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Research and Innovation

Health supervisors

Higher Degree by Research

Charles Darwin University is situated in the Northern Territory, which is also the homeland of many Indigenous peoples. For over 30 years, improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous populations has been the dedicated work of Menzies School of Health Research, one of Australia’s leading medical research institutes. Located on the CDU campus, Menzies is also a global leader in researching tropical illnesses and the effects of the tropics on child health and development.

Menzies School of Health Research

The location of CDU makes us the ideal university for research into Indigenous populations and tropical illnesses.

For over 30 years, improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous populations has been the dedicated work of Menzies School of Health Research, one of Australia’s leading medical research institutes.

Located on the CDU campus, Menzies is also a global leader in researching tropical illnesses and the effects of the tropics on child health and development.

“Our goal at Menzies is to address the health inequalities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians. We do this through meaningful research in partnership with the community,” said Heather D’Antoine, Associate Director, Aboriginal Programs.

To find the latest research opportunities with Menzies please go to their websitefor honours, Masters and PhD projects, or download the handbook by clicking here.

Faculty of Health

The Faculty of Health offers research expertise in midwifery and women's health, birthing on country, primary health care, mental health, cancer and chronic conditions. The Faculty’s strategic plan has prioritised its research engagement in strengthening the Faculty’s major research foci, research impacts, and research support environment. The Faculty has been engaging in high impact research outcomes that make a difference in the lives of people in the Northern Territory, Australia and internationally.  The team has a strong track record, with more than 20 currently funded projects and many national and international collaborations.

Molly Wardaguga Research Centre

The Molly Wardaguga Research Centre was a strategic investment by CDU in 2019. Established in honour of Burarra Elder and midwife who worked extensively to improve health outcomes, with a vision of returning birthing services to Indigenous communities and Indigenous control. The vision of the Centre is to support women’s cultural and birthing aspirations, especially in remote locations through research and use this to dismantle the barriers imposed by westernised approaches to birthing and maternal healthcare. Read more

Mental Health and Supportive Care Research Group

The Mental Health and Supportive Care Research Group endeavours to better health and well-being outcomes through the development and implementation of evidence-based psychosocial interventions. Our researchers here, in the Faculty of Health, and our adjunct national and international colleagues have worked with government, non-government and community-based health agencies to contribute to health and well-being-enhancing initiatives. In particular, we have expertise in clinical trials, community-based approaches, implementation science, and service evaluations. As our name suggests, our program of work is comprised of two core themes: mental health care and cancer supportive care. We also engage in undergraduate honours and postgraduate research supervision and research mentorship. Read more

The Faculty of Health also offers research opportunities across a range health disciplines, including psychology, social work, health sciences, sports and exercise science, nutrition, occupational therapy and biomedical science.

Located in Australia’s Top End we are uniquely positioned to explore issues of national and regional importance such as Indigenous health, community resilience, disaster preparedness, allied health and mental health.

We are committed to develop evidence-based strategies for building more resilient communities.

To find the latest research programs and opportunities with the Faculty of Health please visit our website.

Meet the supervisors

Bart Currie

Professor Bart Currie

Professor Currie leads the Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases team within the Global and Tropical Health Division at Menzies School of Health Research, Northern Territory, Darwin.

Research interests:

  • infection
  • melioidosis
  • bulholderia pseudomallei
  • scabies.
Meet Bart
Associate Professor Anna Ralph

Professor Anna Ralph

Anna is the director of Global and Tropical Health at Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. She is a National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow, and is the Clinical Director of Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia, as well as being a practising medical specialist in General Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Royal Darwin Hospital.

Research interests:

  • rheumatic fever and,
  • rheumatic heart disease in Australian Indigenous populations
  • tuberculosis control.
Meet Anna
Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan

Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan

Heidi heads Child Health Laboratory Research and is Director of HealthLAB at the Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

Research interests:

  • child health (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Asia-Pacific region)
  • haemophilus influenzae
  • bronchiectasis
  • streptococcus pneumoniae
  • otitis media.
Meet Heidi
Michael Binks

Dr Michael Binks

With expertise in biomedical science, clinical trials and epidemiology, Dr Michael Binks leads a collaborative and multidisciplinary research program dedicated to achieving sustainable improvements in the respiratory health of Indigenous children.

Research opportunity:

Projects with the capacity to support PhD students are clinical trials of evaluating perinatal vitamin D supplementation, antenatal vaccination and neonatal probiotic therapy as key preventative strategies against early childhood acute respiratory infections. 

Meet Michael
Dr Kamala Thriemer 

Dr Kamala Thriemer

Kamala Thriemer is a senior researcher and lecturer at the Menzies School of Health Research.

Research interests:

  • malaria elimination
  • public health strategies
  • primaquine
  • plasmodium vivax.
Meet Kamala
Professor Yu Gao

Associate Professor Yu Gao

Yu practiced as a Resident Obstetrician in a large teaching hospital in China for a year before being chosen to conduct doctoral studies at Charles Darwin University, completing in 2008.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Yu
Associate professor Yvette Roe

Dr Yvette Roe

Yvette has more than 25 years’ experience working in the Indigenous health. As an Aboriginal scholar, Yvette’s research and priority has been to identify opportunities to improve health outcomes for First Nations peoples by delivering and evaluating services that are client, family and community focused.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Yvette
Dr Sarah Ireland

Dr Sarah Ireland

Sarah is an early career researcher, medical anthropologist, nurse and midwife. She has expertise in cross-cultural qualitative research methods, especially collaborative approaches with Aboriginal people.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Sarah
Professor Sue Kildea

Professor Sue Kildea

Professor Sue Kildea is internationally recognised as a midwifery leader at the cutting edge of Indigenous maternal and infant health and Birthing on Country Service design.

