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Research groups

Research groups

Our research groups work across various disciplines

From diabetes and obesity to cardiovascular disease and related conditions, our researchers are working across a variety of areas.

Our research groups include those based at the Charles Perkins Centre, at the University of Sydney institutes, as well as external research partners. Learn more about our research.

Our research groups listed in alphabetical order

Search our project nodes by name

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing

Understanding the substantial changes to dietary intake and participation in physical activity of Australia’s first peoples since colonisation and informing education programs for local communities. Project node lead: Dr Josephine Gwynn; Dr Nicole Turner

Active ageing

Developing solutions to improve the physical, social, and mental wellbeing of older people living at home. From aged care treatment to policies, education for health professionals, and rehabilitation programs in the community. Project node lead: Professor Murieann Irish, Professor Lynette Mackenzie and Dr Serene Paul.


Identifying and dealing with interactions before and during pregnancy that can contribute to the development of health disorders that impact future generations. Project node lead: Dr Adrienne Gordon

Bias in research 

Good research has always been about evidence. Reliable evidence. This node aims to ensure that research, and related policy decisions, rest on strong and unbiased pillars of evidence. Project node lead: A/Professor Kieron Rooney; Dr Joanna Diong

Biology of ageing

Increasing the understanding of ageing and interventions that delay ageing in order to increase human lifespan and health span. Project node lead: Professor David Le Couteur

Brain and body

Exploring the connection between body disorders like obesity and diabetes, and brain diseases like Alzheimer's. Project node lead: Associate Professor Greg Sutherland

Building system wide capacity for complex and big data analysis and storage in T2D

Promoting strong collaboration between clinicians, biologists, mathematicians, engineers and computational scientists. Project node lead: Professor Jean Yang, Dr Rima Chaudhuri, Professor David James

Businesses, markets and the social context of health

Understanding the interconnected roles of business, social context and consumer behaviour in improving health. Project node lead: TBA

Cardiac translational imaging

Guiding effective decision-making in cardiac health by using emerging technologies that provide better detection of early stages of disease. Project node lead: Professor Stuart Grieve

Charles Perkins Centre networks

Exploring the transformative effect that the Charles Perkins Centre has on the University’s academic population and its external collaborators. Project node lead: TBA

Children and adolescents' health and wellness in the Pacific region

Understand how adolescents' views, attitudes and behaviours towards physical activity, nutrition and sleep are influenced by the systems in which they are embedded, and how this is affecting their health. Project node lead: Professor Corinne Caillaud

Citizen Science

Citizen science enhances diversity of thought and can accelerate transformative outcomes for health and quality of life. Through this node, we will establish a framework and platform for the enhancement of citizen science. Project node lead: Professor Yun-Hee Jeon

Climate adaptation and health

Our climate is constantly changing. As increasingly high temperatures accelerate mortality and morbidity rates, this node explores the heightened health risks created by these climate issues. Project node lead: Professor Ollie Jay


ClinPASS will assist clinicians, researchers, and healthcare service developers to integrate and optimise lifestyle interventions involving physical activity, sleep, and nutrition as therapeutic strategies to improve health. Project node leads: Dr Sonia Cheng, A/Professor Zoe Keough, Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis.

Developmental origin of health and disease (DOHaD)

A study on pregnant women in Western Sydney to determine whether disease begins developing in the womb through fetal immune programming. Project node lead: Professor Ralph Nanan

Digital Health Informatics Network

Our purpose is to connect interests, promote collaboration in research, share current projects and resources in these areas, and stimulate purposeful networking via DHIN-hosted events and online engagement. Network lead: A/Professor Adam Dunn

Digital solutions in cardiovascular disease prevention

Improving preventative care through the development of digital health interventions designed to educate patients and reduce the number of secondary cardiovascular episode. Project node lead: Professor Clara Chow

Dog ownership and human health

Examining the influence of dog ownership on human physical and mental health and social wellbeing. Project node lead: Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis


