Issue 2
Monday, 26 March 2018
Charles Darwin University
Dr Anna Ralph will travel to the University of California in San Francisco
Dr Anna Ralph will travel to the University of California in San Francisco

Heart disease focus for NT Fulbright Scholar

By Paul Dale

A Menzies researcher has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to help eliminate rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Australia.

Associate Professor Anna Ralph will travel to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to develop institutional ties and gain experience in research methods relevant to control of RHD and tuberculosis (TB), to assist with elimination strategies for these diseases in Australia and Indonesia.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship foreign exchange scholarship program of the United States of America, and aims to increase binational collaboration, cultural understanding, and the exchange of ideas.

“My project will draw on world-class research expertise at UCSF, to help develop the elimination strategy for RHD in Australia,” Dr Ralph said.

“There is growing momentum around RHD currently, with the Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, Hon Ken Wyatt AM, convening a roundtable and wanting to support research efforts to control this preventable disease.

“This research will also assist in developing better TB control in remote Indigenous communities and eastern Indonesia where Menzies currently conducts TB research programs.”

Dr Ralph is Head of the Global Health Division at Menzies, the Clinical Director of RHD Australia, and a specialist physician in Infectious Diseases and General Medicine at Royal Darwin Hospital. The Fulbright Scholarship will allow links between Menzies and UCSF to be forged, and broaden international networks to benefit future Menzies researchers.

Dr Ralph will travel to the US in 2019.