Skip to content

Scientific Director, Aboriginal Health Grand Challenge


Professor Alex Brown (BMed, MPH, PhD, FRACP (hon.), FCSANZ, FAAHMS) is the Scientific Director, Aboriginal Health Grand Challenge at Telethon Kids Institute.  A former member of the Telethon Kids Institute Board and 2018 Scientific Review Panel, Alex will play a critical role working with the Institute leadership and Institute Science Team in shaping and sustaining the future of the Institute’s Aboriginal leadership, partnerships and engagement with Aboriginal communities, and training the next generation of Aboriginal researchers.

Alex is an internationally leading Aboriginal clinician/researcher who has worked his entire career in Aboriginal health in the provision of public health services, infectious diseases and chronic disease care, health care policy and research. He has family connections to Nowra, Wreck Bay and Wallaga Lake on the far south coast of NSW.

Alex is the Aboriginal Health Equity Theme Leader at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and Professor of Medicine at the University of Adelaide. He has established three highly regarded research groups over the last 15 years, and currently leads a group of 58 staff (50% of whom identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians). Much of his work has been at the difficult interface of geographical isolation, complex cultural context, severe socioeconomic disadvantage, inequitable access to and receipt of care and profound health disparities, often where little or no research infrastructure previously existed. He has built a research career spanning public health, quantitative clinical epidemiology, mixed-method health service research, qualitative research, and implementation science, with an increasing focus on novel clinical trials in cardiometabolic disease within Indigenous communities.

In 2012, Alex was awarded the Viertel Senior Medical Research Fellowship to further his research into the impacts of psychological determinants on cardiovascular disease in Aboriginal communities.