Professor Naomi Priest is a life-course and social epidemiologist, and Group Leader of Social-Biological Research at the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, co-located at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Dr Priest has extensive experience in qualitative, mixed methods, and large-scale quantitative analysis, as well as in the conduct of collaborative research and policy and practice implementation related to child and adolescent health and health inequalities.

Her research program is focused on examining how social forces and social exposures become biologically embedded and embodied, and on understanding and addressing inequalities in health and development, throughout the life course. Much of this work focuses on social determinants of health and health inequalities in mental health and cardiovascular disease for Aboriginal and ethnic minoritised children and adolescents.

After training as an occupational therapist and working in community child health, she received her PhD in 2009 in population health at the University of Melbourne. She then completed a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) post-doctoral fellowship 2010-2014 also at the University of Melbourne with training in social epidemiology. In 2014-15 she was a Visiting Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Since 2015 she has been at the Australian National University, co-located at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute since 2016.

Fields of expertise



Domestic violence goes unrecognised in faith communities

Australians who are frequently involved in religion and who identify as religious are less likely to acknowledge domestic…

30 November 2021


‘Racism pandemic’ hits multicultural youth in Victoria

Most young people in Victoria from multicultural backgrounds are experiencing the effects of a “racism pandemic” and are…


Speaking out against racism in schools: new report

Experts are calling for a new evidence-based program to address racism in schools to be expanded across the country, after a successful pilot was run in Victoria and New South Wales.   The Speak Out Against Racism…


Students face ‘confronting’ levels of racism

One-third of NSW and Victorian government school students have experienced racial discrimination from their peers, and close to…

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