• About
  • People
  • Projects
  • Key Publications
  • Funding
  • Collaborations

Our mission is to conduct innovative population and clinical research studies and produce the evidence for initiatives that promote prevention, lead to early detection and better management of disease, and improve quality of life, well-being and mental health. Observatory research also investigates the interaction of health services with patients to identify opportunities that lead to more effective health care and management, and that will maximise health outcomes. We have research opportunities available to anyone interested in clinical, epidemiological or population research, as well as health services research, health economics or mathematical modelling.

Postgraduate Student Projects

We are always looking for exceptional students to undertake research towards Honours or PhD degrees in any of our projects. We welcome interest from students in medicine, nursing or allied health professions or from doctors-in-training who need to complete research projects as part of their qualifications. Many former students have undertaken research projects that have culminated in presentations at national and international meetings and resulted in peer-reviewed journals publications.

Researchers

Additional Current Postgraduate Students

PhD

Graham Tucker: Statistical and methodological aspects of assessment of health-related quality of life (part-time).

Hannah Newell: Sleep disorders and schizophrenia

Yohannes Melaku: Macronutrients, bone mineral density and osteoporosis (international student)

Honours

Joule Li: Grip strength and incident diabetes

Recent Student Alumni

PhD completions 

Natalie Cutri: “Clinical Studies of Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome in the Absence of Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease”. Natalie is currently a Clinical Research Associate with CPR Pharma Services.

Mark Dodd: “Economic aspects of the health impact of obesity”. Mark is currently a Lecturer in the School of Economics at the University of Adelaide

Solomon Yu: “Cytokines, Adiposity and Sarcopenia in the elderly”. Solomon is currently a Consultant Physician, Aged & Extended Care Services at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Sarah Appleton: “Epidemiological investigation of the role of phenotype in the association of obesity and asthma”. Sarah is current a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow within The Health Observatory / Freemason’s Centre for Men’s health, and is based at the Basil Hetzel Institute, TQEH and SAHMRI, Adelaide.

Honour’s completions

Sam Biermann: “Health literacy and stroke risk factors and behaviour”. Sam is currently undertaking further study.

Simone Orlowski: “Social connectedness, personality, and presentation at ED: Establishing the validity of the Social Connectedness Questionnaire”. Simone is currently undertaking a PhD at Flinders University.

Justyna Pollock: “Diet, sleep and depression interactions”. Justyna is currently undertaking a PhD  at the University of Adelaide and is based at the Basil Hetzel Institute, TQEH.

Emma Dunstan: “Epidemiological and genetic investigation of Giant Cell Arteritis in South Australia”

 

Sleep Health

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is common, and likely to exert a negative effect on a number of areas including cardiac, metabolic, renal, cognition and mood. As other risk factors (such as smoking and hypertension) reduce in significance due to public health campaigns or medications, OSA will increase in importance as a general risk factor for adverse outcomes and multi-morbidity.

Population Health

The North West Adelaide Health Study (NWAHS) is a representative biomedical population cohort study of approximately 4000 adults aged 18 years and over recruited from the northern and western regions of Adelaide, that commenced in 2000, with multiple follow-up stages since then.

Musculoskeletal conditions

There are opportunities to undertake analysis of musculoskeletal data from the North West Adelaide Health Study (NWAHS). This established cohort study of 4000 individuals has collected musculoskeletal data on three occasions.

Cumberland.au – The Australian Health Care Modelling and Systems Design Collaboration

This Collaboration came into existence during the first half of 2014. It brings together many clinicians and modellers who have worked across Australia over the last 10-20 years. Cumberland.au recognises the importance and potential to apply the following to achieve reform in health: Systems thinking; Design thinking; Mathematical modelling (including the use of simulation), and Operations research.

These publications highlight the areas of research currently being undertaken by The Health Observatory.

 

Diabetes and cardiovascular disease outcomes in the metabolically healthy obese phenotype: a cohort study

This research examined a longitudinal cohort population showing how different clinical phenotypes have different health outcomes.

Appleton SL ,Wilson DH, Taylor AW, Adams RJ. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease outcomes in the metabolically healthy obese phenotype: a cohort study. Diabetes Care; 2013. 36(8): 2388-2394.

