Research Team

The MOMVAX research team includes internationally recognized experts in the fields of vaccine safety, pediatric, obstetrics, immunology, epidemiology, and health behavior.


Study Team

Saad Omer, MBBS, MPH, PhD, FIDSA

Saad Omer is is the William H. Foege Professor of Global Health and Professor of Epidemiology & Pediatrics at Emory University, Schools of Public Health and Medicine. His research focuses on vaccine efficacy, maternal immunization and vaccine hesitancy. Dr. Omer was the project director of the Emory MOMVAX Study and currently serves on the National Vaccine Advisory Committee.

Allison Chamberlain, MS, PhD

Allison Chamberlain is a research assistant professor and assistant director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research in the Department of Epidemiology within the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.  Dr. Chamberlain’s research interests are in adult vaccination, maternal vaccination and public health preparedness. As primary research lead and study coordinator for the MOMVAX study, Allison helped design the study and oversaw all aspects of the study protocol including practice recruitment, participant recruitment and follow-up, data analysis and results dissemination.

Walter Orenstein, MD

Walter Orenstein is a Professor of Medicine within the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Emory University School of Medicine. He is also the Associate Director of the Emory Vaccine Center and the Director of the Emory-UGA Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (Emory-UGA CEIRS). Dr. Orenstein served as Chair of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee from February 2012 – June 2016 and was the former Director of the United States Immunization Program at the CDC from 1988- 2004. Dr. Orenstein’s research interests include vaccine efficacy, vaccine safety, and public health preparedness.

Robert Bednarcyzk, PhD

Robert Bednarczyk is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health within the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Dr. Bednarczyk’s research interests are in vaccine policy, infectious diseases, and adolescent and adult vaccination. His primary research focuses on improving HPV acceptance among adolescents. He also was lead developer of the READYVAX app, a vaccine-related mobile app developed through another Emory PERRC-funded project. The purpose of READYVAX is to disseminate vaccine-related information to public health practitioners, clinicians and patients on a platform compatible with multiple mobile devices.

Kevin Ault, MD

Formerly with Emory University, Dr. Kevin Ault is a practicing OB/GYN and professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology within the Center for Pelvic Pain and Sexual Health at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and of the Infectious Disease Society of America. He is interested in clinical research involving infectious diseases and women’s health. His most recent research projects included HPV vaccine development and detection in pap smears.

Paula Frew, MD

Paula Frew is a Professor within the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education within the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Dr. Frew’s research focuses on addressing health arising from structural, social, and other health determinants to promote population health and well-being. She has done considerable research on influenza vaccine acceptance among minority women, notably leading an Emory PERRC-funded pilot project examining message framing effects on influenza vaccination among pregnant minority women.

Ruth Berkelman, MD

Dr. Berkelman is the Rollins Chair and Director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research. With an appointment in the Departments of Epidemiology, Hubert Department of Global Health, and School of Medicine, she is also a senior associate faculty with the Ethics Center at Emory University. Board certified in pediatrics and internal medicine, she began her career in public health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While at CDC, she served as Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, as a Senior Advisor to the Director, and as Assistant Surgeon General.  She has held numerous leadership roles in professional organizations, including the American Society of Microbiology, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Public Health Association. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine, and has served on the HHS National Biodefense Science Board and the National Academies’ Board of Life Sciences. She currently chairs CDC’s Board of Scientific Counselors for Infectious Diseases.