About the Safe-D study team

We are a team of over 30 researchers and doctors from universities and hospitals across Victoria and interstate, with the core team based at the Royal Women’s Hospital, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne. Together we are developing a large health and wellness initiative that we hope will help improve the overall health and wellbeing of young women.


Chief Investigators

Professor John Wark

Professor Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Hospital

Head, Bone and Mineral Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital

Consulting Clinician, Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Royal Melbourne Hospital

John Wark is an endocrinologist with major clinical and research interests in bone disorders spanning 30 years. He is Head of RMH Bone and Mineral Medicine. He has an international reputation in the bone field and is known for his work on vitamin D metabolism; for studying twins over a wide age range spanning many years; for the role of physical activity in bone health and for his work with the World Health Organization as a consultant on osteoporosis and menopause. He is principal investigator in an ongoing, 20-year longitudinal study of bone health and other indices in over 2,000 female twins. Current projects include the impact of cigarette smoking on bone and its potential reversibility, and the adverse effects of antiepileptic drug therapy on falls and fracture risk.

Tel: +61 3 9342 7109
Email: jdwark@unimelb.edu.au

Dr. Nicola Reavley

PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Dr Nicola Reavley is a Research Fellow in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on improving public knowledge and beliefs about mental illnesses and on interventions that aim to improve support for those with mental disorders.

Ph: +61 3 9035 7628
Email: nreavley@unimelb.edu.au

Associate Professor Marie Pirotta

Associate Professor
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health
Department of General Practice
University of Melbourne
General Practitioner

Marie Pirotta has a special interest in complementary medicines, the evidence for their effectiveness and how people use them. She has been involved in several randomised controlled trials of acupuncture and herbs.

Ph: +61 3 8344 9723
Email: m.pirotta@unimelb.edu.au

Professor George Varigos

Honorary Clinical Professor, The University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine.

Fellow of Australasian College of Dermatologists

PhD University of Melbourne

Present Head, Department of Dermatology, Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Royal Children’s Hospital  Head of Department of Dermatology (1987 to 2012)

Present lecturer in peadiatrics and visiting lecturer School of Rural Health, The University of Melbourne, Shepparton.

George has extensive experience investigating skin disease (psoriasis and eczema) and the effects of nutrition and sun exposure on skin health, including a international study administering to transplant recipients (who are at increased risk of developing skin cancer because of immune suppression) a drug that reduces the risks of skin cancer by increasing pigmentation.

Ph: +61 3 9342 4531
Email: george.varigos@mh.org.au


Prof. Kim Bennell – Director of the Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, in the school of Physiotherapy at the Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne.

Prof. Suzanne Garland – Director of Microbiological Research and Head of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Womens Hospital.

Ms. Alexandra Gorelik – Senior statistician, Melbourne EpiCentre, The Royal Melbourne Hospital

Prof. Anthony Jorm – Professional fellow and NHMRC fellow, School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne.

Dr. Tharshan Vaithianathan – Senior researcher, Victoria Research Laboratory, National Information and Communications Technology Australia (NICTA).

Dr. Shanton Chang – Senior lecturer, Department of Information Systems, The University of Melbourne.

Ms. Emma Callegari – PhD Student, The University of Melbourne.

Ms. Marjan Tabesh – PhD Student, The University of Melbourne.

Ms. Heather Robinson – Study Coordinator/Research Nurse, The University of Melbourne.

Ms. Asvini Subasinghe – Project officer (YFHI study), Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.


Researchers previously involved with The Safe-D Study:

Ms. Skye Maclean – Study Coordinator/Research Nurse, The University of Melbourne.

Ms. Adele Rivers – Study Coordinator/Research Nurse, The University of Melbourne.

Ms. Audrey Grech – Honours student, The University of Melbourne.

Ms. Sonia Romeo – Honours student, The University of Melbourne.

Ms. Anna Scobie – Honours student, The University of Melbourne.

Ms. Nazanin Shajiei – Honours student, The University of Melbourne.