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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.

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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.

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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.

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Our Communication Sciences and Disorders Research 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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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