International and Immigrant Health

Research Overview

Professor Beverley-Ann Biggs leads a group of clinicians and researchers with interests in infectious diseases, maternal and child health, and immigrant health. International health activities are based in South and South-East Asia and have focused on; the introduction, evaluation and expanded use of new and under utilised vaccines; strengthening the capacity for research and control of malaria and parasitic infections; the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies and helminth infections in women and young children, and integrated approaches for improved child growth and development.

Refugee health projects have investigated the burden of undiagnosed infections and nutritional deficiencies in immigrants and refugees.

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, University of Melbourne Department of Medicine and Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH)
  • Dr Sarah Hanieh, NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow
  • Dr Sant-Rayn Pasricha, NHMRC Research Fellow
  • Dr Kudzai Kanhutu, Refugee Health Fellow Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, RMH
  • Dr Thomas Schulz, Refugee Health Fellow Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, RMH
  • Dr Joanne Gardiner, Refugee Health Fellow, Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, RMH
  • Dr Sabine Braat, Research Fellow
  • Ms Beth Hilton-Thorp, Project Consultant
  • Ms  Christalla Hajisava, Project Support Officer
  • Dr Chris Morgan, PhD Student


  • Professor Jane Fisher, Jean Hailes Research Unit, Monash University
  • Associate Professor Julie Simpson, School of Population Health
  • Dr Thach Tran, Jean Hailes Research Unit, Monash University
  • Dr Tuan Tran, Research and Training Center for Community Development, Vietnam (RTCCD)
  • Ha Tran, RTCCD, Vietnam
  • Professor Willem de Vos, Helsinki University
  • Associate Professor Anne Salonen, Helsinki University
  • Dr Jena  Derakhshani Hamadani, icddr,b, Bangladesh
  • Professor Shams El Arifeen, icddr,b, Bangladesh
  • Department of Human Services (DHS), Victoria
  • Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (VFST)
  • Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL)
  • Burnet Institute
  • The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI)
  • Nossal Institute for Global Health
  • University of Sydney
  • Menzies Institute, Darwin
  • Research and Training Center for Community Development, Vietnam
  • National Institute of Malariology and Parasitology
  • World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva


  • NHMRC Project Grant: ‘IRMA: Benefits and safety of IRon supplementation with MAlaria chemoprevention to children in Malawi (IRMA) - A randomised controlled trial’
  • R@M-Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives (Hallmarks & MSOG) Collaborations Grant: ‘New approaches to improve nutrition in Indigenous children in a remote Yolngu community’
  • Shepherdson Foundation Research Grant: ‘Novel approaches to improve understanding of anaemia and its determinants in Indigenous communities’
  • The Royal Melbourne Hospital Home Lottery Grant in Aid: ‘Enteric pathogen infection and gut microbiota disturbance-association with child cognition in remote Indigenous communities’
  • NHMRC Project Grant:'Defining the impact of universal iron interventions in young children: a randomized controlled trial in rural Bangladesh'
  • NHMRC Early Career Research Grant:'The Stunting Risk Assessment Tool: identifying infants at high risk of impaired growth and development in resource poor settings'
  • NHMRC Project Grant: '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:'Maternal mental health and anaemia as determinants of infant health and development in resource constrained settings'
  • NHMRC Project Grant: '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'
  • Grand Challenges, Canada, Grant: 'Learning Clubs Project Vietnam'
  • University of Melbourne Engagement Fund:'Targeting 1000 days in 10 years: A collaboration to support policy- focused research to benefit Myanmar's women and children'
  • The Atlantic Philanthropies Grant: 'Strengthening the capacity for research and control of malaria and parasitic diseases in Vietnam'
  • Department of Business and Innovation; with co-funding from the Institute for Broadband Enabled Society at the University of Melbourne and the Windermere Foundation:'Refugee Health clinical hub – a model for integrated clinical care'
  • Institute for Broadband Enabled Society at the University of Melbourne:'Linking to interpreters using videoconferencing'
  • Department of Human Services, Victoria, Grant:' HIV in Victoria’s African Communities: reducing risks and improving care'
  • Department of Human Services, Victoria, Grant:'Assessing the health of Burmese Refugees'
  • Department of Human Services, Victoria, Grant. 'A health and well being status report on refugee children and young people 0-18 years'
  • Department of Human Services, Victoria, Grant. 'Healthy bones and strong communities: Health literacy and effective health promotion in newly arrived African communities'

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Research Projects

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health, Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Women's Health

Key Contact

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

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology

Unit / Centre

International and Immigrant Health

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