Researcher biography

A/Prof Benn Sartorius is an established spatial and global health epidemiologist, with a particular interest in the burden of infectious disease and attributable determinants at sub-national, national and global scales as a tool to help inform and optimise policy at national and subnational scales. Dr Sartorius a principal research fellow in UQ's ODeSI team at University of Queensland, an affiliate professor in Department of Health Metric Sciences at University of Washington and a honorary visiting research fellow at University of Oxfored. Prior to join UQ, Dr Sartorius was the principal investigator for the Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (GRAM) Project based in the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health at University of Oxford.

Dr Sartorius' research has focused on better understanding the spatial-temporal burden and risk factors of multiple IDs, including mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, sexually transmitted infections, neglected tropical diseases such as soil-transmitted helminths and onchocerciasis, vaccine preventable diseases, emerging infectious diseases and more recently focused on antimicrobial resistance. These and other examples highlight the utility of spatial epidemiology to identify higher risk areas that should be prioritised for more targeted, tailored and resource efficient intervention and control measures. However, often spatial risk estimates for IDs are often not produced in-country in settings such as the Pacific, where disease burden is high and local modelling expertise is limited, resulting in use of incomplete/biased data and resulting in inefficient and suboptimal decision-making. I've been a collaborator on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project since 2014 and the Scientific Council for the GBD Project since 2015. Dr Sartorius is a member of the WHO Reference Group on Health Statistics (RGHS) and chair of the Age-Specific Mortality Estimation and Life Table Computation task force. Benn's vision, through ODeSI-HERA, is to expand his international profile and leadership in spatial-temporal epidemiology of priority infectious diseases in Australia and the Pacific. This will include spatial epidemiological innovation, and capacity building to improve health outcomes in high-risk and vulnerable sub-populations within the region, and will be co-created with stakeholders in the region to ensure that it aligns with their priorities, and support precision-based decision-making systems to help policy makers optimise resource allocation and guide targeted interventions.