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Coronavirus research and expertise

Research and analysis on COVID-19

Sydney experts are at the forefront of COVID-19 research, from understanding its genetic origins to identifying a way out through vaccines.

More COVID-19 research

Our COVID-19 experts

Virus, infection and treatment

Professor Tom Snelling

Professor Snelling is Director of the Health and Clinical Analytics team He developed a National digital health platform that helped patients during the pandemic and beyond. And is a pioneer in the application of Bayesian approaches to the design, coordination, implementation and analysis of public interest studies, and is successfully leading a suite of multi-institutional collaborative learning health projects across Australia.

Professor Tania Sorrell

Professor Sorrell is the Co-Director of the University of Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases (Sydney ID). Prof Sorrell is a key member of the two national NHMRC networks dedicated to research on emerging infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Prof Sorrell is an internationally renowned infectious diseases physician and medical mycologist with interests in the natural history of COVID-19 in different population groups.

Professor Ben Marais

Professor Marais is a paediatrician and paediatric infectious diseases specialist with an interest in global health. He is internationally renowned for his work on childhood and multi drug-resistant-tuberculosis. He is a professor at the Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School and Co-Director, Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases (Sydney ID). He contributed to opinion pieces about lockdown scenarios.

Professor Jonathan Iredell

Professor Iredell is the Director, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Westmead. He is an infectious diseases physician and clinical microbiologist specialising in critical infections and transmission of antibiotic resistance. His work aims to identify which patients admitted to ICUs are at highest risk.

Professor Robert Booy

Professor of Child and Adolescent Health, Westmead. Professor Booy has been providing advice and training on COVID-19 infection, immunization, exit strategy, etc. Professor Booy is an expert in respiratory viruses. His research interests cover susceptibility, severity and treatment of infectious diseases especially influenza, RSV and invasive disease caused by encapsulated organisms.

A/Professor Gregory Fox

Associate Professor in Respiratory Medicine, Central Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health. A/Prof Fox published early modelling that forecast peak demand at 797% of the ICU capacity prior to COVID-19 . He was involved in the CovED project and is also working on a COVID-19 initiative in Vietnam. His research also focuses on detection and prevention of tuberculosis.

Dr Matthew O’Sullivan

Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Westmead Hospital, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Dr Sullivan is a diseases physician and clinical microbiologist. His research interest is in the management and prevention of hospital-acquired infections. Dr Sullivan is studying the risk to healthcare workers when using personal protective equipment and the prevalence of asymptomatic infection and transmission.

Professor David Isaacs

Professor Isaacs specialises in paediatric infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital, Westmead. Professor Isaacs advocated for the release of asylum seekers in mainland detention centres to prevent the spread of coronavirus. He has drafted a letter signed by more than 1180 health-care professionals to the government calling for the detainees to be released.

Professor Jennifer Alison

Professor Alison’s expertise is in cardiopulmonary physiotherapy. She led the development of a virtual model of care for patients confirmed with COVID-19 involving an in-home exercise and healthcare program. She also developed the web-based Pulmonary Rehabilitation Toolkit for clinicians and the writing of the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Dr Bernard Hudson

Senior Lecturer, Medicine, Northern Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Dr Hudson leads the North Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) COVID Clinical Research Group, which has been providing training and advice to medics and the general public on protective equipment and techniques, how to stay safe while in the air, and potential treatments for COVID-19.

Associate Professor Katy Bell

Associate Professor in Clinical Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health.  A/Prof Bell has expertise in evaluation of potential benefits and harms of tests used for screening, diagnosis and monitoring of disease, clinical epidemiology, evidence-based medicine

A/Professor Simon Poon

Dr Simon Poon is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney specialising in Health Informatics Research. Dr Poon used a big-data approach to carry out a retrospective study of COVID-19 cases from a major Wuhan Chinese medicine hospital to identify how the diagnosis and treatment methods offered by Chinese medicine can provide insights and integrative strategies to deal with COVID-19. 

Professor Albert Zomaya

Professor Zomaya works with big data analytics in healthcare. He and his team worked with ICU doctors from Tongji Hospital and Wuhan Union Hospital to develop an early warning system to detect patients at high risk of impending clinical deterioration in order to reduce the mortality rate.

A/Professor Benjamin Tang

Professor Tang worked to develop a blood test to identify which COVID-19 patients could be safely self-isolated at home (with limited risk of disease progression), and which patients need to be admitted to hospital for urgent, life-saving medical treatment. Professor Tang has spent 10 years researching why some otherwise healthy people develop severe complications when they get influenza

Professor Patrick Brennan

Professor Brennan is the most published medical radiation scientist in the world. Professor Brennan’s research involves exploring novel technologies and techniques that enhance the detection of clinical indicators of disease, whilst minimising risk to the patient. His team worked in collaboration to develop CovED, a world-first tool to improve COVID-19 diagnosis.

