Areas of research strength

The Faculty of Health Sciences leads the world in allied health research and education. We collaborate with external partners and engage with real-world problems so our graduates can anticipate the healthcare issues of tomorrow while overcoming the challenges of today.

Our core research themes

Physical activity, lifestyle, ageing and wellbeing

age swim

Physical inactivity is a key risk factor for non-communicable disease, cancer and diabetes. Physical inactivity is worsening worldwide. Globally, one in three adults is not active enough.
Our researchers in physical activity, lifestyle, ageing, and wellbeing focus on combining exercise, and other health behaviours to prevent chronic disease and improve rehabilitation.

Musculoskeletal health

doctor with child

One in five Australians lives with chronic pain. The economic and social burden is enormous, from healthcare costs, lost productivity, social isolation and impact on friends and family. The expenses caused by back problems alone are estimated to cost the economy more than $8 billion each year.

Disability and mental health

doctor with adult

The rights and needs of people with disabilities have been recognised in the goals for the United Nations agenda. The WHO and the World Bank ‘World Report on Disability’ emphasises the importance of providing equal access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities.

Communication sciences and disorders

doctor with child

Speech and communication are fundamental to everyday life. We build our social networks by communicating with others. One in seven Australians cannot communicate effectively. Whether temporary or permanent, communication problems can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.

Cancer diagnosis and rehabilitation


Cancer is common: one in three women and one in two men are diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85. Cancer is the leading cause of death in Australia, accounting for about three in every 10 deaths. Our researchers are improving the diagnosis of cancer and the consequences arising from cancer treatment.

Our cross-cutting themes

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

aboriginal art

We are committed to improving health, education and social outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Our research focuses on the development of culturally appropriate health and disability services that increase access to health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Medical imaging


Medical imaging is an important enabling technology that can
be applied to a diverse range of complex health problems, including mental health and cancer. Our team of leading researchers brings together complementary strengths from different disciplines to pioneer the development and application of new imaging techniques that improve our ability to understand, diagnose and treat disease.

eHealth and health service delivery

iphone and hands

eHealth is revolutionising healthcare, using developments in computer technology and telecommunications to deliver more effective and ef cient health information and services. For a country as vast as Australia, eHealth eliminates the challenges imposed by geographical distance. The advent of online service delivery is enabling practitioners to care for our ageing population, as well as young children, in a more cost-effective manner.