Beverley Ann-Biggs

Research Overview

Professor Beverley-Ann Biggs leads a group of clinicians and researchers with interests in infectious diseases, nutrition, and immigrant health. International health activities are based in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Malawi and include integrated approaches for improved child growth and development, the assessment and prevention of iron deficiency in women and children, and the control of parasitic diseases.

Refugee health projects focus on assessing and treating undiagnosed infections and malnutrition in immigrants and refugees.

Indigenous Australians in remote communities also face challenges related to malnutrition and infectious diseases. A current initiative in this area is the evaluation of a community-based program that encourages and supports metabolic health.

The Group is also active in Guideline and Policy Development through collaborations with the World Health Organisation, the Department of Health, Victoria and the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases.


  • Professor Beverley-Ann Biggs, Head, International and Immigrant Health, Department of Infectious Diseases, Doherty Institute, and Victorian Infection Diseases Service, Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH)
  • Dr Janet Pasricha, Refugee Health Fellow Victorian Infectious Diseases Service,  RMH
  • Dr Joanne Gardiner, Refugee Health Fellow, Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, RMH
  • Dr Sabine Braat, Senior Research Fellow – Biostatistics
  • Dr Ricardo Ataide, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health Trials
  • Dr Hasthi Dissanayake, Research Fellow in Indigenous Health
  • Sarah Hanieh, Senior Research Fellow
  • Ms Joanne Garnggulkpuy, Indigenous Health Support Worker
  • Mr George Gurruwiwi, Indigenous Health Support Worker
  • Ms Beth Hilton-Thorp, Project Consultant
  • Ms Christalla Hajisava, Admin/Project Support Officer
Honorary Staff
  • Dr Kudzai Kanhutu
  • Dr Benjamin Harrap
University Guests
  • Kristy Gardner (PhD) assisting Dr Simon Graham and Dr Hasthi Dissanyake
  • Reet Saharan (Honours) assisting Dr Hasthi Dissanayake
  • Johnny Assaf (Masters) assisting Dr Sabine Braat


Major Collaborators

  • Professor Jane Fisher, Jean Hailes Research Unit, Monash University, and her group
  • Associate Professor Sant-Rayn Parischa, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), and his group
  • Associate Professor Julie Simpson, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
  • Dr Thach Tran, Women's and Global Health, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University
  • Dr Barbara Cardoso, Senior Lecturer, Nutrition Dietetics and Food, Monash University.
  • Dr Tuan Tran, Director, Research and Training Center for Community Development (RTCCD), Vietnam
  • Ms Ha Tran and the RTCCD team
  • Dr Jena Derakhshani Hamadani, icddr,b, Bangladesh, and her group
  • Professor Shams El Arifeen, icddr,b, Bangladesh
  • Professor Kamija Phiri, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Malawi, and his group
  • Associate Professor Julie Brimblecombe, Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Monash University
  • Professor Michael Christie, Contemporary Indigenous Knowledge and Governance (CIKG), Charles Darwin University
  • Associate Professor John Wentworth, WEHI
  • Ms Joanne Garnggulkpuy, Charles Darwin University
  • Mr George, Gurruwiwi, Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Bronwyn Clark, Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, University of Queensland
  • Professor Leonard Harrison, WEHI, and his group
  • Dr Emma Tonkin, College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University
  • Mr Tim Trudgen, Why Warriors Pty Ltd
  • Professor Ruth Wallace, College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Art, Charles Darwin University
  • Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Victoria
  • Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (VFST)
  • Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL)
  • World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva


Recent Funding

  • Northeast Arnhem Land Atlantic Philanthropies Grant, Internal Research Grant, 2023: Innovative and culturally appropriate strategies to reduce blood sugar levels in Indigenous Australians living in a very remote community in Arnhem Land.
  • NHMRC Targeted Research Grant, 2020-2022: Evaluation of a community-led nutrition and lifestyle program for weight loss and metabolic health: a randomised controlled trial.
  • NHMRC Project Grant, 2018-2022: IRMA: Benefits and safety of IRon supplementation with MAlaria chemoprevention to children in Malawi (IRMA) - A randomised controlled trial.
  • NHMRC Project Grant, 2016-2020:Defining the impact of universal iron interventions in young children: a randomized controlled trial in rural Bangladesh.
  • NHMRC Project Grant, 2016-2019: Learning clubs to improve women’s health and infant’s health and development in Vietnam: a cluster randomised controlled trial of a low-cost, evidence-informed, structured intervention.
  • NHMRC Project Grant, 2013-2016: What are the clinical predictors and risk factors for child stunting and impaired cognitive development? Following up the Ha Nam cohort from birth to 3 years of age.
  • NHMRC Early Career Fellowship, 2015-2019:The Stunting Risk Assessment Tool: identifying infants at high risk of impaired growth and development in resource poor settings.

