Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition (GLOBE)

Innovative preventive health and nutrition research that empowers people and enables healthier environments.

The Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition (GLOBE) includes a large team of researchers working to improve population health in Australia and globally. As a leader in preventive health and nutrition research, our methods are drawn from multiple disciplines, including public health, nutrition and dietetics, epidemiology, political science, health economics, systems science and implementation science.

Our vision and objectives

Our vision is to catalyse improvements in population health, with a focus on prevention, nutrition and obesity, through innovative research that empowers people and enables healthier environments.

Our objectives are to:

  • conduct innovative population-level research on preventive health and nutrition
  • advocate for evidence-based preventive health policy
  • strengthen the skills of communities, professionals and academics in the science, policy and practice of preventive health and nutrition across the life-course.

World Health Organization Collaborating Centre

GLOBE is a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention. WHO Collaborating Centres are designated by the Director-General of the WHO to carry out activities in support of the organization’s programs. Currently there are over 800 WHO Collaborating Centres in over 80 member states working with WHO on a wide range of health areas.

GLOBE is a designated World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, based in Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation (IHT) and School of Health and Social Development (HSD) in the Faculty of Health.

GLOBE was established in 2003 to conduct research aimed at improving population health with a focus on obesity. GLOBE was the first of over 800 WHO Collaborating Centres worldwide to focus on obesity prevention, and we have provided expert advice to WHO and its member states for over 20 years.

As we have grown, our focus has expanded beyond obesity prevention to include research and advocacy into other aspects of population diets, preventive health and environmental sustainability of food systems.

We have strong links to governments, other research groups and a diverse range of collaborators worldwide. GLOBE is a founding partner of the Food for Health Alliance, and we actively contribute to collaborative efforts to improve population health policy in Australia and globally.



RE-FRESH was established in 2019 through National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding as a joint venture of Deakin University, Monash University, The George Institute for Global Health, the University of Queensland, the Obesity Policy Coalition, the University of Auckland, YMCA, and Dalhousie University.

It aims to transform retail food environments so that they can promote healthier diets and to realise the vision for all people to live free from the burden of diet-related chronic health conditions.

For more information, visit the RE-FRESH website.



STICKE (Systems Thinking in Community Knowledge Exchange) is an application developed by Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) in collaboration with GLOBE. It aims to enable a community knowledge exchange that encourages shared understanding of complex problems.

For more information, visit the STICKE website.

GLOBE works across 12 themes of research activity:

We work collaboratively with a range of Australian and international partners to create and advocate for improved population health policy and practice.

We work closely with policy makers and communities to empower and influence healthier environments in schools, supermarkets, sporting clubs, workplaces and hospitals.

We collaborate with a wide range of partners in Australia and globally including:

  • universities
  • state and federal governments
  • international agencies
  • health organisations
  • other organisations with an interest in population health.

We pride ourselves on establishing and maintaining these relationships so our research responds to community needs, and is actively used to inform policy and practice.

We take conflicts of interest seriously, and we adopt a risk management approach to addressing conflicts of interest. All of GLOBE’s engagement with external parties is governed by our GLOBE External Relationships Guidelines.

International partners

National partners

Victorian partners

GLOBE is led by Professor Gary Sacks and Professor Kathryn Backholer. With over 60 active researchers, we are one of the largest groups dedicated to preventive health and nutrition research in Australia.

Our team consists of researchers and students along with a broad range of external partners across multiple disciplines, including public health, nutrition and dietetics, epidemiology, political science, health economics, implementation science, systems science and artificial intelligence.

GLOBE Directors
Prof Gary Sacks
Prof Kathryn Backholer

Associate Directors
Prof Adrian Cameron
A/Prof Serene Yoong

Strategic Advisor
Prof Steve Allender

Group Leads
Prof Steve Allender
A/Prof Jaithri Ananthapavan
Prof Kathryn Backholer
Prof Colin Bell
Dr Miranda Blake
Dr Jennifer Browne
Prof Adrian Cameron
A/Prof Melanie Nichols
Alfred Deakin Prof Anna Peeters
Prof Gary Sacks
Dr Claudia Strugnell
A/Prof Serene Yoong

