Non Communicable Disease Unit

Group Leader Email Number Webpage
Professor Brian Oldenburg +61 3 8344 0453 View page

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 Suzanne Mavoa, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Head

Dr Fabrizio D'Esposito, Research Fellow (Honorary)

Dr Nathan Grills, Research Fellow

Sathish Thirunavukkarasu (Honorary)

Jillian Zemanek, Research Assistant

Athula Liyanapathirana

Robin Zhou Research Assistant

Suman Shetty Research Assistant

Dr Tilahun Nigatu, Research Fellow (Honorary)

Dr Padmaka Silva, post-doc trainee

Shaira Baptista, PhD Student

Zahra Aziz, PhD student

Nitin Kapoor, PhD student

Motjaba Lotfalian, PhD student

Shurong Lu, PhD student

Patricia Rarau, PhD student

Zongmuyu Zhang, Masters student

Yang Zhao, PhD student


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'