Members of Flinders Centre for Clinical Change and Health Care Research share a common goal: to efficiently develop and disseminate high value research and evidence to inform optimal decision making and implementation of cost effective Health Care interventions.

Our researchers come from a diverse array of disciplines, many serve in key roles within high profile public health organisations and some are early career researchers.  The following profiles outline the backgrounds and research focus areas of just a few of our valued membership.  For a complete list of researchers and clinicians go to the member index page.


Professor Derek Chew 

Professor Derek Chew is a clinical cardiologist, interventional cardiologist, a clinical trialist and outcomes researcher in cardiovascular medicine. 

He completed interventional cardiology training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a Masters of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health in 2002.


Key Roles

  • The Roy and Marjory Edwards Heart Foundation Senior Principal Research Fellow in Cardiovascular Outcomes Research at Flinders University
  • Regional Head of Cardiology for the Adelaide Health Service Southern Region
  • Head of the Flinders Clinical Trial Centre, an academic research organization (associated with the Baker IDI)with strong links to Duke Clinical Research Institute and Cleveland Clinic C5
  • Honorary Professorial Fellow within the Cardiovascular Division of the George Institute for Global Health
  • Regional Director of Cardiology, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Adelaide Health Services (Southern Region)
  • Professor of Cardiology, Flinders University

 Research Focus 


Professor Chew's expanding array of therapeutic options available for the clinical care of patients presenting with cardiovascular disease, optimal and cost-effective clinical outcomes will require, not only innovations in pharmacology and device development, but also their careful and evidence-based application to the clinical community. These choices and recommendations can be informed by careful, well-conducted clinical research within the context of current day clinical practice. Derek seeks to design and undertake clinical studies to inform these choices, improve the delivery of proven therapies, identify clinical groups within the entire Australian community that are not currently well served by technologies/therapies and ultimately optimise patient outcomes.


Professor Julie Ratcliffe  

Professor Julie Ratcliffe was awarded her PhD in Economics from Brunel University in 2000, having completed a Master of Science, Health Economics at the University of York in 1989.  She went on to become a Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics first at Brunel and then at the University of Sheffield before relocating to Australia in 2007.

Julie has extensive experience in health economics research and teaching and has held research grants from a number of sources, including the NHMRC, ARC and the UK Department of Health and the Economic and Social Research Council, UK.

Key Roles

  • Professor in Health Economics within Flinders Southern Adelaide Clinical School, Flinders University
  • Chair of Health Economics for Flinders Centre for Clinical Change and Health Care Research.

Research focus

Professor Ratcliffe has worked on a large number of research collaborations with economists, clinicians, nurses and health service researchers. Her research interests include the measurement and valuation of health outcomes for economic evaluation, the economic evaluation of new and emerging Health Care technologies and patient and general population preferences for health and Health Care services. In 2007, Julie co-authored a book on the measurement and valuation of health outcomes for economic evaluation: Brazier J, Ratcliffe J, Salomon J, Tsuchiya A. Measuring and Valuing Health Benefits for Economic Evaluation commissioned and published by Oxford University Press.

Current research collaborations include:


Professor Doug McEvoy

Professor R Douglas McEvoy is a respiratory/sleep physician-scientist and NHMRC Practitioner Fellow. His skills in respiratory and sleep physiology and clinical trials in sleep disorders are internationally recognised. 

He has published over 100 peer reviewed papers and has supervised over 20 PhD students and clinical fellows in sleep medicine in the last 15 years, several of whom are now leading their own successful research teams in Australian and New Zealand institutions.

Professor McEvoy has brought to successful conclusion the AVCAL trial of non-invasive ventilation in COPD, randomised controlled trials of nurse and GP versus specialist led care for obstructive sleep apnea and two RCTs of CPAP and oral device treatment in mild sleep apnea. He is a Chief Investigator on the NHMRC Enabling Grant that has seen the establishment of the Australasian Sleep Trials Network.

Key Roles

  • Director of the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health
  • Board Member of the Sleep Health Foundation.
  • Executive Committee member of the Australasian Sleep Trials Network.

Research Focus

Prof McEvoy is currently Principal Investigator of the Sleep Apnea cardioVascular Endpoints (SAVE) study , an international multi-centre RCT, which is jointly funded by industry and NHMRC and is designed to show whether CPAP treatment will decrease future cardiovascular events in high cardiovascular risk OSA patients. Prof McEvoy has received continuous grant support from the NHMRC since 1994 with the most recent 5-year grant of $3million in 2011 being to support the SAVE trial.

Emeritus Professor Jan Paterson

Jan Paterson is a Professor in Nursing (Aged Care), with Flinders University and the Repatriation General Hospital.  Her teaching areas of interest are in the areas of continence nursing practice, gerontics and clinical nursing.  Professor Paterson also supervises higher degree students.

