Professor Louisa Degenhardt first commenced work at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), Faculty of Medicine, UNSW in 1998 and has worked across a wide range of projects examining the epidemiology of illicit drug use, comorbid mental health problems, and illicit drug surveillance. Her PhD, completed in 2001, examined the comorbidity of drug use and mental health problems in the Australian population. From 2001-2008 she established and expanded national illicit drug surveillance and strategic early warning systems across Australia, and was appointed a Professor of Epidemiology in 2007.
Professor Degenhardt is involved in ongoing national and international projects, working for example with WHO and UNAIDS on the epidemiology of illicit drug use and associated health risks across the globe. She was the lead academic on the Secretariat for the Reference Group to the United Nations on Injecting Drug Use and HIV (2007-2010), and is currently involved in the international Global Burden of Disease project, responsible for making estimates of the burden of disease for illicit drug dependence, and illicit drug use as a risk factor for other health outcomes.
After a stint at the Burnet Institute in 2010-11, Professor Degenhardt returned to NDARC at the start of 2012.
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