Nocturnal hypoxemia and severe obstructive sleep apnea are associated with incident Type 2 diabetes in a population cohort of men

This paper extends our knowledge of what specific factors in OSA are associated with impaired glycemic control.

Appleton SL, Vakulin A, McEvoy RD, Wittert GA, Martin SA, Grant JF, Antic NA, Taylor AW, Catcheside PG, Adams RJ. Nocturnal hypoxemia and severe obstructive sleep apnea are associated with incident Type 2 diabetes in a population cohort of men. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine; 2015. 11(6): 609-614

The relationship between functional health literacy and obstructive sleep apnea and its related risk factors and comorbidities in a population cohort of men

This paper showed for the first time that health literacy influences diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). 

Li JJ, Appleton SL, Wittert GA, Vakulin A, McEvoy RD, Antic NA, Adams RJ. The relationship between functional health literacy and obstructive sleep apnea and its related risk factors and comorbidities in a population cohort of men. Sleep; 2014. 37: 571-578

Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

Murray CJ, …Hill C et al. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet; 2012. 380: 2197-223.

Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

Vos T,..Hill C, et al.. Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet; 2012. 380: 2163-96.

These last two 2 publications outline the global burden of disease from 1990-2010, for which Dr Catherine Hill contributed expertise on musculoskeletal disease. They have already been extensively cited with over 1500 and 100 citations respectively. These studies have demonstrated that global disease burden has continued to shift away from communicable to non-communicable diseases and from premature death to years lived with disability.

Funding since 2010

Chief InvestigatorsGranting BodyProject TitleType of GrantTotal Grant AmountFunding Period
Hewitt A, Hill CL, Evans D, Merriman T, Morgan A, Smith K, McKelvie P, Martin J NHMRC Dissecting the great ophthalmic masquerade: The Global Giant Cell Arteritis Genomics ConsortiumProject Grant #1068023 $569,9272014 - 2015
Jones G, Cicuttini F, March L, Hill CL, Dore DNHMRCA randomised trial of zoledronic acid for osteoarthritis of the kneeProject Grant #1045415$954,5972013 - 2015
Wang Y, Cicuttini F, Tonkin A, Hill CL, Ding CNHMRCDoes statin use have a disease modifying effect in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis? A multicentre randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trialProject Grant #1048581$971,0202013 - 2015
Wittert G, Wilson D, Travision T, Adams R, Taylor A, McKinlay J, Jenkins A, Milne R, Hugo G, Atlantic ENHMRC Effect of sex steroids, inflammation, environmental and biopsychosocial factors on cardiometabolic disease risk in men Project Grant #627227$1,700,0002010 - 2012
Daniel M, Hugo G, Paquet C, Taylor A, Cargo M, Adams RNHMRC Linking Place to Metabolic Syndrome via Behavioural and Psychosocial Antecedents: Levers for Public Health InterventionProject Grant #631917$545,0002010 - 2012
Daniel M, Hugo G, Paquet C, Taylor A, Cargo M, Adams RNHMRCLinking Place to Metabolic Syndrome via Behavioural and Psychosocial Antecedents: Levers for Public Health InterventionPartnership Grant #570150$325,0002010 - 2012
Hugo GJ, Wittert GA, Adams RJ, Cobiac L, Daniel M, Findlay CC, Taylor AW, Wilson DH, Winefield HR, Woollacott AL, Ruffin RARCAustralia's Baby Boomer Generation, Obesity and Work - Patterns, Causes and
Implications
Linkage Grant #LP0990065$1,357,0002009 - 2011
Mackay M, Adams R, Bean NSouth Australian GovernmentThe Promulgation of Operational Research, Systems Thinking and Design Thinking within the Australian Health Care SectorPremier’s International Research Fund$400,0002015
Hoon E, Hill CL, Gill TKArthritis AustraliaDeveloping a patient reported outcome measure in polymyalgia rheumaticaGrant$10,000 2015
Adams R, Jones GPartners in RecoveryPilot Project of Consumer centred care; developing an electronic communication, care and evaluation platform for Partners in RecoveryGrant$100,000 2014
Shanahan EM, Hill CL, Gill TKArthritis AustraliaSuprascapular nerve block for the treatment of adhesive capsulitis Grant$30,0002014
Brown M, Hewitt A, Merriman T, Rischmueller M, Hill CLArthritis AustraliaGenetics of Giant Cell ArteritisGrant$25,0002013
Gill TK, Hill CL, Shanahan M, Allison DArthritis AustraliaPilot study of MRI in shoulder painGrant-in-Aid$15,0002012
Adams R, Bidargaddi NCountry Health SAThe Mental Health Observatory$70,0002012
Adams R, McEvoy D, Wittert GResMed FoundationInvestigating sleep apnea in a community-based sample of men$50,0002011

