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Medical Health Aged Care, Science


La Trobe University 3 mins read

Clinical Trials Day is celebrated globally each May 20 to recognise the first randomised clinical trial by James Lind in 1774. Lind studied the effects of different treatments on scurvy, after carrying out a clinical trial on 12 people using the treatment of citrus fruits.

 La Trobe University conducts clinical trials which contributes to a greater understanding of future treatments. Our experts are available to provide commentary on International Clinical Trials Day.

Lauren Mitchell
Senior Manager, Clinical Trials Platform at La Trobe University
Contact: 0466 504 484

Expertise: Clinical Trials

Lauren Mitchell can discuss the following topics:

  • What clinical trials are and why they are important.
  • The types of clinical trials La Trobe conducts and how we are leading in certain areas.
  • How these trials are different to pharmaceutical clinical trials.
  • Why clinical trials conducted in a community setting may be more effective.
  • How La Trobe can support other researchers who may wish to conduct a clinical trial.


The following can be attributed to Lauren Mitchell:


“Clinical trials are critical part of the development of advancing knowledge. They allow us to evaluate new treatments to determine if they are safe and effective. At La Trobe, our clinical trials tend to involve a behavioural intervention delivered by a health professional, such as a physiotherapist, dietitian, midwife, or psychologist, rather than a pharmaceutical intervention. These trials are also more likely to occur in a community setting such as a clinic, gym, or an individual’s home. International Clinical Trials Day serves is an opportunity to highlight the invaluable work of these researchers who are contributing to this advancement of knowledge, and ultimately improving patient care.”

Professor Chris Sobey
Co-director, Centre for Cardiovascular Biology and Disease Research, La Trobe University

Contact: 0487 448 734

Expertise: Conducting preclinical research to better understand cardiovascular disease and stroke, brain injury and care after stroke, clinical trials to evaluate cell therapy for stroke.

Professor Sobey can discuss the following topics:

  • The challenges of understanding the nature of brain injury after a stroke.
  • The challenges of finding new treatment candidates for stroke.
  • The challenges of demonstrating that a new cell-based treatment for stroke is effective. 


Dr Joanne Kemp
Academic Director, Clinical Trials Platform at La Trobe University
Contact:  0410 175 435

Expertise: Clinical Trials
Dr Kemp is working on a $2.7 million clinical trial that will support ground-breaking work to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and care for youth with hip dysplasia.

Dr Kemp can discuss the following topics:

  • Clinical trials.
  • Hip pain in young and middle-aged adults.
  • Osteoarthritis especially hips.
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Hip/groin pain/injury in athletes.


Professor Richard Gray
Professor of Clinical Nursing Practice at La Trobe University

Contact:  0481248182

Expertise: Depression and anxiety, psychological treatments, behavioural activation, regional and remote health, complex clinical trials.
Dr Gray is about to start conducting clinical trials in regional areas of Australia involving farmers and depression. He will be assessing if a specific psychological treatment will be beneficial for people with depression living in farming communities.

Professor Gray can discuss the following topics:

  • How restricted access to evidence based psychological treatments can result in poorer mental health outcomes for people living in farming communities.
  • The role of a trained peer workforce to support the delivery of behavioural activation (a brief psychological treatment) for people with depression living and working in farming communities. 
  • How hybrid clinical trial methodologies can be used to engage participants from rural and remote communities by enabling people to take part in study activities remotely. 


The following can be attributed to Professor Richard Gray:

In relation to clinical trials:

“Clinical trials are foundational to evidence-based healthcare, providing gold standard evidence about the safety and effectiveness of new interventions. Increasingly, novel, hybrid clinical trial methodologies are being used enhance recruitment of underrepresented communities living outside the major metropolitan research centres. The hybrid trial we are currently undertaking aims to test if behavioural activation (a brief psychological treatment) provided by members of the farming community is effective at managing depression.”

In relation to his current clinical trial into farmers and depression:

“Farmers in Australia face double the risk of suicide compared to the rest of the population and find it challenging accessing mental health services. Behavioural activation is a safe and effective treatment for depression that focuses increasing behaviours that people enjoy and enhance their mood. We are conducting a clinical trial to test if farmers can be trained to deliver behavioural activation to members of the farming community.”


Contact details:

Elaine Cooney
0487 448 734

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