Research in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences spans the biomedical and clinical sciences, physiotherapy, health systems and e-health. Particular areas of research excellence include cancer, neurosciences, cardiovascular disease and innovations in healthcare systems.
Find out more about our research
A key feature of our research is collaboration across multiple disciplines. Specific examples of this include the collaboration between our clinical and basic biomedical researchers in medical genomics, leading to key contributions in international consortia that have identified genetic causes of breast cancer and melanoma, and identifying the genetic origins of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as motor neurone disease). These discoveries have had a strong impact upon their respective fields, and opened new chapters in understanding the molecular origins of these diseases.
In a more applied context, our biomedical engineers and computational science researchers have collaborated together with the faculty’s and international neurologists and neurosurgeons to develop software that can predict the chance of aneurysm rupture and predict the most effective surgical intervention. This technology could significantly improve patient outcomes by identifying optimal surgical interventions and determining which aneurysms don’t require treatment.
Researchers from the faculty’s Australian Institute of Health Innovation are seeking to revolutionise the way patients receive care in the national healthcare system. Active areas of research include:
- closing the gap between clinical practice and evidenced-based treatment offered through the latest research
- improving clinical decision making through the use of health informatics and increasing health literacy in the community through consumer informatics
- changing work practices within the healthcare sector to reduce negative outcomes and save money.
Physiotherapy researchers in the Department of Health Professions head up the interdisciplinary Centre for Physical Health that includes leaders in psychology and radiology to address knowledge gaps in common conditions such as stroke, brain injury, osteoarthritis and back pain. Ongoing work includes innovating internet-delivered programs to improve physical activity, as well as developing prediction models in back pain to improve patient outcomes. The department’s quantitative sensory testing facility enables a deeper understanding of mechanisms underpinning sensory changes in painful conditions.
Research team contacts
Professor Roger Chung
Professor of Neurosciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences
Associate Dean (Research)
Phone: 02 9850 2724
Dr Kyle Ratinac
Faculty Research Manager
Phone: 02 9850 2788
Dr Gillian Hulst
Research Projects Coordinator
Phone: 02 9850 2751
Administrator, Research and Ethics
Phone: 02 9850 4571
Explore our research
The centres and departments within the faculty have diverse research interests, which you can learn more about below. The faculty also has a variety of research and training facilities which support our students and staff
Departments & Centres
Australian Institute of Health Innovation
The Australian Institute of Health Innovation’s multidisciplinary research seeks to understand the workings of the healthcare system to enable better quality and greater efficiency throughout the entire patient journey. Though diverse, the research concentrates particularly on areas such as evidenced-based treatments, workplace practices and systems, and health informatics. For more information >>
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Research within the Department of Biomedical Sciences explores the fundamental causes of many diseases and medical conditions. These include the molecular and cellular processes that lead to cancer, the mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular conditions, and the function and dysfunction of the central and peripheral nervous systems. For more information >>
Department of Clinical Medicine
The Department of Clinical Medicine’s research addresses questions of clinical importance in the delivery of better clinical care. These efforts include innovative treatments for aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations, better therapies for glaucoma, novel orthopaedic surgical procedures and minimally invasive surgery for cancers, and targeted therapies and personalised cancer medicine. For more information >>
Department of Health Professions
The Department of Health Professions is primarily engaged in research in physiotherapy. Of course, the common threads to the department’s research are movement and pain, but these elements are addressed in different ways through research on neck and lower back pain, post-operative surgical pain and the neurological basis of pain, recovery after stroke, and increasing the physical mobility of patients. For more information >>
Department of Health Systems and Populations
The newest of our departments, the Department of Health Systems and Populations is building research programs around public health. We consider all of the factors that can influence the health of populations – including biological factors, social factors, cultural factors, political factors and economic factors. For more information >>
Meet our research staff
Particular areas of research excellence in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences include cancer, neurosciences, cardiovascular disease and innovations in healthcare systems. Learn more about our key research staff and current research >>
Our research is enabled by a variety of top-quality research facilities. The largest PC2 laboratories on campus support the lab-based research of the Departments of Biomedical Sciences and Clinical Medicine. The facilities also include high-performance computing facilities, Simulation laboratory for medical training, Anatomy laboratory and purpose-build physiotherapy research and training.
The Macquarie University Clinics and Hospital support clinical research. Particular capabilities include the state-of-the-art imaging capabilities through Macquarie Medical Imaging, which includes two high-field 3 Tesla MRI scanners, a PET-CT scanner, a host of other imaging techniques, interventional oncology – as well as all the technological skills and sub-specialty expertise needed to make the most of these facilities.
The Macquarie Clinical Trials Program at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University was set up in January 2013 to provide patients with opportunities to participate in the latest medical advances in cancer treatment.
Student research opportunities
The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences has a range of opportunities for students of all academic levels to engage with our research teams and partake in further study.
Visit our Undergraduate Degrees and Research Opportunities page to learn more about our undergraduate degrees and opportunities for students to get a taste for research.
Take a look at our Master’s Level Research Training Pathways page for more information about entry level postgraduate research experiences or the pathways towards a future research career.
Visit our PhD Information page to learn about the types of doctoral research that can be done within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.