Key roles

  • Royal College of Nursing Australia member
  • Australian Nursing Federation member
  • Nurses Memorial Foundation of South Australia member
  • National Expert Committee for Continence member
  • International Continence Society member
  • Australian Urological Nurses Society member
  • Australian Nursing for Continence member
  • Chairperson: National Working Party for the Development of Guidelines for Continence Curriculum in undergraduate Nursing & Midwifery courses.

Research focus

Current research projects include:

  • Health Care for the Older Person (HCOPS)

Professor David Currow     


David Currow is a consultant physician in palliative medicine and has been researching, teaching and practising in this area for his entire career. As research head of a large academic Department of Palliative and Supportive Services, he is acutely aware of the challenges that people with a life limiting illness face, and the related health system impacts. Professor Currow has a commitment to generating quality evidence for the provision of end of life care and his research interest focuses on four main areas:

  1. management of intractable dyspnoea
  2. needs-based specialist palliative care through population planning
  3. coordinated palliative care service provision
  4. implementation of evidence-based palliative care.

Key Roles

  • Professor, Discipline of Palliative and Support Services, Flinders University
  • Chief Cancer Officer, Cancer Institute NSW
  • Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Institute, NSW

Professor Currow is involved at a national level in translating policy into practice. He has contributed to important policy including provision of community based palliative medications through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (new section of the PBS from February 2004), the provision of palliative care and its interface in cancer with contributions to "Optimising Cancer Care in Australia" and the National Service Improvement Framework in Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease/Stroke.

Research Focus

Professor Currow is jointly the Principal Investigator with Jennifer Tieman  on a project to create an evidence-based web tool for palliative physicians around the world Based in Australia, this tool significantly augments our ability to provide high quality care at the end of life. This tool received more than 40,000 visits per month and is pioneering new ways of harvesting web-based information.

Professor Currow is the Lead Chief Investigator of the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC).  This collaborative is comprised of palliative care services from around Australia and provides infrastructure, governance and coordination for multi-site phase III clinical research studies.

Professor Peter Frith

The early research interests of Professor Peter Frith in asthma and airway reactivity resulted in 16 peer-reviewed scientific publications. His interests in the past 15 years have been in chronic disease management especially related to lung disease, pulmonary rehabilitation and self-management, resulting in 50 peer-reviewed papers.

He has been a convenor of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand's Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Special Interest Group, a member of the National Council of the ALF, and Chairs the national COPD Program. He has served on state committees in Asthma Foundation, National Asthma Campaign, Thoracic Society of Australia & New Zealand and has received grants worth more than 2.1 million Australian dollars.

Key Roles

  • Director, Respiratory Medicine, Southern Adelaide Health Service, Repatriation General Hospital
  • Professor in Respiratory Medicine, Flinders University
  • Chair, COPD Executive Committee & COPD Coordinating Committee, The Australian Lung Foundation

Research Focus

Peter's current research is collaborative and includes:

  • developing and testing effectiveness and cost-benefit of models of care for people with chronic respiratory disease 
  • understanding breathing difficulties experienced by people with lung diseases and how to modify the sensation more effectively
  • designing self-treatment and other strategies to help people with chronic lung diseases and their carers cope with the condition and its comorbidities
  • developing, validating and implementing simple strategies for effective early primary care detection of respiratory disease (especially Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD).

Professor Malcolm Battersby

Malcolm Battersby , Professor of Psychiatry, trained with Professor Isaac Marks at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, in behavioural treatment of anxiety disorders and severe neurotic conditions. He was awarded a Harkness Research Fellowship in the study of chronic conditions self-management in the United States during 2003-2004 and had led the development of the Flinders Program of chronic condition management, now provided across Australia and internationally. 

Key roles

  • Director, Flinders Human Behaviour and Health Research Unit
  • Director, Flinders Centre for Gambling Research
  • inaugural Chairman of the Anxiety Disorders Foundation of Australia

Through his involvement with the Centre for Clinical Research Excellence (CCRE) and the Cooperative  Research Centre (CRC) in Aboriginal Health Professor Battersby has had significant contact with aboriginal communities around Pt.Lincoln, South Australia. In 2009, Malcolm Battersby was appointed as a member psychiatrist to the National Advisory Committee of the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service to provide expert advice on mental health conditions relevant to the needs of Veterans.

Research focus

Professor Battersby's research interests focus on new models of behaviour change in two areas of clinical science: behaviour change for people with chronic medical and mental health conditions through the development of the Flinders program of self-management care planning, and the development of a unique cognitive behaviour treatment model for problem gambling. His current research projects include:

Professor Judith Dwyer

Professor Judith Dwyer has worked in the Australian health system for more than twenty years in a broad range of community, hospital and government settings.  Professor Dwyer worked in the Department of Health Care Management for four years, and was the head of the Department of Health Policy and Management at La Trobe University's School of Public Health. She is a former CEO of Southern Health Care Network in Melbourne, and of Flinders Medical Centre. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Fellow of the Australian College of Health Service Executives.

Key roles

  • Australasian College of Health Service Management board member
  • Research Program Leader for the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. 

