Professor Shanthi Ameratunga
Shanthi Ameratunga is Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Population Health. A paediatrician and public health physician by background, Shanthi leads a multi-disciplinary research program focusing on trauma outcomes, injury prevention and disability, with a particular interest in issues relating to young people. She is the principal investigator of the YourCall trial, a randomised control trial investigating the effectiveness of a text-based intervention to reduce problem drinking among people admitted to trauma centres. Other projects she has directed include the Traffic Related Injury in the Pacific (TRIP) project, a collaboration with the Fiji School of Medicine funded by The Wellcome Trust and the Health Research Council of New Zealand, and several projects examining causes and outcomes of injuries.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 6354
Professor Jo Barnes
Jo Barnes is Professor in Herbal Medicines at the School of Pharmacy. She previously held teaching and research positions at the Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, University of London, UK, and the Department of Complementary Medicine, University of Exeter, UK. Jo’s research interests broadly include the utilisation, quality, efficacy and safety of natural health products (complementary /alternative medicines), particularly herbal and other traditional medicines. She has specific interests in pharmacovigilance of herbal medicines, in developing novel or modified methods to monitor the safety of natural health products, and in natural health products used in smoking cessation. Jo is an honorary consultant to the WHO Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring and is a member of its herbal safety signal review panel. She is an Associate Editor ofPhytochemistry Letters, and on the editorial boards of Drug Safety, International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, and Phytotherapy Research
Deputy Head of School
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 3069
Professor Chris Bullen
Professor Chris Bullen is a public health medicine specialist and Academic Director of the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI) at the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health. His research interests focus primarily on tobacco control and innovative smoking cessation interventions. He is a senior author on the latest NZ Smoking Cessation Guidelines and a co-author on Cochrane reviews of nicotine replacement therapy, e-cigarettes and mobile phones for smoking cessation. Chris led the first international trial investigating the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as an aid to smoking cessation. His current research focuses on innovative ways to scale up tobacco cessation interventions in low and middle-income countries, measuring responses among people who smoke to the policies in New Zealand’s new Tobacco Action Plan and estimating the scale of the illicit trade in tobacco. He is President of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 4730
Dr Amy Chan
Dr Amy Chan is a senior research fellow jointly appointed with the University of Auckland and Auckland District Health Board, and one of the leads of the Academic Practice Unit (APU), a unit which aims to increase clinical research capacity and capability, and boost knowledge mobilisation, with a focus on medicines and health outcomes. Amy also holds an honorary post with the University College London, UK and Asthma UK Centre of Applied Research (AUKCAR). Amy’s expertise is in exploring data patterns and medicines-related behaviour, and the role of digital technologies in improving health behaviours and outcomes. Amy has nearly 15 years’ experience in the public health service, where she led one of the clinical pharmacy services at ADHB, and was involved in health service delivery research. She is also the global lead for workforce transformation for the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), Professional Development and Research Lead for the Commonwealth Pharmacists’ Association, and on the board for Asthma New Zealand.
Senior Research Fellow
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 4730
Dr Joanna Chu
Joanna is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI), Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences and Centre for Arts and Social Transformation (CAST), Faculty of Education and Social Work. Joanna’s current work aims to address health inequities in Aotearoa New Zealand, and is guided by holistic principles and the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Her research interest is in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Other interests are child and adolescent well-being and neurodiversity. She has a strong background in developmental psychology, digital health, family intervention, and community-based participation.
Senior Research Fellow
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 6390
Dr Andi Crawford
He tangata tiriti ahau. Nō Czech Republic, Scotland, Switzerland, Prussia, Ireland, England ōku tīpuna.
