Michael Jackson, PhD, MPH

“Group Health gives us nearly unlimited potential to address vaccine effectiveness and safety questions of national and international importance.”

Michael L. Jackson, PhD, MPH

Group Health Research Institute Associate Investigator


Michael L. Jackson’s research focuses on understanding how infectious diseases spread, and on designing and evaluating interventions such as vaccination programs. Dr. Jackson is the Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) principal investigator for the United States Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network. This Network aims to provide ongoing evaluations of the U.S. influenza vaccination program. Dr. Jackson uses data from this Network to study influenza vaccine effectiveness, to estimate the burden of disease caused by influenza, and to advance the methodology of vaccine effectiveness studies. He also uses mathematical models to predict the impact of vaccination programs on the spread of infectious diseases such as Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) and Neisseria meningitidis.

Dr. Jackson is a co-investigator on the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) Project. The VSD, a collaboration among nine U.S. managed care organizations and the Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention (CDC), is the world’s premier system for post-licensure studies of vaccine safety. As a VSD co-investigator, Dr. Jackson leads studies of the  safety of childhood immunizations and develops methods for using managed care  data for vaccine safety studies.

While studying for his PhD at the University of  Washington, Dr. Jackson was a graduate research associate with GHRI from 2002 to 2007, and then a postdoctoral fellow at GHRI from 2007 to 2008. He then spent two years as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer with the CDC in Atlanta. As an EIS officer, Dr. Jackson helped lead investigations of whooping cough outbreaks and of the 2009 influenza pandemic. He also designed and oversaw an enhanced surveillance system for invasive Hib disease in the U.S. during the 2008–2009 shortage of Hib vaccines. He returned to GHRI as an assistant investigator in 2010.

Research interests and experience




Recent publications

Spencer S, Clippard J, Thompson M, Piedra PA, Jewell A, Avadhanula V, Mei M, Jackson ML, Meece J, Sundaram M, Belongia EA, Cross R, Johnson E, Bullotta A, Rinaldo C, Gaglani M, Murthy K, Clipper L, Berman L, Flannery B. Factors associated with real time RT-PCR cycle threshold values among medically attended influenza episodes. J Med Virol. 2015 Sep 3. doi: 10.1002/jmv.24373. [Epub ahead of print].

Jackson ML, Bellamy A, Wolff M, Hill H, Jackson LA. Low-dose aspirin use does not diminish the immune response to monovalent H1N1 influenza vaccine in older adults. Epidemiol Infect. 2015 Sep 2:1-4 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Jackson ML, Jackson LA, Kieke B, McClure D, Gaglani M, Murthy K, Malosh R, Monto A, Zimmerman RK, Foppa IM, Flannery B, Thompson MG. Incidence of medically attended influenza infection and cases averted by vaccination, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 influenza seasons. Vaccine. 2015 Aug 10. pii: S0264-410X(15)01102-0. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.07.098 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Jackson ML, Peterson D, Nelson JC, Greene SK, Jacobsen SJ, Belongia EA, Baxter R, Jackson LA. Using winter 2009-2010 to assess the accuracy of methods which estimate influenza-related morbidity and mortality. Epidemiol Infect. 2015 Aug;143(11):2399-407. doi: 10.1017/S0950268814003276. Epub 2014 Dec 12.