About Us

Our Mission

The Trans Medical Research group based at The University of Melbourne supports people to live a life without barriers.

We provide strategic leadership in transgender health to achieve health equity and well-being:

  • Through medical research to find best treatments.
  • By developing a greater understanding of trans health issues.
  • Educating medical professionals to improve access to healthcare.
  • Improving clinical services and advocacy to decrease stigma for all transgender and gender diverse individuals.

Our Vision

An Australian community that understands and respects gender diversity.

This will ensure Australian transgender individuals, who currently have over 10 times the population rate of depression and suicidality, and where 1 in 5 have been refused healthcare by a medical professional, all enjoy health equity.

All Transgender individuals have access to the information and services they need to ensure optimal mental and physical health, and well-being, to live a life without barriers.

Our Structure

We are a not-for-profit group within the Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne and our corporate governance is regulated by The University of Melbourne. We are physically based at Austin Health in Melbourne, Australia.

Our Goals

To advance, foster and promote the psychological and physical health needs of trans and gender diverse individuals to live a life without barriers, through:

  • Conducting well-designed clinical and basic science research in gender diversity, gender dysphoria and cross-sex hormone therapy which is relevant to the trans community.
  • Education of health professionals in treating trans and gender diverse individuals to improve access to healthcare.
  • Education of the community to improve acceptance and decrease discrimination; factors which significantly affect the mental health of trans and gender diverse individuals.
  • Providing training opportunities for the next generation of health professionals and clinician researchers.

Our Strategic Plan

Our top 5 goals for 2017-2020

  1. Expand quality research studies and increase collaborations nationally and internationally.
  2. Increase engagement with the community and research staff.
  3. Develop sustainable and innovative funding to allow expansion of projects.
  4. Maintain and enhance mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders.
  5. Organisational expansion to increase clinical and support services.

Our People

Trans Medical Research is managed by a diverse group of volunteers; health professionals and community members all of whom share a passion to reduce discrimination and improve healthcare for trans and gender diverse individuals. We involve trans and gender diverse individuals in all strategic decisions.

Our Team

Our most valuable team members are stealth and not necessarily listed here. Introducing some of our medical team members:

Dr Ada Cheung

MBBS (Hons), FRACP, PhD
Lead, Gender Research Group

Prof Jeffrey Zajac

MBBS (Hons), FRACP, PhD
Head, Department of Medicine

Dr Ingrid Bretherton

MBBS, FRACP
PhD Candidate

Dr Olivia Ooi

MD
Research student

Dr Shalem Leemaqz

MAppStats, PhD
Statistician

Thomas MacFarlane

BBiomed (Hons)
MD Research student

Emily Thrower

BSc (Hons)
MD Research student

Cassandra Spanos

BBiomed
MD Research student