its validity.  She is also interested in improving influenza surveillance methods, particularly for tropical countries where seasonality is less-well defined.  With the US CDC she has co-facilitated training on the collection and management of influenza surveillance data for heath departments in developing countries of South and Southeast Asia.  She is also attends meetings of the Australian Influenza Surveillance Strategy Working Group which advises the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia on influenza surveillance.


Dr Sheena Sullivan is an infectious diseases epidemiologist.  She completed an MPH at the University of Western Australia in 2002 and her PhD in 2011 at UCLA.  She worked for several years with the Chinese Centre for HIV/STD Prevention and Control in Beijing, where her work focussed on understanding stigma towards people with HIV and methadone treatment outcomes.  As a student, she worked briefly with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Tehran, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France. 

Selected Publications: 

Wu Z, Sullivan SG, Wang Y, Rotheram-Borus MJ, Detels R. Evolution of China's response to HIV/AIDS. Lancet 2007;369(9562):679-90.

Sullivan SG, Wu Z. Rapid scale up of harm reduction in China. Int J Drug Policy 2007;18(2):118-28.

Sullivan SG, Hussain R. Hospitalisation for cancer and co-morbidities among people with learning disability in Australia. Br J Learning Disabil 2008;36:191-7.

Sullivan SG, Ma W, Duan S, Li F, Wu Z, Detels R. Attitudes towards circumcision among Chinese men. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2009;50(2):238-40.

Sullivan SG, Hirsch HH, Franceschi S, et al. Kaposi sarcoma herpes virus antibody response and viremia following highly active antiretroviral therapy in the Swiss HIV Cohort study. AIDS 2010;24(14):2245-52. 

Sullivan SG, Greenland S. Bayesian regression in SAS software. Int J Epidemiol 2013;42(1):308-17. 

Sullivan SG, Tay EL, Kelly H. Variable definitions of the influenza season and their impact on vaccine effectiveness estimates. Vaccine 2013; 31:4280-3.

Sullivan SG, Kelly H. Late season interim estimates of influenza vaccine effectiveness reliably predict end of season estimates in Victoria, Australia. Euro Surveillance, 2013;18(41).Article Id=20605.

Sullivan SG, WuZ, Detels R. Time to first treatment interruption in the Chinese MMT programme. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Dec 1;133(2):427-32. 

 Sullivan SG, Komadina K, Grant K, Jelley L, Papadakis G, Kelly H. Influenza vaccine effectiveness during the 2012 influenza season in Victoria, Australia: influences of waning immunity and vaccine match. J Med Virol 2014; 86:1017-25.