THE RESEARCH TEAM

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Dr Sonja Memedovic

Dr Sonja Memedovic is a Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney. Her research focuses on substance use and related harms among vulnerable and marginalised populations, with particular emphasis on the relationship between substance use and mental health. Through her research, Sonja seeks to advance the evidence base for interventions and policies that improve the health and wellbeing of people experiencing substance use.

Associate Professor Julie Mooney-Somers

Associate Professor Julie Mooney-Somers is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney. Julie has a long track record in research on the health of sexuality and gender diverse people (primarily health related to tobacco, alcohol and other substances, and sexual and reproductive health). She leads a collaboration with ACON that conducts SWASH, the longest running periodic survey of lesbian, bisexual and queer women’s health and wellbeing in the world.

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Dr Nicola Black

Dr Nicola Black is a Senior Research Fellow in the Technology Addiction Team at the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney. Nicola has been researching substance use, addiction, and mental health since 2012. She is particularly interested in understanding the factors that help or hinder us in changing our behaviours in ways that support our goals. She is passionate about conducting high quality, rigorous research that will improve real-world outcomes for people experiencing problems with mental health or substance use.

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Professor Louise Degenhardt

Professor Louise Degenhardt is a Deputy Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney. Louisa uses various innovative methods to identify the harms associated with illicit drugs use, and to try and reduce mortality and morbidity from drug use.  She is an investigator on Drug Trends, is involved in the Global Burden of Disease study, and regularly advises national and international governments and agencies, including the World Health Organization and various United Nations agencies.

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Dr Mohamed Hammoud

Dr Mohamed Hammoud is an epidemiological and sociobehavioural Research Fellow at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney. Mohamed’s research focuses on identifying underlying factors that exacerbate HIV, sexually transmissible infections, and harms associated with drug use, and the context in which risk occur. He currently focuses on several clinical and behavioural projects investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable communities in Australia.

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Associate Professor Garrett Prestage

Associate professor Garrett Prestage is an Associate Professor at the HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney. Garrett is a sociologist who is committed to community-based research. He has worked in gay community-based research since 1983. Garrett’s main work focus is in the fields of risk behaviour and sexuality. He currently leads the Flux Study, a national cohort study among gay and bisexual men which focuses on biomedical HIV prevention through the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), pleasures and harm reduction associated with illicit drug use, and the impact of COVID-19 on HIV prevention and illicit drug use. He established and is an Investigator on the Gay Community Periodic Surveys.

Associate Professor Adam Bourne

Dr Toby Lea

Toby Lea is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney, and is also affiliated with the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University. He conducts applied social research in two areas: the use of psychedelics as self-managed therapies for mental health and substance use; and, substance use, harm reduction, treatment and blood-borne virus prevention among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. He is currently undertaking a Master of Biostatistics through the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia.

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Adam Bourne is an Associate Professor of Public Health and Deputy Director of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University.  At ARCSHS, Adam takes a leading role in the development of research that examines the health and well-being of LGBTQI populations, at both a domestic level and in an international context. He works in close collaboration with a number of community-based, national and supra-national organisations and sits on the Board of Directors of Thorne Harbour Health (previously the Victorian AIDS Council). A/Prof Bourne is the Principal Investigator on the “Writing Themselves In 4” Study, which focuses on the health and wellbeing of same sex attracted and gender questioning young people. 

We are grateful for the guidance and wisdom of our Associate Investigators and expert advisory panel:

Associate Investigators

Jack Freestone, ACON

Nicky Bath, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia

Expert Advisory Panel  

Anna Barker, ACON

Nicky Bath, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia

Rachel Cook, Thorne Harbour Health

Melissa Fox, Queensland AIDS Council

Ruby Grant, University of Tasmania

Tracey Hutt, SHINE SA

Jami Jones, Rainbow Health Victoria, La Trobe University

Roanna Lobo, SiREN (the WA Sexual Health and BBV Applied Research and Evaluation Network)

Ruth McNair, Northside Clinic and University of Melbourne

Jain Moralee, Twenty10

Dean Murphy, University of Sydney

Chris Pickard, Open Doors