Centre for Healthy Futures (CHEF)
About the centre
CHEF identifies translational targets for prospective management of chronic conditions at the individual and community level. We focus on a personalised understanding of complex disease pathways where mechanisms of chronic and rare diseases can be identified. We consider individual variability and the interaction of mental and physical wellbeing as part of the health journey.
Wellbeing and disease are complex concepts driven by a combination of biological mechanisms, environmental, lifestyle, psychological and socio-economic factors.
Our goal is to understand mechanisms of disease and use new knowledge that will result in the development of new interventions and treatments, including medical devices. We also appreciate that any solution to improve disease outcomes requires a broader well-planned integration with local and international health systems.
Professor Craig McLachlan, Centre Director
Professor McLachlan's research interests span translational health and medicine. His current focus is on equitable medical devices, rural health, health services provision in developing countries, community screening for cardiovascular disease, and understanding genetics and inflammatory pathways contributing to disease. He leads our research clusters, Global Health - Communities and Health, Medical Device Innovation and co-leads Life and Complex Disease - Chronic Disease.
Contact Professor Craig McLachlan for project partnerships or to learn more about our research centre.
Explore our areas of research
Global Health - Communities and HealthWe focus on health solutions including Nepalese cardiovascular health, community health (obesity and cardiovascular risk), Kenyan health systems and public health in general. In rural Australia, we wish to understand environmental drivers for disease, while in Nepal, we are seeking to develop solutions and knowledge for sustainable blood pressure management, and in Kenya we are exploring sustainable expansion of cardiovascular health systems.
Innovation - Medical Device InnovationThis cluster focuses on medical device innovation in cardiovascular devices for improving blood flow, as well as neuroscience devices and digital health solutions. We have an interest in advanced simulation for modelling vascular flow and device interaction and are also developing energy efficient devices, including self-powered.
Life and Complex Disease - Chronic DiseaseThis cluster explores complex disease by using clinical and biological data to understand drivers of disease and to identify potential new treatments. We use big data tools and resources such as Biobanks, Bioinformatics, Bayesian statistical and epidemiological modelling to understand the biological mechanisms of disease. Furthermore, using these tools and resources assists in generating new knowledge and focus on cardiovascular disease, metabolic health and obesity, and clinical sciences and therapeutic targets.
Discover our live projects
Blood pressure measurements in NepalNepal has one of the world’s highest incidences of hypertension, affecting over a quarter of its total population. In collaboration with the Nepal Development Society, we aim to understand factors at a community level that contribute to high blood pressure. We explore lifestyle factors, education and health system interventions.ECG evaluations of therapeutic impacts on cardiovascular function
Electrocardiograms (ECG) are the gold standard for clinical evaluation of heart electrical function and aid in the diagnosis of abnormal heart rhythms. This project aims to evaluate the impact of cardiovascular medication on cardiovascular function via ECG parameters. We evaluate ECG records of over 400,000 patients with 19-years of follow-up.Immune mechanisms of human heart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world. In many forms of heart disease, including arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies, inflammation mediated by immune cells play a significant role in disease progression. In this project, we employ specialised bioinformatic algorithms to genetic sequencing data to define immune cell populations.
Genetic and environmental risk for cardiovascular disease and obesity in Australian Rural Populations
This project examines associations between genetic contributions to cardiovascular and obesity disease risk in Australian rural communities and will identify genetic traits contributing to cardiovascular disease. We have access to biobanks covering rural regions of NSW and VIC.Medical device development and cardiovascular simulations
This project employs high level computer simulations to identify medical device targets with a current interest in aortic devices and carotid artery devices to assist cardiac function.
Discover our partners
Our partnerships are national and international with organisations that align with our Be Good Principles. Partnerships are developed at an individual, group, centre and institutional level and align with our university research themes and build our reputation and profile.
Nepal Development Society
Our project aims to explore cardiovascular health solutions in Nepal through a collaboration with the Nepal Development society on blood pressure data for joint publications and supervision of HDR students. We specifically are interested in health systems solutions to improve blood pressure screening and treatment for high blood pressure, and have 2 PhD students aligned to the project.East Grampians Health Service
This project aims to explore health and wellbeing in the community of Ararat with support from the local hospital. Our current PhD student is exploring carotid artery disease in this rural community.
Meet our researchers
Professor Li has over a decade of training in cardiovascular physiology and biophysics and has focused on understanding the mechanisms
Dr Teresa Cheng
Dr Cheng is a research fellow assistant under Professor Craig McLachlan and contributes to both the research and administration of the
Dr Assareh is a Torrens University Adjunct and Senior Analyst at NSW Health-Agency for Clinical Innovation qualified in Industrial and
Dr Taylor performs a pivotal role in driving bioinformatics research at CHEF and undertakes novel and fundamental human genomics-based
Dr Gavino is a Fellow with CHEF and a Senior Learning Facilitator in Public Health and Digital Health at Torrens University. Dr Gavino holds a
Learn more about some of impactful projects and partners at Torrens University's Centre for Healthy Futures.
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