Andi Crawford is a Clinical Psychologist and Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Psychological Medicine. Andi recently completed her post-doc which explored pathways to support children, mothers, and their families who have experienced prenatal alcohol and drug exposure. Andi has 20 years’ of experience working in child development, child and adolescent mental health, maternal mental health and addiction services. She currently works for Te Ara Manapou (Pregnancy and Parenting Service, Te Whatu Ora – Te Matau a Māui) providing support for pregnant women and parents of young children who experience addiction and mental health challenges. Currently, she is the Tangata Tiriti co-lead for the development of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Guidelines in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Honorary Research Fellow
Dr Grant Christie
Dr Grant Christie, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Auckland, is a Child and Adolescent and Addiction Psychiatrist who has been working in outpatient and residential youth addiction services in NZ and Australia for over 15 years. He is passionate about improving the treatment of young people at risk of addiction and enhancing the management of co-existing problems (CEP) in mental health services and primary care. He has developed a number of youth addiction treatment resources that are used widely in NZ and further afield, and has acted in various advisory roles for the MOH in this area. Principal investigator in the design and testing of the Substances and Choices Scale (SACS), a youth AOD screening and outcome measurement instrument (available on www.sacsinfo.com), Grant has developed brief intervention training packages for primary and secondary health services and is expanding this work to look at youth addiction treatment via internet and app based modalities.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 9640
Dr Louise Curley
Louise Curley is a pharmacist and Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy practice at the School of Pharmacy. Louise’s area of research focuses on the effects of recreational drug use in humans. She began her research as an undergraduate by investigating the subjective and electrophysiological effects of the Party Pill drugs BZP using electroencephalography (EEG) and graduated with a PhD in pharmacy in 2012. Her thesis investigated the effects of the main constituents of “Party Pills” benzylpiperazine (BZP) and trifluromethylphenylpiperazine (TFMPP) on executive functioning and reward using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Currently, her focus is developing new fMRI paradigms to investigate different aspects of risk, specifically by comparing populations of dependent versus non-dependent participants.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 2255
Associate Professor Daniel Exeter
Dr Dan Exeter is an Associate Professor in Epidemiology at the University of Auckland. He is a quantitative health geographer and has a background in Geographical Information Systems and spatial analysis. Using large datasets such as the census or routine health databases, his research aims to identify, and provide solutions to inequalities in health. He is currently leading research to deliver a new measure of neighbourhood disadvantage in NZ, and was recently awarded Marsden funding to conceptualise socioeconomic position among the elderly population. He is a co-investigator on the HRC-VIEW programme of vascular risk research, where he leads the mapping component.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 4400
Sarah is a Professional Teaching Fellow, in the School of Nursing. Her professional interest lies in improving the care for tangata whaiora with co-existing problems within our mental health and addiction services.
Professional teaching fellow
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 5224
Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith
Felicity Goodyear-Smith is both an academic and practising general practitioner with a particular interest in the detection and management of risky lifestyle behaviours, including use of nicotine, alcohol, recreational drugs and gambling, and mental health issues in primary health care. Professor Goodyear-Smith is the Academic Head of the Department of General Practice & Primary Health Care at the University of Auckland and also holds the Goodfellow Postgraduate Chair.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 2357
Gayl Humphrey is a Research Fellow and Co-Lead for the Health Informatics and Technology Programme, at the National Institute for Health Innovation at the University of Auckland. Her research is focused on identifying, designing and trialling opportunities for using mHealth innovations as enablers to enhance health outcomes in the context of people experiencing harms from addictions and from other non-communicable diseases. She has undertaken research on digitalising an alcohol brief intervention in primary care and has explored the role of mobile phone geolocation capability to support relapse prevention amongst people experiencing gambling harms by avoiding risky locations. With colleagues, she recently completed a large RCT to test the efficacy of a mobile CBT programme for problem gamblers.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 9129
Dr Soo Hee Jeong
Soo Hee Jeong is a Research Fellow at the University of Auckland. Her PhD research explored the pharmacokinetics and concentration-effect relationships of cytisine, a medication used to aid smoking cessation. During her post-doc, she has been part of a research team that investigated the influence of dose and dosing frequency on the pharmacokinetics of cytisine. These studies aimed to contribute to the development of an evidence-based dosing schedule of the drug.
Associate Professor Bridget Kool
Bridget Kool is an injury epidemiologist in the School of Population Health with an interest in the role alcohol and other substances play in injuries. She has been involved in research to assess the effectiveness of mobile phone based interventions to address binge drinking behaviours, a study examining risk factors (including alcohol and recreational drug use) for unintentional injuries at home and a study of unintentional falls at home (working-age population) – exploring the role of alcohol. She is currently working with a team to develop an alcohol risk communication tool for use in primary care.
Pro Vice-Chancellor Education
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 3871
Dr Bodo Lang
Bodo’s career draws on his experience from both the commercial and academic sectors. His commercial career spans advertising (Germany), management consulting (New Zealand) and market research (Singapore). The other half of Bodo’s career has been in academia including several senior management roles. He is currently an Associate Professor in marketing, Lead of the Disciplinary Area “Strategic Marketing and Market Innovation”, and Assistant Dean – External Engagement in the Business School at the University of Auckland.
