Non Communicable Disease Unit

Research Overview

Chronic disease is a serious and widespread threat to the health and wellbeing of people both in Australia and overseas. Most notably, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus are leading causes of disease burden and premature death. The Non-communicable Disease Unit combines existing world-class expertise and capabilities of Professor Brian Oldenburg and his team, addressing key gaps in the prevention and management of chronic disease. Particular areas of focus are:

  • Collaborating with industry and other partners in Australia and internationally to develop and rigorously evaluate digital health programs for the prevention and management of chronic disease.
  • Developing, implementing and evaluating ‘real world’ lifestyle and community-based interventions to improve the prevention and control of chronic disease in resource constrained settings and countries;
  • Understanding the multiple determinants and complex pathways to the causation and outcome of chronic conditions, including co-morbid mental health conditions;
  • Developing and evaluating contemporary approaches to build individual and institutional public health research capacity of developing countries.


Professor Brian Oldenburg, Unit Head

Dr Fabrizio D'Esposito, Research Fellow (Honorary)

Dr Mandy Cassimatis, Research Fellow, Project and Program Coordinator

Dr Nathan Grills, Research Fellow

Dr Nicholas Thomson, Senior Research Fellow

Nerida Joss, Research Fellow

Shaira Baptista, Research Assistant

Sathish Thirunavukkarasu

Emma Thomas

Mason Colin Littlejohn

Samantha Blades, Research Assistant

Tegan Daley, Research Assistant

Thanuja Pathirane, Trainee

Jillian Zemanek, Research Assistant

Athula Liyanapathirana


Diabetes Victoria
Diabetes Queensland
Diabetes WA
Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, India
Monash University


NHMRC partnership grant: 'Improving the health of people with type 2 diabetes using ICT'
NHMRC project grant: 'Depression, anxiety amd outcomes following a heart attack: How are they related?'
NHMRC project grant: 'Evaluating a group diabetes prevention program for high risk individuals in Kerala, India'
International Research and Research Training Fund (IRRTF): The University of Melbourne 'ENCORE program'