Professor Stuart Grieve

Professor Grieve is a clinician/scientist with a career focus on applying non-invasive imaging in healthcare and achieving fundamental advances in basic imaging science and is a chief investigator and key collaborator in the CovED project.

Professor Hak-Kim Chan

Leader of Advanced Drug Delivery Group, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor Chan is a world leader in respiratory drug delivery, particularly pulmonary drug delivery via aerosols.

A/Professor Wojciech Chrzanwoski

University of Sydney Nano Institute, Health and Medicine Theme Leader. Charles Perkins Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Vice President of Asian Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences. A/Professor Wojciech Chrzanwoski specialises in nanomedicine, nanomaterials, and efficient drug delivery.

Professor James Triccas

Professor of Medical Microbiology, Central Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor Triccas specialises in infection and immunological conditions, determining how virulent micro-organisms promote disease, and developing novel strategies to prevent infection.

Professor Andrew MacLachlan

Head of School and Dean, Sydney Pharmacy School, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor MacLachlan is working on a project “Drug trial funding needs for COVID-19”. He has written about the use of the drugs chloroquine and Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 and the unauthorised COVID-19 testing kits being sold online. Professor MacLachlan’s research focuses on understanding the variability in response to medicines and how this can be managed to optimise patient care.

Associate Professor Nial Wheate

School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health. A/Professor Wheate is working on a project “Coronavirus: how to access the medicines you and your family need”. A/Professor Wheate specialises in pharmaceutically related fields, drug delivery and pharmaceutical formulation.

Professor Eddie Holmes

His work involves the evolution and emergence of infectious diseases, how RNA viruses jump species boundaries to emerge in humans and other animals. Part of the group which released the world's first genome sequence of the coronavirus in January 2020.

Professor Dominic Dwyer

Works with infection and immunological conditions. Led the team on genome sequencing of the coronavirus and growing the live virus from real patients as opposed to using synthetic materials.

Professor Greg Neely

Uses functional genomics approaches to find novel human disease genes and pathways. Especially in age-related nervous system diseases, including pain, neurodegeneration, and lifespan. Prof Neely uses animal and cell-based systems to study COVID-19 infection on campus.

Dr John-Sebastian Eden

Dr Eden uses genetic sequencing of the COVID-19 virus to help understand where genetic variants have come from and how they are spreading in the community. He is leading a deep sequencing project to answer the question “What, if any, viral diversity accumulates during SARS-CoV-2 infection?”. He is also working on ways to identify new viruses easily so we can prevent outbreaks, like COVID-19, from happening in the future.

Dr Jen Kok

Dr Kok is a medical virologist, infectious diseases physician and clinical microbiologist. He is leading a study evaluating in-house and commercial nucleic acid testing and viral cultures in the diagnosis of COVID-19. He specialises in respiratory viruses, in particular influenza; infections in the critically unwell and immunocompromised hosts.

A/Professor Veysel Kayser

School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health. A/Prof Kayser is an expert in the development of vaccines and biologics. He has been working on monoclonal antibodies and the development of various vaccines, test kits and the understanding of viral protein structure in order to develop better antivirals.

Professor Tony Cunningham AO

As the principal adviser for the Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR), Prof Cunningham has been advising many other entities informally and promoting WIMR’s role in tackling COVID-19. He is an infectious diseases physician, clinical virologist and scientist, internationally renowned for his research on the immunobiology of HIV and herpesviruses, his work on vaccine and microbicide development, and as an antivirals expert.

Professor Sarah Palmer

Deputy Director of the Centre for Virus Research, The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor Palmer specialises in molecular and medical virology and the application of innovative techniques and assays which provide new insights into disease pathogenesis and treatment, especially for HIV.

Professor Jamie Triccas

Professor of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor Triccas’ research program is focused on determining how virulent micro-organisms promote disease and developing novel strategies to prevent infection. Especially which components of the immune response are targeted by pathogenic mycobacteria during infection. Professor Triccas also works to repurpose existing vaccine platforms to develop new COVID-19 candidates.

Dr Mainthan Palendira

Faculty of Medicine and Health; Head, Human Viral and Cancer Immunology Laboratory, Centenary Institute. Dr Palendira is working on defining long-term immunity after recovery from COVID-19. Dr Palendira’s laboratory focuses on human immunology research with a particular interest in cancers and viral infections.

Dr Megan Steain

Dr Steain is working on new methods for detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses. Dr Steain’s expertise is in infection and immunological conditions, molecular biology, virology and immunology.

A/Professor Timothy Newsome

School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science. A/Professor Newsome has expertise in vaccines and vaccinology; virus diseases; virology as well as infection and immunological conditions. Themes relevant to his research include molecular biology and biotechnology, microbiology, genetics and genomics, infection and immunological conditions.

