Professor David Currow

Professor of Palliative Care & Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Repatriation General Hospital (211)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

David Currow is the Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Palliative and Supportive Care, Flinders University, Professor of Palliative Medicine at University of Technology Sydney and Associate Director (Research) at the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre, University of Hull, England. Research includes clinical trials, use of large datasets to understand better the impact of life-limiting illnesses on patients and caregivers, and codifying the evidence base underpinning palliative care. Research into chronic breathlessness is a particular area of expertise. Research funders include the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) and the National Institutes of Health (USA).

He is the principal investigator for the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC) which has randomised more than 1850 palliative care patients across 21 sites to phase III symptom control studies, and supports an active international phase IV collaborative. These studies have been shown to directly influence clinical practice. He is a foundation partner in the Australian Palliative Care Outcomes Collaborative (PCOC), an initiative to improve systematically clinical outcomes in palliative care.

David has published more than 500 peer-reviewed articles, editorials and books. He is senior associate editor of Journal of Palliative Medicine and on the editorial boards of Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care and the Journal of Oncology Practice. David is a former president of Palliative Care Australia and the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia.



Honours, awards and grants

Tom Reeve Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Care from the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia 2015

For a significant contribution to cancer care through research and clinical leadership

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care (AAHPM) 2015 Award for Excellence in Scientific Research in Palliative Care. The Award recognizes meaningful, exemplary research contributions to the field of hospice and palliative care. February, 2015 at the annual Academy meeting.

Palliative Care Council of South Australia Lifetime Achievement Award. 2013. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes excellence in mentorship, support, passion for their field of work, commitment to working in partnerships, respect for others, teamwork, persistence and pioneering developments/

University of Newcastle 2012 Alumni Medal (joint winner) Awarded annually to a graduate with an outstanding track record of professional excellence in leadership, knowledge and professional practice.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, 2013 Balfour M. Mount Visiting Professorship in Palliative Medicine

National winner 2012 - Team Award – Postgraduate education Australian Learning and Teaching Centre

Flinders Offshore Palliative Care Program. In conjunction with the Lien Foundation (Singapore) and the Asia Pacific Hospice and Palliative Care Network, this was a program to provide Graduate Certificate post-graduate qualifications for health professionals in palliative care for resource challenged countries in South East Asia. More than 100 students have graduated to date.

Key responsibilities
Research leader, Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services
Research interests

David is the Principal Investigator on the Australian government funded Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative – the world’s largest clinical trials group in palliative care. He is also a co-founder of the Australian Palliative Care Outcomes Collaborative, the world’s largest point-of-care quality improvement program in palliative care.

Supervisory interests
Palliative care
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Clinical trials, palliative care (1), Communication, palliative care (1)
Associate supervisor: Breast cancer (Univ Sydney) (1), Breast cancer, survivors (Univ. Sydney) (1), Missing data, palliative care trials (Univ. Hull) (1), Opioids, chronic refractory breathlessness (McGill Univ.) (1), Multi-disciplinary care, lung cancer (Univ Sydney) (1), Long term bereavement outcome (1)
Principal supervisor: Delirium at the end of life (1), Cost-disultility plane case studies in palliative care (1)
Associate supervisor: Palliative care (2), Lower socioeconomic needs for end of life care (Curtin Univ.) (1), Needs assessment tool for paliative care (Univ Newcastle) (1), Needs in palliative care (Univ Western Australia) (1), Palliative Care (Univ Melbourne) (1)
Expert for media contact
Palliative care
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0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Palliative care

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