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Centre of Research Excellence in Global Adolescent Health

An Australian Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in “Driving Global Investment in Adolescent Health” has been funded by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council from March 2020 through to March 2025. The CRE brings together leading Australian research groups including the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the University of Melbourne, the Burnet Institute, University of New South Wales, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and the University of Queensland. It brings existing partnerships globally, generated through work with the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing and will extend partnerships with Peking University, China and Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia.

Its purpose is to generate research to drive investment in neglected areas of adolescent health including groups experiencing significant discrimination or disadvantage specifically, Indigenous young people and young people in contact with the justice system. Neglected areas include mental health, non-communicable disease risk, injury and violence and substance abuse.

The CRE will provide the evidence needed for investments in these overlooked areas and priority groups. This includes how we might measure adolescent health better and what works for preventing and responding to adolescent health challenges and what the cost of those actions might be. There is not only an emphasis on what the investments might be in adolescent health but also the extent to which such investments might be taken to scale. There is a recognition that that evidence-grounded advocacy will be essential to support the evidence and investment cases, as they alone will not bring change.

The CRE will largely focus on secondary data (data that has previously been gathered and can be accessed by researchers). The work will include syntheses of existing evidence, data analyses of existing primary data and economic modelling (to translate analyses / synthesis of evidence into policy recommendations for investment).

Partnership group of young people

The CRE is appointing a partnership group of young advocates. This group will assist the research team in making its program of work relevant to the lived experience of young people and aligned with adolescent health and wellbeing advocacy efforts already in place.

The main objectives are to:

  • Ensure youth perspectives inform the CRE work plan.
  • Facilitate communication with young people, advocates and their organisations about the work of the CRE
  • Discussion of further priority areas for the CREs research
  • Ensure research outputs are useful to the work of youth advocates
  • Advise on strategies for CRE program areas to engage meaningfully with young people
  • Support CRE partnerships with young advocates, their networks and organisations.

More information

If you would like more information, please contact the coordinator, Molly O’Sullivan at molly.osullivan@mcri.edu.au.

Please share this email with your network for those who may be interested in being involved.

Follow us on Twitter: @CforAH

Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/centreforadolescenthealth

Related MCRI research

Theme: Population Health
Groups: Centre for Adolescent Health

CRE Coordination

Molly O'Sullivan, Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)
Kristina Bennett, Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)

Chief Investigators

Prof George Patton, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)
Prof Susan Sawyer, University of Melbourne
Prof Stuart Kinner, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)
A/Prof Peter Azzopardi, Burnet Institute
Prof Louisa Degenhardt, University of New South Wales
A/Prof Nicola Reavley, University of Melbourne
Prof Rebecca Ivers, University of New South Wales
Dr Holly Erskine, University of Queensland
Prof Alex Brown, University of Adelaide / SAHMRI
Dr Nick Scott, Burnet Institute

Associate Investigators

Dr Rohan Borschmann, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)
A/Prof James Scott, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Prof Harvey Whiteford, University of Queensland
Dr Margarita Moreno-Betancur, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)
Dr Margaret Peden, Imperial College London
Prof Russell Viner, University College London
Prof Timothy Olds, University of South Australia
Prof David Burgner,  Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)
Dr Kim Sweeny, Victoria University
Prof David Wilson, Burnet Institute

Emerging Leaders’ Network

Research Assistants, PhD students, and Postgraduate Research Fellows

Dr Amy Peded, UNSW
Dr Dot Dumuid, University of South Australia
Dr Farnaz Sabet, Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)
Dr Harvey Zou, Peking University
Dr Jess Kerr, Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)
Karly Cini, University of Melbourne
Kate Francis, Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)
Krystina Wallis, University of Queensland
Dr Lucas Calais Ferreira, Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)
Margaretha, University of Melbourne
Melissa Willoughby, University of Melbourne
Dr Monika Raniti, Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)
Dr Odette Pearson, SAHMRI
Dr Patricia Cullen, UNSW

Collaborators

Dr Jesse Young, University of Melbourne
Dr John Symons, Victoria University
Prof Jun Ma, Peking University
Prof Siswanto Wilopo, Universitas Gadjah Mada
Dr Yi Song, Peking University
Prof Yodi Mahendradhata, Universitas Gadjah Mada

Participating institutions

Administering Institution: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

If you or your organisation would like to discuss a potential collaboration and/or partnership with the Centre of Research Excellence in Driving Global Investment in Adolescent Health, please get in contact with us.

Participating Institution(s)

Department/s

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Centre for Adolescent Health

Justice Health Unit

Inflammatory Origins

University of Melbourne

School of Population and Global Health

Department of Paediatrics

Burnet Institute

Adolescent Health

Modelling and Biostatistics Group

University of New South Wales

School of Population Health

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC)

University of Queensland

School of Public Health

University of Adelaide / SAHMRI

Aboriginal Research Unit

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Child and Youth Mental Health

Imperial College London

Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health

University College London

Population, Policy & Practice Department

University of South Australia

School of Health Sciences

Victoria University

Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities

Peking University

Institute of Child and Adolescent Health

Universitas Gadjah Mada

Department of Public Health

Research and Development, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing

The purpose of CRE in Driving Global Investment in Adolescent Health is to generate research that will drive investment in neglected areas of adolescent health including groups experiencing significant discrimination or disadvantage specifically, Indigenous young people and young people in contact with the justice system. Neglected areas include mental health, non-communicable disease risk, injury and violence and substance abuse.

The CREs three research streams are designed to drive a cycle of accountability across neglected areas of adolescent health globally; in priority adolescent groups in Australia; and in two partner countries, China and Indonesia, both of which have large adolescent populations. 

Stream 1: Better use of data

This stream focuses on using data resources that are already available but have not yet been analysed by age, sex, geography and sub-group. 

Stream 2: Better data

Informed by Stream 1, this stream will address current major gaps in primary data and surveillance systems, essential for properly setting priorities for different places and groups, and in monitoring progress.

Stream 3: Best Investments

Informed by Streams 1 and 2 and using a variety of strategies (e.g., evidence gap maps, causal inference analyses, predictive economic modelling) this stream will guide investors around the most cost-effective investments in neglected aspects of adolescent health.

Additional global adolescent health initiatives

To maintain momentum globally and at the country level for comprehensive and integrated approaches to adolescent health and take forward the recommendations from the 2016 report, Our future: a Lancet Commission on adolescent health and wellbeing and provide mechanisms for addressing the barriers to progress, the Lancet proposed a Lancet Standing Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing with the following objectives:

  • Maintaining the visibility of adolescent health including neglected areas (e.g., nutrition, mental health and injury) and neglected groups (Indigenous young people, adolescents in contact with the justice system).
  • Map progress in adolescent health and wellbeing including investments globally and nationally.
  • Extend the evidence base for cost-effective and scalable action in adolescent health at both global and national levels.

Current initiatives include Lancet series on growth and nutrition expected to appear late 2021, analyses of future NCD risks (2021), analyses of injury disease burden and investment cases (2021) and a series on adolescent indigenous health for 2022. For further information, please visit Standing Commission webpage.