New ways of thinking
Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease account for half the deaths in Australia and have become epidemics of global proportions.
The majority of initiatives addressing these diseases have approached them as medical conditions, concentrating on their complex biology at the levels of genes, cells and organs.These are important areas for research, but the causes and consequences of these diseases are much more complicated than biology alone.
The Charles Perkins Centre, however, will look at things differently.
We are bringing together outstanding minds from within the University and beyond to improve our understanding of the impact of other factors, such as our psychological makeup, our education, the cultural norms we grow up with, the economic pressures that shape our lives, our surrounding built environment, and the agricultural and food industries we depend on for food.
The centre is also developing innovative, multidisciplinary teaching programs to inspire the next generation of researchers and practitioners.
Our research will focus on the following four interlinked domains:
- describing populations: the phenomenology of disease
- biology of disease
- biology in a societal and environmental context
- solution design, implementation and efficacy.
Several themes run as threads throughout all four domains, and offer a means of tying together the entire research network within the Charles Perkins Centre as well as linking to external research.
These themes include:
- physical activity, exercise and energy expenditure
- complex systems and sustainability
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
- politics, governance and ethics of health.
Our research domains will be addressed by a network of interlinked project nodes established around specific multidisciplinary research projects or activities. As collaborations emerge, the centre will assist researchers to grow partnerships into project nodes.
Key to research domains diagram
- Describing populations: the phenomenology of disease
- Biology of disease
- Biology in a societal and environmental context
- Solution design, implementation and efficacy
Some of the titles of our growing project nodes include:
- Global and population specific human responses to macro nutrition (led by David Raubenheimer)
- A feasibility study for a pre/early conception cohort (Louise Baur and Len Storlien)
- Microbial ecology, diversity, evaluation and control (Andy Holmes and Eddie Holmes)
- Food animal nutrition and diet optimisation (Aaron Cowieson)
- Evolutionary medicine and public health (Stephen Corbett)
- Translational gerontology (David Le Couteur)
- Ethics of chronic disease (Paul Griffiths)
- Economics of chronic disease (Colm Harmon and Deborah Schofield)
- Critical social science of chronic disease (Paul Griffiths and Deborah Lupton)
- Aboriginal macro nutrition (Alan Cass, Kerin O’Dea, Roger Smith, Josephine Gwynn, Nicole Turner)
- Health literacy chronic disease network (Kirsten McCaffery and Jim Gillespie)
- Systems approaches to the prevention of lifestyle related chronic disease - (an NHMRC Partnership Grant) - (Andrew Wilson)
- E-health, gaming and avatars (David Cook, Stephen Twigg)
- The Broken Hill healthy community project (David Lyle)
- Healthy food production and supply chains; from paddock to plate (Salah Sukkarieh)