Dr Hannah Sassi

School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science. Dr Sassi is an expert on how long viruses survive in different environments. Her specialisation is in environmental microbiology and virology, from a background focused in public health and microbiology.

Associate Professor Navneet Dhand

Associate Professor in Veterinary Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science. A/Prof Dhand is working on training to assist vets to identify zoonotic diseases. The project, “Strengthening Veterinary Workforce in Asia-Pacific for Infectious Disease Detection and Response” is funded by DFAT. His interests include emerging infectious diseases (including equine influenza), neglected zoonotic diseases (including brucellosis) and endemic infectious diseases (including orvine Johne’s disease).

Professor Jacqueline Norris

Professor of Veterinary Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, Associate Head of Research, Faculty of Science. Prof Norris advised that there is no evidence that pets such as dogs and cats are a source of COVID-19 for animals or humans, but that there is a risk of human-to-animal transfer of coronavirus to pets. She specialises in pet diseases; antimicrobial resistance in animals including humans and epidemiology of the zoonotic bacteria and Q fever in humans.

Public health and wellbeing

Professor Mu Li

Director of International Public Health, Sydney School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Prof Li’s research project “Evidence of accessing antenatal care information via social media platforms supports mental wellbeing in COVID-19 epidemic” conducted an online survey of more than 1800 pregnant women from 22 provinces in China in the early phase of the coronavirus epidemic. Professor Li specialises in public health nutrition, particularly iodine deficiency and excess that are highly cited, and public health program evaluation.

A/Professor Ying Zhang

Sydney School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health. A/Prof Zhang is a senior epidemiologist with over 15 years' experience of conducting research on climate and health. Interested in capacity building for public health emergency preparedness and responses to climate crisis, which may include responding to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases due to changing environment. Professor Zhang provided media commentary on the rise of coronavirus cases in Australia, making your own hand sanitiser and early concerns over the potential introduction of a COVID-19 immunity certificate.

Dr Kerrie Wiley

Research Fellow, Public Health, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor Julie Leask is leading a project to study community awareness, perceptions and behaviour about COVID-19, its prevention and management, and risk communication, collaborating with Kerrie Wiley, Claire Hooker and Adam Dunn. Dr Wiley studies the social and behavioural aspects of immunisation, immunisation in pregnancy, mixed methods research and shared decision making.

Professor Joel Negin

Professor and Head of School, Sydney School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor Negin specialises in global health, health policy, health systems, social and ecological determinants.

Dr Seye Abimbola

Lecturer, Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Dr Abimbola specialises in public health, social science, primary health care, global health and health policy.

Dr Fiona Stanaway

Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator Clinical Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Dr Stanaway is working on a project to study challenges faced by the homeless in practising good hygiene to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis

School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor Stamatakis co-chaired the 2020 WHO global physical activity and sedentary behaviour Guidelines Development Group. And conducted research about staying fit and active at home during self-isolation. He led a program of epidemiologic and interventional research investigating how health-related aspects of lifestyle (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, alcohol consumption, dog ownership) influence long term health outcomes.

Professor Allison Jaure

Principal Research Fellow, Sydney School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health, NHMRC Career Development Fellow, Co-Leader Centre for Kidney Research, The Children's Hospital at Westmead. Professor Jaure led the COVID-19-COS project bringing together patients, the public and health professionals to identify, prioritise and agree on the most important outcomes for research in COVID-19. Professor Jaure is a social scientist with experience in patient-centred outcomes research in chronic disease, particularly chronic kidney disease.

Professor Karen Canfell

Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health; Director, Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW. Prof Canfell is an expert in the screening and prevention of breast, cervical and colorectal cancers and is working to understand the short and longer term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer patients, screening and risk.

Professor Julie Redfern

Professor of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health; Deputy Director, Westmead Applied Research Centre (WARC). Professor Redfern led development of a free national text message support program for Australians with chronic respiratory diseases during social isolation. They were able to make the new program ready and workable in about 2 weeks.

Professor Redfern has more than 15 years’ experience developing, testing and implementing scalable strategies to improve health outcomes for people with chronic disease.

Dr Aaron Jenkins

Senior Research Fellow in Planetary Health, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Dr Jenkins and his team look at active bacteria and viruses in sewerage and waste. An important strategy to detect diseases in a population, including those who are asymptomatic.

Professor Kristen Mccaffery

Director, Sydney Health Literacy Lab; School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Prof McCaffery and colleagues at the Sydney Health Literacy Lab are conducting research into public understandings of health messages, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours related to COVID-19, as well as impacts on social and psychological wellbeing over a 12-month period. Professor McCaffery leads a team of researchers in the field of behavioural science studying the psychosocial impact of screening and testing programs, research around patient communication and shared Professor Lyn Gilbert

Clinical Professor, Medicine (Immunology & Infectious Diseases), Westmead Clinical School and Chief Investigator, NHMRC CREID. Professor Gilbert is lead investigator on a qualitative study aimed at better understanding stakeholder beliefs, attitudes and responses to COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures. The project will result in improved communication strategies leading to more positive responses and compliance by frontline carers during COVID-19 and other such public health emergencies.

Professor Ramon Shaban

Clinical Chair, Infection Prevention and Disease Control, Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases. As a credentialled expert infection control practitioner and emergency nurse, Professor Shaban’s inter-professional expertise in infectious diseases, infection control and emergency care are the basis of a highly successful and integrated program of teaching, practice, and research. He is past president of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and a delegate member representative to the World Health Organization Global Outbreak and Response Network.

Professor Kristine Macartney

Director, National Centre for Immunisation Research & SurveillanceProfessor Maccartney co-leads a sero-surveillance project to understand population immunity to the novel coronavirus to inform clinical and public health responses, work that’s vital in determining the prevalence in vulnerable populations such as the elderly. She and her team also authored reports into COVID-19 in NSW schools. Prof Macartney has been quoted in the media on COVID-19 vaccine development, trials, safety testing and potential time frame of availability.  

A/Professor Nicholas Wood

Associate Director, Clinical Research and Services, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance. A/Professor Woods leads the NSW Immunisation Specialist Service and coordinates the Immunisation Adverse Events Clinic at the Children's Hospital at Westmead. He is interested in maternal and neonatal immunisation, as well as research into vaccine safety, including genetics and long-term outcomes of adverse events following making.

Professor Mikhail Prokopenko

Professor Prokopenko is the Director of the University of Sydney Centre for Complex Systems, and models the transmission and control of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia

Professor Vitali Sintchenko

Professor Sintchenko is the Director, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, and the Chief Investigator, NHMRC CREID. He is a public health microbiologist and informatician who conducts research on biosurveillance of communicable diseases to identify the source of disease outbreaks.

Professor Ian Marschner

Prof Marschner has over 20 years’ experience in biostatistics. He has worked on large scale clinical trials in a range of disease areas, particularly cardiovascular medicine and develops new methodology with applications for clinical trials and clinical epidemiology.

Professor Jean Yang

In the Faculty of Science, Professor Yang studies statistical bioinformatics. Prof Yang co-leads an InnoHK project, AI-assisted scalable data analytics for healthcare translation, involving multi-scale predictive models.

A/Professor Adam Dunn

Head of Discipline for Biomedical Informatics and Digital Health, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor Dunn studies clinical research informatics and public health informatics, aiming to improve health behaviours using large-scale data to track how evidence and misinformation are taken up by the public. Collaborated on a project to study community awareness, perceptions and behaviour about COVID-19.

Design Modelling And Fabrication Lab (DMaF)

Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning. The University of Sydney has one of Australia’s best-equipped fabrication and prototyping labs, recognised for its comprehensiveness and its fostering of integrated and collaborative design and fabrication approaches. Our DMaF Lab is contributing expert support to state-based PPE production and ventilator initiatives to supply the NSW hospital network, in conjunction with NSW Health and other universities.

Professor Gregg Suaning

Head of School, Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. Prof Suaning led a partnership between the University, NSW Health and industry to build ventilators for the COVID-19 crisis. Professor Suaning has 25 years’ experience in implantable neuroprosthesis research in both industry and academia, helping the deaf to hear and the blind to see.

Professor Alistair Mcewan

Ainsworth Chair of Technology and Innovation, School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. Professor McEwan and students in his team have developed Personal Protective Equipment for COVID-19 working directly with clinicians at RPA Hospital and Westmead (including the EPIC 3D printing lab at Westmead) and is involved in a project to monitor mental and respiratory health via early and remote telehealth. He also studies the electrical properties of biological tissue to better address a range of major health challenges.

A/Professor Payal Murkherjee

Associate Professor, Surgery, Central Clinical School, Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School. A/Prof Mukherjee helped set up the COVIDSOS network based on first-hand experience of how difficult it is to source PPE, like masks. She is an ear, nose and throat surgeon with expertise in 3D printing, virtual surgical planning and holds a current DFAT grant to develop 3D printing, bioprinting and AI medical applications between India and Australia.

Dr Tegan Cheng

EPIC Lab, Children's Hospital at Westmead & Adjunct Lecturer, School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. Collaborated with clinicians to support the COVID-19 response with 3D printing. The Lab also tests ways to create effective barriers between the virus and our healthcare providers, such as plastic face shields.

Professor PJ Cullen

School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. Professor Cullen developed plasma technology that has the potential to inactivate COVID-19 in air flows or on surfaces. Professor Cullen is a highly cited researcher and an expert in the research and development of cold plasma technologies and high-powered lasers for plasma biological application.

