BA (Hons) (Psychology), MPsych (Clinical), PhD
Health Sciences

Louisa is Professor of Epidemiology and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW. She was awarded her PhD in 2003, examining the comorbidity of drug use and mental disorders in the Australian population. She has honorary Professorial appointments at University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and University of Washington’s Department of Global Health in the School of Public Health. Louisa conducts diverse epidemiological studies including analysis of large-scale community and clinical population surveys, data linkage studies focusing upon people with a history of drug dependence or chronic pain, and cohort studies of young people.

Louisa’s work documenting what is and is not known about the epidemiology and health effects of illicit drugs has shaped discourse at a global level, and she is regularly sought by researchers, NGOs, and UN agencies to collaborate and provide advice. Her work on illicit drug market surveillance, which continues today, is regularly used to inform policy and planning on health and law enforcement responses. Her data linkage work on opioid dependence, treatment and mortality is used by health and corrective services departments in Australia and internationally to evaluate the benefits and risks of treatment. Her post-marketing surveillance work informed Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee decisions on listing of opioid medications on the PBS.

2011-present Honorary Professor, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

2013-present Honorary Professor, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

2014-present Affiliate Professor, Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle Washington USA

NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship, Australian National Association of Research Fellows (NARF),

2006 Young Tall Poppy Science Award, Australian Institute for Political Science, Sydney, NSW

2007 NHMRC Achievement in Health and Medical Research Award

2008-2012 NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship, Level B

2010 Elsevier Young Researcher of the Year Award finalist

2010 Peter Baume Public Health Impact Award, Faculty of Medicine, University of NSW

2013-2017 NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship

Degenhardt, L., Charlson, F., Stanaway, J., Larney, S., Alexander, L., Hickman, M., Cowie, B., Hall, W., Strang, J., Whiteford, H., & Vos, T. (2016). Estimating the burden of disease attributable to injecting drug use as a risk factor for HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B: Results from the Global Burden of Disease GBD 2013 study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. DOI:

Lago, L., Bruno, R. & Degenhardt, L. (2016). Concordance between ICD-11 and DSM-5 definitions of alcohol and cannabis use disorders: A population study. The Lancet Psychiatry, 3, 673-684.

Campbell, G., Bruno, R., Blyth, F., Dobbins, T., Hall, W, Farrell, M., Nielsen, S., Larance, B., Cohen, M., Lintzeris, N., Mattick, R., Degenhardt, L., (2016). Defining problematic pharmaceutical opioid use among people prescribed opioids for chronic non-cancer pain: do different measures identify the same patients? Pain, 157(7), 1489-1498.

Degenhardt, L., Gisev, N., Cama, E., Nielsen, S., Larance, B., & Bruno, R., (2016). The extent and correlates of pharmaceutical opioid utilisation in Australia. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 25(5), 521-538.

Degenhardt, L., Stockings, E., Patton, G., Hall, W., & Lynskey, M., (2016). The increasing global health priority of substance use in young people (invited review). The Lancet Psychiatry, 3(3), 251-264.