Dr Deborah

Dr Deborah Gleeson


Senior Lecturer

College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Psychology and Public Health

Department of Public Health

HS1 Level 1, Melbourne (Bundoora)


BAppSc (Medical Laboratory Science), Grad Dip Health Promotion, MPH, PhD



Membership of professional associations

Public Health Association (Convenor, Political Economy of Health Special Interest Group)

Area of study

Public Health

Brief profile

Deborah Gleeson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Public Health at La Trobe University. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate subjects with a health systems, health policy and public health focus.

Deborah's research interests include health policy making capacity in government, the impact of trade agreements on health and the capacity for engagement between health and trade sectors.

Deborah holds the honorary role of Deputy Convenor of the Political Economy of Health Special Interest Group of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA). In this capacity, she plays a key role in PHAA's advocacy for healthy trade agreements. She is also active in the People's Health Movement, a global network of health activists and organisations that advocates for health equity at the global level.

Research interests

Public health policy

- International trade agreements and their effects on health policy and public health

Teaching units

PHE3HCS Health Care Systems

PHE5ALS Action Learning Studies

PHE5LAE Public Health Law and Ethics


Recent publications

Kumar M, Gleeson D, Barraclough S. Australia’s Health Star Rating process: lessons for global policy-making in nutrition labelling. Nutrition & Dietetics, published online 13 November 2017. DOI: 10.1111/1747-0080.12393.

Gleeson D, Townsend B, Lopert R, Lexchin J, Moir H. Financial costs associated with monopolies on biologic medicines in Australia. Australian Health Review, published online 9 November 2017. DOI: 10.1071/AH17031.

Schram A, Ruckert A, VanDuzer JA, Friel S, Gleeson D, Thow AM, Stuckler D, Labonte R. (2017) A conceptual framework for investigating the impacts of international trade and investment agreements on noncommunicable disease risk factors. Health Policy and Planning, published online 2 Nov 2017. DOI: 10.1093/heapol/czx133.

Gleeson D & Menkes DM. Trade agreements and direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, published online 16 October 2017. DOI:10.15171/ijhpm.2017.124

Gleeson D, Lexchin J, Lopert R & Kilic B. (2017) The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, intellectual property and medicines: Differential outcomes for developed and developing countries. Global Social Policy, published online 13 October 2017.

Browne J, Adams K, Atkinson P, Gleeson D, Hayes R. (2017) Food and nutrition programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: an overview of systematic reviews. Australian Health Review. http://www.publish.csiro.au/ah/pdf/AH17082

O’Brien P, Gleeson D, Room, R, Wilkinson C. (2017) Marginalising health information: implications of the Trans Pacific Partnership for alcohol labelling. Melbourne University Law Review, Volume 41, Published online August 2017. http://law.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/2466050/OBrien-et-al-411-Advance.pdf

Barraclough S, Gleeson, D. (2017) Why packaging is commercially vital for tobacco corporations: what British American Tobacco companies in Asia tell their shareholders. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, 1-8. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1010539516688081

Gleeson D, Neuwelt P, Monasterio E, and Lopert R. (2017) How the Transnational Pharmaceutical Industry Pursues its Interests Through International Trade and Investment Agreements: A Case Study of the Trans Pacific Partnership. Handbook of Research on Transnational Corporations, A. De Jonge and R. Tomasic (eds), Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Browne J, de Leeuw E, Gleeson D, Adams A, Atkinson P, Hayes R. (2017) A network approach to policy framing: A case study of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan. Social Science & Medicine, 172: 10-18. e-published 9 November 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.11.011

Moir HVG, Tenni B, Gleeson D, Lopert R. (2016) The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and access to HIV treatment in Vietnam. Global Public Health, epublished 14 November 2016. DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2016.1256418

Thow AM, Gleeson D. (2016) Advancing Public Health on the changing Global Trade and Investment Agenda. Comment on “The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Is It Everything We Feared for Health?” International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 6(5): 295-298.

Ruckert A, Schramm A, Labonte R, Friel S, Gleeson D, Thow AM (2016) Policy Coherence, Health, and the Sustainable Development Goals: A Health-Impact Assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Critical Public Health, 27(1): 86-96. DOI:10.1080/09581596.2016.1178379.

Lexchin, J and Gleeson, D. (2016) The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and Pharmaceutical Regulation in Canada and Australia. International Journal of Health Services, 46(4):597-613.

Hirono K, Gleeson D, Freeman B. (2016) To what extent does a tobacco carve-out protect public health in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement? Public Health Research & Practice, 26(2) e2621622.

Hirono K, Haigh F, Gleeson D, Harris P, Thow AM, Friel S. (2016) Is health impact assessment useful in the context of trade negotiations? A case study of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. BMJ Open 2016;6:e010339  doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010339

Friel S, Ponnamperuma S, Schramm A, Gleeson D et al. (2016) Shaping the discourse: What has the food industry been lobbying for in the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement and what are the implications for dietary health? Critical Public Health, 26(5): 518-529. DOI:10.1080/09581596.2016.1139689 .

Hughes A, Gleeson D, Legge D, Lin V. (2015) Governance and policy capacity in health development and implementation in Australia. Policy and Society, 34(3-4): 229–245. doi:10.1016/j.polsoc.2015.11.001

Gleeson D, Dwyer J, Lin V, Legge D, Hughes A. (2016) Can learning sets help policy managers with their wicked problems? Health Services Management Research, 29(1-2): 2-9. doi: 10.1177/0951484815616828.

Townsend B, Gleeson D and Lopert R. (2016) Pharma’s next frontier? New threats to public health in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. ANZJPH, 40(1):5-6, DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12453.