Early prevention of obesity in childhood

Making a direct impact on the community through research into lifestyle changes made in the early years and their effect on obesity-related diseases. Project node lead: Professor Louise Baur

Eating disorders

Exploring the complex biopsychosocial interplay of eating disorders in order to develop novel treatments and improve patient outcomes. Project node lead: Dr Sarah Maguire

Economics of human development

Why are some people more likely to succeed than others? This node addresses the question of long-term effects of socioeconomic disadvantage on the evolution of human potential. Project node lead: Professor Stefanie Schurer

E-health in gaming and avatars

An artificial intelligence-based clinical intervention for patients with Type-2 diabetes that aims to help them achieve health and wellness goals. Project node lead: Professor Stephen Twigg

Evidence synthesis

Working towards synthesizing all kinds of evidence around obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and uniting key researchers to collaborate on solutions. Project node lead:  Associate Professor Barbara Mintzes, Dr Lisa Parker

Family obesity

Finding solutions to prevent and manage obesity within individuals, families and communities, in Greater Western Sydney and beyond. Project node lead: Dr Kathryn Williams

Fibrosis and wound healing

Bringing together researchers from a diverse range of disciplines to prevent, treat and reverse fibrosis across a diversity of diseases. Project node lead: Professor Stephen Twigg

Fighting Truth Decay

 Our goal is to foster the spread of accurate scientific information, to spread trust in that scientific information, and to support the use of that information when making decisions. Project node lead: Dr Micah Goldwater

Food governance

Exploring how governments can use legal strategies to create conditions for people to live healthier lives. Project node lead: Sally McDonald, Fiona Sing

Gut microbiome

Discovering the influence of our gut microorganisms over our metabolism, immune and nervous systems, our food choices and other behaviours. Project node lead: Associate Professor Andrew Holmes

Health and creativity

Challenging staff and students to create a new vibrancy to explore new approaches to society’s complex and chronic health problems. Project node lead: Natalie Nicolas, Martin Brown

Health and economics

Using health research and applied economics to influence government decision-making so we can improve cross portfolio policy, and in turn, the health and wellbeing of Australians. Project node lead: Dr Michelle Cunich

Health and wellness in the air

Working with Qantas to provide integrated health and wellbeing advice, education and research to improve the experience of long-haul flying. Project node lead: Professor Stephen Simpson

Health humanities

A holistic exploration on how the arts and humanities can promote human health and wellbeing in hospitals, households, and communities. Project node lead: Dr Olaf Werder

Health literacy chronic disease network

A multidisciplinary, international research network improving the management of chronic disease for adults with lower literacy. Project node lead: Professor Kirsten McCaffery

Healthy food systems

We look at ways that communities can access nutritional food while ensuring the natural systems their food comes from remain ecologically sustainable. Project node lead: Dr Sinead Boylan

Immune therapies

Developing new partnerships in clinical medicine, biomedical research, computing and systems biology to apply new immune therapies and diagnostic tools for monitoring patient response. Project node lead: Professor Barbara Fazekas

Implementation science

Biomedical and health service research often stays in the laboratory longer than it should. This node addresses the urgent need for this new evidence to be put into practice. Project node lead: Professor Tim Shaw

Incidental physical activity and sedentary behaviour

Understanding the cultural, economic and individual circumstances leading to habit-formation to help people adopt healthy habits. Project node lead: Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis

Judy Harris Writer in Residence Fellowship

The program invites Australian creative writers to apply for a generous University of Sydney fellowship, including a $100,000 grant, to begin a project exploring issues around health.

