Associate Professor James Ussher

Management Group

Associate Professor James Ussher’s research interest is infection and immunity. In particular, he is interested in immune-mediated protection against infection and antimicrobial resistance. His current work focuses on:

  • Mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, their role in antibacterial immunity, and how they might be harnessed to prevent or treat bacterial infection. He has been involved in several fundamental discoveries in MAIT cell biology.
  • Vaccines against viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2. He is the Science Director of Vaccine Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (VAANZ).
  • Antimicrobial resistance, in particular extended spectrum beta-lacatamse and carbapenemase-producing organisms. He is interested in the use of whole genome sequencing to define transmission pathways.

His clinical specialty is medical microbiology. In 2018 he was appointed as the Director of the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases at the University of Otago.


  • Clinical microbiology
  • Immunology


James Ussher