Meet the team

Dr Thach Tran

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Thach Tran has been a member of the Global and Women’s Health team since 2010 and currently leads the social determinants of health research team including two post-doctoral fellows, one MPhil and three PhD candidates, and three research assistants. The team is conducting two of the unit’s flagship programs. These projects are cluster randomised controlled trials taking place in Vietnam; the Learning Clubs program to improve women’s health and infant’s health and development, and the Resourceful Adolescent Program to improve adolescent mental health.

The Learning Clubs intervention is an evidence-based program combining perinatal stage-specific information, learning activities and social support. This is the first trial of its kind to address eight risks to the early development of children in a multicomponent intervention in a resource-constrained setting.

The Resourceful Adolescent Program has been used in over 3000 schools in Australia and successfully introduced in 15 countries since its establishment in 1996. This adaptation will provide essential evidence for integration of the model into school-based programs in Vietnam.

Global health research can improve health and achieve equity for a large number of people.

Growing up in Vietnam, and working for more than ten years in public health research in his home country before moving to Australia, Dr Tran understands the complexities of operating in a resource constrained setting.

Dr Tran is a specialist in biostatistics, particularly longitudinal data analysis. He has a keen interest in early childhood development, maternal mental health, intimate partner violence, child malnutrition, adolescent mental health and healthy ageing.

Dr Tran is driven by an overarching interest in health equity and is inspired by the ability of the global health sector to deliver health improvements at scale.

“Doing research to prevent and address global health challenges can help to improve health and achieve equity for a larger number of people,” he says.

In order to achieve impact at scale, Dr Tran believes that health equity – with a concentration on poorer, vulnerable, and underserved populations – and multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches within and beyond health sciences are required.

Dr Tran feels that global health research will continue to evolve to incorporate people and partners in multi-country studies.

“Collaborative research between countries and within global regions will become necessary to identify, prevent and address the issues that directly or indirectly affect health of people in more than a single nation,” he says.