A/ Professor Jun Huang

School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. Professor Huang has developed nanofibre-spun coating technology to degrade the coronavirus. Professor Huang aims to copy the structures of nucleic acids and develop a similarly structured sensor to improve interaction with the nucleic acids of the virus to strongly enhance the identification and sensitivity.

Dr Zihuai Lin

Senior Lecturer, School of Electrical & Information Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. Dr Lin is working on a robot to reduce human-to-human contact and communication and computing systems that can aid in healthcare.

A/Professor Jinman Kim

Director of Visual TeleHealth Lab, Faculty of Engineering. A/Prof Kim leads the healthcare imaging component of the  InnoHK project, “AI-assisted scalable data analytics for healthcare translation”.

Professor Ian Hickie

Co-Director, Health and Policy, Brain and Mind Centre, NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor Hickie has been giving advice through various channels about dealing with anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis and safeguarding mental health during quarantine. Professor Hickie is an internationally renowned researcher in clinical psychiatry.

Professor Mark Dadds

Professor of Clinical Psychology, NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, School of Psychology, Faculty of Science. Professor Dadds worked with the media to disseminate helpful information for parents spending extended time in isolation with their children, to reduce the risk of family problems. Professor Dadds directs the Child Behaviour Research Clinic in the Brain and Mind Centre.

Professor Caroline Hunt

Head of the Clinical Psychology Unit; Co-Chair of the Mental Well-Being Working Group, Healthy Sydney; Chair, Australian Psychology Accreditation Council, Faculty of Science. Professor Hunt specialises in nature and treatment of anxiety disorders; advice on how people might be experiencing anxiety and worry; general mental health issues arising from quarantine or self-isolation, and ways they can be managed.

Professor Louise Sharpe

Professor of Clinical Psychology, School of Psychology, Faculty of Science. Professor Sharpe is internationally known for her work in health psychology. She has worked clinically with patients with a wide range of chronic physical problems, specialising in pain and is interested in people’s health-related anxieties in the context of COVID-19.

Professor Sharon Naismith

NHMRC Dementia Leadership Fellow, School of Psychology, Faculty of Science. Professor Naismith specialises in coping with stress and emotion in the pandemic. Prof Naismith holds the Leonard P Ullman Chair in Psychology at Sydney. She also heads the Healthy Brain Ageing Program at the Brain and Mind Centre, a one-of-a-kind early intervention research clinic for dementia.

Professor Maree Teesson

Professor and Centre Director, Sydney Medical School, The Matilda Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health; Director, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Prevention and Early Intervention in Mental Illness and Substance Use (PREMISE). The Matilda Centre has been working actively with state and federal governments, foundations and other groups to identify a strong and effective response to the mental health impacts of coronavirus. And has provided access to online resources about practical tips for coping and free access to the Climate Schools program as a show of support for Australian schools

A/Professor Sabina Kleitman

School of Psychology, Faculty of Science. A/Prof Kleitman is interested in how to identify individual and societal factors in preventive, protective and proactive behaviours, and mental resilience, during the COVID-19 pandemic. A/Prof Kleitman has been collaborating with the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group and her team has developed an immersive simulation method that captures individual differences in adaptability and mental resilience during challenging and unpredictable events.

Professor Woosung Sohn

Chair of Population Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor Sohn is working on a project “Dentistry: Production of aerosols during routine dental procedures”. He also works closely with NSW Health and local health districts to develop a population oral health research strategy aligned with the state's needs and school priorities.

Dr Alex Holden

Senior Lecturer and Head of Subject Area for Professional Practice, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Dr Holden has conducted research on “How the coronavirus is changing the way we care for our teeth”. He co-authored an article on this subject published in The Conversation. His interests include ethics, law, professionalism, sociology and communications within the context of dentistry.

Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn

Professor, Family and Disability Studies; Lead, Disability and Inequity research theme, Centre for Disability Research and Policy; Head, WHO Collaborating Centre in Health Workforce Development in Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Professor Llewellyn is working on several projects involving policy action to protect people with disability in Australia during the COVID-19 outbreak, and accessible information. She is an occupational therapist and international authority on family and disability.

Professor Marc Stears

Director, Sydney Policy Lab, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Professor Stears collaborated with Profs Lyn Gilbert, Yun-Hee Jeon and Glenda Wardle to author the Sydney Policy Lab policy paper  “Principles for a policy response to COVID-19”, which developed five key principles to guide policy-making during the coronavirus pandemic. They examined the politics and practice of migration to identify defining themes for migration policy and COVID-19. Professor Stears is an expert in democratic theory and the history of ideologies and social movements.

