Alex Brown

Professor, B.Med, MPH, PhD

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Personal profile

Public Profile

Professor Alex Brown is an Aboriginal medical doctor and researcher. He grew up on the south coast of New South Wales (NSW) with family connections to Nowra, Wreck Bay and Wallaga Lake on the far south coast of NSW.

Alex trained in medicine at the University of Newcastle, before working in hospitals on the central coast on NSW. He subsequently travelled to Israel to complete a Master of Public Health and returned to Australia to begin work in Alice Springs, where he spent 14 years.

Alex first managed the local Centre for Disease Control in Alice Springs, controlling outbreaks of disease, immunisation programs and the surveillance of disease, before starting in research for the Menzies School of Health Research. In 2007 he was appointed to set up a research program in Central Australia with Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, with a focus on heart disease and diabetes in Aboriginal people. During this time, Alex commenced and completed his PhD on depression and heart disease in Aboriginal men.

Over the last 20 years, Alex has established an extensive and unique research program focused on chronic disease in vulnerable communities, with a particular focus on outlining and overcoming health disparities. He leads projects encompassing epidemiology, psychosocial determinants of chronic disease, mixed methods health services research in Aboriginal primary care and hospital settings, and randomised controlled trials of pharmacological and non-pharmacological chronic disease interventions.

Alex has been involved in policy since he commenced as a doctor. He has been heavily involved in engaging government and lead agencies in setting the agenda in Aboriginal cardiovascular disease management and control and chronic disease policy more broadly. He sits on a range of national committees,and co-chairs the Indigenous Research Health Fund through the MRFF.

In July 2012, Alex joined SAHMRI to lead Aboriginal health research.

In November 2012, Alex was awarded the prestigious Viertel Senior Medical Research Fellowship to further his research into the impacts of psychosocial determinants on cardiovascular disease in Aboriginal communities. He holds an NHMRC Research Fellowship.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Queensland

… → Jun 2010

Masters, Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel

Sep 1998Sep 1999

Bachelor's Degree, University of Newcastle


External positions

Scientific Director, Aboriginal Grand Challenge, Telethon Kids Institute

1 Jan 2020 → …

Professor of Aboriginal Health, University of Adelaide

4 Mar 2019 → …

Honorary Senior Principal Research Fellow, Charles Perkins Centre

12 Nov 2018 → …

Honorary Professor, Department of Diabetes, Monash University

1 Jan 2018 → …


  • Aboriginal health
  • Cardiology
  • Diabetes
  • Biopsychosocial
  • Health Services
  • epidemiology


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