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Research at the Faculty of Health Sciences

Discovering new ways to improve health and wellbeing for all
We are solving critical health problems by discovering new ways of tackling society’s biggest challenges, influencing health policy with transformative thinking and developing new models of healthcare delivery.

About health sciences research

The Faculty of Health Sciences lead research into health and wellbeing that continues to make a real difference to people's lives. We do this through multidisciplinary and collaborative research, partnering with local and global organisations and working closely with people and communities to identify solutions that directly translate to health benefits. By translating our research into practice, we improve lives.

Health Sciences research brochure

Health Sciences Research Brochure

Areas of research excellence

We have prioritised a number of cross-cutting research themes that reflect the strength, diversity and depth of our research. This structure enables us to be responsive to changes in the health and medical research landscape and rapidly address societal, industry, government and global priorities.

Download the Health Sciences Research Brochure (pdf, 11.9MB)

Research highlights

  • We collaborated with BreastScreen NSW and the Sydney Breast Clinic, to design a web-based program that improves radiologists’ skills in detecting breast cancer – now used by 95 percent of radiologists in Australia.
  • We launched the Dr Liang Voice Program, following a $10 million donation to advance the assessment and treatment of voice disorders.
  • A Cancer Institute NSW Future Research Leader Fellowship was awarded to Dr Kimberley Docking to work with children with brain cancer and leukaemia in conjunction with the Kids Cancer Alliance.
  • A third consecutive NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship was awarded to Professor Leanne Togher to develop communication treatments for people with traumatic brain injury and dementia. 
  • We designed the first effective treatments for stuttering in children.
  • We were recently awarded the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre – a transformative $229 million (including in-kind contributions) investment to improve the health of Australians and advance the economy in a first-of-its-kind digital health partnership.

Our research focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and disability issues, with the aim to improve health outcomes, promote social and emotional wellbeing and address health, educational and social inequities.

The team draws on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's knowledge, leadership and practice by working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities. Together we identify complex problems for investigation, agree on the most culturally appropriate and rigorous research methods, interpret the results, and disseminate new knowledge back to communities and policy makers.

Key researchers
Sydney Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics

We explore data development needs and issues that will contribute to the advancement and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We encourage best practice in data definition, collection and storage. We also undertake data set development, collection and analysis and build capacity in the sector. 

Our research promotes healthy lifestyles and wellbeing across the lifespan. We have multidisciplinary teams focusing on ageing and health, climate change and vulnerability, exercise, health and performance, living well with chronic disease, neurological rehabilitation, sports injury, sports performance and activity promotion, and work and health.

Key researchers
Ageing and Health Research Team

We conduct multidisciplinary research that informs constructive responses to population ageing. We aim to understand and develop better ways to enhance the health, independence, wellbeing and participation of older Australians. 

Ageing, Participation and Safety Research Team

We investigate ways to improve the wellbeing of older people and prevent falls. We are also interested in improving the access to preventative care for specific cultural groups.

Exercise Physiology and Nutrition

We focus on the human body's acute responses and adaptions to stressful stimuli (eg exercise). Our research ranges from exercise training studies of elite athletes to individuals with limited exercise capacity as a consequence of sedentary lifestyle, chronic disease and physical disability. 

Lung and Heart Physiotherapy Research Group

Our research examines exercise rehabilitation for chronic and acute-on-chronic cardiac and pulmonary disease, lung mechanics and flow-rates during exercise, physiological responses to exercise and airway clearance techniques, implementation of evidence-based guidelines, and adherence to treatment (exercise).

Work and Health

We look at how to minimise the ill health and injury caused by work structures and how to maximise the positive contributions of work to wellbeing and quality of life.

Learn about the Faculty of Medicine and Health's research in lifespan and ageing.

Our faculty’s multidisciplinary cancer expertise uniquely positions us to make a real difference to individuals diagnosed and/or being treated for cancer. Our research is transforming knowledge and impacting upon clinical practice in areas such as early diagnosis, treatment of the disease and its side-effects, and the development of novel pharmaceuticals that can diagnose and treat cancer at the same time.

Key researchers
BreastScreen Reader Assessment Strategy (BREAST)

In partnership with BreastScreen Australia, we monitor and identify reasons for mammographic errors and create innovative solutions to reduce errors. Learn more about the BreastScreen Reader Assessment Strategy

Learn about the Faculty of Medicine and Health's cancer research.

Our team focuses on evidence-based assessment and treatment options for communication and swallowing disorders in babies, children, adolescents and adults. We are known for our cutting-edge treatments for speech disorders in childhood, reading disorders, prevention and treatment of stuttering, voice disorder treatment and the treatment of communication difficulties which can follow an acquired brain injury such as stroke, dementia or traumatic brain injury.

We also provide clinical services to the public through our Communication Disorders Treatment and Research Clinic and the Voice Research Laboratory.

Key researchers
Communication and Disorders Treatment and Research Clinic

We are a teaching and research clinic and are one of the world's largest speech pathology teaching clinics.

Communication Sciences and Disorders Research Team

We focus on the nature and treatment of communication difficulties in people of all ages. We aim to substantially increase the quality and quantity of research available to practicing clinicians to use in evidence based practice.

Dr Liang Voice Program

Leveraging expertise in speech pathology and ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgery, the Dr Liang Voice Program aims to improve the future diagnosis, treatment and recovery of patients with laryngeal conditions. 

