COVID-19 response and research

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 shone a spotlight on public health around the world, and our staff made crucial contributions to Australia’s COVID-19 pandemic response, through research, leadership and education.

Our expertise across infectious diseases epidemiology, mental health and social sciences, occupational health, public health education, evidence synthesis, clinical trials, health systems, intensive care and trauma research put us at the forefront of Australia’s management of the pandemic.

We’ve responded to this challenge by pausing or adapting existing projects and pivoting to research that informs best treatment for patients; modelling the efficacy of proposed social distancing measures; and seeking to understand the physical and mental health impacts of Australians encumbered by social distancing restrictions or working on the frontline of healthcare.

Experts across several of our domains were seconded to Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services, where they provided high-level advice, contributed to COVID-19 related health policy development, engaged with the public at government media briefings, oversaw pandemic management and contact tracing, and provided intensive public health training to junior doctors.

Success stories from our staff and students include: