Professor Andrews is an epidemiologist with major research interests in vaccine-preventable diseases and skin infections. He is the current Chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), Australia's peak ministerial immunisation advisory committee.
Ross has $22.1m in research funding; 93 peer-reviewed publications; supervised ten higher degree by research (HDR) students to completion (four as primary supervisor) and currently supervises three HDR students.
In a world first, he led a randomised controlled trial of pneumococcal vaccine in pregnancy, called PneuMum, which found evidence suggestive of an impact against ear disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants (Vaccine 2015) and now leads a multi-centre cohort study, called FluMum, which is assessing impact of influenza vaccination in pregnancy amongst 10,000 mother-infant pairs (BMJ Open 2014).
His work on skin infections has demonstrated that: a short course oral antibiotic is an effective alternative to penicillin injections for treatment of skin sores (The Lancet 2014); and the virtually elimination of scabies ‑ 94 per cent reduction in prevalence – following introduction an oral ivermectin-based drug administration program in Fiji (New Engl J Med 2015). Underpinning his research approach has been his demonstrated commitment to community engagement and capacity building.
Areas of Expertise (3)
The Australian National University: Ph.D., Epidemiology 2004
The Australian National University: MAppEpid, Epidemiology 1998
Monash University: MPH, Public Health 1995
Swinburne University of Technology: DipAppSci (Env Hlth), Environmental Health 1984
- NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Population Health Research: Scientific Advisory Board
- Influenza Specialist Group: Panelist
Featured Articles (5)
Impetigo, scabies, and fungal skin infections disproportionately affect populations in resource-limited settings. Evidence for standard treatment of skin infections predominantly stem from hospital-based studies in high-income countries. The evidence for treatment in resource-limited settings is less clear, as studies in these populations may lack randomisation and control groups for cultural, ethical or economic reasons. Likewise, a synthesis of the evidence for public health control within endemic populations is also lacking. We propose a systematic review of the evidence for the prevention, treatment and public health management of skin infections in resource-limited settings, to inform the development of guidelines for the standardised and streamlined clinical and public health management of skin infections in endemic populations.
We conducted population-based, prospective, active surveillance of iGAS infections throughout the state of Victoria, Australia (population 4.9 million), from March 2002 through August 2004.
Impetigo affects more than 110 million children worldwide at any one time. The major burden of disease is in developing and tropical settings where topical antibiotics are impractical and lead to rapid emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Few trials of systemic antibiotics are available to guide management of extensive impetigo. As such, we aimed to compare short-course oral co-trimoxazole with standard treatment with intramuscular benzathine benzylpenicillin in children with impetigo in a highly endemic setting.
Soil-transmitted helminths (STH) and schistosomes are parasites that affect the world's poorest people, causing losses of up to 39 million and 70 million disability adjusted life years (DALYs) respectively. The World Health Organization (WHO) is at the forefront of developing policy for the control of STH and schistosomiasis, advocating for chemotherapy as the cornerstone of control, with the objective of reducing infection-associated morbidity. Global uptake of chemotherapy with albendazole or mebendazole for STH and praziquantel for schistosomiasis has significantly increased and remains the principal control strategy. It is cost-effective and reduces STH and schistosome infections in human hosts.
The vast majority (>75%) of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory (NT) live in remote or very remote locations. Children in these communities have high attendance rates at local Primary Health Care (PHC) centres but there is a paucity of studies documenting the reason and frequency of attendance. Such data can be used to help guide public health policy and practice.