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Research

The College of Medicine and Dentistry contributes to the work of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine.  AITHM is Australia’s leading health research institute in and for the Tropics.  Its’ focus is on improving the health and biosecurity of northern Australia and our tropical neighbours.  AITHM’s research program confronts Australia’s major health security risks, tackles its worst health outcomes, develops better ways to deliver health services to remote communities and contributes to the development of northern Australia.

A key focus for the College of Medicine and Dentistry is applied and translational research with impact across health and health services in tropical, Indigenous, rural and underserved communities.  It emphasises working ‘in-with-and-for’ communities across northern Australia and the wider tropics. We seek to translate knowledge, strengthen health systems and address health issues that affect the region.

Research is distributed across our sites.  Medical Research covers a diverse range of topics including clinical medicine, vascular biology, anthropology, rural and remote health and tropical diseases. Dental research encompasses biomaterials, implants and oral health in rural and remote populations.  Pharmacy includes research on the quality use of medicines and pharmacy practice across the Asia-Pacific region.  We value our research partnerships with the health sector, industry and community partners.

The College has a growing number of Higher Degree Research and Honours students and inspiring research supervisors skilled in supporting students.

The College's major research themes include:

Professor Sarah Larkins

The Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening brings together a multidisciplinary team of medical, nursing, public health and allied health researchers with a focus on rural, remote, Indigenous and tropical health.  This covers translational research with a strong social justice focus addressing priority needs of the communities of northern Australia and around the region.  The research aims to progress health equity in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, rural and remote populations, tropical populations in neighbouring countries and other underserved groups.

Dr Kate Domett

Biological Anthropology involves the study of prehistoric ancestors through their skeletal remains within the discipline of Anatomy.  The remains provide an important source of evidence in rebuilding our prehistory and shed light on the quality of life of prehistoric community’s in mainland Southeast Asia.  Health status is investigated through the analysis of parameters including measures of age-related mortality, growth, growth disturbances, osteoarthritis, trauma, dental health and other skeletal pathologies such as infectious disease.

Professor Jon Golledge

The Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease (QRC-PVD) is dedicated to improving management of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Studies focus on presenting complaints and complications of PVD. Researchers use a broad range of techniques including vivo pre-clinical models, in vitro studies, genomics, genetics, bio-informatics, molecular biology, epidemiology, clinical trials, health economics and complex statistical analyses. Key activities include developing new therapies, identifying new diagnostics, novel risk factors and prognostic models as well as identifying current management deficiencies and testing new management approaches and therapies.

Dr Usman Malabu / Dr Roy Rasalam

The Translational Research in Endocrinology and Diabetes (TREAD) is a joint collaboration between JCU and The Townsville Hospital. Research includes the prevention and management of diabetic foot ulcers, micro and macrovascular complications of diabetes, diabetes management and lipid disorders associated with metabolic syndrome.  The team’s ongoing studies include clinical research, clinical trials, scientific research and the Townsville Tele Diabetes and TeleEndocrinology network.

Professor Geoffrey Dobson

The Heart, Trauma and Sepsis (HTS) Laboratory is located in the College and the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM). The group is developing new drug therapies to address major unmet needs in medicine. Experimental and theoretical studies contribute to the breadth of its scope.  The working hypotheses underpinning much of the work is that treating an injury or sickness involves defending or ‘resetting’ the body’s internal ‘balance’, reducing the impact of the initial ‘stressor’ and secondary ‘hit’ complications.

Professor John McBride

The collaborative Tropical remote and Indigenous Health research group is committed to the advancement of research relevant to the communities of tropical Australia and the Asia Pacific region. It encompasses infectious tropical diseases that are endemic to this area, as well as the health issues experienced in rural Australia with an emphasis on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders communities.