Conference Advisory Committee
Professor Adrian Lowe (Co-Chair)
Principal Research Fellow. Co-head-Allergic & Lung Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Professor Lowe is a Dame Kate Campbell Fellow and Deputy Leader of the University of Melbourne’s Allergy and Lung Health Unit. Adrian’s research uses epidemiological methods to understand natural history of allergic diseases in childhood, and what might have caused the rapid rise in the prevalence of these conditions over the last four decades. His research primarily focuses on the epidemiology of eczema, and strategies to prevent its development and progression into other forms of allergic disease. He is the principal investigator on an eczema prevention trial (PEBBLES) and a number of large and ongoing cohort studies. He collaborates widely, across a range of disciplines both nationally and internationally, to support his research. The ultimate aim of his research is to use epidemiology to reduce the incidence of allergies in future generations.
Dr Steve Simpson-Yap (Co-Chair)
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population & Global Health and Clinical Outcomes Research Unit (CORe), Royal Melbourne Hospital
Steve is a mid-career researcher in epidemiology, particularly multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune conditions. Following undergraduate training in biology at Hunter College in the USA and postgraduate studies in public health at the University of California, Berkeley, I undertook doctoral research in multiple sclerosis geoepidemiology and predictors of clinical course at the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, University of Tasmania between 2008-2011. I am now a senior research fellow at the Neuroepidemiology Unit and the Clinical Outcomes Research Unit at The University of Melbourne, examining the epidemiology of MS, including the roles of lifestyle and other factors with clinical outcomes in MS.
Dr Nupur Nag
Deputy Head of the Neuroepidemiology Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.
Dr Nupur Nag is a Senior Research Fellow and the Deputy Head of the Neuroepidemiology Unit, The University of Melbourne. Nupur’s research focus is to assess how modifiable lifestyle behaviours (diet, supplements, vitamin D, mindfulness, physical activity) impact secondary prevention and management of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological disorders. She is also interested in investigating the efficacy of digital health education for positive behaviour change.
Mr Fabian Kong
Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Head, Sexual Health Unit, The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.
Fabian Kong is a senior research fellow and deputy head of the sexual health unit within the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is a hospital trained pharmacist with public health expertise in clinical pharmacy (critical care/toxicology), harm reduction and international health. He has established infectious diseases' surveillance systems (mainly for chlamydia), monitored emerging illicit drug use and has established and assessed drug management systems for essential medicines in developing countries. He currently works to optimise treatments for STIs, particularly for multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea infections in the mouth. This includes studies of human pharmacokinetics to optimise current treatments and the development of the world's first oral human tissue model of gonorrhoea infection/colonisation to screen emerging treatments to treat oral gonorrhoea. His other interests include using eHealth to improve access to testing and treatment for populations finding it hard to access sexual health services, including examining the feasibility of a fully automated online STI clinic in Victoria, Australia.
Professor Nancy Baxter
Head, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne
Professor Baxter is a clinical epidemiologist, surgeon and health services researcher and is currently the Head of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Australia’s #1 School of Public Health. Nancy moved from Toronto to Melbourne in February 2020 for the adventure, and COVID did not disappoint her! As a researcher, Nancy has been in the public eye for a number of publications particularly in the area of cancer screening and quality of surgical care. She has over 300 peer-reviewed articles and has had continual national (Canadian) research funding for almost 20 years. As a public health leader, Professor Baxter has been a leading voice in the Australia media during the pandemic, helping Australians understand the pandemic and how their individual and collective actions can have real impact on the health of their families and communities.
Dr Rob Moss
Senior Research Fellow, Infectious Disease Dynamics Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.
Rob Moss is a Senior Research Fellow in the Infectious Disease Dynamics Unit at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. His research focuses on predicting and mitigating the burden of infectious disease epidemics, through the use of mathematical/computational modelling and Bayesian inference. In collaboration with state and national Departments of Health, his work has informed national pandemic preparedness and response plans, and public health responses to pandemic influenza and COVID-19. He is a proponent of reproducible research, open access, and free and open source software (FOSS). As part of his research activities, he develops research software and publishes open source software packages. He also leads professional development activities to support RHD students and EMCRs to make effective use of computational resources and ensure that their research is reproducible.
Associate Professor Tania King
ARC DECRA & Dame Kate Campbell Principal Research Fellow
Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Tania King is a Social Epidemiologist at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, at the University of Melbourne. She uses causally focussed quantitative social science methods to understand social and structural determinants of health inequities across the life-course. Specific focusses of her work include: 1) gender equality and norms as determinants of health outcomes; 2) paid and unpaid work arrangements and conditions, particularly unpaid care; 3) mental health and suicide. Tania currently holds an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, and a University of Melbourne Dame Kate Campbell Fellowship.
Professor Yuming Guo
Professor of Global Environmental Health and Biostatistics
Head of the Climate, Air Quality Research (CARE) Unit, NHMRC Leadership Fellow
Professor Yuming Guo is Professor of Global Environmental Health and Biostatistics & Head of the Monash University Climate, Air Quality Research Unit. His research interests focus on environmental epidemiology, biostatistics, air pollution, climate change, urban design, residential environment, environmental exposure assessment, and infectious disease modelling. He has developed several large international multidisciplinary collaborations to assess the impacts of environmental factors on human health. He was awarded Leader Fellowship and Career Development Fellowship by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, the Reuters Hot List of The World’s Top Climate Scientists, Tony McMichael Award by International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Top Ranked Young Tall Poppy Award by Australian Institute of Policy and Sciences, and Research Excellence Award by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. He is an associate editor for Environmental Health Perspectives, Environment International, and PLOS Medicine. He has published >400 peer reviewed papers in prestigious journals including New Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, BMJ, and Nature.