Other Funding

  • MDHS Internal Research Grant, 2020: Feasibility and stakeholder engagement for a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the Hope for health Program in a remote indigenous community.
  • Shepherdson Foundation Research Grant, 2018-2020: Novel approaches to improve understanding of anaemia and its determinants in Indigenous communities.
  • The Royal Melbourne Hospital Home Lottery Grant in Aid, 2018-2020: Enteric pathogen infection and gut microbiota disturbance-association with child cognition in remote Indigenous communities.
  • R@M-Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives (Hallmarks & MSOG) Collaborations Grant, 2016-2017: New approaches to improve nutrition in indigenous children in a remote Yolngu community.  University of Melbourne.
  • Victorian Government support for Refugee Health Fellow program.

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Outcomes

View the complete listing of Professor Bigg's publications

Research Publications

From 2018-2023

  1. Hare DJ, Ph.D; Cardoso BR, PhD; Szymlek-Gay EA, PhD; Biggs BA. Neurological effects of iron supplementation in infancy: Finding the balance between health and harm in iron-replete children. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2018 Feb; 2(2):144-156.
  2. Park CS, Vogel E, Larson LM, Myers SS, Daniel M, Biggs BA. The global effect of extreme weather events on nutrient supply: a superposed epoch analysis. Lancet Planetary Health. 2019 Oct; 3(10) e429-e438.
  3. Tonkin, E, Kennedy, D, Hanieh, S, Biggs, BA, Kearns, T, Gondarra, V, Dhurrkay, R, Brimblecombe, J.  Dietary intake of Aboriginal Australian children aged 6-36 months in a remote community: a cross-sectional study. Nutr J. 2020 Apr; 19(34):1-12.
  4. Jena Derakhshani Hamadani, Mohammed Imrul Hasan, Andrew J Baldi, Sheikh Jamal Hossain, Shamima Shiraji, Mohammad Saiful Alam Bhuiyan, Syeda Fardina Mehrin, Jane Fisher, Fahmida Tofail, S M Mulk Uddin Tipu, Sally Grantham-McGregor, Beverley-Ann Biggs, Sabine Braat, Sant-Rayn Pasricha. Immediate impact of stay-at-home orders to control COVID-19 transmission on socioeconomic conditions, food insecurity, mental health and intimate partner violence in Bangladeshi women and their families: an interrupted time-series. The Lancet Global Health. 2020 Nov;8(11):E1380-89.
  5. Hanieh S, Mahanty S, Gurruwiwi G, Kearns T, Dhurrkay R, Gondarra V, Shield J, Ryan N, Azzato F, Ballard SA, Orlando N, Nicholson S, Gibney K, Brimblecombe J, Page W, Harrison LC, Biggs BA; Child Health and Nutrition Study team.Enteric pathogen infection and consequences for child growth in young Aboriginal Australian children: a cross-sectional study. BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Jan; 21(1):9.
  6. Shield J, Braat S, Watts M, Robertson G, Beaman M, McLeod J, Baird RW, Hart J, Robson J, Lee R, McKessar S, Nicholson S, Mayer-Coverdale J, Biggs BA. Seropositivity and geographical distribution of Strongyloides stercoralis in Australia: a study of pathology laboratory data from 2012-2016. PLOS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Mar; 15(3):e0009160.
  7. Pasricha S-R, Hasan MI, Braat S, Larson LM, Tipu SMM-U, Hossain SJ, Shiraji S, Baldi A, Bhuiyan MSA, Tofail F, Fisher J, Grantham‑McGregor S, Simpson JA, Hamadani JD, Biggs BA. Benefits and Risks of Universal Iron Interventions in Infants. N Engl J Med. 2021 Sep; 385(11):982-995.
  8. Hanieh S, Braat S, Tran TD, Ha TT, Simpson JA, Tuan T, Fisher J, Biggs BA. Child linear growth trajectories during the first three years of life in relation to infant iron status: a prospective cohort study in rural Vietnam. BMC Nutr. 2022 Feb 15;8(1):14.
  9. Fisher J, Tran T, Tran H, Luchters S, Hipgrave DB, Nguyen H, Tran T, Hanieh S, Simpson JA, Biggs BA, Tran T. Structured, multicomponent, community-based programme for women's health and infant health and development in rural Vietnam: a parallel-group cluster randomised controlled trial. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2023 May; 7(5):311-325.

Research Projects

For project inquiries, contact our research group head.

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology, Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Women's Health, Infectious Diseases and Immunity

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Professor Beverley-Ann Biggs

Department / Centre

Infectious Diseases


Doherty Institute

Unit / Centre

Beverley Ann-Biggs

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