Professor Margaret Hellard

Deputy Director (Programs); Adjunct Professor, Monash University, DEPM.


Infectious diseases - focus of her work

For almost two decades Margaret’s work has centred around infectious diseases, preventing their transmission and identifying the impact of these infections in vulnerable populations. A researcher and clinician, her principal research interests are in the epidemiology of blood-borne viruses (BBVs) HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, sexually transmitted infections, and improving the management of individuals who already have the infection.

Margaret has considerable experience in undertaking community-based research involving young people, injecting drug users (IDUs) and vulnerable populations, and experience in research in tertiary care institutes. She also has considerable experience in undertaking research that used new technologies (such as SMS, Facebook) for health promotion and prevention interventions.

Translational Research

Margaret’s work and that of others on the feasibility of treating current injecting drug users for their HCV, led to changes in the clinical management of people who injected drugs infected with HCV in Australia.

Margaret and her research group identified high rates of hepatitis C reinfection in people who inject drugs. This has led to changes in health education and prevention in this area.

Margaret has also has been instrumental in the development of innovative sentinel surveillance systems for BBVs and STIs both within Victoria and nationally. She and her group are world leaders in research using new technologies such as SMS and social networking sites for health promotion.

She has been a member of numerous advisory committees and working groups related to HCV, HBV and HIV including WHO and other international Working Groups and Advisory Committees, and National and Victorian working groups, taskforces and advisory committees.

With more than $35 million in competitive research grants and tenders, Margaret has in excess of 250 peer reviewed publications and has won a number of prizes for her work.

Centre for Research Excellence into Injecting Drug Use (CREIDU).

Margaret was one of the Chief Investigators and also on the Executive of the NHMRC project grant - CREIDU - from 2010-2015.

  • M Hellard, P Dietze, A Ritter, D Lubman, S Kinner, G Williams, G Dore, L Maher, D Moore, R Power. Centre for Research Excellence Reducing the health, social and economic burden of injecting drug use in Australia. NHMRC 2010 – 2015 $2,485,060

Most significant publications

  1. M Hellard, D Rolls, R Sacks-Davis, G Robins, P Pattison, P Higgs, C Aitken, E McBryde. The impact of injecting networks on hepatitis C transmission and treatment in people who inject drugs. Hepatology 2014;60:1861-1870
  2. N Martin, P Vickerman, J Grebely, M Hellard, S Hutchinson, V Lima, G Foster, J Dillon, D Goldberg, G Dore, M Hickman HCV treatment for prevention among people who inject drugs: modeling treatment scale-up in the age of direct-acting antivirals Hepatology, 2013; 58:1598-1609.
  3. MSC Lim, JS Hocking, CK Aitken, CK Fairley, L Jordan, JE Lewis, ME Hellard, A randomised controlled trial of the impact of text and email messaging on the sexual health of young people. J Epidemiol Community Health 2012;66:69-74
  4. A Pedrana, M Hellard, K Wilson, R Guy, M Stoové., High rates of undiagnosed HIV infections in a community sample of gay men in Melbourne, Australia. J AIDS 2012;59:94–99
  5. R Guy, JL Goller, T Spelman, C El-Hayek, J Gold, M Lim, D Leslie, BK Tee, N Roth , J Anderson J, Fairley CK, Kaldor J1 Hellard M, Does the frequency of HIV and STI testing among MSM in primary care adhere with Australian guidelines? Sex Transm Infect 2010;86: 371-376
  6. GJ Dore, M Hellard, G Matthews, J Grebely, PS Haber, K Petoumenos, B Yeung, P Marks,I van Beek, G McCaughan, P White, R Ffrench, W Rawlinson, AR Lloyd, JM Kaldor or the ATAHC Study Group Effective treatment of injecting drug users with recently acquired Hepatitis C virus infection Gastroenterology 2010;138:123–135
  7. Hepatitis C treatment for injecting drug users: a review of the available evidence. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2009; 49:561–73
  8. MSC Lim, JS Hocking, ME Hellard, CK Aitken. SMS STI: A review of the uses of mobile phone text messaging in sexual health. International Journal of STD and AIDS. 2008;19:287–290
  9. C Aitken, J Lewis, S Tracy, S Bowden, M Bharadwaj, H Drummer, T Spelman, M Hellard. High incidence of hepatitis C virus reinfection in a cohort of injecting drug users. Hepatology 2008; 48(6):1746-52
  10. M Hellard, M Sinclair, A Forbes, C Fairley. A randomized blinded controlled trial investigating the gastrointestinal health effects of drinking water quality. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2001;109:773-778


  • 2017: Deputy Director (Programs), Burnet Institute
  • 2013: Associate Director, Burnet Institute
  • 2012: Adjunct Professor, Monash University, DEPM.
  • 2011: Head, Hepatitis Services, Infectious Disease Unit, Alfred Hospital, Victoria, Australia
  • 2009: NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
  • 2008: Honorary Senior Fellow, Nossal Institute, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2006: Honorary Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
  • 2002-2006: Honorary Senior Lecturer, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Australia
  • 2002: Head of the Epidemiology and Social Research Unit (now Centre for Population Health) at Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2001-2009: Infectious Diseases Physician, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia
  • 2000-2002: Senior Research Fellow, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Australia
  • 1996: Infectious Diseases Physician, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia


  1. Red Cross Blood Bank Australia – Chair Expert Review Panel on Injecting Drug User Donation Policy
  2. Advisory Committee to Justice Health on Hepatitis C Care and Treatment Victoria
  3. WHO Advisor –Think tank to develop strategies to eliminate hepatitis B and C
  4. WHO Advisor – Hepatitis C Surveillance and Screening
  5. WHO Temporary Advisor - WHO Consultation on Strategic use of ARVs
  6. WHO Temporary Advisor – WHO Consultation on Hepatitis C Modelling
  7. Communicable Diseases Network of Australia National Strategies BBV/STI Subcommittee
  8. InC3 – International Collaboration of Incidence Hepatitis C in Injection Drug users (coordinating committee).
  9. Australian Hepatitis Councils Health Reference Group
  10. Victorian Department of Health Advisory Committee on BBVs and STIs
  11. ASHM Viral Hepatitis Clinical Oversight Committee


  • 2001: FAFPHM, Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine
  • 2000: PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University
  • 1996: FRACP, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • 1986: MBBS, Monash University


  • 2010 Frank Fenner Award: Recognised for her outstanding leadership, innovation and contribution to the fields of research and public health
  • 2005: Victorian Public Health Award, Program excellence winner for HIV sentinel surveillance
  • 2005: VicHealth Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Promotions (studies over $75,000) for The epidemiology and control of chlamydia infection in Victoria
  • 2005: VicHealth Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Promotions (studies less than $15,000) for Uncontested possessions and key positions
  • 2005: Frank Fenner Award for Advanced Research in Infectious Diseases
  • 2004: NHMRC Career Development Award
  • 2004: VicHealth Senior Research Fellowship
  • 2001: Australasian Society of Infectious Diseases, Aztra Zeneca Travel Award
  • 2000: Inaugural Graham Rouch Award, Victorian Branch of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine
  • 2000: Young Water Scientist of the Year
  • 2000: Victorian Public Health Award for Research Excellence
  • 2000: NHMRC Clinical Research Fellowship
  • 1998: NHMRC Clinical Research Fellowship

Projects (34)

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