Research Centres & Institutes
Our academic staff contribute to a number of research groups and are members of the research centres listed below.
In addition, our staff also conduct research and engage with stakeholders across the continuum, including Hospital and Health Services in North Queensland, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute (QCMRI), business and non-government organisations.
The Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening brings together a multidisciplinary team of medical, nursing, public health and allied health researchers to build on JCU’s strong record of rural, remote, Indigenous and tropical health research. We do this through progressing a highly collaborative program of translational research with a strong social justice focus, addressing issues of high importance and relevance to tropical communities.
Our research focus is on meeting the priority health needs of northern Australia and our near tropical neighbours through research that makes a difference and training a workforce with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to respond to these priority health needs. We aim to progress health equity in partnership with Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders, rural and remote populations, tropical populations in neighbouring countries and other under-served groups.
The Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) is a multi-disciplinary health and tropical medicine research institute located in the tropics. Based at James Cook University in northern Queensland, AITHM has key nodes in Townsville, Cairns and the Torres Strait.
AITHM’s research programs confront northern Australia's major health security risks, tackle its worst health outcomes, develop better ways to deliver health services to remote communities and contribute to the development of northern Australia through research, knowledge infrastructure and commercialisation of research findings.
Our research spans public health, biomolecular, clinical, translational, and health systems research and is strongly focused on the health issues of most importance to tropical Australia, delivering significant public health benefit locally, regionally and globally.
The ARC Centre of Excellence cements Australia’s leading contribution to coral reef sciences, and fosters stronger collaborative links between the major partners and 24 other leading institutions in nine countries. According to ISI Essential Science Indicators, four of the ARC Centre’s major research partners rank in the top 20 institutions world-wide for citations for coral reef science with JCU ranking 1st (among 1644 institutions in 103 countries). Collectively, the ARC Centre creates the world’s largest concentration of coral reef scientists.
The Centre for Molecular Therapeutics was created to provide a unique framework for a diverse range of groups to collaborate on cross-disciplinary projects. The Centre provides an innovative approach to the development of compounds of therapeutic potential under its five key programs which each comprise their own project leader/s and team consisting of project researchers and early career researchers.
The Centre for Tropical Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology (CTBMB) is based at James Cook University, adjacent to the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. James Cook University is uniquely positioned to become a leader in tropical bioinformatics research. With 50% of the world’s population predicted to live in the tropics by 2050, there are numerous untapped opportunities to utilise bioinformatics research to develop novel applications to improve the health and security of the soon to be majority of the world’s population.
The Centre brings together researchers across James Cook University with national and international experts to ensure appropriate high throughput molecular data and analysis is being incorporating into projects which are improving the quality of life for people residing in the tropics. CTBMB aims to increase research efficiency by reducing redundancy via the coordination of research efforts across this dynamic field of research.
The Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture (CSTFA) brings together a multidisciplinary team organised into 3 main Research Themes: Aquatic food security and safety, novel aquatic products and applications, and human dimensions of aquatic resources and production.
JCU has partnered with the CSIRO to build a research programme on emerging infectious diseases, focussing on Northern Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. We are considering emerging infectious diseases through the dual lenses of One Health and biosecurity. This Joint research programme is interdisciplinary, encompassing all aspects of emerging infectious diseases.
The REID programme is led by A/Prof Roslyn Hickson, Science Leader, Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre (TAAHC) is a collaboration between the Cairns and Hinterland, Mackay, North West, Torres and Cape, and Townsville Hospital and Health Services; the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network; and James Cook University, including the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine. By embedding research into health service delivery, TAAHC aims to improve quality and efficiency of health care, enhance recruitment and retention of professionals in the region and encourage greater investment in the north.
The world’s first turtle health research facility at JCU - The Caraplace - provides an environment in which to study sea turtle health in great detail under suitable conditions. The Caraplace can house up to 48 sea turtle hatchlings in separate tanks where they can freely eat, swim and rest on a sub-surface platform. The facility caters for the needs of the turtles under near natural conditions, but it also enables researchers to study them close up, which is impossible to do in the wild.
James Cook University hosts the WHO Collaborating Centre for Vector-borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases, which works with partners and other organisations to support the control of vector-borne and neglected tropical diseases.
The Centre aims to:
- Support WHO capacity building priorities (including clinical, public health and social sciences) for effective control of vector-borne diseases (VBD) and neglected tropical diseases (NTD).
- Support the scale up and evaluation of WHO recommended vector methods and other NTD control and elimination strategies.
- Develop innovative and sustainable NTD surveillance strategies, particularly post-elimination surveillance according to WHO priorities.
- Demonstrate sustainable early detection, prevention and management of lymphatic filariasis-related morbidity through integrated service delivery with other primary healthcare interventions accordingly to WHO priorities.
- Participate in collaborative operational research under WHO leadership, including early detection, prevention and management of chronic morbidities and effective tools for vector control.