Kids' Talk Lab

We strive to understand individual differences in how children learn to talk, including children who are typically developing and children who have developmental or acquired speech and language impairments.

Rapid Syllable Transition Treatment (ReST)

Our research is translated into practice, developing treatment can improve the speech accuracy of children and young people with childhood apraxia of speech. Learn more about ReST here

TBI Express

TBI Express is a communication-training program for people with traumatic brain injury, their families, friends and carers. Learn more about TBI Express here.

Our aim is to improve the situation for people with disability and mental ill-health in Australia and our nearest regions, so they can experience active and meaningful lives as fully included members of the community.

We do so by undertaking research that focuses on individual needs, listening to people, championing co-creation and learning from best practice.

Key researchers
The Australian Family and Disability Studies Research Collaboration

We're committed to identifying, promoting and addressing the issues faced by individuals with a disability and families where a parent or child has a disability. Our broad aim is to actively promote the full participation of individuals and families in the life of their respective communities. Find out more about The Australian Family and Disability Studies Research Collaboration.

Centre for Disability Research and Policy

We bring together the University’s leading expertise within the disability field to create a greater understanding of disability. We also improve disability services and programs by increasing the use of evidence and research in policy decisions in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. Learn more about the Centre for Disability Research and Policy

Motor Control and Skill Acquistion Research Group

We study the nervous system in areas of study such as the speech movements in people who stutter, and the control of force in people with cerebral palsy.

The Neurological Rehabilitation Research Group

We conduct research in people with neurological health conditions (eg stroke, traumatic brain injury and Parkinson’s disease). We address important clinical issues including falls, physical inactivity, and the efficacy of allied health interventions to improve functional outcomes. 

WHO Collaborating Centre in Health Workforce Development in Rehabilitation and Long Term Care 

We aim to build health workforce capacity to ensure quality rehabilitation and long term care, in response to the challenge presented by the World Report on Disability (World Health Organization and the World Bank, 2011). Find out more about the WHO Collaborating Centre.

Wobbly Hub Rural Research Team

We are a network of researchers dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities and their carers living in rural and remote Australia. Our core mission is to understand issues involved in accessing allied health services in rural and remote areas, and to develop innovative, community-based solutions. Learn more about the Wobbly Hub Rural Research Team's research.

Learn about the Faculty of Medicine and Health's research in mental health.

Our researchers are using mobile devices and health data to transform health and wellness, working across a wide variety of areas including cardiology and cancer.

We look at a range of eHealth applications including consumer-facing programs and how we can develop sophisticated clinical decision support systems and link clinical performance with improvement and professional development using health data.

We work closely with the Australian government and industry internationally.

Key researchers
Cyberpsychology Research Group

We are Australia’s first formal research team that investigates the impact of consumer technology (eg smartphones, video games, social networking, wearable technology, VR and AI) on human behaviour. We also work with industry partners to establish an evidence-base for digital solutions that aim to positively impact health outcomes. More about the Cyberpsychology Research Group

Healthcare Choice

Choice in healthcare affects all Australians, but we do not all have equal capacity to choose. This project examines the factors that affect how people make healthcare choices.


We are a network of international researchers, health professionals, regulators and policy makers. We provide a forum for discussion, promotion and collaboration on research in health governance. Find out more about HealthGov

National Centre for Classification in Health (NCCH)

We are Australia’s leading centre of expertise in health classification systems and their applications. The NCCH team consists of Australia’s top experts in health classifications and we can assist in the development, implementation and use of classifications for multiple purposes.

Research in Implementation Science and eHealth (RISe) Group 

We're at the forefront of the emerging fields of eHealth and implementation science and our primary research emphasis is on the impact of new technologies on clinician and consumer behaviour and outcomes. Find out more about our work the RISe Group

Learn about the Faculty of Medicine and Health's research in eHealth and health services.

Our researchers use medical imaging to conduct population screening for unsuspected disease, diagnose or stage new diseases, plan treatment and assess response to therapy. We develop new technologies and novel strategies for how to best use medical imaging.

Key researchers
Physics and Biomodelling

We undertake research to develop the next generation of advanced instrumentation and computational methods for imaging the distribution and kinetics of radio-pharmaceuticals in the body. 

In Australia, one in three (6.9 million) people have a musculoskeletal condition. Pain and disability associated with musculoskeletal conditions can significantly affect a person's quality of life, often impairing their ability to fully participate in family, social and working life. Our team carry out pioneering research to maintain musculoskeletal health and find solutions to prevent and treat the pain and disability associated with musculoskeletal disorders.

Key researchers
1000 norms project

We are currently measuring the physical capabilities of 1000 healthy individuals across the lifespan to help us identify the range of ‘normal’ variation in the healthy population. The 1000 Norms study aims to improve our understanding of the physical capabilities of the healthy population across the lifespan. 

Foot and Ankle Research Group

We're committed to improving the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of foot and ankle disorders. This includes ankle sprain and instability, musculoskeletal and sports injury, orthoses and footwear, lower limb biomechanics, neuromuscular disorders, paediatric orthopaedics and diabetes and wound care.

Spinal Pain Team

The Spinal Pain Team within the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Research Group is a vibrant group of researchers dedicated to improving the clinical management and outcomes for people who suffer from musculoskeletal disorders of the spine. Learn more about our research on our website

Learn about the Faculty of Medicine and Health's research in muskuloskeletal, bone and joint health.