Prof Barbara Rath

Co-founder & Chair
Institution: Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative
Current Institution Location: Germany

Website: Go to website

Eberswalder Str. 34, 10437 Berlin, Germany

Migration Health Research Area/Expertise
Barbara A. Rath, MD PhD HDR is a board-certified pediatrician and infectious disease specialist with 20 years experience in clinical trials, public health, and virology in the US, Latin America and Europe. Dr. Rath is honorary professor at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine, UK, Research Director at the University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France, and board member with the International Society for Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses (ISIRV). She received her medical school education in Germany, the United States and Spain, and her doctoral degrees and habilitation from the University of Basel, Switzerland and the University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in France. In addition to a post-doctoral fellowship at the Stanford Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases & Geographic Medicine, she received pediatric residency and infectious disease subspecialty training at Duke and Tulane Universities, USA. In 2018, she completed the Global Pediatrics Leadership Program at Harvard University Medical School. Recent research focuses on vaccine safety/communication and the quest for a personalized approach to managing acute infections in children. In collaboration with the Robert Koch Institute in Germany, she developed innovative real-time surveillance and quality improvement programs for the monitoring of acute infections with epi/pandemic potential.

Dr. Rath is co-founder and chair of the Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative (, an international think tank and non-profit-organization focused on new avenues for the individualized treatment, communication, and prevention of infectious diseases. The Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative Think Tank consists of experts in risk analysis, global health, medical anthropology, epidemiology, population science, health policy, bioethics, and regulatory science. The Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative is a founding member of the International Association of Innovation Professionals and an institutional member of the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice.

In 2015/16, during the peak of refugee arrivals in Berlin, the Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative developed a mobile application allowing young refugees to self-report health needs securely and anonymously, in real-time. The survey instrument was originally developed and validated during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, USA and used to assess the impact of evacuation/displacement on the health status of thousands of children and their families.

Dr. Rath has also been directly involved in the clinical care of migrants and internally displaced persons. Throughout 2016, she ran a pediatric refugee clinic in a Shelter in Berlin as the only pediatrician for 500 children and adolescents. After Hurricane Katrina, she provided urgent care services in a large sports arena in Lafayette, LA, USA, housing up to 18’000 evacuees. Dr. Rath is a founding member of the Monarch Collaboration (, an international consortium to Improving the Health of Migrant and Refugee Populations through Immunization.

Research Focus/Expertise on Relevant Migrant Categories
Internal Migration
Internally displaced persons (Children, Adolescents, Adults)

International/Cross-Border Migration
Patient mobility across borders (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
Refugees (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)

Relevant Publications

Title Author Year Published Link to Publication
A comparative analysis of psychological trauma experienced by children and young adults in two scenarios: evacuation following a natural disaster versus forced migration to escape armed conflict P Myles, S Swenshon, K Haase, T Szeles, C Jung, F Jacobi, B Rath
Using a mobile application to detect health needs among children and adolescents who are newly arrived migrants in Europe B Rath, S Swenshon, K Haase, T Szeles, C Jung, F Jacobi, P Myles
Adverse Respiratory Symptoms and Environmental Exposures Among Children and Adolescents following Hurricane Katrina B Rath, E A Young, A Harris, K Perrin, D Bronfin, R Ratard, R VanDyke, M Goldshore, and M Magnus
Adverse Health Outcomes after Hurricane Katrina among Children and Adolescents with Chronic Conditions B Rath, J Donato, A Duggan, K Perrin, D Bronfin, R Ratard, R VanDyke, M Magnus