AITHM James Cook University

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Our research programs are focussed across three broad themes:

Diseases of high burden in the Tropics

Tropical health security

Tropical health systems


With over 300 members, AITHM comprises a broad range of laboratory scientists, multidisciplinary research teams, field scientists and clinicians who deliver real world scientific, social and economic solutions.

Our research is focussed on application of the evidence we create to deliver improved therapeutics, drug discoveries, diagnostic tools, treatments, policy improvements and cures. We work in collaboration with clinical partners to undertake translational research that addresses key health issues affecting people who live in the Tropics.

We deliver research outcomes that improve the efficacy of healthcare delivery and health outcomes for the communities of northern Australia and neighbouring tropical nations. We are leaders in the development of diagnostics and innovations in health systems/service delivery for rural and remote communities, including telehealth.

We invest significantly in the development and retention of academic and clinical scientific talent, including young researchers across our four regional north Queensland sites - Cairns, Mackay, Thursday Island and Townsville.

AITHM contributes to the growth and development of the north Queensland economy through new commercial ventures including industry development in pharmaceutical formulation, manufacturing and biotechnology.  Recent examples include:

  • Paragen Bio - a biotechnology spinout company founded by AITHM in Cairns in 2018, developing drugs for the treatment of autoimmune diseases
  • Leadership in developing northern Queensland as a destination to support multi-site clinical trial growth across the health and university sectors.

With a strong and established track record in infectious diseases, vector control, and health system development, the Institute is well positioned to help support Australia’s vulnerable north and to build upon its extensive network of collaborators across the Indo-Pacific nations.