A function of Bodo’s applied industry background, his research focuses on the intersection of academic rigour and practical relevance. Bodo’s research consists of two broad streams. Firstly, he publishes in marketing journals on contemporary topics such as marketing communication and services marketing, often with a strong consumer focus. His second stream of research is cross-disciplinary in nature, working in partnership with colleagues from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (FMHS). This research sits at the interface of public health and marketing and focuses on using marketing techniques for social marketing purposes (“using marketing for public good”), particularly within the contexts of alcohol, sugary beverages, and vaping.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 7162
Dr Joanne Lin
Joanne is a pharmacist and Senior Lecturer n the School of Pharmacy. Joanne’s research focuses on the effects of recreational and prescription drug use in humans. Her doctoral research investigated the effects of methamphetamine addiction on the human brain, with a focus on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and pharmacotherapies for addiction. During her postdoc, Joanne conducted structural and functional MRI studies to investigate the effects of short-term opioid administration and withdrawal on the brain. Currently, she is involved in research to understand brain changes in recently abstinent methamphetamine users.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 2255
Associate Professor Judith McCool
Judith McCool is Associate Professor, Head of School of Population Health and co-Director for Centre for Pacific and Global Health. Judith’s research interests include, global health, tobacco control, social media, and social determinants of health. She has been a lead investigator on international tobacco control research projects, and is currently co-PI on a survey mental health in Samoa, tobacco industry interference in the Pacific region; primary supervisor for PhD projects including e-cigarette marketing in NZ, digital health and Pacific wellbeing.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 2372
Dr Claire Meehan
Dr Claire Meehan is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Auckland. She works with young people across Aotearoa to gain insights into their digital sexual lives and relationships. She is particularly interested in their encounters and engagements with porn and how they navigate issues such as pleasure, consent, and perceptions of addiction.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 9636
Associate Professor Suresh Muthukumaraswamy
Suresh Muthukumarswamy is an Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy and is funded in by a Royal Society of New Zealand Rutherford Discovery Fellowship. Suresh’s research interests are in using brain imaging techniques (MEG/MRI/EEG) to measure the effects of drugs on the brain and behaviour. He has conducted brain imaging investigations of a number of recreational drugs including ketamine, psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and LSD.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 5398
Associate Professor Vili Nosa
Associate Professor Vili Nosa is currently the Head of the Pacific Health Section, School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. University of Auckland. He specialises in Pacific health research with a focus on the hazardous use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco and other substances among Pacific people. He has worked extensively in New Zealand and in the Pacific region with his research role in specialising in Pacific alcohol and drugs research.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 373 7599
Dr Rhys Ponton
Rhys Ponton is a registered pharmacist and has an extensive history in the treatment of drug misuse. His PhD research involved the characterisation of the processes that drug users in the UK use to prepare heroin and crack cocaine injections. He sat as the pharmacist representative on the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs in the UK chaired by Prof David Nutt. His research interests include the methods used to consume drugs and the risks they pose, prescription and over-the-counter drug misuse, and worldwide drug policy.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 7084
Sanya Ram is a pharmacist and a lawyer with a keen interest in the regulation of medicines and therapeutic products, as well as the examination of how medicines are used or misused. A Senior Tutor in Pharmacy Law & Ethics at the School of Pharmacy, Sanya is also co-author of the Pharmacy Law Guidebook (2012), an essential reference for the study of the legislation that underpins the practice of pharmacy in New Zealand.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 2619
Dr Rodrigo Ramalho
