Head, Skin Health, Program Head of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases
BA MBBS DCH FRACP PhD
Areas of expertise: Skin infections, Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Aboriginal children, COVID-19.
Associate Professor Asha Bowen is a clinician-researcher at Perth Children’s Hospital and Head of Skin Health at the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, based at Telethon Kids Institute. Recently appointed as the Institute's Program Head of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, A/Prof Bowen is uniquely placed for rapid translation of results from bush to bench to bedside.
A/Prof Bowen received her Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) as a paediatric infectious diseases specialist in 2009. Her NHMRC-funded PhD (2010–2014, Menzies School of Health Research), a randomised controlled trial of impetigo treatment in remote Aboriginal children, was published in The Lancet, with the results translated into national and international guidelines. She has >10 years’ experience leading infectious diseases research and investigator-initiated clinical trials focusing on issues significant to Aboriginal child health.
A/Prof Bowen is currently the lead investigator for the SToP Trial to “see, treat and prevent” skin infections, a large cluster randomised trial with a stepped wedge design recruiting from 2019-2021 throughout the Kimberley region in Western Australia. Community engagement over several years formed the foundation of the SToP Trial and ensured the study was guided by the Aboriginal co-investigators and community members.
In 2020, A/Prof Bowen pivoted into COVID-19 research to complement her other fields and is a lead investigator of the WA DETECT-Schools study and chair of the Australasian COVID-19 Trial (ASCOT) global steering committee.
A/Prof Bowen has received numerous awards in recognition of her outstanding research, including:
- 2020 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science
- 2020 NHMRC Investigator Award as an Emerging Leader (her third consecutive NHMRC people support award)
- 2019 WA Tall Poppy Science Award
- 2018 L’Oréal UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship – one of only 4 awarded nationally, and an Australian finalist for the International Rising Talents Award
- 2017 Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year at the WA Premier's Science Awards
She is also the Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Paediatric Infectious Diseases committee and Deputy Chair of the Australasian Society of Infectious Diseases clinical research network.