Our research is changing the world and improving the future of human health. 

Researchers within the Faculty of Medicine tackle complex medical problems that represent global challenges to human health. Our internationally renowned research centres and institutes combine modern infrastructure with a culture that champions research excellence. 

Medical and biomedical science research projects within the Faculty have already led to discoveries with far-reaching social and economic impacts, including the Gardasil vaccine for cervical cancer.

Skin cancer

Skin cancer is expected to be responsible for more than 2200 deaths in Australia this year.  Health authorities estimate there will be more than 14,000 new cases of melanoma and other skin cancers diagnosed in 2016.  The University of Queensland is harnessing technology to improve risk prediction, early detection and treatments to reduce skin cancer deaths. 

Read more about our research here:

Antibiotic resistance

The World Health Organisation has identified antibiotic resistance as one of the biggest threats to global health today. At UQ, our researchers are working to help identify and prevent the emergence of antibiotic resistant superbugs through new dosing strategies and raising awareness about the overuse and improper use of antibiotics.

Read about our work in the area of antibiotic resistance:

Pain drug development

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals is a UQ spinoff company founded on a groundbreaking pain drug developed by Professor Maree Smith. In 2015, global pharmaceutical giant, Novartis AG, acquired Spinifex. Professor Smith is the recipient of many awards for her work in the area of pain treatment.

Read more:

Indigenous health

The University of Queensland has a significant history of Indigenous health research outcomes addressing key national priorities.  Research focuses on closing the gap to achieve health equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Read more about our work in Indigenous Heath here:

Cervical cancer

The University of Queensland’s medical research is eliminating cervical cancer globally. Two preventive vaccines developed have the capacity to save an estimated quarter of a million lives annually.

The vaccines are now available in 120 countries and more than 100 million doses of HPV vaccines Gardasil™ and Cervarix™ have been distributed worldwide.

Research conducted by Professor Ian Frazer and the late Dr Jian Zhou on virus-like particles led to the development of the HPV vaccines, for the prevention of cervical cancer and other HPV related cancers

Read more about UQ's research into this area:

Clinical innovation

Our research has led to important clinical innovations, making an impact across a number of fields. The innovations have helped to improve the standard of care for patients and we've highlighted some of these innovations below.


Dermatology - Professor Peter Soyer’s research led to the development of the morphologic classification for pigmented skin lesions system currently used worldwide.

Brisbane Naevus Morphology Study


Antibiotic Dosing - Professor Jeff Lipman conducted large clinical trials in intensive care settings that has globally impacted clinical practice with single daily dosing of aminoglycosides now adopted as the standard of care.

Antibiotic dosage research help save more lives


Diabetes and Obesity - Professor David McIntyre, current President of the International Association of Diabetes in Pregnancy study groups, developed theDose Adjustment for Normal Eating educational program for Type I diabetes and led the current WHO Gestational diabetes Diagnostic guidelines.

International praise diabetes researcher


Cystic Fibrosis - Professor Scott Bell co-authored a clinical trial that led to altered guidelines for the treatment of CF internationally. Colleague, Professor Claire Wainwright, played a key role in establishing the National peer review system for CF care across Australia in 2010

NHMRC funds UQ research kidney disease cystic fibrosis and more


Cerebral Palsy - Professor Ros Boyd’s research in Cerebral Palsy (CP), including 12 RCTs of interventions for CP, has led to the national and international (UK, Ireland, Germany) listing of BoNT-A (Botox) for children with CP. 

National funding backs two ground breaking UQ health research projects

Pioneering program ebrain provide rehabilitation to children with cerebral palsy


Paediatric Asthma - Professor Peter Sly, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Children’s Environmental Health, played a key role in demonstrating once-weekly azithromycin reduces paediatric asthma hospitalisation by 50% - now in Australasian guidelines; Professor Sly was also instrumental in developing the global Paediatric Asthma Management guidelines.

Respiratory researcher awarded Order of Australia


Mental Health - Professor Nick Lennox developed and clinically validated the Comprehensive Health Assessment Program (CHAP) for adults with intellectual disabilities leading to global utilisation by government and non-government agencies.

UQ study gives young Australians with disabilities healthy start


Midwifery - Professor Sue Kildea has extensive clinical experience in primary health care models and women’s health in rural and remote areas of Australia, and has been a key advisor in developing guidelines for maternity services nationally and internationally.

Baby steps easing labour pain