Targeting health and medical issues in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven

IHMRI researchers based at the University of Wollongong and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District are involved in different areas of health and medical research, including basic science in the laboratory, clinical trials, as well as public health studies.

They strive to understand how the human body works, how to prevent the onset of chronic health conditions, and how to improve the treatments and health services people receive.

Visit our Find a researcher page to search for our affiliated researchers and see their individual profiles. To explore the currently funded projects of our researchers visit Research projects.

Research themes

Our researchers work within and across three broad research themes.

Below is a quick overview of the different diseases and illnesses our researchers work on under these research themes.

Diagnostics and therapeutics
cancer patient
Researchers in this theme explore the fundamental mechanisms of disease. They use this knowledge to design and test new drugs, as well as medical devices. They work together to increase treatment options and quality of life for patients with complex medical conditions.


  • Breast cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Leukaemia
  • Haemotology

Drug development and therapies

  • Anti-bacterial drug discovery
  • Anti-cancer drug discovery
  • Radiation therapy (Centre for Medical Radiation Physics)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Non-opioid pain killers
  • Stem cells
  • Nano-therapies
  • Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
  • Wearable devices/chips
  • Bio-interfaces / Biosensors

Infectious diseases

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Innate immunity
  • Group A Streptococcus
  • Clostridium Difficile


  • Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
  • Vision science
  • Toxicology


Mental health and the ageing brain
Researchers in this theme examine the mechanisms, causes and treatment of psychiatric illnesses, neurodegenerative diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders. Together they seek to address the burden of mental illness and neurodegenerative diseases in the region.

Neurodegenerative diseases

  • Dementia (Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Motor neurone disease (MND)
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Vanishing White Matter disease (Chloe Saxby)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Friedrich’s Ataxia
  • The role of proteins (Proteostasis and Disease Research Centre)

Mental illnesses / addictions

  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders (Project Air Strategy)
  • Gut-brain axis
  • Suicide prevention
  • Cannabis use and dependence
  • Alcohol misuse and dependence
  • Opioid dependence

Health services

  • Youth mental health
  • Psychology and psychiatry


Chronic conditions and lifestyle
Researchers in this theme study the links between disease and lifestyle risk factors, such as excess weight, poor diet, high blood pressure and physical inactivity. They work together to find better treatments and prevention strategies to extend healthy ageing.

Diabetes and kidney disease

  • Cognition
  • Health literacy

  • Diet and nutrition
  • Gut microbiome
  • Pruritis

Diet and physical activity

Health services

  • Dementia health education and care (ADHERe)
  • Rehabilitation and palliative care
  • Paediatrics and reproductive medicine
  • Premature babies
  • Anaesthesia
  • Nursing
  • Telehealth

Cardiovascular health

  • Heart disease
  • Blood pressure
  • Circulation
  • Cardiology

Public health

  • Health informatics
  • Chronic disease epidemiology


  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Overactive bladder
  • Respiratory and sleep medicine
  • Biological monitoring and chemical safety
  • Workplace health and safety