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Professor Alan Cass commenced as Director of Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin in mid-November 2012 and previously served as the Director of the Renal Division at the prestigious George Institute for Global Health in Sydney.
Alan is a member of the Executive of the Australasian Kidney Trials Network; the President-Elect for the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology; and a leading proponent of academic collaboration in clinical research in kidney disease. He is also a Chief Investigator for the Kanyini Vascular Collaboration, which brings together researchers, health providers and communities across Australia to conduct research to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
Alan completed his University of Sydney PhD research into the determinants of end-stage renal disease through Menzies from 1998-2002, whilst also serving as a nephrologist at Darwin Royal Hospital. In 2003, Professor Cass completed a Harkness Fellowship at Harvard University, USA. He has authored an average of 20 academic papers per year, fuelled by a strong commitment to prevent chronic disease and advance wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Alan is an advocate for rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods in health services research to foster the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies to address the growing burden of complex chronic diseases. He is particularly passionate about Aboriginal health and works actively with governments to develop strategies to improve access to renal services, and to improve health outcomes for people with kidney disease.
'The burden of chronic disease amongst Indigenous Australians remains extremely heavy,' says Professor Cass. 'My clinical research career has been about seeing whether I could be part of the solution - working particularly with Indigenous researchers and community organisations - as well as with health service providers and governments - to develop models of care that improve health.'
In addition to his expertise in Indigenous health, Professor Cass maintains a strong regional focus - most recently his work has included chronic disease and kidney disease studies in China and Malaysia.