Our People

Janette Perz_2015_1

Professor Janette Perz (opens in a new window)

Professor of Health Psychology and Acting Director in the Centre for Health Research, has a track record of highly productive collaborations in sexual and reproductive health research programs. She has been a chief investigator on 4 ARC grants, an associate investigator on 2 ARC projects and has been awarded several external research contracts and competitive University grants. Her research encompasses three related programs of research. Firstly, a significant research program in psycho-oncology including the evaluation of gendered experiences and interventions for cancer carers; research on sexual experiences and interventions for couples facing cancer; and an examination of changes to fertility across a range of cancer types. Secondly, a program of research in sexual and reproductive health including the experience of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in heterosexual and lesbian relationships; the development of and evaluation of a couple-based psychological intervention for PMS; sexual wellbeing and reproductive needs in CALD populations; and sexual and psychological wellbeing during menopause and midlife. Thirdly, research in mental health, early intervention and primary care models including cognitive-behavioural interventions for disadvantaged groups; interventions for post-partum depression; and gender and therapy referrals in general practice.

Jane Ussher_2015

Professor Jane Ussher (opens in a new window)

Professor, Centre for Health Research, was awarded a personal chair in Women's Health Psychology in 2002, and has been working on research on gendered health since she started her PhD in 1983. Her research focuses on examining gendered factors underlying mental health problems; subjectivity and identity in relation to the reproductive body and sexuality; and the gendered experience of cancer and cancer caring. As a trained clinical psychologist, she has also made a contribution to the integration of research and clinical practice in women's health, and has developed a women centred psychological treatment for PMS. She is currently CI on 4 ARC grants, examining a couples intervention for PMS; sexuality concerns for people with cancer and their partners; constructions and experiences of fertility after cancer; and smoking in young women . Jane is editor of the Routledge Women and Psychology book series, and author of a number of books, including The Psychology of the Female Body (Routlege 1989), Women's Madness: Misogyny or Mental Illness? (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991), Fantasies of Femininity: Reframing the Boundaries of Sex (Penguin, 1997), Managing the Monstrous Feminine: Regulating the Reproductive Body (Routledge, 2006), and Women's Madness: Myth or Experience? (Routledge 2011).

Phillipa Hay_2015

Professor Phillipa Hay (opens in a new window)

Professor of Mental Health, School of Medicine, is well known nationally and internationally for her work and area expertise in eating disorders. She leads a diverse research program with broad goals to reduce community and individual burden from eating disorders. These include seminal publications in analytic epidemiologic studies, treatments in eating disorders, and meta-analyses as well as primary research. She is a past-President of the Australian Academy for Eating Disorders, current deputy-Chair of the National Eating Disorders Collaboration, member of the Expert Committee the WHO update of the ICD-11, member of the scientific committee of the International Academy for Eating Disorders(ICED), and past co-convenor of the 2014 ICED meeting and  2006 Eating Disorders Research Society scientific meeting. Her research has been supported by the NHMRC, ARC and Rotary Mental health grants as well as nationally competitive grant funding in Brazil. In 2012 she became the founding Editor-in-Chief (with Prof Stephen Touyz) of the Journal for Eating Disorders. (opens in a new window)

Andrew Page_2015

Professor Andrew Page (opens in a new window)

Professor and Chair of Epidemiology in the Centre for Health Research, with 10 years research experience in epidemiology, psychology and public health research, and a developed track record in social determinants of health, suicide and mental health, injury prevention, breast cancer screening, sexual health, agricultural health, and adverse events following immunisation. Broad areas of interest include communicable and non-communicable disease outcomes using life-course, genetic and cultural epidemiology approaches, and cross-sectional and longitudinal designs at both ecological and individual levels. Andrew has also been involved in international research and capacity building projects in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, China and New Zealand. Andrew is also the Director of the Master of Epidemiology program in the School of Medicine.

Professor Hilary Bambrick (opens in a new window)

Professor and Chair of Population Health in the Centre for Health Research is an environmental epidemiologist and bioanthropologist whose principal research interests include the health impacts of climate variability and change, especially on more vulnerable populations here and abroad, and climate adaptation planning for better heath. She leads a team under the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship Health Cluster that is investigating vulnerability, impacts and adaptation in Australian urban environments, and another project that seeks to quantify health impacts on Australia's Indigenous population. Her international collaborations include research in the Pacific and Africa. The health outcomes she is particularly interested in include respiratory and vector-borne disease, child growth and development, and obesity-related disease. Hilary is also a Visiting Fellow at The Australian National University and Research Fellow at the Australia Institute. She consults for government, having led the health impacts assessment for the Garnaut Climate Change Review and the Health Synthesis for the Sydney Adaptation Strategy. In 2011 she received a NSW Young Tall Poppy Award for outstanding achievements in scientific research and communication.

