Kerrie Sandgren co-leads the Vaccines and Adjuvants research group at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR).

Kerrie received her PhD from the University New South Wales in 2008 and went on to complete a post-doc at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. Part of her post-doc was also spent at the Vaccine Research Centre, NIH, USA. Her research focused on the role of dendritic cells in viral immunity and vaccination, and she developed an interest in the potential of vaccine adjuvants. She is now a senior research scientist, co-leading the Vaccines and Adjuvants research groups at WIMR.

The group utilises an in situ human lymph node model that she developed to study how vaccines and adjuvants work at their actual site of action in the human body. She also uses this model to study the influence of ageing on vaccine responses.

The group also focuses on COVID-19 immunology following infection and vaccination and is involved in several clinical trials. Kerrie collaborates with GlaxoSmithKline and Moderna and she is the recipient of a Moderna Global Fellowship. Keywords

Vaccination immunology, adjuvant, vaccines, lymph node, innate immunity


Infection and Immunological Conditions

Research Focus

Kerrie’s primary interest is in understanding how vaccines generate immunity and how adjuvants work to enhance this. She has developed a novel model to study the uptake and action of adjuvants and vaccine formulations directly in human ex vivo lymph nodes.

This is important because it is the site where immunity is developed. This model provides an important bridge between animal models and clinical trials and her group is one of the few groups worldwide to have regular access to such tissue.

Kerrie's group has a range of collaborations within academia and industry, including GSK and Moderna. Her group is also involved in a number of clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines.

Other Affiliations

Faculty of Medicine and Health (University of Sydney)

Awards and Recognition

  • 2022 – Moderna Global Fellowship
  • 2021 – ASI Carer’s Award
  • 2014 – University of Sydney Early Career Researcher’s Grant
  • 2013 - Best Oral Presentation (HIV) - Keystone HIV Vaccines Symposium
  • 2012 - Office of AIDS Research Scholarship for Keystone Symposium
  • 2012 - Swedish Society for Medical Research Postdoctroal Fellowship
  • 2011 – Swedish Society of Medicine Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2004 - Australasian Society for HIV Medicine Junior Researcher Scholarship
  • 2003 - NHMRC Dora Lush Biomedical Postgraduate Scholarship


  • BSc, Advanced Science (Hons) First Class – University of New South Wales, Australia
  • PhD - University of New South Wales; The Westmead Millennium Institute, Australia
  • Post-doc – The Karolinska Institute, Sweden; The Vaccine Research Centre, NIH, USA.