Our Director

Dr William Pomat ‐Acting Director, PNGIMR

Dr William Pomat heads IMR's Infection and Immunology Unit. His research focuses on respiratory disease vaccine immunology, particularly pneumonia, which is a major cause of death and hospitalisation in PNG. He coordinates field and laboratory research on pneumococcal vaccine trials to determine the best schedules for PNG.

Since joining the Institute in 1987, Dr Pomat has worked towards assessing immune responses of children to Streptococcus pneumonia with aim of having a vaccine introduced into the national schedule. He has vast experience in pneumococcal serology and pneumococcal immunology and has contributed to the body of knowledge in this field in PNG and internationally. He is also Deputy Chair and Secretary of the Institutional Review Board.

Dr Pomat has a BSc from the University of PNG, a MSc from the University of New South Wales and a PhD from the University of Western Australia

Past Directors

Prof. Richard Hornabrook


Professor Richard Hornabrook (1968-77), was actively engaged in coordinating collaborative research on a wide range of diseases in PNG, including kuru, Pigbel, cretinism and an epidemic of syphilis in the Highlands.

Dr Michael Alpers


Dr Michael Alpers (1977-00) took the reigns, the Institute had about 10 staff, five Papua New Guineans and five expatriates. By the end of his term in 2000, there were five expatriate staff and around 250 Papua New Guineans.

Prof. John Reeder


Professor John Reeder (2000-06) joined IMR during tight economic times that meant the Institute was struggling financially and seeking new sources of funding. While this was underway, a five year strategic plan was developed as part of the wider 2001-10 National Health Plan.

Prof. Peter Siba


Professor Peter Siba (2006-2017) provided a steady hand to the IMR team

A long-term researcher and virologist with IMR, Professor Siba is the first Papua New Guinean to head the Institute

Our Research Units