Kidney health

Identifying and understanding the incidence, prevalence and history of kidney disease at a population level to find solutions and treatments for this disease. Project node lead: Professor Steven Chadban

Living healthier lives under the Australian sun

Finding novel strategies to block the harmful effects of sunlight and UV, while retaining the beneficial effects so we can all absorb a healthy amount of sunlight. Project node lead: A/Professor Scott Byrne

Mechanisms of developmental programming

Investigating how parental and learly nutrition alters biological systems to influence health and reproductive fitness later in life. Project node leads: A/Prof Kim Bell-Anderson and Dr Angela Crean

Nutritional ecology and human health

Drawing on theory, methods and empirical findings from the field of nutritional ecology to view humans in the broader context of biological diversity, along with the fundamental theoretical frameworks in biology, evolution and ecology, to inform the study of human diet, nutrition and health. Project node lead: Professor David Raubenheimer

Nutrition and cardiovascular health

Exploring which types of healthy diets can lower the risk of developing heart disease, and how these differ from person to person. Project node lead: Professor Michael Skilton

Nutritional immunometabolism

Exploring whether poor diets lead to disease and how a change in diet can help treat or prevent disease. Project node lead: A/Professor Laurence Macia

One welfare

Improving and better understanding the clinical application of animal welfare and ethics throughout Australasia. Project node lead: Professor Paul McGreevy

Oral and systemic health

Understanding the complex interplay between oral health and general health including its links with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, arthritis, and pregnancy outcomes. Project node lead: Professor Joerg Eberhard


Pharmaceutical policy

We improve the lives of people with chronic conditions by improving pharmaceutical policies to optimise medical treatments, facilitate equal access to medications, and foster transparency. Project node lead: Associate Professor Barbara Mintzes, Dr Danijela Gnjidic.

Placebo research network 

We aim to understand the placebo effect so that we can evaluate new and existing health interventions to improve health outcomes. Project node lead: Associate Professor Ben Colagiuri

Politics of obesity

Navigating the line between the government’s responsibility to protect public health and fears of a ‘nanny state’ by developing and targeting arguments for/against policies in Australia. Project node lead: Professor Paul Griffiths, Professor Warwick Anderson

Positive computing in health systems

Psychology experts and technology designers collaborating to investigate how technology can promote motivation, autonomy and self-empowerment to support physical wellbeing. Project node lead: Professor Rafael Calvo

Precision Sleep Medicine (PRISM)

Looking at insomnia, obstructive sleep apnoea, and shift work disorder, and their links to chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Project node lead: Professor Peter Cistulli, Associate Professor Kristina Kairaitis

Preventative cardiology

Addressing the prevalent issues in the prevention of cardiovascular disease through collaborative, interdisciplinary research. Project node lead: Professor Robyn Gallagher

Prospective Physical Activity, Sitting and Sleep Consortium (ProPASS)

A collaborative platform aimed at generating evidence to be used in the next generation of physical activity, sleep and exercise medicine guidelines. Project node lead: Professor Emmanual Stamatakis

Schizophrenia: Cardiometabolic and other medical comorbidity

Identifying and addressing high-risk schizophrenia patients for whom intensive interventions will be of great value. Project node lead: Professor Tim Lambert

Science of learning science

Improving the learning experience for students by focusing on the emerging challenges and opportunities for multidisciplinary education in a research-intense environment. Project node lead: Professor Philip Poronnik, Professor Peter Goodyear

Single cell biology

Supporting research excellence by facilitating access to cutting-edge single cell technologies and analytic tools. Project node lead: Dr Lipin Loo, Dr Thomas Ashurst

SOLVE-CHD Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation

Transforming post-hospital care for people with heart disease in Australia. Project node lead: Professor Julie Redfern

Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM)

Developing a set of interfaced, artificial solutions that repair and replace malfunctioning body parts and damaged tissue. Project node lead: Professor Tony Weiss

Twin research

Encouraging the growth and development of twin research to dissolve research obstacles in the wider research community. Project node lead: Ms Susan Carrick

Type 1 diabetes

Our multidisciplinary team is working towards improvement management and, ultimately, preventing & curing type 1 diabetes. Project node lead: Professor Peter Thorn, Dr Kirstine Bell

Virtual reality

Designing strategies for virtual reality environments that enable researchers to adapt this technology in their research for better research outcomes. Project node lead: TBA    

Wireless wellbeing and personalised health

A research into mobile phone apps, wireless sensing and communications to empower people to improve their quality of life while preventing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Project node lead: Professor Margaret Allman-Farinelli