Alex Brown


  • 3432 Citations
  • 28 h-Index
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Personal profile

Public Profile

Professor Alex Brown is an Aboriginal medical doctor and researcher. He grew up on the south coast of New South Wales (NSW) with family connections to Nowra, Wreck Bay and Wallaga Lake on the far south coast of NSW.

Alex trained in medicine at the University of Newcastle, before working in hospitals on the central coast on NSW. He subsequently travelled overseas to complete a Master of Public Health and returned to Australia to begin work in Alice Springs, where he spent the last 13 years.

Alex first managed the local Centre for Disease Control in Alice Springs, controlling outbreaks of disease, immunisation programs and the surveillance of disease, before starting in research for the Menzies School of Health Research. In 2007 he was appointed to set up a research program in Central Australia with Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, with a focus on heart disease and diabetes in Aboriginal people. During this time, Alex commenced and completed his PhD on depression and heart disease in Aboriginal men.

Over this time, Alex has established an extensive and unique research program focused on chronic disease in vulnerable communities, with a particular focus on outlining and overcoming health disparities. He leads projects encompassing epidemiology, psychosocial determinants of chronic disease, mixed methods health services research in Aboriginal primary care and hospital settings, and randomised controlled trials of pharmacological and non-pharmacological chronic disease interventions.

Alex has been involved in policy since he commenced as a doctor. He has been heavily involved in engaging government and lead agencies in setting the agenda in Aboriginal cardiovascular disease management and control and chronic disease policy more broadly. He sits on a range of national committees, including the Heart Foundation, chairs the Cardiac Society Indigenous Cardiovascular Council and was a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council (2009-2012).

In July 2012, Alex joined SAHMRI to lead Aboriginal health research.

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

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Queensland

… → Jun 2010

Masters, Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel

Sep 1998Sep 1999

Bachelor's Degree, University of Newcastle


External positions

Professor of Aboriginal Health, University of Adelaide

4 Mar 2019 → …

Honorary Senior Principal Research Fellow, Charles Perkins Centre

12 Nov 2018 → …


  • R Medicine (General)
  • Aboriginal health
  • Cardiology
  • Diabetes
  • Biopsychosocial
  • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
  • Health Services
  • epidemiology

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Research Output 2001 2019

Can the Revival of Indigenous Languages Improve the Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People?

Sivak, L., Westhead, S., Richards, E., Atkinson, S., Dare, H., Richards, J., Zuckermann, G., Rosen, A., Gee, G., Wright, M., Brown, N., Ritchie, T., Walsh, M. & Brown, A., 2019, In : TheMHS e-Book of Proceedings.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Disparities in breast screening, stage at diagnosis, cancer treatment and the subsequent risk of cancer death: A retrospective, matched cohort of aboriginal and non-aboriginal women with breast cancer

CanDAD Aboriginal Community Reference Group and other CanDAD investigators, 14 Jun 2019, In : BMC Health Services Research. 19, 1, 387.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Emerging diabetes and metabolic conditions among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people

Titmuss, A., Davis, E. A., Brown, A. & Maple-Brown, L. J., 1 Feb 2019, In : The Medical journal of Australia. 210, 3, p. 111-113.e1

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Evaluating a research capacity strengthening program for Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations

Stajic, J., Harfield, S., Brown, A., Dawson, A., Davy, C., Aromataris, E. & Braunack-Mayer, A., 11 Jan 2019, In : Australian Journal of Primary Health.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Examining adherence to activity monitoring devices to improve physical activity in adults with cardiovascular disease: A systematic review

Marin, T. S., Kourbelis, C., Foote, J., Newman, P., Brown, A., Daniel, M., Coffee, N. T., Nicholls, S., Ganesan, A., Versace, V. L., Beks, H., Haedtke, C. A. & Clark, R. A., 1 Mar 2019, In : European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 26, 4, p. 382-397 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article