Dr Jeanette Reece
Research Fellow, Neuroepidemiology Unit, Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
Dr Jeanette Reece is an epidemiologist with research experience across a range of fields including infectious diseases, colorectal cancer and more recently, multiple sclerosis (MS). After completing a PhD examining novel HIV vaccines and viral elimination strategies at the Doherty Institute, she conducted research examining hereditary cancer risks and colorectal cancer surgical outcomes in the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Melbourne. In her current role as a senior research fellow in the Neuroepidemiology Unit at the University of Melbourne, she performs research examining modifiable lifestyle risk factors and health outcomes in people with MS. This includes running a large international randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness of an innovative MS online lifestyle modification course developed by researchers within the Neuroepidemiology Unit to improve the health and wellbeing of people with MS. Another project involves comprehensively examining the effect of different dietary components on health outcomes in a large cohort of participants in the UK MS Register.
Associate Professor Hassan Vally
Associate Professor in Epidemiology, School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of Health, Deakin University
Associate Professor Hassan Vally is an epidemiologist with over 20 years of experience conducting research in infectious diseases and chronic diseases epidemiology with a particular interest in the investigation and response to epidemics. He also has a wide range of research interests which encompass nutrition, maternal and child health, indigenous health, foodborne disease and global health.
Although in most recent years Associate Professor Vally’s focus has been mainly in Australia, he has extensive experience working in developing countries. This work has principally concentrated on building capacity and responding to public health emergencies in the Asia Pacific region.
Associate Professor Vally also is heavily involved in science and risk communication and has appeared regularly in the media during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to consulting for both State and Federal Government during the pandemic, he has spent considerable time advising the public through regular media appearances and written opinion pieces.
Associate Professor Vally is also a dedicated educator and is involved in teaching undergraduates and postgraduates. He has a particular interest in designing and delivering training courses in epidemiological methods, data analysis and interpretation, and in the critiquing of evidence in the health domain.
Associate Professor Ken Winkel
Coordinator, Population Health Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne
Dr Ken Winkel is an Associate Professor within the Centre for Health Policy within the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne and Honorary Fellow of the University's Medical History Museum. A leading Australian toxinologist, he was the Director of the Australian Venom Research Unit (AVRU) 1999-2015, and is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine (ACTM) and a member of the Biodiversity Committee of the Doctors for the Environment Australia. He is an alumnus of the University of Melbourne (PhD, Walter and Elisa Hall Institute; WEHI), the University of Queensland (MBBS) (BMedSci, Tropical Health Program, QIMR) and the Swiss Tropical Institute. He is also Past President of the ACTM and is a member of the editorial board of the affliated journal Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. Dr Winkel is also active in teaching, lecturing to medical and science students and graduates, and has presented more than 100 papers and posters at Australian and international meetings and published more than 100 papers. His work has attracted more than $7m in funding since 1996. He has been awarded the ACTM Medal for Distinguished Contribution to Tropical Medicine as well as the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health Open (2020) and Program Innovation (2022) Teaching Awards.
Professor Mark Jenkins
Director, Centre for Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Population & Global Health, The University of Melbourne
I am the Director of the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, in the School of Population and Global Health at The University of Melbourne (UoM). I am a cancer epidemiologist leading research programs working with statisticians, molecular geneticists, clinicians, computer scientists, health behaviour change psychologists and language and culture experts.
My genetic epidemiology program is determining the risks of cancers for carriers of inherited genetic mutations and determining the genetic and environmental factors that are associated with the reduction or increase in these risks (modifiers). My screening program focuses on increasing participation in national bowel cancer screening programs, including developing and trialling modifications to the program delivery and the evaluation of such modifications.
Professor Bircan Erbas
Professor, La Trobe University
Bircan Erbas PhD is Associate Dean, Research & Industry Engagement, School of Psychology & Public Health, Deputy Chair of Academic Board and Professor of Public Health, La Trobe University. Bircan earned her B.Sc. (honours) and PhD (NHMRC scholarship) at The University of Melbourne. She was subsequently awarded an NHMRC Public Health (Australia) fellowship at The University of Melbourne. In 2007 she forfeited her fellowship and accepted a Senior Lectureship position at La Trobe University.
Erbas has an exceptional record of service, research and engagement. Elected one of four women to lead the first peer-support women’s academic promotion support program at La Trobe University (2017, 2018). National/International recognition of scholarship includes Harvard fellowship (2008), shortlisted for the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Prestigious Paediatric Research Awards (2010) and Vice-Chancellor Award for Excellence in Research (2010).
Over $7 million in research funding as chief investigator including ~ $1.3 million as the principal investigator. Over 200 high quality research publications demonstrated through journal impact. Journal reviewer of more than 30 journals and currently on the editorial board of three journals. As an experienced and effective leading educationalist, has contributed to the development and delivery of numerous postgraduate subjects. Reputation as an outstanding graduate researcher supervisor with 10 PhD completions.