Tobias Kollmann

Scientific Director Systems Immunology, CEO Born Strong Initiative

Professor Tobias Kollmann is a paediatric infectious diseases physician with a deep passion for making an impact at the convergence of clinical care and fundamental research. He is the Telethon Kids Head of the First 1001 Days team, where multi-disciplinary research aims to transform the early life trajectory of young babies conceived and born anywhere in the world. Professor Kollmann completed both his PhD (1996) and MD (1998) at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, USA. He then conducted his Residency and Fellowship at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, before joining the Paediatric Infectious Disease Division at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada in 2005. Professor Kollmann was Head, Paediatric Division of Infectious Diseases at UBC before relocating to Australia.

For two decades his work has focused on the molecular mechanisms responsible for age-dependent susceptibility to infectious and other diseases and has identified key drivers of immune development in early life. To accomplish this, his team have developed high-throughput, single-cell analysis platforms that allow the extraction of the most information out of the small samples obtainable from young babies. These platforms have now become the technological backbone of several larger cohort studies around the world.

Professor Kollmann is also leading the Institute’s involvement in the Human Immunome Project (HIP) with Telethon Kids as the only partner outside of North America. He is the CEO of the Born Strong Initiative. The project’s mission is to decode the human immune system to transform human health. Vaccines are undoubtedly one of the most successful medical interventions in human history. By broadening the pathogen-focused notion of vaccines to include the overall impact on host survival and wellbeing, we may even have under-appreciated the impact of vaccines till now. The concept of heterologous and non-specific effects of vaccines focuses on this broader definition. As a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Group on Non-specific Immunological Effects of Vaccination committee, Professor Kollmann is international leader in vaccinology. He is a member on multiple NIH Review panels associated with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) including Human Immunology Project Consortium, Centres of Excellence in Translational Research and Cooperative Centres on Human Immunology.

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