Dr Rodrigo (Rama) Ramalho is the Academic Director of the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences in Alcohol and Drug Studies and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social and Community Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. He holds a PhD in Population Health from the University of Auckland, and he also qualified as a medical doctor and a psychiatrist after gaining degrees at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción in Paraguay. Rama is a psychiatrist and population health scientist with a transdisciplinary and collaborative approach. His main research interests include global mental health, addiction, e-mental health, and cultural safety in mental health and addictions. He is also interested in academic inequities, which particularly affect the Global South.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 1443
Dr Lisa Reynolds
Dr Lisa Reynolds is a Health Psychologist and Director of the University of Auckland’s Health Psychology Practitioner Programme. She has worked clinically as a psychologist for fifteen years providing support to cancer patients and their families/whānau. Her academic research focusses on interventions that support cancer patients in managing treatment, prognosis and end-of-life distress. Her research portfolio includes studies that investigate coping with difficult treatments (chemotherapy), challenging emotions (disgust), and body changes (disfigurement), and looked at whether compassion and mindfulness interventions might be helpful. More recently, her research has involved multi-disciplinary approaches investigating the potential for psychedelic-assisted therapies to provide benefit in the context of anxiety, depression, existential distress and advanced cancer.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 4938
Dr Ryan San Diego
Ryan San Diego, PhD (Health Psychology, the University of Auckland) is both a practising clinician and a lecturer at the Social and Community Health Unit, School of Population Health/ coordinator of the alcohol & the drugs curriculum at the undergraduate medical programme. Ryan’s PhD involved analyses of developmental risk factors (prenatal, social, and parent smoking and alcohol consumption) in young children’s neurodevelopment, in particular, associations with early executive function and socio-emotional development. Currently, as a behavioural science researcher, he is working and developing research themes in AOD-related areas such as a) Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) skills development in the undergraduate medical programme, b) culture-based/ diversity adaptations in AOD-specific psycho-social interventions, c) illness-recovery in addiction and mental health, and d) mood problems, smoking and drinking patterns in early-onset dementia in aged care settings. Ryan employs a range of methodologies (multivariate analyses, qualitative analyses, and neuropsychological methods) to investigate issues pertinent to addiction and mental health.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 8510
Dr Peter Saxton
Peter is Director of the Gay Men’s Sexual Health research group in the School of Population Health and the current New Zealand AIDS Foundation Fellow. He leads an ongoing sexual behaviour research programme and epidemiological studies of HIV and STI infection, in collaboration with the University of Otago and NZAF. This programme investigates recreational drug use among gay and bisexual men with a view to monitoring change over time in this population and exploring disparities. His interests include the relationship between drug and alcohol use and sexual health, sexual orientation data collection methods, and gay men’s health.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 9231434
Dr Fiona Sing
Fiona Sing is a Research Fellow and completed her PhD in 2022 studying how regulatory mechanisms can restrict the exposure of children to unhealthy food and beverage marketing under the supervision of Prof. Boyd Swinburn and Dr Sally Mackay. She has a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and a MSc in Global Health from the London School of Economics. She previously worked as a public law lawyer and at World Cancer Research Fund International as the Policy and Public Affairs Manager. Her current research focus working with Prof. Lyons, and her consulting work for UNICEF, the World Health Organization, Deakin University and others, focuses on aiding governments to design legislation to restrict harmful commodity marketing, particularly digital marketing.
Professor Janie Sheridan
Janie Sheridan chaired the Addiction Research Network at the University of Auckland from 2004 and is the past Director and current Associate Director of the Centre for Addiction Research. She has been involved in research into substance misuse for over 21 years and is internationally recognised for her research into the role of community pharmacy in the provision of services to substance misusers. Her research has a particular focus on harm reduction and the role of primary care with respect to alcohol and drug use, and the development and evaluation of primary care interventions. Recent research includes: ‘legal party pills’ in New Zealand; treatment for methamphetamine addiction; and prescription drug misuse. She has also been involved in the development of a screening and outcomes tool for young people in relation to substance use.
