Discovery to recovery: Translating basic and applied research to improve healthcare

‘Negative emotions adversely affect the heart’ (William Harvey, 1628)

Combined heart disease and mental disorders have the largest burden of any disease in Australia. Both of those diseases tend to be a risk factor for each other. Yet the mechanism behind this relationship is still not known. The reason for this is that health and disease involve complex interactions between biological, psychological and environmental factors, yet research is mostly conducted in a discipline specific manner.

Our research:

  • Aims to pursue biopsychosocially-focussed ‘health and well-being’ research to both prevent disease before it strikes and to find cures for disease.
  • Aims to develop new therapeutic and preventative solutions for both these diseases for the betterment of healthcare.
  • Uses both basic and applied research to better understand why these physical and mental health diseases are both risk factors for each other.
  • Focuses on heart disease, anxiety and stress. The aim is to understand how the dynamic genome and the environment, in particular exercise, interact to create the unhealthy melting pot of mental health and cardiovascular disease.
  • Implements state of the art digital health and information technology systems, in addition to state of the art genomic tools and techniques.

Research projects

Digital health treatment and prevention trials

  • LIFE FLeX RCT for depression & anxiety
  • iSleepWell Open Trial for insomnia
  • BDZ digital health Open Trial for benzodiazepine dependence,
  • LIFE FLeX 4 PTSD Open Trial for post-traumatic stress symptoms
  • iConsiderLife Open Trial for Suicide Prevention Decision Support
  • iChooseWell RCT for improving general well-being through biopsychosocial wellness strategies
  • iMindTime RCT for improving general well-being through mindfulness
  • MonitorMe Open Trial for biopsychological self-monitoring and timely support and information
  • LIFE FLeX – LGBQ RCT for lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer adults with anxiety or depression.

Biomedical research

  • Understanding the genetic and epigenetic causes of heart disease
  • Understanding the epigenetic effects of exercise on health
  • Understanding the genetic and epigenetic causes of anxiety, stress and well-being

Further information

Professor Britt Klein
Phone: (03) 5327 6717

Professor Fadi Charchar
Phone: (03) 5327 6098