New research projects

Professor David Johnston

ARC Discovery grant: Microeconomic Analysis of Socioeconomic Inequity in Mental Healthcare
with Michael Shields, Nicole Black and Anthony Harris

The project aims to describe the extent of socioeconomic inequity in Australian mental healthcare, identify the causal pathways that drive socioeconomic inequities, and economically evaluate programs aimed at increasing healthcare access. Microeconometric methods will be used to analyse large, longitudinal survey and administrative datasets that have not previously been used for this purpose. The project expects to provide a greater understanding of the barriers people face in accessing treatment and how to overcome them. Such understanding is currently missing from academic literature. Ultimately, the research should aid in the design of cost-effective policies that improve mental health and that reduce inequities in treatment access.

ARC Linkage grant - Insecure Work and the Mental Health of Workers and their Families
with Michael Shields and Sonja De New

This project aims to explore the relationship between insecure employment and mental health by applying advanced econometric methods to large administrative datasets and newly collected survey data. This is expected to provide causal policy-relevant estimates of how job and economic insecurity is affecting the mental health of workers and their families, and for whom the effects are most harmful. It is also expected to inform on how mental health influences the types of jobs that people enter into. This research should provide significant benefits, including the evidence needed to improve existing workplace programs and policies, and to ensure that assistance is efficiently targeted to those workers and industries with the greatest need.

Professor Anthony Harris

NHMRC Synergy Grants: Improving patient outcomes through better use of blood products
Jointly with Maame Esi Woode, Zoe McQuilten

Prof Anthony Harris will lead part of the NHMRC Synergy Grant on improving patient outcomes through better use of blood products.

National Blood Authority Grant: A registry analysis of the impact of perioperative patient blood management guidelines on blood use, patient outcomes and costs for cardiac surgery
Jointly with Dennis Petrie and Adam Irving

Prof Anthony Harris will lead the NBA Grant. This grant is being provided as part of the National Blood Sector Research and Development Program which aims to facilitate world-class research and development in Australia that contributes to optimising the use, management and administration of blood products, and improves patient outcomes.

Department of Health CRISTAL Project: Cluster Randomised Trial of Aspirin versus Low molecular weight heparin for venous thromboembolism
Jointly with Ian Harris

Prof Anthony Harris will lead part of the DOH CRISTAL project. Hip and knee replacement surgery represent the two most costly medical procedures performed in Australia (over $2 billion in direct costs annually). Venous thromboembolism is an uncommon but serious complication of joint replacement surgery and although chemoprophylaxis is routinely recommended, there is uncertainty and controversy regarding which drugs should be used. Systematic reviews have highlighted the lack of high-quality evidence and the need for large high-quality trials comparing aspirin to other drugs.

NHMRC Clinical trials

Prof Anthony Harris will lead part of the NHMRC Clinical trials on A randomised controlled trial of telephone-delivered psychological treatment to reduce methamphetamine use.

Associate Prof Gang Chen

NHMRC IDEAS GRANT - Screening for Primary Aldosteronism: Outcomes, Economics and Biomarkers
with Dr Jun Yang and Dr Maame Ise Woode

Associate Professor Gang Chen will lead part of the NHMRC Ideas Grant, with colleagues at Hudson Institute of Medical Research, titled 'Screening for Primary Aldosteronism: Outcomes, Economics and Biomarkers'. Hypertension is a major cause of strokes, blindness, heart attacks and kidney failure. Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a curable cause of hypertension. Unfortunately, PA often goes undiagnosed as most doctors do not screen for it, leading to hypertension that is difficult to control and high risk of strokes and heart attacks at a younger age. This project will find out exactly how many people in our community have PA and find new cost-effective ways to make the diagnosis earlier.

Department of Health - Precision Medicine for hypertension: Early detection of primary aldosteronism

Associate Professor Gang Chen will lead part of the DOH grant. Hypertension is a major cause of strokes, blindness, heart attacks and kidney failure. Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a curable cause of hypertension. Unfortunately, PA often goes undiagnosed as most doctors do not screen for it, leading to hypertension that is difficult to control and high risk of strokes and heart attacks at a younger age. This project will find out exactly how many people in our community have PA and find new cost-effective ways to make the diagnosis earlier.

Dr Maame Esi Woode

NHMRC Ideas Grant - The algorithm will see you now: ethical, legal and social implications of adopting machine learning systems for diagnosis and screening
with Associate Prof Gang Chen

Dr. Maame Esi Woode will lead part of the NHMRC Project Grant, with colleagues at the Universities of Wollongong, Sydney, Adelaide and Macquarie University, titled ‘The algorithm will see you now: ethical, legal and social implications of adopting machine learning systems for diagnosis and screening.’ The project focuses on machine learning - a form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) - which can now diagnose and screen for conditions including breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. The multi-disciplinary team will systematically examine how AI is changing healthcare, and the values of data scientists, health professionals and the public. Drawing on ethics, social sciences and the law, the study will develop a new approach to guide future use of machine learning for diagnosis and screening.