Research Staff
Dr Sadika Akhter
Mary Rose Angeles
Siti Mohamad Asfia
Bettina Backman
Dr Miranda Blake
Ruby Brooks
Andrew Brown
Dr Victoria Brown
Dr Jasmine Chan
Beau Cubillo
Dr Jennifer David
Sarah Dean
Dr Tari Forrester-Bowling
Dr Clara Gomez Donoso
Christine Dove
Tiana Felmingham
Penny Fraser
Dr Lan Gao
Dr Cadeyrn Gaskin
Dr Adyya Gupta
Karen Hill
Monique Hillenaar
Victoria Hobbs
A/Prof Kate Huggins
Dr Michelle Jackson
Dr Jane Jacobs
Kripi Ravish Khanna
Dr Kelemu Kibret
Neha Lalchandani
Dr Ha Le
Gloria Leung
Dr Nic Lister
Melanie Lum
Josephine Marshall
Dr Florentine Martino
Fiona Mitchell
Jackie Monaghan
Dr Shaan Naughton
Dr Cindy Needham
Hanh Nguyen
Pam Nguyen
Dr Siobhan O’Halloran
Navoda  Liyana Pathirana
Dr Erica Reeve
Oriana Ruffini
Cherie Russell
Dr Tailane Scapin
Dr Kate Sievert
Dr Fisaha Tesfay
Julia Thompson
Michelle Tran
Troy Walker
A/Prof Gade Waqa
Dr Ben Wood
Rowena Wylie
Atsuko Yamada
Dr Christina Zorbas

Our students and their topics

Chioma Anidi “Addressing food insecurity in Nigeria.”
Dr Moosa Al Subhi “Integrating business outcomes of healthy food retail strategies into economic evaluation.”
Nina Amad “Examining intervention to improve the sustainment of childcare based physical activity interventions.”
Carmen Vargas Ares “Co-creation and implementation of interventions in food retail environments.”
Bettina Backman “Supporting community-based food retailers to sustain healthy food policy interventions in the long-term.”
Anne Barrow “Understanding and addressing the challenges to widespread, accessible healthy food retail.”
Rebecca Bennett “The digital food retail environment and population health.”
Andrew Brown “Comparing approaches to community engagement in obesity and HIV prevention.”
Nicole Bruges “Climate change and human health utilising systems thinking in local government.”
Sam Collins “Diet and mental health during emerging adulthood: evidence from Australia
Alessandro Crocetti “The commerical determinants of Indigenous health and wellbeing.”
Christine Dove “Unhealthy food marketing to children in retail and digital environments.”
Tiana Felmingham “Community Action through Systems Thinking (CAST) – Defining and achieving success.”
Sela Fusi “Building evidence on healthy food retail environments in Tonga and identifying opportunities for government policies to promote healthy diets.”
Lily Grigsby-Duffy “Investigating food and beverage price promotions in Australian supermarkets: prevalence, influence on purchase behaviour, and the potential for equitable change.”
Carolina Venegas Hargous “Childhood obesity prevention in the context of the global syndemic.”
Noor Imad “Examining intervention to improve the sustainment of childcare based physical activity interventions.”
Ayuba Issaka “Epidemiology of type 2 diabetes and impaired fasting glucose and their risk factors in West Africa: analyses of WHO STEPS surveys.”
Bridget Kenny “Mapping young minds: a mixed methods approach to understanding depressive symptomatology and disordered eating in adolescence.”
Samantha Lilly “Chronic health problems in people with obesity and intellectual disability.”
Ramas McRae “Deaf communication culture in early life and mental health in adulthood.”
Azhar Mohammad “Application of machine learning to population prevention intervention data.”
Phuong Nguyen “Cost-effectiveness of sedentary behaviour interventions.”
Sara Salahshoornezhad “The impact of online food retail environment on children’s diet and health.”
Sally Schultz “Strengthening local government healthy eating policies to address health inequities.”
Nisha Sharma “Developing a nutrient profile model to help regulate unhealthy processed foods commonly consumed by Nepali children 6-24 months old.”
Max Treu “Food marketing.”
Nicole Ward “Exploring the inclusion of climate change in community-based obesity prevention interventions and the impact on value.”
Dr Ben Wood “Exploring food industry behaviour from a public health perspective: a cross-country analysis of the industry’s corporate political activity.”
Danya Yang “Identifying opportunities to increase parent engagement with digital health innovations.”

We have many opportunities available for new students (including PhD students and Masters students), and welcome people with a range of educational and socio-cultural backgrounds.

For general enquiries about studying as a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student with GLOBE, please visit IHT’s Study with us

We contribute to policy processes by submitting responses to government consultations on relevant policy issues.

We work closely with our partners, including the Food for Health Alliance, in developing our responses.

We seek to maximise alignment in our submissions with other major public health organisations, based on the best available scientific evidence and best practice from a public health perspective.

Here is a selection of our responses to recent consultations in Australia:

If you’d like to find out more about our research or would like to get in touch with us, please contact us at:

+61 3 9251 7105

Twitter: @GLOBE_Deakin