AITHM James Cook University

The Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) is a flagship research institute of James Cook University based in the tropics of northern Australia.  Australia’s only dedicated tropical health and medicine research institute, AITHM is focussed on solving problems of importance to the tropics, leading to improvements in health systems and healthcare delivery, improved biosecurity, and enhanced health outcomes for Australians and our neighbouring tropical nations. This strategic plan builds on our existing strengths in basic, translational, clinical, and health systems research to define our priorities and strategic goals for the next five years.

Our Vision

AITHM aspires to excellence in tropical health and medical research, biotechnology and research education, supporting better health for people in the tropics worldwide.


To discover and develop health solutions for the tropics, and from the tropics.

Our Values

Academic excellence, community partnerships, collaboration, respect, openness and integrity.

Core Values

Our actions are underpinned by our values.


We are committed to pursuing the highest standards in the work we do, delivering excellence through our science, research, consultancy and professional services.


We encourage new ideas that challenge conventional thinking and drive creativity and innovation.


We are genuine in our commitment to our mission, and seek to be regarded in the research, policy-making and health spheres as dependable and collegial collaborators, and trusted advisors.


We are accountable and act honestly, ethically and professionally in the execution of our responsibilities.

Mutual Respect

Our staff maintain high standards of professionalism, show respect, and communicate positively and collegially with each other and with all people who interact with the Institute.

Equality and Social Justice

We aim, through our work, to improve the lives of people affected by or at risk of developing preventable diseases, and we support national and global initiatives aimed at improving health outcomes for underserved and disadvantaged communities including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and communities in regional, rural and remote settings.

The Queensland Government and the Australian Research Council (ARC) funded the establishment of AITHM in 2013. Based at James Cook University, AITHM’s research programs confront northern Australia's major health security risks, attack its worst health outcomes, develop better ways to deliver health services to remote communities and to establish northern Australia as a centre of excellence for tropical health and medical research. AITHM’s research programs will be guided by the following objectives to:

  1. Strengthen Australia's health security
  2. Improve health outcomes for northern Australia
  3. Contribute to the development of northern Australia through research, knowledge infrastructure and commercialisation of research findings.

AITHM is committed to collaborating with our near neighbours in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in Papua New Guinea, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. AITHM collaborates with our international partners in the areas of research training and the development of health workforces and health systems. Click here for more information. 

AITHM brings together the research capacity and expertise of a number of research centres and key research areas to enhance public health, biomolecular, clinical, translational and health systems research. By facilitating cross-disciplinary research activities, incubating research and translating innovation into real outcomes.

AITHM is a member of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes.