Dr Bircan Erbas

Associate Professor

College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Psychology and Public Health

Department of Public Health

HS1-129, Melbourne (Bundoora)


BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD The University of Melbourne



Membership of professional associations

Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, European Respiratory Society

Area of study

Environmental Health

Brief profile

 Dr Bircan Erbas is currently an Associate Professor at La Trobe University. Prior to this, Erbas was working on an NHMRC Public Health (Australia) fellowship at The University of Melbourne. She is a biostatistician with a Masters (Statistics) degree and PhD (Biostatistics) from the University of Melbourne. Dr Erbas's doctoral research was supported by an NHMRC scholarship and as a result of her doctoral work she was invited to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, North Carolina, USA. For the past couple of years she has worked at the interface between modern statistical methods, environmental epidemiology, asthma and allergic disease in both children and adults and other chronic diseases.   In 2008, Dr Erbas and colleagues were awarded an NHMRC project grant to assess the relationship between environmental pollen, fungi and the admission of children with poorly controlled asthma. Dr Erbas is also a chief investigator on several competitive (NHMRC and other) funded projects on environmental and respiratory health. She has received a fully funded prestigious Harvard fellowship from the International Union Against Cancer - UICC. She was shortlisted as a potential awardee for the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Prestigious Paediatric Research Awards and in 2010, she was awarded the Vice-Chancellor Award for Excellence in Research – La Trobe University. Dr Erbas has achieved and continues to attract strong funding with nearly $1 million as Principal Investigator and over $2 million as key co-investigator. Dr Erbas has co-authored over 50 academic referee publications mostly in high quality international journals. Her research has also been presented at a number of leading national and prominent international conferences including the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Research interests

Consumer participation

- using social technology to create positive partnerships between the individual, family, health service provider and the wider community

Environmental Health

- modelling change in environmental factors and chronic disease in children and adults

Teaching units







Recent publications

 Limited to15 most recent from a total of 50

1  Erbas B, Dharmage SD, O’Sullivan M, Druce J, Allen KJ, Tang M.L.K, Bardin PG, Abramson MJ. No H1N1 detected in children admitted to hospital with asthma during the H1N1 pandemic. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. In Press 2012.

2 Erbas B, Dharmage SC, O’Sullivan M, Akram M, Newbigin E, Taylor P, Vicendese D, Hyndman R, Tang ML, Abramson MJ. A case-crossover design to examine the role of aeroallergens and respiratory viruses on childhood asthma exacerbations requiring hospitalisation: The MAPCAH study. In Press Journal of Biometrics and Biostatistics.

3  Hopper JL, Bui QM, Erbas B, Matheson MC, Gurrin LC, Burgess JA, Lowe A, Jenkins, Abramson MJ, Walters H, Giles GG, Dharmage SC. In press August 2012 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

4  Nethercote M, Heine RG, Kansal S, Ho S, Chow CW, Cameron D, Alex G, Erbas B, Osborne N, Stevens L, Davidson D, Allen K. Management of Eosinophillic Esophagitis in a consecutive series of pediatric patients in an Australian tertiary referral center. In Press. Journal of Food Allergy.

5 Erbas B, Akram M, Dharmage S, Tham R, Dennekamp M, Newbigin E, Taylor P, Tang M, Abramson M. The role of seasonal grass pollen on childhood asthma emergency department presentations. In Press 2012 Clinical and Experimental Allergy

6  Erbas B, Ullah S, Hyndman RJ, Scollo M, Abramson M. Forecasts of COPD mortality in Australia: 2006 – 2025. In Press 2012 BMC – Medical Methods Research

7  Davey C, White V, Warne C, Kitchen P, Villaneuva E, Erbas B. Understanding a ductal carcinoma in situ diagnosis: patient views and surgeon descriptions. In Press, 2011 European Journal of Cancer Care

8 Tabrizi SN, Taylor N, McCullough M, Philips G, Wark J, Gertig D, Petersen RW, Saville M, Garland SM and CeCaGeEn Study Group (including Bircan Erbas). 2010. Human papillomavirus genotype detection from archival Papanicolaou-stained cervical smears. Cancer Cytopathology 118(6):482-489

9  White V, Pruden M, Kitchen P, Villanue E, Erbas B. The impact of publication of Australian treatment recommendations for DCIS on clinical practice: A population-based, “before-after” study. European Journal of Surgical Oncology. 2010; 36(10):949-956

10 Bui Q, Huggins R, Hwang WH, Erbas B. A varying coefficient model for the effectiveness of mass media anti-smoking campaigns in generating number of calls to Quitline. Journal of Epidemiology 2010; 20(6) 473-9

11 Moore EE, Wark JD, Hopper JL, Erbas B, Garland SM for the CeCaGeEn Study Group. The roles of genetic and environmental factors on risk of cervical cancer: a review of classical twin studies. Twin Research and Human Genetics Journal 2011

12 YasmeenF, Rob HyndmanR, Erbas B. Forecasting age-related changes in breast cancer mortality among white and black US women: a functional data approach. Cancer Epidemiology. 2010; 34(5): 542-9

13 Dennekamp M, Akram M, Abramson MJ, Tomkin AM, Sim MR, Fridman M, Erbas B. The role of outdoor air pollution as a trigger for out of hospital cardiac arrests. Epidemiology. 2010; 21(4):494-500

14 Erbas B, Akram M, Gertig DM, English D, Hopper JL, Kavanagh AM, Hyndman RJ. Estimating future time trends of age-specific breast cancer mortality for the United States and England-Wales. Journal of Epidemiology.2010; 20(2):159-65

15 Tham R, Erbas B, Akram M, Dennekamp M, Abramson M. The impact of smoke on respiratory hospital outcomes during the 2002-2003 bushfire season, Victoria, Australia. Respirology. 2009 Jan;14(1):69-75.