Dr Suzanne Stevens
Dr Suzanne Stevens is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine. Her research focuses on maternal mental health, substance use and the home environment, to better understand how risk and protective factors operate and interact to affect children’s social, behavioural, cognitive and neurodevelopment. She recently completed a pilot study investigating maternal lifestyle factors in pregnancy, focusing on prenatal alcohol exposure, early infant development and bio-behavioural markers of risk. Suzanne also works closely with Professor Trecia Wouldes on the longitudinal NZ Infant Development, Environment and Lifestyle (IDEAL) Study examining the effects of prenatal methamphetamine use on mothers and the development of their children.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 4511
Dr Frederick Sundram
Frederick Sundram is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland and a Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist at North Shore Hospital. He was a research fellow at the Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Science at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland where he completed his PhD in Neuroimaging. He has also completed a Masters in Healthcare Management from the Institute of Public Administration, Dublin and also, a Masters in Healthcare Informatics. His research interests include neuroimaging, suicide, epilepsy, psychosis, medically unexplained physical symptoms, addiction, medical education and healthcare informatics.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 7521
Dr Kris Taylor
Kris Taylor is a Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Auckland – a researcher who thrives in inter-disciplinary and theoretically informed spaces, Kris’s PhD research focused on ideas of pornographic harm, and the ways in which conceptualizing pornography viewing as addictive works across different spheres of knowledge (social, cultural, historical, and personal). Specifically, his work on the deployment of an addiction self-diagnosis asks questions about the medicalisation of problematic behaviours, the circulation of therapeutic knowledge between expert and lay fields (especially online), as well as knowledge production and application more broadly. Kris is currently working on developing innovative gendered violence prevention tools and working with young men in Aotearoa around issues of harm, ethics, and social justice
Dr Katey Thom
Katey is an interdisciplinary social science researcher exploring the spaces where law, mental health and addiction interface. Katey co-directed the Centre for Mental Health and senior research fellow at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, until she joined AUT’s School of Law as a Senior Lecturer in 2018. Katey has lead a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden funded project on the therapeutic nature of New Zealand’s specialist courts, which included a case study on the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts. She is currently leading a Borrin Foundation funded project to re-envisage the criminal justice system to better respond to people with intersecting mental health, addictions and criminal justice histories. Recently, she was awarded marsden funding to extend her research focus to working with service users and the police to improve police responses to citizens in mental distress in the community.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 921 9999 ext 7744
Professor Malcolm Tingle
Malcolm Tingle is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacology in the School of Medical and Health Sciences. His research has focussed on the role of metabolism in toxicology and the development of in vitro and in vivo models to assess toxicity. In the field of addiction research, he has examined the pharmacokinetics of ‘party-pill’ constituents BZP & TFMPP and their potential for drug-drug intreactions. He is jointly supervising a PhD student’s research investigating the pharmacokinetics of cytisine, a natural smoking cessation product and attempting to relate pharmacokinetics to the pharmacodynamic effects of this drug.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 4949
Carina Walters is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Pharmacy studying prescription and over the counter opioid dependence. She has previously held a role as a senior addictions pharmacist at Community Alcohol and Drug Services in Auckland, and is a part time professional teaching fellow with the School of Population Health, teaching a postgraduate addiction papers. She has an interest in research in all areas of addiction, and has been an investigator in studies ranging from the treatment of amphetamine dependence to the potential role of community pharmacists in extending health services offered in conjunction with opioid substitution treatment. Carina is also a member of the NZ Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs.
Doctoral Candidate – School of Pharmacy
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 9129
Professor Trecia Wouldes
Trecia Wouldes is a developmental psychologist and Professor in the Department of Psychological Medicine. Her main research and teaching interests are the development of infants at risk from prenatal drug exposure, and infant mental health. She completed the first systematic study in New Zealand on the effect of maternal methadone maintenance treatment on the physiological and psychological development of the fetus, the neonate and the infant. Trecia is a co-investigator on a longitudinal study at the University of Canterbury investigating the neurological outcomes of infants born to mothers who were receiving methadone maintenance treatment for opiate dependence during their pregnancy. She is also the Director of the Auckland site of the Infant, Development Environment And Lifestyle (IDEAL) Study investigating the development of children born to mothers who used methamphetamine (P, Pure, Ecstasy, BZP) during pregnancy, led by Drs LaGasse and Lester at the Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk, Rhode Island. She is currently involved in developing new research that will investigate early biological and behavioural markers of prenatal alcohol exposure.
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 6221
Associate Professor Robyn Whittaker
Robyn Whittaker is a public health physician and an Honorary Associate Professor in the National Institute for Health Innovation, School of Population Health. Her research interests are in using mobile technologies to deliver health interventions directly to people. This has included text message smoking cessation programmes in NZ, Samoa, Cook Islands and other countries with the WHO ‘Be Healthy Be Mobile’ global NCD initiative. Her programmes have focused on behaviour change techniques that can be delivered using technology, for topics such as depression prevention, weight management, diabetes self-management, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation. She is also the clinical director of innovation at the Institute for Innovation and Improvement at Waitemata District Health Board. There she is responsible for the Leapfrog programme of strategic projects that have been progressively digitising the hospital workflows.
Honorary Associate Professor
Sam White is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland, evaluating the University of Auckland Addiction Workforce Development Programme. Sam also works for Odyssey House as a General Manager (Improvement and Development),and has a consulting role to the CAMHAS service in Hauraki Coromandel (Waikato DHB) providing support for AOD clinicians working with adolescents and their whanau needing support to address AOD concerns. She has also held roles in Adult Mental Health and Addictions services.
Doctoral Candidate – Doctor of Philosophy
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 2823