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Health Sciences Research in Australia

Health Sciences Research at Curtin University: Jo Crothers

Here is a small sample of the Schools' research endeavour: pathophysiology of parasitic infections, DNA profiling, role of sex steroids in human cancer, molecular genetics and immunology, patient perceptions and experience, maternal and child health, vocational and functional rehabilitation, the formulation and analysis of pharmaceutical products, and pharmacology from natural products.

Institutes and Centres

The Division is also home to research centres that offer supervision of students'research, which is generally attached to existing major research programs. Some of these, such as the Western Australian Centre for Health Promotion Research and the Research Centre for Applied Psychology, are based in the Schools. Others are autonomous centres, working in collaboration with colleagues from across and beyond the Division, offering valuable opportunities for a multidisciplinary focus on major health issues.

Curtin Centre for Developmental Health

The Curtin Centre for Developmental Health seeks to improve the health of children by developing and applying research into the causes and prevention of ill-health, and the maintenance and promotion of health. The Centre is a joint venture between Curtin University of Technology and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and is the first of its kind in Australia. It has an impressive array of major research projects underway.

A unique feature of the Centre's work is the importance placed on translating research findings into quality health, education and social services for children, young people and their families.

The Centre conducts multidisciplinary research into such areas as behavioural neuroscience, speech and language development, behavioural and emotional problems, public health prevention strategies, and social marketing and health communication research.

The Curtin Centre for Developmental Health offers supervision to doctoral and postgraduate students interested in undertaking research into aspects of developmental health.

The Freemason's Centre for Research into Aged Care Services

The Freemason's Centre for Research into Aged Care Service (CRACS) works in partnership with industry providers and practitioners to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of aged care services in Western Australia. It has a multidisciplinary focus, and draws on expertise of researchers and scholars across the University and the wider community. Dementia-specific projects are undertaken under the auspices of the TG Smith Dementia Research and Development Unit.

CRACS offers postgraduate students the opportunity to undertake research related to health and community services for older people. Partnerships with industry are a particular feature of the Centre's work and there are opportunities to work as part of a research team with an industry partner.

The Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer Control

The Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer Control (CBRCC) is funded jointly by the Cancer Foundation of WA and Curtin University of Technology to seek ways of improving prevention and early detection of cancer. It does this by identifying mechanisms through which behavioural, environmental and structural determinants of cancer development may be modified and controlled, so reducing the impact of cancer on the individual and on the community.

The outcomes of CBRCC's research inform government policy and health professional practice. They also help the community take preventive action against personal ill-health.

Research undertaken by CBRCC has a broad range, including lifestyle factors related to cancer prevention, indigenous issues, doping in sport, domestic violence, evaluation of sponsorship, and media effects.

CBRCC offers supervision to students interested in undertaking postgraduate behavioural research in social marketing, health promotion and cancer control.

National Drug Research Institute

A national Centre of Excellence in drug research, the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) is a vital part of the national strategy to address the harm arising from drug use in Australia. NDRI offers doctoral students the opportunity to undertake drug and alcohol research at one of Australia's premier drug and alcohol research centres.

Research activities are grouped into four broad categories: alcohol research; community and school interventions research; Indigenous Australian research; and illicit drug use research.  With 30 research staff employed, NDRI is one of the largest centres of drug research expertise in Australia. The quality of its research and the positive outcomes for drug policy and the community have led to recognition of NDRI nationally and internationally as a leading authority in the area of drug and alcohol research.

NDRI has been designated a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for the prevention and control of alcohol and drug abuse since 1994.

As well as enrolling PhD students, NDRI can offer co-supervision of dissertations and projects in other Curtin Division of Health Sciences postgraduate programs.

The Western Australian Biomedical Research Institute

The Western Australian Biomedical Research Institute (WABRI) is a cooperative venture between Curtin University of Technology, Murdoch University and the Chemistry Centre

(WA). WABRI carries out leading-edge research into the molecular basis of disease control, targeting diseases such as cancer, malaria and diabetes.  WABRI brings together the expertise of 70 research scientists, many of whom hold well-established international reputations in the fields of biomedical sciences and pharmacology. WABRI offers PhD scholarships, on a competitive basis, to students whose research interests allow their attachment to existing projects. 
Broad research areas are in systemsbased research, drug design and development, targeted drug delivery, molecular microbiology, DNA analysis and molecular epidemiology, and pharmacogenetics.


Check the website for further details about research and PhD scholarship opportunities.

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Jo Crothers

Division of Health Sciences

Curtin University

GPO Box U1987

 Perth WA  6845


Phone: 61 8 9266 3970

Fax:  61 8 9266 2608

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