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Professor David Murdoch

Professor David Murdoch is on secondment from University of Otago to serve ESR in the role of Chief Science Advisor


Professor Murdoch brings exceptional experience in health research and leadership. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at the University of Otago’s Christchurch campus where he is co-leader of The Infection Group, as well as Adjunct Professor of One Health at Massey University and Senior Associate in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Previously, he was co-director of One Health Aotearoa and a clinical microbiologist at Canterbury Health Laboratories for over 20 years, including four years as Medical Director. Professor Murdoch has also served as Dean of the Christchurch campus and as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago, an organisation with which we are proud to have enjoyed a long relationship, including as co-hosts of the Te Niwha Infectious Diseases Research Platform. He was the Head of Pathology at the University of Otago, Christchurch during the Canterbury earthquakes, and involved in the planning of the Te Papa Hauora, the Christchurch Health Precinct, including a new building for the University campus. Among Professor Murdoch's other notable achievements are a leading role in a landmark Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded global study of childhood pneumonia that changed the way the disease is diagnosed, treated and prevented in developing countries; and years of research that has re-written the world view on Legionnaires' disease. He is also the co-director of the One Health Aotearoa research alliance, a diverse network of infectious disease experts working to address health hazards at the human, animal and environmental interface. Professor Murdoch has advised the Government during the COVID-19 pandemic and was one of three international experts invited to advise the Oxford University team developing a vaccine for COVID-19.