Dr Diego Silva

Lecturer in Bioethics at Sydney Health Ethics, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Dr Silva is interested in public health ethics, infectious diseases ethics, primarily tuberculosis, complexity, systems thinking, and ethics, microbiome and ethics, mental health ethics.

Professor James Der Derian

Director of the Centre for International Security Studies and Michael Hintze Chair, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Professor Der Derian co-authored an opinion piece about how zombie films reveal the true dangers of COVID-19 and has been interviewed about the use of surveillance to monitor social distancing. Professor Der Derian’s research and teaching interests are in international security, information technology, international theory, and documentary film.

A/Professor Gaby Ramia

Associate Professor in Public Policy, the Department of Government and International Relations, School of Social and Political Sciences. Professor Ramia co-authored an opinion piece on “Why coronavirus impacts are devastating for international students in private rental housing”.

Professor James Curran

Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Professor Curran published an opinion piece about the impact of COVID-19 on domestic and international institutions. He is a regular commentator on radio and television, Prof Curran’s opinion pieces on foreign affairs and political culture have appeared in major Australian newspapers as well as the Lowy Interpreter, China-US Focus, the East Asia Forum and the Council on Foreign Relations ‘Asia Unbound’ series.

A/Professor Anna Boucher

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. A/Prof Boucher is developing a project to study immigration, ethnicity, the welfare state and visa design as affected by COVID-19. Professor Boucher is a global migration expert, with research interests including immigration policy and politics, welfare state policy, public policy, population politics, ethnic relations, human rights and public law.

Professor Julie Leask

Professor, Sydney Nursing School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health, Visiting Fellow, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance. Professor Leask has led a study of community awareness, perceptions and behaviour about COVID-19, its prevention and management, and risk communication. Professor Leask is a public health researcher focusing on vaccination and infectious disease risk communication. She is an advisor to the World Health Organization and was named overall and global category winner in the 2019 AFR 100 Women of Influence.

Dr Christian Ehnis

Dr Ehnis is leading a project to study the role of social media in individual and collective meaning making. “Infectious Diseases and “Infodemics” – The Role of Social Media in Individual and Collective Meaning Making”. Dr Ehnis studies how emergency management organisations, such as police forces and fire departments, utilise social media in emergencies and disasters to interact with the general public.

Professor Deborah Bunker

Professor of Business Information Systems, Sydney Business School. Prof Bunker is collaborating on the “Infectious Diseases and “Infodemics” – The Role of Social Media in Individual and Collective Meaning Making” project. Professor Bunker is a leading scholar in organisational collaboration and change management in complex organisational and environmental settings.

Professor Nick Enfield

Professor of Linguistics, Director of Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Professor Enfield is studying the role of bad information and flawed cognition in the spread of COVID-19 and how it is spread on English and Mandarin language online outlets. He is also exploring whether it is possible to ‘inoculate’ people against bad information. Professor Enfield is head of a Research Excellence Initiative on The Crisis of Post-Truth Discourse.

Society and impact

Professor John Nelson

Chair of Public Transport, Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, Sydney Business School. The Institute has conducted a survey to determine how prepared business is for mobility shocks. It also looks at air quality changes from a reduction in commuting and remote work and productivity in different sectors. His interests include new technologies to improve transport systems as well as the policy frameworks and regulatory regimes necessary to achieve sustainable mobility.

Professor Matthew Beck

Professor in Infrastructure Management, Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, Sydney Business School. Professor Beck has analysed the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on air travel at a global level and looked at some possible futures for the sector post-crisis. Professor Beck specialises in behavioural economics and modelling.

A/Professor Stephen Clibborn

Associate Professor in the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies, Sydney Business School. Dr Clibborn and Associate Professor Chris F Wright from the Business School published an article on the link between the protection of temporary migrants and public health, specifically temporary migrant workers who were not eligible for the JobKeeper payment. This was based on their research “A guest-worker state? The declining power and agency of migrant labour in Australia” published in The Economic and Labour Relations Review.

A/Professor Chris F Wright

Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies, Sydney Business School. See above (Dr Stephen Clibborn). Associate Professor Wright’s interests include issues relating to the intersection of employment, globalisation and public policy, with a particular interest in immigration, labour market regulation and supply chains.

A/Professor Eliza Wu

Associate Professor in Finance, Sydney Business School. A/Professor Wu was quoted in Stuff (New Zealand) about suspension of dividend payouts by New Zealand-owned banks amid the coronavirus crisis.


A/Professor Salvatore Babones

School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. A/Prof Babones is consulting for the Centre for Independent Studies on the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. He has been quoted in the media regarding Australian universities and international students and has published several opinion pieces on policy and planning.

Dr Yale Wong

The Institute of Transport & Logistics Studies (ITLS), Sydney Business School. Dr Wong studies COVID-19 risk on public transport and what we can learn from overseas. He has also published an opinion piece in The Conversation about the long-term future of public transport after COVID-19. Dr Wong’s research encompasses three core facets in future mobility, transport contracts and bus operations.