She has strong links with Indigenous researchers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations across the country, built across a 35-year career in clinical, research, education and policy.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Sue
Associate Professor Sandy Campbell

Associate Professor Sandy Campbell

Aboriginal public health researcher with Masters (ANU) and PhD (UniSA) qualifications in epidemiology, Sandy was born on Mandandanji country her Indigenous ancestry follows her father’s family line. Sandy has a professional background in nursing and midwifery.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health
Meet Sandy
Dr Michelle Moss

Dr Michelle Moss

Dr Michelle Moss is a lecturer/ researcher and course coordinator in Creative Therapies in the Faculty of Health. She has been at the forefront of therapeutic/ healing practice development for remotely based Aboriginal children and families.

Research interests:

  • creative arts therapy
  • working therapeutically with Indigenous people 
  • working therapeutically in cross-cultural contexts
  • critical pedagogy
  • sociology
  • child protection.
Meet Michelle
Dr Penny Haora

Dr Penny Haora

A health/maternity services and public health researcher and midwife, Penny is the BOOSt project research manager embedded at Waminda South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation (Yuin Nation). 

Research interests

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health), including Indigenous midwifery care
  • maternity and healthcare systems
  • Aboriginal health
  • realist synthesis and evaluation
Meet Penny
Dr Abel Dadi

Dr Abel Dadi

Dr. Abel is a researcher at the Centre for Child Development and Education (CCDE) at Menzies School of Health Research. Abel is currently working on a range of studies in the areas of childhood early development, mid-year school outcomes, and maternal mental health and perinatal outcomes using large-scale, linked, administrative data.

Meet Abel

Dr Carol Keane

Carol's key areas of research interest and expertise include complex trauma and complex traumatic stress responses and recovery. Carol is particularly interested in psychological resilience as a protective factor in the traumatic stress domain. In addition, Carol has strong a research interest in clinically applied health psychology and in the development, implementation and evaluation of evidenced based psychological interventions.

Meet Carol
Dr Alison Wang

Dr Alison Wang

Dr Alison Wang received her PhD in Nursing from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Alison’s research areas are centred on palliative care and symptom management in patients with cancer and chronic diseases. Alison has authored over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has coordinated more than 15 research projects as a key investigator. 

Meet Alison
Dr Matthew Hare

Dr Matthew Hare

Dr Hare is a Senior Research Fellow at Menzies School of Health Research as well as a Staff Specialist and Clinical Lead of Remote Services in the Endocrinology Department, Royal Darwin Hospital. His research and translational activities focus on collaboratively addressing the intergenerational epidemic of cardiometabolic disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Research Interests:

  • Diabetes
  • diabetes in pregnancy
  • epidemiology
  • data-linkage
  • health promotion
  • health services implementation research
  • chronic kidney disease
  • cardiovascular disease
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
Meet Matthew
Jyai Allen

Associate Professor Jyai Allen

Associate Professor developed a first of its kind empirical model that explains how models of care for vulnerable women modify predictors for poor outcomes and achieve measurable benefits for mothers and babies. Associate Professor Allen has published 37 peer-reviewed works, the majority in the areas of midwifery, health literacy, health engagement, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander maternity care.

Research Interests:

  • Midwifery models of care 
  • Health engagement
  • Physiological birth and breastfeeding
  • Social determinants of preterm birth 
  • Critical qualitative methodologies
  • Mixed methods
  • Systematic review
Meet Jyai

Dr Jutharat Attawet

Since 2022, Dr. Attawet has been a Nursing Lecturer at CDU's Sydney Campus, specializing in perioperative nursing. Her research encompasses a wide range of healthcare topics including Public Health, Health Promotion in vulnerable populations, and Reproductive Health. Additionally, she explores perioperative nursing in depth.

Research Interests:

  • Reproductive Health
  • Health Promotion 
  • Public Health 
  • Planetary Health 
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Healthy Lifestyles 
  • Perioperative Nursing and Clinical Practice
Meet Jutharat

Associate Professor Oyelola Adegboye

Associate Professor Oyelola Adegboye is a senior biostatistician at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. He is a chartered statistician with extensive experience in public health research. His expertise includes biostatistics, spatial-temporal statistics, environmental epidemiology, disease mapping, exposure science, and ecological modelling.

Research Interests

  • Biostatistics 
  • Spatial epidemiology 
  • Exposure science 
  • Chronic diseases 
  • Neglected tropical diseases 
  • Global health 
  • One health
Meet Oyelola
Dr Nazim Nassar

Dr Nazim Nassar

Dr Nassar, a practising pharmacist and academic, specializes in pharmacological, biomedical, and pharmaceutical sciences. Under Dr Nassar's guidance, candidates pursuing higher degrees will gain expertise in receptor characterization, receptor-ligand kinetics, and molecular biological cell signalling. They will also develop skills in designing macroscopic, micro-, and nano-scale smart drug delivery systems, conducting physicochemical characterization of these systems, and modelling drug release kinetics.

Research Interests:

  • Bioactive peptides as biopharmaceuticals 
  • Phyto cannabinoids as biopharmaceuticals 
  • Advanced drug delivery systems for biopharmaceuticals
Meet Nazim

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