Research leadership

Staff from numerous faculties across the University are involved with the centre as academic members. A team of research domain leaders and research theme leaders, together with a number of senior recruits made possible by philanthropy and Faculty contributions, coordinate these activities.


Domain leaders

Biology

David James

Professor David James FAA
David James is the Leonard P. Ullmann Chair of Metabolic Systems Biology at the Charles Perkins Centre and Professor in the School of Molecular Bioscience and the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney. David undertook his PhD at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and his undergraduate degree and Honours at University of New South Wales. David has made major contributions to our understanding of insulin action. In the late 1980s he published a series of journal articles in Nature describing the identification and characterization of the insulin responsive glucose transporter GLUT4. He then focused his efforts on unveiling the cellular and molecular control of insulin-stimulated glucose transport. He has also made contributions in the area of SNARE proteins, signal transduction and more recently in systems biology.

Society and environment

Professor Paul Griffiths

Professor Paul Griffiths
Paul Griffiths, a philosopher of science with a focus on biology and psychology, is leading the centre's work on how to integrate biomedical research with research on the wider social, political, historical and environmental contexts that shape the lives and health of individual people. This domain will place our knowledge about the biological bases of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease within wider contexts, such as human psychology, historical precedents, social and cultural norms, food production and the built environment.

Solutions

Professor Stephen Colagiuri

Professor Stephen Colagiuri
Stephen Colagiuri is Professor of Metabolic Health and Director of The Boden Institute at the University of Sydney. He is also Co-Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity. His research interests focus on the development and implementation of evidence-based guidelines, cardiometabolic and vascular risk assessment, diabetes screening and prevention, economic aspects of diabetes and obesity, and diabetes care delivery.

Populations

Domain leader to be appointed


Research theme leaders

Nutrition

Professor David Raubenheimer

Professor David Raubenheimer
David Raubenheimer joined the University in April 2013 as the Leonard P Ullmann Chair in Nutritional Ecology. He is a leading expert in nutritional ecology: the discipline that studies how nutrition-related aspects of an animal’s environment interact with its biology to determine health and fitness outcomes. His approach is comparative, using ecological and evolutionary diversity to understand these interactions. His studies of insects, fish, birds and a variety of mammals have helped develop a new approach to human nutrition-related problems, such as the dietary causes of obesity.

Physical activity, exercise and energy expenditure

Professor Adrian Bauman

Professor Adrian Bauman
Adrian Bauman is internationally renowned for his work on the epidemiology of physical activity. In recent years, he has shown how reducing sitting could help prevent the development of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. He is also Director of the Prevention Research Collaboration in the University’s School of Public Health.

“The Charles Perkins Centre has the exciting potential to bring researchers from different disciplines together to tackle the challenging public health problems of physical inactivity and obesity. This is urgent and important as we can’t solve these complex problems from the health sector alone."

Sleep

Professor Peter Cistulli

Professor Peter Cistulli
Peter Cistulli is the ResMed Chair in Sleep Medicine. He is leading the University's research, clinical, and educational activities in advancing the field of sleep-disordered breathing and its impact on chronic disease management. Chronic diseases, such as chronic lung disease, heart disease, stroke and diabetes, are the leading causes of mortality in the world. There is growing evidence that sleep-disordered breathing and other disruptors of sleep play an exacerbating role in many of these chronic disorders, and that intervention improves outcomes.
Professor Cistulli has been an active researcher clinician in respiratory and sleep medicine for 25 years years, and has worked at the University as Professor of Respiratory Medicine for the last 10 years. He heads the Centre for Sleep Health and Research at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital.

Complex systems and modelling

Professor Zdenka Kuncic

Professor Zdenka Kuncic

Zdenka Kuncic is a Professor of Physics at the School of Physics, where she leads a highly interdisciplinary research program at the interface between the physical and life sciences. Her research interests include radiation biophysics, biomedical imaging, targeted molecular imaging and therapy, computational nanomedicine and complex systems modelling.

Within her team, physics-based methods (experimental as well as theoretical, mathematical and computational modelling approaches) and fundamental physical principles are applied to advance our understanding of complex living systems and human diseases.
 She leads the Integrative Systems Lab and the Judith and David Coffey LifeLab at the Charles Perkins Centre.

Politics, governance and ethics

Professor Paul Griffiths

Professor Paul Griffiths (acting)
Paul Griffiths is leading this theme, which considers the ethical and political dimension of decisions made about the prevention and treatment of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Dr Josephine Gwynn

Dr Josephine Gwynn (acting)


Featured senior recruits

Diabetes NSW Chair in Diabetes

Currently recruiting

The Australian Diabetes Council donated $5 million to establish the Australian Diabetes Council Chair of Diabetes at the Charles Perkins Centre. The Australian Diabetes Council elected to partner with the Charles Perkins Centre because it brings together experts and researchers from different disciplines in collaboration to ease the daily impact of chronic disease by translating the work of the University of Sydney into real-world solutions.

The Financial Markets Foundation for Children Chair of Translational Childhood Medicine

Currently recruiting

The Financial Markets Foundation for Children Chair of Translational Childhood Medicine is funded by the Financial Markets Foundation for Children. The chair will oversee an Australian-first study of 10,000 couples and their children, which will show in unprecedented detail how biology interacts with environment and lifestyle to affect a child’s health.

Leonard P Ullmann Chair in Psychology

Professor Sharon Naismith

Professor Sharon Naismith

The Leonard P Ullmann Chair of Psychology is one of four chairs funded by the proceeds of the 2011 sale of a Picasso painting, donated to the University. It is named in honour of social and behavioural sciences advocate, Leonard Paul Ullmann.