Legge D, Gleeson DH. (2015) Unpacking “health reform” and “policy capacity”; comment on “Health Reform Requires Policy Capacity”. International Journal of Health Policy and Management 4(10): 703-705. DOI: 10.15171/ijhpm.2015.135.

Gleeson DH, Moir H and Lopert R. (2015) Costs to Australian taxpayers of pharmaceutical monopolies and proposals to extend them in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Medical Journal of Australia, 202(6), 306-308. doi: 10.5694/mja14.01682.

Wyber, R. and Gleeson, D. (2015) Treating trade: the case for clinical engagement with regional trade agreements. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 3(6): 400-402.

Neuwelt PM, Gleeson D, Mannering B. (2016) Patently obvious: a public health analysis of pharmaceutical industry statements on the Trans-Pacific Partnership international trade agreement. Critical Public Health, 26(2): 159-172. DOI: 10.1080/09581596.2015.1022510

Freeman J, Keating G, Monasterio E, Neuwelt P, Gleeson D. (2015)  Call for transparency in new generation trade deals. The Lancet, 385 (9968): 604-5. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60233-1

Thow AMT, Gleeson DH and Friel S. (2015) What doctors should know about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Medical Journal of Australia, 202(4): 165-166. doi: 10.5694/mja14.01714

Thow, A. M., Snowdon, W., Labonte, R., Gleeson, D. et al (2015) Will the next generation of preferential trade and investment agreements undermine the prevention of noncommunicable diseases? A prospective policy analysis of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Health Policy, 119(1): 88-96.

Monasterio, E. and Gleeson, D. (2014) The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement: Exacerbation of inequality for patients with serious mental illness. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(12): 1077-1080. 

Harris, P. and Gleeson, D., (2014) Assessing the impact of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement on the health of Australians. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 38(5): 496.

Legge, D., Gleeson, D., Lofgren, H. and Townsend, B., (2014) Australia's position on medicines policy in international forums: intellectual property protection and public health. Australian Journal of Political Economy, 73(3): 103-131.

Browne, J., Hayes, R., and Gleeson, D. (2014) Aboriginal health policy: is nutrition the 'gap' in 'Closing the Gap'? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 38(4): 362-369.

Hirono, K., Gleeson, D., Haigh, F., and Harris, P. (2014) The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement Negotiations and the Health of Australians: A Policy Brief. Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation, Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, UNSW Australia.

Monasterio, E. and Gleeson, D. (2014) Pharmaceutical industry behaviour and the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. New Zealand Medical Journal, 127(1389), 6-12.

O'Brien, P.L., and Gleeson, D.H. (2013) Retaining our right to regulate alcohol warnings: The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement must preserve Australia's options. Medical Journal of Australia, 199(7): 447.

Friel, S., Gleeson, D., Thow, A.M., Labonte, R., Stuckler, D., Kay, A., Snowdon W. (2013) A new generation of trade policy: potential risks to diet-related health from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Globalization and Health, 9(46).

Gleeson, D., Lopert, R., and Reid, P. (2013) How the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement could undermine PHARMAC and threaten access to affordable medicines and health equity in New Zealand. Health Policy 112(3): 227-233, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2013.07.021

Lopert, R. and Gleeson, D. (2013) The high price of "free" trade: US trade agreements and access to medicines. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 41(1): 199-223. DOI: 10.1111/jlme.12014.

Gleeson, D. and Friel, S. (2013) Emerging threats to public health from regional trade agreements. The Lancet, 381(9876): 1507-1509. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60312-8.

Gleeson, D, Tienhaara, K. and Faunce, T. (2012) Challenges to Australia's national health policy from trade and investment agreements. Medical Journal of Australia, 196 (5): 1-3. 

Gleeson, D. and Legge, D. (2012) Strengthening public health engagement in trade policy: PHAA's policy on Trade Agreements and Health. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 36(1); 7-11.

Gleeson, D., Legge D., O’Neill D. and Pfeffer M. (2011) Negotiating tensions in developing organisational policy capacity: Comparative lessons to be drawn. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 13(3) pp. 237-263.

David Legge, Tuohong Zhang, Deborah Gleeson, and Qunhong Wu (2010) Chapter 8: Policy theory. In: Vivian Lin, Guo Yan, David Legge and Wu Qunhong (Eds), Health Policy in and for China. Peking University Medical Press, pp. 409-422.

Legge, D., Zhang, T., Gleeson D., and Yang, H. (2010) Chapter 9: Policy analysis, policy development and policy capacity. In: Vivian Lin, Guo Yan, David Legge and Wu Qunhong (Eds), Health Policy in Transition: The Challenges for China. Peking University Medical Press, pp. 423-437.

Gleeson, D. (2009) Developing Policy Leadership: A Strategic Approach to Strengthening Policy Capacity in the Health Bureaucracy. Unpublished PhD thesis, La Trobe University. Available from: http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/thesis/public/adt-LTU20100513.120047/index.html

Gleeson, D. H, Legge, D. G. and O’Neill, D (2009) Evaluating health policy capacity: Learning from international and Australian Experience. Australia & New Zealand Health Policy 6:3.

Legge, D. G., D. H. Gleeson, et al.  (2007) Micro macro integration: reframing primary healthcare practice and community development in healthCritical Public Health 17 (2), pp. 171-182.

Gleeson, D. (2001) The Conceptual and Empirical Utility of Social Capital for Public Health. Unpublished thesis, La Trobe University. Available from: http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/thesis/public/adt-LTU20050509.131918/index.html

Gleeson, D. (1999) Social capital theory: Implications for public health. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 9 (3), pp. 183-187.

Gleeson, D. and Boston, V. (1999) A system for program evaluation in community health. Australian Journal of Primary Health Interchange, 5 (4), pp. 74-80.

Research projects