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Dr Christine Roder awarded Gilead Research Fellowship to investigate hepatitis B care

Thursday, 30 March 2023

Congratulations to Dr Christine Roder (pictured), infectious disease and public health researcher at Barwon Health, who has been awarded a Gilead Research Fellowship to investigate models of care that can improve access to hepatitis B care in the Barwon South West region of Victoria.

C.roder photo

In Australia, very few people living with hepatitis B receive monitoring and only half of the people requiring treatment are actually receiving treatment, with the remainder at risk of cancer and cirrhosis.

In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a global strategy to eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C as public health threats by 2030. In line with this, the Australian government has released a national strategy to eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C. However, Australia is not currently on track to reach the national hepatitis B elimination targets.

Treatment uptake is higher in cities than regional areas, and Western Victoria has limited access to hepatitis B care.

Christine's research project will map the distribution of people at risk of hepatitis B, hepatitis B notifications and current hepatitis B healthcare providers in the region to identify areas where there is a need for greater access to care. The research team will then conduct interviews with community-based healthcare providers in those areas to gain insight into their current practice and what models of care they think will be appropriate for their practice and their patient’s needs.

This project will inform hepatitis B service delivery in the Barwon South West region of Victoria, and act as a hepatitis B elimination template for other rural and regional areas of Australia.

About Dr Christine Roder

Dr Christine Roder is an infectious disease and public health researcher at Barwon Health. Although their PhD was a lab based project investigating novel treatments for Clostridium difficile infection, Christine has turned their focus to clinical and public health. Currently Christine’s research focuses on hepatitis B and C elimination, models of care, and epidemiology and socioeconomic influences of diseases of public health importance such as COVID-19. Christine particularly enjoys data science and is dipping their toe into the world of qualitative research.

Christine was also the recipient of the 2022 Barwon Health Deakin University Research Poster Award - Medicine Category for their poster "Pregnancy -a key moment for engaging women with hepatitis B in care." View the poster here.


Pictured: Dr Christine Roder with Prof Peter Vuillermin, Director of Research