Dr Christopher Gibbs

School of Economics, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dr Gilbbs is developing a research proposal around economic issues and policy due to crisis when interest rates are zero. He specialises in behavioural macroeconomics and finance, Dr Gibbs’ current work focuses on how boundedly rational agents forecast expected monetary and fiscal policy changes.

Dr Russell Toth

School of Economics, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dr Toth is leading an AUSAID funded project “Development Economics in Asia Pacific - regular phone surveys to measure the effects of COVID-19, particularly in the agricultural sector and rural areas in Myanmar”. Dr Toth is a development microeconomist focusing on the development of the private sector with projects frequently overlapping with environmental, agricultural and behavioural economics.

A/Professor Shyamal Chowdhury

School of Economics, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. A/Prof Chowdhury is working on a project “Are Nudges Effective to Contain COVID-19? A Randomized Control Trial in Rural Bangladesh”. He studies how development interventions influence households, particularly poor households under market imperfections. Empirical evaluation of impacts of interventions, particularly related to technologies and infrastructures.

Professor Andreas Rauch

Professor of Entrepreneurship, Sydney University Business School. Prof Rauch co-authored the paper “Unprecedented disruption of lives and work: Health, distress and life satisfaction of working adults in China one month into the COVID-19 outbreak”. Professor Rauch is interested in business bounce-back from the COVID-19 crisis.

Professor Susan Throp

Professor of Finance, Sydney University Business School. Prof Thorp is an expert in consumer and household finance, with a particular focus on retirement savings and decumulation. She uses theoretical, empirical and experimental techniques to understand financial decision making. Much of this research has tested the way decision makers respond to advisors, disclosures and choice architecture.

Professor Leanne Cutcher

Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Sydney University Business School. Prof Cutcher’s research explores the relationship between organizational strategy and discourse and how it impacts inclusion and innovation in organisations. She has expertise on the effect of disasters (such as bushfires) on an organisation.

Associate Professor Stefan Meisiek

Sydney University Business School. A/Prof Meisiek researches resilience, improvisation and sensemaking in organisations. He has a particular interest in how leadership enables or constrains innovation efforts, including motivating organisational members for inquiry into pernicious problems, challenging basic assumptions, and giving license for dreaming, imagining, and creating.

Dr Arunima Malik

Lecturer in Sustainability, School of Physics, Faculty of Science. Dr Malik is working on a project to study whether the coronavirus lockdown improved air pollution. She specialises in big-data modelling to quantify sustainability impacts. Dr Malik has carried out a range of sustainability supply-chain assessments of health care, biofuel production, construction materials, global energy use, global nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions, and tourism

A/Professor Dallas Rogers

Associate Professor and Co-Program Director Bachelor of Architecture & Environments.

Dr Rogers is working on projects that investigate housing evictions must be suspended during the coronavirus pandemic and how COVID-19 effects on public health and the economy are playing out in the housing system. Dr Rogers is an urban geographer with a broad interest in land, housing, real estate and urban development.

Professor Nicole Gurran

Chair of Urbanism, School of Architecture, Design and Planning. Prof Gurran has been funded by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) to conduct an “Inquiry into population growth migration and agglomeration”. She co-authored an article on the need for adequate housing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. She studies comparative urban planning systems and approaches to housing and ecological sustainability.

Dr Sophia Maalsen

School of Architecture, Design and Planning. Dr Maalsen is working on a project “Understanding discrimination effects in private rental housing”, funded by AHURI. She studies the role of technology in ‘smart homes’ as a locus to address future environmental and social challenges.

Dr Catherine Gilbert

School of Architecture, Design and Planning. Dr Gilbert is working on a project “Housing key workers: scoping challenges aspirations and policy responses for Australian cities”, funded by AHURI.

Professor Donald Mcneill

School of Architecture, Design and Planning. Prof McNeill is working on an ARC project on Volumetric Urbanism. The project addresses issues of capacity and urban space in dense cities - eg. capacity of elevators, pavements, lobbies, which are relevant to social distancing. He studies how major cities are constructed 'volumetrically' around capacity, verticality, and density.


Professor Dale Dominey-Howes

School of Geoscience, Faculty of Science. Prof Dominey-Howes leads the Asia-Pacific Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Research Group at the University of Sydney. The Group has deep expertise in a wide variety of hazard and disaster risk related issues including emergency risk management and planning; society, risk, perception and behaviour; vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity.

Professor Mark Colyvan

Professor of Philosophy, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Prof Colyvan is researching decision theory; risk analysis, population ecology, conspiracy theories.

Professor Peter Goodyear

Professor of Education, Centre on Research for Learning and Innovation, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Prof Goodyear is working on a project relating to learning and teaching in higher education & the use of digital technologies in relation to face-to-face learning.

