Dr Meru Sheel

Research Fellow


I am a global health researcher and an infectious diseases epidemiologist with interest in health emergencies, emerging infectious and vaccine-preventable diseases.

I earned a PhD in life sciences from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and the Queensland University of Technology working on new vaccines for bacterial pathogens (group A streptococcus). I completed my post-doctoral training in parasite immunology with a focus on malaria and visceral leishmaniasis before moving into public health. I completed the MPhil in Applied Epidemiology (MAE program) in 2017, following which I worked at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance. I have worked in several dynamic and challenging environments in Australia and in the Asia-Pacific region including India, Cambodia, Samoa, American Samoa. I have responded to international emergencies in Fiji, Dominica, Rohingya Crisis in Cox's Bazar Bangladesh and Tonga.

In 2019, I was awarded a Westpac Research Fellowship (2019-2022) to conduct operational research in health emergencies in the context of infectious diseases outbreaks critical for strengthening global health security and building resilient public health systems.


Research interests

  • Infectious Diseases110309
  • Epidemiology111706
  • Health Information Systems (Incl. Surveillance)111711
  • Microbiology0605
  • Immunology1107


  • Bannister-Tyrrell, M, Viney, K, Happold, J et al 2019, Health Security: State of the Region 2019 in the Indo Pacific
  • Saravanos, G, Sheel, M, Homaira, N et al 2019, 'Respiratory syncytial virus-associated hospitalisations in Australia, 2006-2015', The Medical Journal of Australia (Online), vol. 210, no. 10, pp. 447-453.
  • Ng, S, Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes, F, de Labastida Rivera, F et al 2018, 'Rapid loss of group 1 innate lymphoid cells during blood stage Plasmodium infection', Clinical and Translational Immunology, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. -.
  • Montagnat, O, Webster, G, Bulitta, J et al 2018, 'Lessons learned in the development of sustained release penicillin drug delivery systems for the prophylactic treatment of rheumatic heart disease (RHD)', Drug Delivery and Translational Research, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 729-739.
  • Sheel, M, Beard, F, Quinn, H et al 2018, 'Australian vaccine preventable disease epidemiological review series: varicella-zoster virus infections, 1998-2015', Communicable Diseases Intelligence, vol. 42, no. 18.
  • Sheel, M, Collins, J, Kama, M et al 2018, 'Evaluation of the early warning, alert and response system after Cyclone Winston, Fiji, 2016
    ', Bulletin of the World Health Organization, vol. 97, no. 3, pp. 169-244.
  • Alam, N, Kenny, B, Maguire, J et al 2018, 'Field epidemiology in action: an Australian perspective of epidemic response
    to the Rohingya health emergencies in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
    ', Global Biosecurity, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 119-122.
  • Bunn, P, de Oca, M, de Labastida Rivera, F et al 2018, 'Distinct Roles for CD4(+) Foxp3(+) Regulatory T Cells and IL-10-Mediated Immunoregulatory Mechanisms during Experimental Visceral Leishmaniasis Caused by Leishmania donovani', Journal of Immunology, vol. 201, no. 11, pp. 3362-3372pp.
  • Collins, J, Biaukula, V, Faktaufon, D et al 2018, 'An outbreak investigation of paediatric severe acute respiratory infections requiring admission to intensive care units - Fiji, May 2016', Western Pacific Surveillance and Response, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 1-5.
  • Sheel, M, Sheridan, S, Gass, K et al 2018, 'Identifying residual transmission of lymphatic filariasis after mass drug administration: Comparing school-based versus community-based surveillance - American Samoa, 2016', PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, vol. 12, no. 7, pp. 1-11.
  • Sheel, M, Beard, F, Dey, A et al 2017, 'Rates of hospitalisation for herpes zoster may warrant vaccinating Indigenous Australians under 70', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 207, no. 9, pp. 395-396pp.
  • Bunn, P, de Oca, M, de Labastida Rivera, F et al 2017, 'Galectin-1 impairs the generation of anti-parasitic Th1 cell responses in the liver during experimental visceral leishmaniasis', Frontiers in Immunology, vol. 8, no. 1307, pp. -.
  • Faleiro, R, Kumar, R, Bunn, P et al 2016, 'Combined Immune Therapy for the Treatment of Visceral Leishmaniasis', PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. -.
  • de Oca, M, Kumar, R, de Labastida Rivera, F et al 2016, 'Type I Interferons Regulate Immune Responses in Humans with Blood-Stage Plasmodium falciparum Infection', Cell Reports, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 399-412.
  • Sheel, M, Moreland, N, Fraser, J et al 2016, 'Development of Group A streptococcal vaccines: An unmet global health need', Expert Review of Vaccines, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 227-238.
  • Sheel, M, Beattie, L, Frame, T et al 2015, 'IL-17A-producing γδ T cells suppress early control of parasite growth by monocytes in the liver', Journal of Immunology, vol. 195, no. 12, pp. 5707-5717.
  • Bunn, P, Stanley, A, de Labastida Rivera, F et al 2014, 'Tissue requirements for establishing long-term CD4+ T cell-mediated immunity following Leishmania donovani infection', Journal of Immunology, vol. 192, no. 8, pp. 3709-3718.
  • Sheel, M & Engwerda, C 2012, 'The diverse roles of monocytes in inflammation caused by protozoan parasitic diseases', Trends in Parasitology, vol. 28, no. 10, p. 263.
  • Stanley, A, de Labastida, F, Haque, A et al 2011, 'Critical Roles for LIGHT and Its Receptors in Generating T Cell-Mediated Immunity during Leishmania donovani Infection', PLoS Pathogens, vol. 7, no. 10, pp. 1-15pp.