Brian Oldenburg is the new Professor of Public Health and Implementation Science at La Trobe University and the Baker Institute, and Director of La Trobe’s Academic Research Collaborative in Health (ARCH) at The Alfred.
His appointment promises to galvanise teaching and research opportunities across these organisations, with an important focus on translation and implementation.
“It’s about connecting the dots,” says Oldenburg. “I hope to strengthen our collaborations and achieve the connectivity we need between basic science, research translation and improve health outcomes.”
Oldenburg is an expert in multidisciplinary research. A clinical psychologist, behavioural medicine and implementation scientist, he has a particular interest in the prevention and management of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
He is regarded as a global public health expert, providing evidence-based advice to governmental and non-governmental organisations, including the World Health Organisation.
Oldenburg’s joint appointment with The Baker and La Trobe co-locates him in the Baker Department of Cardiovascular Research, Translation and Implementation and the School of Psychology and Public Health.
He is also Director of La Trobe’s ARCH Site at The Alfred: a network that brings together academics, clinicians, consumers, healthcare professionals, health and social care agencies and policy makers to deliver better health and social care to Australians.
“The ARCH provides our researchers with a wonderful window into the Australian health system including hospitals, community health centres, and state-wide and nation-wide specialist services,” he explains.
Oldenburg sees his role as a facilitator, enabler and mentor, who can “advise on how and who researchers might connect with in the health system.” He also wants to build capacity including joint supervision of graduate researchers, shared technology platforms and enhanced early-to-mid-career researcher opportunities.
“It’s about building critical mass, multidisciplinary teams, and thinking differently about the breadth of our projects and the diverse range of funding opportunities. We also need to broaden our horizons to different contexts and different cultures,” Oldenburg adds.
“By enhancing our partnerships in meaningful ways, we can achieve translational and transformational outcomes that help to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities.”