Professor Robyn McDermott

Robyn McDermott is Professor of Public Health Medicine at the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention James Cook University, Senior Clinical Research Fellow (Queensland),  NHMRC Practitioner Fellow and Professor of Public Health in the School of Population Health (UniSA) and the Sansom Institute for Health Research (South Australia).

Robyn previously served as Professor of Public Health Medicine at JCU in Cairns from 2002-4 and prior to that, as Medical Epidemiologist in the Cairns Tropical Public Health Unit from 1995. She has been a Research Fellow at the Menzies School of Health Research in the NT and spent many years working as a clinician and health services manager in rural and remote Australia, and in refugee health in South East Asia in the 1980’s and 90’s.

From 2000 to 2004 she served as Vice President, then President of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine and numerous advisory committees to state and commonwealth governments. Robyn has worked as a consultant for WHO, AusAID, the World Bank and State and Commonwealth governments and others, in health services and Public Health.  Her research interests are in chronic disease epidemiology, clinical quality improvement and disease prevention. She has chaired NHMRC Grant Review Panels for Projects, Fellowships and Capacity Building Grants and has had continuous NHMRC funding as lead investigator since 1998, totalling more than $12 million.



Professor Reinhold Muller

Part time Professorial Research Fellow. Reinhold is an applied epidemiologist and biostatistician specialized in quantitative research methods in the health sciences with more than 25 years of experience in

  • design, management, conduct, analysis and publication of a wide variety of Public Health, medical and clinical research studies
  • capacity building and teaching in quantitative research methodology.

Reinhold holds a PhD in epidemiology / biostatistics, a MSc.(hon) in mathematics and a BSc. in informatics.

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Professor Petra Buttner

Part time Professorial Research Fellow. Petra is an applied epidemiologist and biostatistician with a major focus on cancer epidemiology. Petra is specialized in the quantitative methods in epidemiology, in the design and analysis of epidemiological studies including clinical trials. She has been lecturing quantitative research methodology for both post and undergraduate students for close to three decades. Petra holds a PhD in Biostatistics/Epidemiology and a MSc.(hons) in mathematics.

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Dr Sandra Campbell

Post Doctorate Research Fellow, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention. Areas of research experience and interest are Indigenous mothers and babies health, chronic disease epidemiology and tobacco control.

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Dr Linton Harriss

Senior Research Fellow with Centre for Research Excellence. Areas of research experience and interest include chronic disease epidemiology, alcohol and dietary patterns, pre-hospital emergency care and primary health care.

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Associate Professor Malcolm McDonald

Part time Senior Clinical Research Fellow with the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention. Malcolm is a Cairns based clinician and researcher who works with local Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.  His focus has been health service delivery to remote Indigenous communities of the Top End (NT) and Cape York (Qld).

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Dympna Leonard

Research Associate with the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention. Areas of expertise: Nutrition in maternal and child health and for chronic disease prevention and management in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia, and internationally in low income country settings.

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Barbara Schmidt

Barbara is a part time Research Fellow with the Centre for Research Excellence and the Clinical Trial Manager for the Getting Better at Chronic Care in North queensland project. Research topics of key interest to Barbara are improving primary health care systems through implementation of quality management systems and strategies to improve chronic disease care in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

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Ashleigh Sushames

PhD Student, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention. Areas of Research Sports and Exercise Science, indigenous health and physical activity.  Ashleigh is currently working on validating physical activity measures which will be used in an intervention.

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Mary O'Loughlin

Mary is undertaking her PhD studies exploring the patient experience of health service delivery for people living with chronic conditions in Cairns, with a specific focus on the Patient-Centred Medical Home model of care. Areas of research interest include: chronic care, health service delivery, epidemiology and program evaluation.

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Fintan Thompson

Fintan is Data Manager for the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention. His work includes collaboration on team research projects including writeup of research papers, data analysis and report production. Fintan completed a Master of Epidemiology in 2014. He has worked in numerous environments in Australia and abroad including as an Intern with the World Health Organisation. Fintan is currently undertaking a Master of Clinical Neuropsychology. 

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Dr Karla Canuto

Karla is a Torres Strait Islander woman. Her formal qualifications include a degree in Sports Science, graduate diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion and she was awarded her PhD in 2013. Karla’s work experience includes community development, health promotion and health research, much of which was throughout Cape York and the Torres Strait.

Karla’s PhD included the development, implementation and evaluation of the ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Fitness Program’, which was funded by NH&MRC. The 12-week group program was trialled in an urban setting and the Facilitator’s Manual is now available as a free resource

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Maximus Berger

Max is a PhD student at the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Laboratory of Psychiatric Neuroscience. His research interest focuses on mental health epidemiology and the role of stress signaling and the immune system in mental disorders.

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Julie Woodward

Manager, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine and the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention.  Julie provides senior management leadership and support for the AITHM and Centre Operations.  Julie has a Master of business Administration and extensive experience in senior management roles within universities. 

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Sally McDonald

Centre Coordinator for the Centre of Chronic Disease Prevention. Sally has an extensive background in Finance and her role is to provide research assistance and administrative support to the Centre management and the CCDP research team.

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