Sleep Health, Population Health, Health Services and Mental Health project collaborators

CollaboratorsDepartment/CentreInstitutionCityCountry
Prof Gary Wittert, Dr Sean Martin, Dr Andrew VincentFreemason’s Centre for Men’s HealthUniversity of Adelaide, SAHMRIAdelaideAustralia
Prof Anne Taylor, Dr Zumin ShiPopulation Research and Outcomes Study UnitUniversity of Adelaide, SAHMRIAdelaideAustralia
Prof Doug McEvoy, A/Prof Nick Antic, Dr Peter Catcheside, Dr Andrew VakulinAdelaide Institute for Sleep HealthFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
Prof Renuka Visvanathan, Dr Solomon YuAged & Extended Care Services and the Adelaide Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care (G-TRAC)The Queen Elizabeth HospitalAdelaideAustralia
Prof Mark Daniel, Dr Catherine PaquetSpatial Epidemiology & Evaluation Research GroupSansom Institute for Health Research, University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
Prof Cherie Galletly, Dr Dennis LiuDiscipline of PsychiatryUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
Dr Niranjan Bidargaddi (Flinders University), Dr Geoff Schrader (Flinders University), Dr Jorg Strobel (Country Health SA)Mental Health ObservatoryFlinders University and Country Health SAAdelaideAustralia
Mr Reg HarrisCountry SA Primary Healthcare NetworkSouth Australian GovernmentAdelaideAustralia
Dr Mark Mackay (Flinders University), Prof Nigel Bean (University of Adelaide), Prof Campbell Thompson (University of Adelaide), Prof Don Campbell (Monash University), Prof Jon Karnon (University of Adelaide), Prof Peter Taylor (University of Melbourne), Prof Terry Young (Brunel University, London), A/Prof Kathryn Zeitz (Central Adelaide Local Health Network)Cumberland.au – The Australian Health Care Modelling and Systems Design CollaborationFlinders University, University of Adelaide, Monash University, University of Melbourne, Brunel University (London), Central Adelaide Local Health NetworkAdelaide, Melbourne, LondonAustralia and UK
Prof Ron Grunstein, Dr Angela D’RozarioCentre for Translational Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology, Woolcock Institute of Medical ResearchUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
Dr Lisa PontCentre for Health Systems and Safety ResearchMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

Musculoskeletal Conditions project collaborators

CollaboratorsDepartment/CentreInstitutionCityCountry
A/Prof Michael ShanahanRheumatology Unit Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
A/Prof Susannah Proudman, Prof Les ClelandRheumatology UnitRoyal Adelaide HospitalAdelaideAustralia
Prof David FindlayOrthopaedicsUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
Dr Domenic Thewlis, Dr Tash Stanton, Dr John ArnoldSchool of Health SciencesUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
Prof Hylton Menz La Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
Prof Lyn MarchUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
Prof Flavia Cicuttini Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
Prof Graeme Jones Menzies Health Research InstituteHobartAustralia
A/Prof Sarah Mackie, Prof Ann MorganLeeds University LeedsUK
Prof Matthew Brown (University of Queensland), Dr Alex Hewitt (University of Melbourne), Prof Ann Morgan (Leeds University, UK), Tony Merriman (University of Otago, NZ)Australasian Genomics Recruitment Initiative in Australasia (AGRIA)University of Queensland, University of Melbourne, Leeds University (UK), University of Otago (NZ)Brisbane, Melbourne, Leeds, DunedinAustralia, UK and New Zealand