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Dr Bircan Erbas Professor, Public Health

Dr Bircan Erbas is currently a Professor at La Trobe University. She has skills and expertise in environmental epidemiology and biostatistics with a Masters (Statistics) degree and PhD (Biostatistics) from the University of Melbourne. Prof Erbas's doctoral research was supported by an NHMRC scholarship.

Prof Erbas is at the forefront of research to lessen the burden of disease on individuals, families and the community over the life span, while using expert sought after knowledge in designing state-of-the art studies and developing and implementing methods to address complex health issues. Prof Erbas is a leading pollen epidemiologist globally, as her team were responsible for establishing the link between pollen and childhood asthma exacerbations as a major clinical and public health issue.

In 2008, Prof Erbas and colleagues were awarded an NHMRC project grant to assess the relationship between environmental pollen, fungi and the admission of children with poorly controlled asthma. Erbas is also a chief investigator on several competitive (NHMRC and other) funded projects on environmental and respiratory health. She has received a fully funded prestigious Harvard fellowship from the International Union Against Cancer - UICC. She was shortlisted as a potential awardee for the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Prestigious Paediatric Research Awards and in 2010, she was awarded the Vice-Chancellor Award for Excellence in Research - La Trobe University. She has achieved and continues to attract strong funding with over $1 million as Principal Investigator and over $7 million as key co-investigator. Prof Erbas has co-authored over 130 academic refereed publications mostly in high quality international journals. Her research has also been presented at a number of leading national and prominent international conferences including the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Prof Erbas has completed supervision of 6 PhD, 6 Masters/Honors thesis and currently supervising 7 PhD and 6 Masters thesis students. Her completed PhD students average 4 publications each from their PhD research. Her ability to build capacity and motivate performance in junior researchers is shown by awards to her PhD students including 7 PhD scholarships, 2 of which are funded by NHMRC PhD.

Prof Erbas is on the editorial board of Respirology and International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. As an expert biostatistician her opinions are highly sought after by both national and International grant agencies and research committees. Prof Erbas regularly reviews grant applications for NHMRC, the Hong Kong Research Council, public health training fellowship applications for European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology and the UK Asthma Foundation.

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