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Heat and Health Research Incubator

Reducing the health impacts of extreme heat and hot weather
We’re a multi-disciplinary team of researchers striving to understand the causative pathways of – and develop evidence-based solutions for – the health impacts of heat exposure across the human lifespan.

The Heat and Health Research Incubator (HHRI) is led by Prof Ollie Jay (Director) and Assoc Prof Ying Zhang (Deputy Director), who in total have received over $7 million in funding over the past five years to investigate the impacts of extreme heat and climate change on human health. 

The HHRI is a multidisciplinary initiative that aims to tackle the unprecedented current and future impacts of extreme heat and hot weather on human health and society. 

Through international cooperation with academics, industrial partners, policymakers, and healthcare professionals, the HHRI aims to better understand the causative pathways of – and provide evidence-based solutions for – the wide-ranging health impacts of heat exposure across the human lifespan.

Research themes

Five broad research themes have been identified as priority areas of interest: 

  • Heat and Health Policy
  • Built Environment and Health
  • Women’s Health
  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Climate Change and Health

Each research theme transcends subject-specific knowledge, presenting genuine opportunity for multidisciplinary collaboration. Central to the HHRI mission is connecting senior and early-to-mid-career researchers from a diverse array of academic backgrounds to produce the latest scientific evidence whilst nurturing the future leaders in Heat and Health.

An infographic outlining our priority research themes. These include: Climate Change and Health; Heat and Health Policy; Built Environment and Health; Women’s Health; Physical and Mental Wellbeing

Our priority research themes (click to see larger image).

1.     NHMRC Investigator Grant – Leadership 1 (Jay O) 

Title: Heat and Health: Building resilience to a warming planet across the human lifespan 

Amount: $2,098,555 for 5 years (2022-26)    

2.     NHMRC Equipment Grant (Jay O, McLachlan A, Black K) 

Title: A cardiovascular monitoring system for heat and health research 

Amount: $109,778 for 1 year (2021)    

3.   National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sub-Award (Jay O, Vargas N, Kenney WL)

       Title: Identification of critical environmental limits for aged adults

Amount: $85,633 for 1 year (2021-22)    

4.     Wellcome Trust Climate Change and Health Grant (Palutikof J, Jay O, Capon A) 

Title: Managing heat stress among Bangladesh ready-made clothing industry workers 

Amount: $862,811 for 3 years (2020-22)    

5.     NHMRC Project Grant (Jay O, Periard J, Capon A, Broderick C, Orchard J, Chalmers S) 

Title: An evidence-based extreme heat policy for child and youth sport 

Amount: $659,057 for 4 years (2019-22)    

6.     NHMRC Project Grant (Jay O, Crandall C, Capon A, Fiatarone Singh M, Bi P, Gagnon D) 

Title: Identifying optimal sustainable cooling strategies for the most vulnerable during heatwaves 

Amount: $1,100,237 for 5 years (2018-22)    


In the media

Our partners

  • Citizens Climate Lobby
  • Doctors for the Environment 
  • International Olympic Committee
  • Lancet Countdown (Australia & UK)
  • MS Research Australia
  • Museum of Applied Arts and Science (Earth Hour)
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • National Institutes of Health (USA)
  • NSW Department of Industry and Environment Committee for Sydney 
  • NSW Health
  • Public Health England 
  • Qatar Foundation
  • Sax Institute
  • Southwestern Sydney Local Health District
  • Sports Medicine Australia
  •  Wellcome Trust (UK)
  • Western Sydney Local Health District
  • Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Council (WSROC)
  • Cricket Australia
  • Gatorade Sport Science Institute
  • Kenzen
  • National Rugby League
  • Nike
  • Rowing NSW
  • Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA)
  • Swimming Australia
  • Tennis Australia
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Center for Health and the Global Environment University of Washington (USA)
  • Center for the Built Environment, University of California, Berkeley (USA)
  • Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness, Southern Methodist University (USA)
  • Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre, Loughborough University (UK)
  • Global Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (Arizona State University, USA)
  • Griffith University
  • Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (USA)
  • Monash Sustainable Development Institute
  • Montreal Heart Institute (Canada)
  • Noll Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University (USA)
  • Radboud University Medical Centre (Netherlands)
  • Sunshine Coast University
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Canberra

Our people

Our team is comprised of multidisciplinary academics and research partners with expertise in thermoregulatory physiology, climate change, cardiology, pharmacology, air pollution, neonatology, obstetrics, paediatric health, women’s health, ageing, epidemiology, infectious diseases, sports medicine, the built environment, sustainability, and community health.

  • Professor Ollie Jay, Director (Sydney School of Health Sciences)
  • Associate Professor Ying Zhang, Deputy Director (Sydney School of Public Health)
  • Professor Joel Negin, Senior Researcher (School of Public Health)
  • Professor Andrew McLachlan AM, Senior Researcher (Sydney Pharmacy School)
  • Associate Professor Carolyn Broderick, Senior Researcher (The School of Medical Sciences, UNSW)
  • Dr. Nicole Vargas, Early Career Researcher and Research Theme Lead (School of Health Sciences)
  • Dr. James Smallcombe, Early Career Researcher and Research Theme Lead (School of Health Sciences)
  • Maltide Petersen, Associate Lecturer (Indigenous Health Promotion, Sydney School of Public Health)
  • Professor Kirsten Black, Senior Researcher (Central Clinical School)
  • Professor Kazuaki Negishi, Senior Researcher (Sydney Medical School Nepean)
  • Professor Adrienne Gordon (Central Clinical School and Charles Perkins Centre)
  • Professor Ralph Nanan (Sydney Medical School Nepean)
  • Professor Richard deDear (School of Architecture, Planning and Design)
  • Dr Arunima Malik (School of Physics)
  • Associate Professor Cameron Clark (School of Veterinary Sciences) 
  • Dr. Troy Cross (School of Health Sciences)
  • Professor John Orchard (School of Public Health)
  • Dr. Timothy English (School of Health Sciences)
  • Professor Anthony Capon (Sydney School of Public Health, Monash University)

Incubator lead

Professor Ollie Jay
Professor Ollie Jay
Academic profile

Incubator lead

Dr Ying Zhang
Dr Ying Zhang
Academic profile

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