After completing his degree at the University of Melbourne in 1976, Professor Kim Mulholland started working with refugee communities in India and Sudan. He realised he needed more training to try to tackle some of the major health issues facing people in developing communities around the world.
Professor Mulholland specialised in paediatrics, training in the United Kingdom and at The Royal Children’s Hospital. After completing postgraduate training in immunology and respiratory and tropical medicines, Professor Mulholland spent six years from 1989 to 1995 leading research into childhood pneumonia in The Gambia.
During his time in The Gambia, Professor Mulholland oversaw the Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine research program, which led to the development of a prototype for future vaccine trials. After his experience in The Gambia, Professor Mulholland joined the World Health Organization (WHO) and spent the next five years developing a standard method for evaluating pneumonia vaccines in developing countries, as well as leading research into the WHO Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) strategy.
Professor Mulholland left WHO in 2000 and has worked at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). He is a Professor in Child Health and Vaccinology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. While at MCRI, Professor Mulholland has continued his research into childhood pneumonia and the pneumococcal vaccine, establishing research programs in Fiji and Vietnam and working with programs in Mongolia, Laos and Indonesia.
In 2017, Professor Mulholland was awarded the prestigious Peter Wills Medal in recognition of his outstanding career in global healthcare and his contribution to building Australia’s international reputation in health and medical research.
Story by: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
Professor Kim Mulholland on the roof of a hotel in Kassala, the border city between Sudan and Eritrea, 1982.
Kim Mulholland with Haile Kidane and his family at the Kilo 26 refugee camp in Sudan. Haile was an Eritrean Public Health Officer who was running the SCF clinic there. The child with the blue shirt is now a doctor in California.
Professor Kim Mulholland and Professor Fiona Russell with the team evaluating PCV introduction in Fiji.
Professor Kim Mulholland, 2019.