Federico Girosi_2015

Associate Professor Federico Girosi (opens in a new window)

Associate Professor in the Centre for Health Research within the School of Medicine at the Western Sydney University. Dr Girosi is currently the leader of the Health Program within the Capital Market CRC (CMCRC), of which Western Sydney is a partner. Dr Girosi is also an investigator in the Geographic and Resource Analysis in Primary Health Care (GRAPHC) initiative, a project conducted in collaboration with the Australian National University that studies geographic variation in primary care. Dr Girosi is also leading a microsimulation project, in collaboration with CMCRC, that will allow long term projections of health and health care utilization for the near-elderly population in NSW. In a related project Dr Girosi is investigating the problem of clustering patient health trajectories using machine learning and data mining methods. Dr Girosi is also a CI in an NHMRC funded randomized control trial for an otitis media intervention in urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Dr Girosi holds a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University and worked at the RAND Corporation between 2003 and 2011 as a health economist and modeler. Dr Girosi also holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Genoa, Italy, and conducted research for 10 years at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, within the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working in the fields of computer vision and statistical learning theory.

Ilse Blignault

Associate Professor Ilse Blignault (opens in a new window)

Dr Ilse Blignault is a public health researcher with a psychology background and broad ranging expertise in clinical and community psychology, social anthropology and health services research and evaluation, as well as specialist expertise in mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. Her research has contributed to policy and service development in a diverse range of cultural contexts and settings including indigenous health, immigrant health and international health. She has expertise in quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods, including participant action research, and experience in coordinating large multi-site collaborations with multiple stakeholders including different levels of government and community organisations and groups. She has authored/co-authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications and major reports. A key focus of Dr Blignault's work has been to address complex social and health issues, in particular as they affect disadvantaged groups. She has extensive experience in resource-constrained and geographically isolated environments, including Indigenous communities in remote and rural Australia and developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr Shameran Slewa-Younan (opens in a new window)

Dr Slewa-Younan is currently Senior Lecturer in Mental Health at the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University. She has been working as a sessional psychologist to the NSW Transcultural Mental Health Centre since 2001 working specifically with Iraqi refugees. Since taking on her lectureship at Western Sydney, she has worked on several projects examining trauma related mental health disorders in this group of refugees, including the measurement of psychological and physiological measures of distress and the refinement of treatment approaches to PTSD in refugee populations more broadly. She has developed collaborative networks with academics at Universities of Melbourne and Uppsala (Sweden) and with NSW Refugee Health Service. She has published over 30 peer reviewed publications including an invited article on Iraqi refugee mental health for Australian Journal of Nursing and has appeared on ABC news regarding the mental health outcomes of Iraqi refugees in Australia.

Megan Williams

Dr Megan Williams (opens in a new window)

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Health Research   





Elizabeth Conroy

Dr Elizabeth Conroy (opens in a new window)

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Health Research, completed her PhD on child maltreatment, opioid dependence and comorbid mental health in 2010 at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. She has particular expertise in undertaking health services research among marginalised populations. She is currently coordinating a 3-year evaluation of a 'housing first' model for chronically homeless adults with complex needs in Western Sydney and an evaluation of a pilot service aimed at sustaining individuals at risk of homelessness within their community of origin. Her other most recent projects include system and service integration in the homelessness, drug and alcohol, and mental health sectors, and contraception use and barriers to sexual health service utilisation among drug-dependent female clients.

Haider Mannan

Dr Haider Mannan (opens in a new window)

Lecturer in biostatistics, Centre for Health Research and the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, earned a Ph.D. in biostatistics and epidemiology from University of Western Australia in early 2008. His areas of research interests include development and validation of risk models for predicting chronic diseases, chronic conditions like obesity, life style factors like smoking, surgical interventions for cardiovascular disease, disability and  functioning and the evaluation of chronic disease interventions in adult populations. His methodological interests are development of statistical programs (SAS macros), Markov simulation and latent Markov chains in the context of biomedical research. He will be developing and teaching a second level course in biostatistics for the Master of Epidemiology course in second semester of 2016. He has an established independent research program being a co-chief investigator in two nationally competitive grants, one on modeling the relationship between obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the Australian population (NHMRC funded) and the other on projecting disability risks in the Australian population based on modifiable health risk factors (ARC funded). Currently, he is leading a series of projects in collaboration with colleagues on cost benefits of smoking reductions obtained through targeting of the Australian population by sociodemographics, indigenous status and by making cross-Province comparisons, in context of the government policy to reduce smoking prevalence to 10% by 2018. He is collaborating as a biostatistician in a cluster randomized trial of sanitary interventions and likely longitudinal impact on child growth and diarrhoeal outcomes in Kiribati, and a randomized trial of otitis media interventions among aboriginal communities. His other collaboration is with a Monash University senior lecturer developing SAS macros for better selection of predictors in epidemiological risk models. Previously, he obtained consulting research funding from the CSIRO, the Medibank Private Limited and Murdoch Children's Research Institute. To date he has published a book and 31 peer reviewed papers in public health with nine in category 'A' journals: Preventive Medicine, American Journal of Epidemiology, Annals of Epidemiology, Obesity and Accident, Analysis & Prevention. He has presented widely in international conferences.