Research focus

Professor Dwyer's research is focused on health system governance and design, with a particular interest in Aboriginal health services; and she teaches in the Department's Master of Health Administration in Australia and in China.

Current research programs include:

  • 'Enabling Policy and Systems', The Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • The Overburden Project: investigating the effectiveness of funding and regulation of Aboriginal Health Services
  • Stepping Up: barriers to good care for Aboriginal patients

Dr Dani-Louise Dixon

Dani-Louise Dixon is the Senior Medical Scientist in the Intensive and Critical Care Unit, Flinders Medical Centre and Head of the Lung Injury Research Laboratory, Flinders University.  Dr Dixon obtained her PhD in the Department of Paediatrics, Flinders University in Dec 2004 studying the innate/mucosal immunology of breast milk in response to respiratory infections and allergy. Since joining the Department of Critical Care Medicine in 2004 Dr Dixon has continued to establish a track record in mucosal immunology associated with acute lung injury (ALI/ARDS) as well as chronic conditions including chronic heart failure associate pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis.

Key roles

  • Lecturer, Dept of Critical Care Medicine, Flinders University
  • Member of the Animal Ethics Review Sub-Committee, Flinders Medical Centre & Flinders University
  • Member and former Deputy-Chair of the Australian Society for Medical Research (SA)

Research focus


Dr Dixon has developed a track record based on research interests in lipid and protein mediators of mucosal defence systems with particular emphasis on the lung throughout her career.  Her current projects include:

  • Breathing in Chronic Heart Failure:  the contribution of tissue mast cells to pulmonary disease progression.
  • Breathing in Chronic Heart Failure:  Could KGF hold the key to pulmonary compensation?
  • Lung injury in acute pulmonary oedema: are there peripheral markers of tissue remodelling predictive of clinical outcome?
  • Breathing in Chronic Heart Failure:  Elucidating the mechanisms of pulmonary compensation.
  • Alveolar Fluid Clearance in Chronic Heart Failure. 
  • Refining and testing a promising new peptide for the prevention and treatment of Acute Lung Injury (ALI).
  • Multi-disciplinary care: exploring the ways in which team members working across disciplines care for a single child with cancer.

Associate Professor Ann Harrington

Assoc. Prof. Ann Harrington is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Flinders University. She has thirty six years of extensive clinical and teaching experience in health and higher education and nursing, with her PhD expertise in the area of palliative care and spiritual care.

Ann has assisted 15 higher degree students to successful completion, currently supervising PhD students in palliative care, general nursing and spiritual care. Her publications at national and international level include refereed journals, reports, book chapters in palliative care and/or spirituality, aged care and qualitative research and she has numerous conference presentations.

Key Roles

  • Chair, Spirituality & Health Conference Australia Inc
  • Member, SA & NT Dementia Training Study Centre (Alzheimer's Australia SA)
  • Member, Palliative Care Council of SA (Nursing proxy)
  • Member, Palliative Care Nurses Association
  • Member, Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies
  • Fellow, Royal College of Nursing Australia
  • Fellow, College of Nursing (previously NSW College of Nursing)

Research Focus

Ann's research includes collaborative grants in the areas of carers' needs, the role of the palliative care community nurse, palliative care patients and spiritual care. A large collaborative grant is being developed to take advantage of international links with colleagues at the University of Southampton in the UK, Charles Sturt University in ACT, the University of Melbourne and Flinders University.


Associate Professor Sharon Lawn

A/Prof Sharon Lawn is a mental health carer and advocate and has been a mental health clinician for 13 years, an aged care and disability health worker for 10 years before that, and a mental health researcher since 1998. She is highly active in the mental health consumer and carer movement in Australia while undertaking consumer and carer centred research. Sharon has diverse multi-disciplinary experience, skills and knowledge across humanistic, cognitive, behaviourist, client-centred, and consumer-perspective approaches. Sharon's research has examined the culture of service provision, systems of care and gaps in service provision, the sociology of addiction within mental health systems of care, health worker/client liaisons with chronic illness care, self-management for service users and carers, and their experiences of illness, health and systems of care. Sharon has used a broad range of qualitative methodologies such as phenomenology, ethnography, the life histories approach and case study analysis during her research career.

Key Roles

  • Course Coordinator for the Post Graduate Program in Chronic Condition Management
  • Executive member of the Flinders Human Behaviour and Health Research Unit, Dept of Psychiatry, Flinders University
  • SA Health Human Research Ethics Committee
  • International Chronic Disease Self Management Research Network
  • Tobacco Cessation Leadership Network (TCLN)
  • Editorial board for the International Scholarly Research Network (ISRN) Psychiatry

Research Focus

Sharon's research focuses on chronic condition management and self-management, embedding change within systems of care, workforce skills development and change, system and program evaluation, consumer and carer perspectives, inter-professional learning and practice, smoke-free policy, and resilience.

Sharon's research and writing on the culture of smoking, smoke-free policy, and psychiatric systems of care is internationally renowned and widely cited.