Sharon Naismith is the Leonard P Ullman Chair in Psychology at the Charles Perkins Centre. She is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and holds an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship. Her main research interests are focused on the identification and early intervention of modifiable risk factors for dementia. Working across the Charles Perkins Centre, Brain & Mind Centre and School of Psychology, her work is multifaceted. Her clinical program incorporates neuropsychological, neurological, and sleep/circadian assessments and brain imaging to characterise novel biomarkers and lifestyle risk factors for dementia. She also investigates a number of easily translatable interventions for cognitive decline including brain training, sleep-wake interventions, antidepressants, oxytocin, dietary supplements, exercise and e-health.

Leonard P Ullman Chair in Translational Metabolic Health

Currently recruiting

The Leonard P Ullmann Chair in Translational Metabolic Health is one of four chairs funded by the proceeds of the 2011 sale of a Picasso painting, donated to the University. It is named in honour of social and behavioural sciences advocate, Leonard Paul Ullmann.

Janet Dora Hine Chair & Professor of Politics Governance and Ethics

Currently recruiting

The Janet Dora Hine Chair & Professor of Politics Governance and Ethics is made possible thanks to a bequest from alumna, Janet Dora Hine. Her wish was to fund a chair to examine the impact of politics, governance and ethics in the management of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Resmed Chair in Biomedical Engineering

Professor Philip de Chazal

Philip de Chazal

Philip de Chazal is the ResMed Chair of Biomedical Engineering at the School of Electrical and Information Engineering. Previously, he was an ARC Future Fellow at the University of Western Sydney. Prior to this he worked for 9 years in industry as a founder, director and chief technical officer for BiancaMed in Dublin, Ireland. His specialisation is biomedical digital signal processing with a focus on monitoring of sleep and the cardiorespiratory system. He also has extensive experience in commercialising university research.

Professor of Medicines Use and Health Outcomes

Professor Lisa Bero

Professor Lisa Bero

Lisa Bero is a pharmacologist and researcher in evidence-based health care who is internationally renowned for her studies on the integrity of clinical and basic research evidence that is used to influence health policy. Prior to joining the University of Sydney in 2014, she was Professor at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Pharmaceutical Research and Science Policy and is a member and chair of the WHO’s Essential Medicines Committee as well as a member of the Pan American health Organisation (PAHO) Advisory Committee on Health Research. Currently, she leads the ‘Bias in Research’ project node at the Charles Perkins Centre.

Professor of Nursing

Professor Robyn Gallagher

Professor Robyn Gallagher

The Chair of Nursing at Charles Perkins Centre is funded by Sydney Nursing School to support the important role of nurses in research for people at risk or affected by obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The Chair leads nursing research and develops nurse researchers through higher degree by research and postdoctoral programs.

Robyn Gallagher is the Professor of Nursing at Sydney Nursing School based at the Charles Perkins Centre and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her research aims to help patients to recover and lead healthier lives after admission to hospital for heart problems such as heart attack, cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure, with a focus on factors that influence patients’ ability to self-manage, including cognition and health literacy. Her work has been internationally recognised and has led to alterations in clinical practice and significant changes in policy. Professor Gallagher is the elected Chair of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Cardiovascular Nursing Council and a Fellow of the American Heart Association Cardiovascular Nursing Council.

Associate Professor of Exercise, Health and Physical Activity

Associate Professor Emmanual Stamatakis

Associate Professor Emmanuel (Manos) Stamatakis

Manos Stamatakis was a senior physical activity and exercise epidemiologist in the UK, lead of University College London’s Physical Activity Research Group and an Associate Professor at University of Sydney’s School of Public Health. He has published over 90 papers on the epidemiology of physical activity and sedentary behaviour, obesity, mental health, and their associations with biomarkers. He joined the University of Sydney as an Associate Professor of Exercise, Health, and Physical Activity in early 2014, currently he is a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellow at Charles Perkins Centre and the School of Public Health. Currently, he leads two of the Charles Perkins Centre’s research nodes, Incidental Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour, and Dog Ownership and Human Health.

Director and Professor of the Heart Research Institute

Professor Shaun Jackson

Professor Shaun Jackson

Professor Shaun Jackson was recently appointed as Director of Cardiovascular Research, a joint initiative between the Heart Research Institute (NSW) and the Charles Perkins Centre (the University of Sydney). In addition to this role, he holds several other titles and adjunct roles, including: Senior Principal Research Fellow, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia (2015-current), Adjunct Professor, Dept. Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, USA (2009-current) and Adjunct Professor, Monash University.

Chair in Oral Health

Professor Joerg Eberhard

Professor Joerg Eberhard

The Chair of Lifespan Oral Health was established thanks to a gift of $3.6 million to the Faculty of Dentistry and the Charles Perkins Centre from the Abrahams family. The aim of the gift is to improve oral health and related conditions that affect the whole body through multidisciplinary research and education.

Professor Joerg Eberhard, med.dent, MME, is a dental-scientist translational researcher, Chair of Lifespan Oral Health in the Faculty of Dentistry and the Charles Perkins Centre, the University of Sydney. He graduated in Dentistry in 1993 from the University of Duesseldorf, Germany and was trained as a Periodontist at the University Hospital Kiel afterwards. In 1999 he started a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California at Santa Barbara and was awarded the Venia Legendi in 2003 at the University of Kiel. Between 2005 and 2007 Professor Eberhard was trained at the University Heidelberg in Medical Education. From 2008 to his moving to Australia, he was full Professor and clinical-scientist at Hannover Medical School. Professor Eberhard joined the Faculty of Dentistry in April 2016.

Chair in Health Economics

Currently recruiting

Chair in Rehabilitation Sciences

Currently recruiting

Chair in Cardiovascular Physiology

Currently recruiting

Chair in Obesity Science

Currently recruiting