Trans Medical Research

Research Overview

We are a diverse, highly productive research group established in 2017 in response to community need and additionally provide a large clinical service to the trans and gender diverse (TGD) community. Our research group’s purpose is for TGD people to live a life without barriers; to go about daily life being safe, healthy and well. All our research projects are community-focussed, guided by and with TGD staff to guide best treatments and drive health and well-being programs to better the community. We currently have a number of projects underway that span from understanding gender-affirming treatments, health professional education in trans health, best models of clinical service delivery to reducing stigma and discrimination. We want all our research translated into improving health and well-being outcomes in the community and cannot do this without collaborating widely and valuable community support. We want to ensure that TGD voices are heard; directing their health needs and research priorities.

Want to know more about being TGD or would like to get involved?
Visit our website for a range of resources and information.

We can’t run our research programs without your support and welcome any tax-deductible donations at


  • Ada Cheung, Lead,
  • Sav Zwickl, Research Assistant
  • Kylie King, Research Assistant
  • Daria Chetcuti, Project Officer
  • Ingrid Bretherton, PhD Student
  • Brendan Nolan, PhD Student
  • Lachlan Angus, PhD Student


We are proud to work in close partnership with TGD community groups and TGD-focussed health services throughout Australia.


  • NHMRC Early Career Fellowship
  • Endocrine Society of Australia Postdoctoral Award
  • Austin Medical Research Foundation
  • University of Melbourne Early Career Research Grant
  • Viertel Charitable Foundation Clinical Investigator Award
  • RACP Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Fellowship

Research Opportunities

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

Research Publications

  1. Zwickl S, Wong A, Bretherton I, Rainier M, Chetcuti D, Zajac JD, Cheung AS. Health Needs of Trans and Gender Diverse Adults in Australia: A Qualitative Analysis of a National Community Survey. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 [accepted 10th December 2019]
  2. Angus L, Leemaqz S, Ooi O, Cundill P, Silberstein N, Locke P, Zajac JD, Cheung AS. Cyproterone acetate or spironolactone in lowering testosterone concentrations for transgender individuals receiving estradiol therapy. Endocr Connect 2019; [accepted 11 June 2019]
  3. Bretherton I, Thrower E, Grossmann M, Zajac JD, Cheung AS. Cross-sex hormone therapy in Australia: the prescription patterns of clinicians experienced in adult transgender healthcare. Intern Med J 2019 Feb;49(2):182-188. doi: 10.1111/imj.14035.
  4. Cheung AS, Ooi O, Leemaqz S, Cundill P, Silberstein N, Bretherton I, Thrower E, Locke P, Grossmann M, Zajac JD. Sociodemographic and Clinical Characteristics of Transgender Adults in Australia. Transgend Health 2018; 3(1), 229-238. doi:10.1089/trgh.2018.0019
  5. Thrower E, Bretherton I, Pang KC, Zajac JD, Cheung AS. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder amongst individuals with gender dysphoria: a systematic review. J Autism Dev Disord 2019 [epub ahead of print] accepted 16 Nov 2019
  6. Chew D, Tollit MA, Poulakis Z, Zwickl S, Cheung AS, Pang KC. Youths with a non-binary gender identity: a review of their sociodemographic and clinical profile.Lancet Child Adolesc Health 2019 [Epub ahead of print] accepted 17 Nov 2019
  7. Cheung AS, Wynne K, Murray S, Erasmus J, Zajac JD. Position statement on the hormonal management of transgender and gender diverse individuals in Australia. Med J Aust 2019 Aug;211(3):127-133. doi: 10.5694/mja2.50259.
    1. Received Melbourne Medical School Publication Prize Finalist 2019
  8. McFarlane T, Zajac JD, Cheung AS. Gender-affirming hormone therapy and the risk of sex hormone-dependent tumours in transgender individuals – a systematic review. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2018 Dec;89(6):700-711. doi: 10.1111/cen.13835.

Research Projects

Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience, Child Health

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry, Child Health in Medicine, Cardiometabolic

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Dr Ada Cheung

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology

Unit / Centre

Trans Medical Research

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