Sally Fitzpatrick

Ms Sally Fitzpatrick (opens in a new window)

Research Fellow, Centre for Health Research, is a doctoral candidate in the Future Health Leaders program, UNSW. Sally's research program is focussed on investigating the nature and degree of transformation and empowerment experienced by postgraduate students as they engage with Aboriginal health and wellbeing. This project builds on eight years experience designing and convening postgraduate public health courses in Indigenous health and wellbeing within an action research framework. Sally is also engaged with Sydney-based providers of medium term homelessness services for young people aged 13-17 years to embed innovative service quality processes and assist community-based organisations to document key processes, outcomes and impacts of their distinctive trauma-informed care approaches. Sally has previously collaborated on research into collective healing for the Stolen Generations, Indigenous youth social and emotional wellbeing, and numerous program evaluations.

Shima Ghassem Pour_2015

Dr Shima Ghassem Pour (opens in a new window)

Associate Research Fellow, Centre for Health Research, recently completed her PhD on the topic of clustering longitudinal health data using Hidden Markov Models at Western Sydney University. Shima is interested in modelling, analysing and predicting health trajectories.She is currently working on the development of a microsimulation project that aims to produce long-term forecasts of health and health care utilisation under a variety of policy scenarios.


Chloe Parton

Dr Chloe Parton (opens in a new window)

Research Officer, Centre for Health Research, recently completed her PhD titled 'Women's experiences of sexual embodiment in the context of cancer' at Western Sydney University. She has a particular interest in the areas of gender, sexuality, embodiment, critical health psychology and qualitative methodologies. She is currently working on a number of projects at the centre including a qualitative examination of family homelessness and the evaluation of early intervention programmes for a not-for-profit organisation.

Christine Metusela

Dr Christine Metusela (opens in a new window)

Research Officer, Centre for Health Research, School of Medicine. Christine completed her PhD on social geographies of the Illawarra beaches at the University of Wollongong in 2009. She is currently a researcher on the project 'Sexual and Reproductive Health of Migrant and Refugee Women: An International Comparison', that is investigating the experiences and constructions of sexual health for women from recent migrant and refugee communities living in Australia and Canada. Christine is also part of the research team on the project 'Young women's experiences of cigarette smoking: a qualitative examination of the intersection of gender, class, cultural and sexual identity'. This project is focused on examining experiences of cigarette smoking or quitting to help understand how smoking is shaped by gender, sexuality, social class, and cultural identity.

Joanne Cummings

Dr Joanne Cummings (opens in a new window)

Research Coordinator, Centre for Health Research, School of Medicine, completed her PhD on the sociological aspects of the Australian indie music festival scene at the Western Sydney University in 2007. She is currently a researcher on the project 'The construction and experience of fertility in the context of cancer: patient, partner and health professional perspectives.'



Dr Nasim Faroughi (opens in a new window)

Research officer, School of Medicine, is currently working on weight management trials involving patients with eating disorders and mental health problems. Dr Foroughi was awarded a 3-year competitive post doctorate research fellowship position from the University of Sydney in Clinical and Rehabilitation Sciences, Breast Cancer Research Group. She was graduated from the University of Sydney, where she obtained her PhD degree in Clinical Biomechanics in 2009. During her postgraduate studies she developed a biomechanical gait model for patients suffering from osteoarthritis to improve quality of life and reduce the forces on the lower limb joints. Her main research interests are in the area of clinical rehabilitation, more specifically improvement of physical well-being of patients post chronic diseases. She is an expert in training elderly patients suffering from different diseases such as Osteoarthritis, Diabetic, Dementia, and Breast Cancer. She has conducted many randomized control trials of progressive resistance training and gait rehabilitation previously. She has been a chief investigator on an FHS grant and an associate investigator on two NHMRC and one RIG grants, has published more than 27 papers and one book since 2007.

Duncan Rose

Mr Duncan Rose (opens in a new window)

Research Officer, Centre for Health Research, is currently assisting with research on a mixed methods study exploring sexual wellbeing and quality of life after prostate cancer in gay and bisexual men. Duncan is completing a Master of Clinical Psychology at the Western Sydney University.





Lauren Kadwell

Ms Lauren Kadwell (opens in a new window)

Research Officer, Centre for Health Research





Andrew Kellett

Mr Andrew Kellett (opens in a new window)

Research Officer, Centre for Health Reseearch







Associate Members

  • Jennifer Reath (opens in a new window) Professor, Foundation Chair of General Practice, School of Medicine
  • Gerald Muench (opens in a new window) Professor, Pharmacology, School of Medicine
  • Aiden O'Loughlin (opens in a new window) Senior Lecturer, Cardiology, School of Medicine
  • Danuta Chessor (opens in a new window) Lecturer, Psychology, School of Social Sciences and Psychology
  • Renu Narchal (opens in a new window) Lecturer, Psychology, School of Social Sciences and Psychology
  • Thomas Astell-Burt (opens in a new window) Lecturer in Public Health, School of Science and Health
  • Louisa Jorm (opens in a new window) Director, Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW

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