Living healthier lives under the Australian sun

Exploring how the sun can harm and also protect our health

Australians have learned how to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of UV radiation. While we still need to avoid skin damage, emerging evidence suggests that sunlight also protects us from a range of diseases.

Our team of experts in biochemistry, dermatology, epidemiology, endocrinology, immunology, neurology, nutrition, pathology, pharmacology, and public health will explore the mechanisms through which sunlight exerts its harmful and beneficial effects. We’ll design novel strategies that will block harmful effects and retain the beneficial effects of UV so we can all absorb a healthy amount of sunlight.

Our work seeks to discover more about the harmful and beneficial effects of sunlight so we can all live healthier lives under the Australian sun.

New evidence proves that sunlight can protect us from diseases including asthma, depression, colitis, autoimmune diseases, liver inflammation, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

By simulating, enhancing and manipulating these processes, we’ll be able to discover how to retain the beneficial effects of UV sunlight for best health. 

Our research will result in safer sun exposure advice. We’ll also develop novel strategies that use artificial UV light to combat obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


  • 4 Node members (including Leader Scott Byrne) recognised by Expertscape as World Experts in “Sunlight” placing them all in the top one tenth of 1% of people in the field by this international organisation. 
  • Node Leader Scott Byrne named the Finsen lecturer for the 17th International Congress on Photobiology. This major international research award is presented by the International Union of Photobiologists (IUPB) every 4-5 years to a promising scientist who has achieved breakthroughs in the photosciences. Dr Byrne was the first Australian, and one of only 10 ever to be awarded this highly prestigious international honour. In accepting this award, Scott delivered a keynote at the IUPB World Congress in Barcelona (2019).



The above publication has been the subject of highly cited media placing it amongst the Journals PlumX Metrics Top 10 Social Media Articles for 2019


  • Biology
  • Populations
  • Society and Environment
  • Solutions

Project Node Leader

Associate Professor Scott Byrne
Associate Professor Scott Byrne
Visit Scott Byrne's profile