School of Public Health and Community Medicine

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Centres and Units

Centres and Units within SPHCM

NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Epidemic Response

This 2.49 million grant was awarded in 2015, for a Centre to run from 2016-20. The urgent nature of epidemic infectious diseases bring specific challenges in infectious diseases control. Epidemics can cause immediate health, social and economic impacts, and require complex cross-sectoral response as illustrated by the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Recent developments in artificially engineered pathogens (dual-use research of concern) pose an added complexity to global biosecurity. Integrated Systems for Epidemic Response (ISER) will conduct applied systems research, enhance collaboration and build capacity in health systems research for epidemic control.  ISER brings together experts in field epidemiology and epidemic response, military experts, international law and risk science experts, and government and non-government agencies involved in epidemic response from around the world. 

Yunus Social Business Health Hub

Professor Mohammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate (Peace) from Bangladesh, created the idea of ‘Social Business’ to solve the global social problems in health, education and poverty. Transforming poor and marginalised communities through research into social business and health is the aim of a new agreement between UNSW and Professor Yunus. Under the MOU, UNSW’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine will collaborate with the Yunus Centre, established by the Nobel laureate, to improve health outcomes for poor communities in Australia, Asia and the Pacific. The Yunus Social Business Centre (YSBC) serves as a global hub for Professor Yunus’s global engagement and operates as a technology centre, research and development group that enables social businesses to grow into effective, problem-solving enterprises in health, education and renewable energy. The UNSW YSBC will have a focus on E-health and social aspects of health in the developing world.

Health Economics and Financing for Developing Countries

Policy-makers must have access to the best possible research and analysis to ensure their health investments save as many lives as possible. We are a group of health economists who work in partnership with other scientists and policy-makers to improve the way health care is delivered and financed in low and middle income countries. We work across the globe in a variety of contexts: in low-income countries (Cambodia, Kenya), middle-income countries (Fiji, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia) and post-conflict (Timor-Leste) to build stronger health systems.

NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Population Health in immunisation

Professor Raina MacIntyre leads a NHMRC CRE, titled "Immunisation in under studied and special risk populations: closing the gap in knowledge through a multidisciplinary approach" which has commenced in 2012 in collaboration with a multidisciplinary and collaborative team across UNSW, The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (NCIRS), The Children's Hospital at Westmead, The Kirby Institute, Westmead Hospital, The University of Sydney and the University of Antwerp. A very talented team of postdoctoral researchers will work with senior researchers to fulfil the goals of the CRE. New vaccines and vaccine combinations will continue to be developed, not only for prevention of acute infectious diseases, but for prevention of chronic diseases as well. Vaccination is an increasingly complex field, and represents the single largest public health preventive program in Australia. However, much of the vaccine research which informs national policy, particularly large clinical trials, is conducted by the pharmaceutical industry. However, there are critical research gaps in special-risk and under-served populations where targeted research is not commercially viable or too complex because of the mixed methodology required. These include research in the extremes of age, Indigenous Australians, migrants, refugees, immunosuppressed and traveller populations.

Human Resources for Health (HRH) Knowledge Hub@UNSW

The AusAID funding for the Knowledge Hubs for Health Initiative commenced in 2008 and ended in June 2013. Over this period the HRH Knowledge Hub has engaged widely with stakeholders nationally and in the region to fulfil its mission. The HRH Hub has convened several key workshops and meetings over its tenure, bringing together health sector players from Asia and the Pacific with Australian experts. It has added value to Australia’s foreign aid program by the depth brought to partnerships by its location in a university. UNSW brought to the HRH Hub its long history as a leader in Health Management, along with its extensive alumni network in the region and the expertise of its academics.

International HIV Research Group (IHRG)

Working closely with national institutions, the International HIV Research Group conducts high quality social and behavioural research which provides essential strategic information needed to design cost effective and high impact interventions and underpins the development of appropriate policy responses by national partners.

International NCD Surveillance and Research Group

The International NCD Surveillance and Research Group is involved in research, teaching and service aimed at prevention and control of the major NCDs. We conduct research into the causes, prevention and control of morbidity and premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic obstructive lung disease. This provides essential strategic information needed for design, implementation and evaluation of effective and cost-effective interventions at a population level to reduce morbidity and premature mortality from these illnesses.

NSW Hospital Infection Epidemiology and Surveillance (HIESU) Unit

The activities of the HIESU Unit focus on healthcare associated infections and community-based outbreaks, and includes surveillance techniques, outbreak management and behaviour of healthcare workers.

Other UNSW Centres with links to SPHCM
(including links to our teaching programs)

The Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity (CPHCE)

The Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity (CPHCE) provides a focus for primary health care and health equity related research, evaluation and development. Bringing together four previous research groups, the CPHCE makes important contributions to the field of primary health care and equity locally, nationally and internationally. The CPHCE is committed to intervention research that impacts on policy and practice. The long term vision of the centre is to improve the community’s health and wellbeing through a focus on improved primary health care services and development of policies and strategies that address health inequalities.

The Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society

The Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society is recognised internationally as a research leader in the field of HIV/AIDS and has applied this expertise to a range of other infectious diseases, notably viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections. The Institute’s primary functions relate to the coordination of national surveillance programs, clinical research and clinical trials. The Institute also contributes to training of health professionals, and development and implementation of health policy and programs. The Centre has an extensive range of collaborators, including the other national HIV research centres, State and Territory Health Departments, public and private clinical units, national and international organisations, and the corporate sector including the pharmaceutical industry.

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC)

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) is a premier research institution in Australia and is recognised internationally as a Research Centre of Excellence. The Centre is multidisciplinary and collaborates with medicine, psychology, social science and other schools of UNSW, as well as with a range of other institutions and individuals in Australia and overseas. The overall mission of NDARC is to conduct high quality research and related activities that increases the effectiveness of Australian and International treatment and other intervention responses to alcohol and other drug related harm.