A/Professor Jennifer Rowley

Associate Professor in Music Education, Sydney Conservatorium of Music. A/Prof Rowley conducted research into the hidden cost of COVID-19 to the 2020 Year 12 cohort. She studies gifted education; adolescent development; learning and teaching; identity development and eLearning.

Professor Warwick Anderson

Professor of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; Charles Perkins Centre. Prof Anderson is working on projects related to outbreak modelling, epidemic intelligence, and disease ecology and the transformation of beach from a place of refuge during the bushfires to a space of contamination. He is a peer reviewer for the Rapid Research Information Forum (RRIF) Prof Anderson is an expert in the history of medicine and public health.

Emeritus Professor Terry Carney

University of Sydney Law School. Emeritus Professor Carney has researched legal and ethical preparedness for pandemic influenza. He was part of a group of experts from the Group of Eight universities who provided early input on the issue of social distancing in epidemic settings to Australia’s Chief Medical Officer.

Professor Cameron Stewart

Professor of Health Law and Ethics, Sydney Law School. Prof Stewart collaborated with the First Peoples Disability Network on a regarding the effects of rationing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. His interests include health law, ethics, property and equity, guardianship law, end-of-life decision-making, human tissue regulation.

Professor Tim Stephens

Professor of International Law, Deputy Director, University of Sydney Marine Studies Institute, Researcher, Sydney Environment Institute, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. Professor Stephens published wrote and was interviewed about Australia’s legal rights and obligations regarding cruise ships in its waters. His interests include international law of the sea, international environmental law and international dispute settlement.

Professor Anne Twomey

Professor of Constitutional Law, Director, Constitutional Reform Unit, Sydney Law School. Prof Twomey has been extensively quoted and interviewed about the legality of closing state and territory borders. She also wrote about the possibility for a virtual Australian parliament during the coronavirus pandemic. She specialises in constitutional law, constitutional history, electoral law, federalism, parliamentary procedure and practice, executive power, monarchy, crown, republic and decolonisation.

Professor Brendan Beare

Professor of Econometrics, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Prof Beare has authored an article “On the emergence of a power law in the distribution of COVID-19 cases” (in the US).

A/Professor Garner Clancey

Sydney Law School. A/Prof Clancey leads the Crime and Criminal Justice Research Network, an interdisciplinary network of scholars with an interest in crime and criminal justice issues. Scholars connected with the network have been approached to offer expertise to the Post COVID-19 multi-agency working group formed to help the NSW Government understand the social impacts induced by COVID-19’s effects on the economy.

Professor Murray Lee

Professor of Criminology, Sydney Law School. Prof Lee is interested in the anxieties and fears about COVID-19 and how these impact (and will continue to impact) on particular populations – whether affectively, behaviourally, or cognitively. He is also interested in the policing of lockdown restrictions and whether such policing has targeted specific social groups.

Ms Patricia Lane

Sydney Law School. Ms Lane has provided professional advice to vendors, purchasers, landlords and tenants during the COVID-19 epidemic, which has highlighted some of the fragilities in the existing legal framework supporting commercial enterprises - the general conditions in leases and contracts for sale are not adequate to address the particular problems presented by restrictions on trade and commerce as we know it.

Professor Simon Bronitt

Head of School and Dean, Sydney Law School. Prof Bronitt is an expert on criminal justice, including criminalising spreading disease, policing restrictions and human rights in relation to emergency call out powers. He has published extensively on these topics.

Dr Carolyn McKay

Sydney Law School. Dr McKay’s research focuses on the rapidly expanding use of videoconferencing in criminal procedure brought about by COVID-19. She is collating COVID-19 case law and changes to criminal procedure.

Dr Sascha Callaghan

Sydney Law School, Centre for Values Ethics and the Law in Medicine. Dr Callaghan is working on a project “COVID communication with Australian school teachers”. She is also working on publications related to human rights in mental health and the history of public health orders in Australia.

More than 20 Sydney researchers contributed to the ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ report, a report provided to the Federal Government by the Group of Eight (Go8) to help Australia move through its exit and recovery phase of COVID-19.

A taskforce of more than 100 researchers from across the Go8 collaborated to produce a report with two options for Australia’s pandemic response.  

The Elimination strategy would see a continuation of the lock-down further than mid-May in certain jurisdictions, likely by another 30 days while waiting for cases from local sources to fall to zero and remain at that level for a few weeks, while the Controlled Adaption (Suppression) strategy would see a gradual relaxation of resections and adaptative relaxation of social distancing as early as Mid-May.  

The Report explicitly acknowledged the participation and contribution of the following University of Sydney staff

You can read ‘COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery – A Report for the Nation’ on the Go8 website.