Health Humanities and Social Sciences Unit

Research Overview

The Health Humanities and Social Sciences Unit brings together the humanities and social sciences in the study of health and health care. The Centre uses multi-disciplinary approaches to strengthen the nexus between theory and practice in the study of health and society.

Work across   the Centre   integrates   a variety   of humanities and social sciences perspectives on health, disease and healthcare delivery, and uses disciplinary approaches from the history of health and medicine, medical anthropology, health ethics, sociology of health and illness, and health policy analysis.

Programs of work across this Unit focus on alcohol and other drugs, building the national and international evidence base for policy; historical demography, reconstituting historical populations to study fertility, mortality, morbidity and health transitions; ethics, including clinical ethics,  research  ethics, health care ethics, bioethics and ethical decision making; and the advancement of health social sciences through methodological development and innovation.


Professor Richard Chenhall (Unit Head)

Ms Emma Barnard

Professor Marilys Guillemin

Professor Lynn Gillam

A/Professor Louise Keogh

Dr Natalie Jovanovski

Professor Janet McCalman

Dr Ros McDougall

Dr Bridget Pratt

Dr Merle Spriggs


Each of our units is involved in research collaborations at local, national and international levels. These range from government departments seeking our input for policy development, to Indigenous communities advising our researchers on how best to deliver trachoma programs within their communities.

Powerful resources and productive relationships sustain our work. Our partnerships include governments and health departments in Australia and internationally, the World Health Organization, universities and many other institutes and organisations in other countries, the Cochrane Public Health Group, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (Vic Health).

The efforts of our researchers and staff have been recognised in many ways, including numerous awards, NHMRC and ARC Grants and Fellowships and ARC Linkage Grants, invitations to address prestigious international assemblies, and international prizes for their research.


NHMRC and ARC Grants and Fellowships and ARC Linkage Grants

Research Projects

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Data science, health metrics and disease modeling, Screening and early detection of disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Unit Head Richard Chenhall

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Equity

Unit / Centre

Health Humanities and Social Sciences Unit

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