Trans Health 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 www.transresearch.org.au for a range of resources and information.

We can’t run our research programs without your support and welcome any tax-deductible donations at www.alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/transmedicalresearch

Staff

  • 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

Collaborators

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

Funding

  • 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 Publications

PEER-REVIEWED ORIGINAL RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS

  • Light M, McFarlane T, Ives A, Shah B, Lim E, Grossmann M, Zajac JD, Cheung AS. Testosterone therapy considerations in estrogen, progesterone and androgen receptor positive breast cancer in a transgender male. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2020 Jun 10. https://doi.org/ 10.1111/cen.14263
  • Lim HY, Leemaqz SY, Torkamani N, Grossmann M, Zajac JD, Nandurkar H, Ho P, Cheung AS. Global coagulation assays in transgender women on oral and transdermal estradiol therapy. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 May 15. pii: dgaa262. http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa262
  • Nolan BJ, Brownhill A, Bretherton I, Wong P, Fox S, Locke P, Russell N, Grossmann M, Zajac JD, Cheung AS. Relationships between body mass index with oral estradiol dose and serum estradiol concentration in transgender adults undergoing feminising hormone therapy. Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab 2020;11:1-7. https://doi.org/10.1177/2042018820924543
  • Nolan BJ, Leemaqz SY, Ooi O, Cundill P, Silberstein N, Locke P, Grossmann M, Zajac JD, Cheung AS. Prevalence of polycythaemia with different formulations of testosterone therapy in transmasculine individuals. Intern Med J.2020 Apr 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imj.14839
  • Cheung AS, Leemaqz SY, Wong JP, Chew D, Ooi O, Zwickl S, Cundill P, Silberstein N, Locke P, Grayson R, Zajac JD, Pang KC.  Non-Binary and Binary Gender Identity in Australian Trans and Gender Diverse Individuals. Arch Sex Behav. 2020 Apr 13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01689-9.
  • Bretherton I, Grossmann M, Leemaqz SY, Zajac JD, Cheung AS. Australian endocrinologists need more training in transgender health: A national survey. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2020 Mar;92(3):247-257. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01689-910.1111/cen.14143.
  • 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 16(24):5088 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01689-910.3390/ijerph16245088.
  • 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; 8(7):935-940. http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EC-19-0272
  • 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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imj.14035.
  • 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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/trgh.2018.0019

PEER-REVIEWED REVIEW PUBLICATIONS

  • Nolan BJ and Cheung AS. Estradiol therapy in the perioperative period: implications for transfeminine individuals. Yale J Biol Med. 2020 [accepted 23rd May 2020]
  • Spanos C, Bretherton I, Zajac JD, Cheung AS. Effects of gender-affirming hormone therapy on insulin resistance and body composition in transgender individuals: A systematic review. World J Diabetes 2020 Mar 15;11(3):66-77. http://dx.doi.org/10.4239/wjd.v11.i3.66.
  • 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 2020 Mar;50(3):695-706. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-04298-1.
  • 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 2020 Apr;4(4):322-330. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(19)30403-1.
  • 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. http://dx.doi.org/10.5694/mja2.50259.
    • Received Melbourne Medical School Publication Prize Finalist 2019
    • MJA Podcast 2019 Episode 32: Hormone therapy for transgender and gender diverse adults with Dr Ada Cheung
  • 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. http://dx.doi.org/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 Health Research

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