Professor Michael Abramson is the Principal Investigator for the study and is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Monash University. He obtained his PhD from the University of Newcastle for research on occupational asthma. His current research program covers the epidemiology of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including genetic and environmental risk factors such as smoking, air pollution and occupation. This work has been supported by the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australian Research Council, Department of Health, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Australian Lung Foundation and Asthma Victoria. He is a Chief Investigator on the NHMRC funded Centre for Air Quality & Health Research and Evaluation (CAR). He undertook a consultancy on ambient air quality standards for NHMRC and the enHealth Council. He teaches epidemiology and Evidence Based Clinical Practice to medical students, postgraduate Clinical Epidemiology and units in the Doctor of Public Health at Monash University. He has received the Research Medal of the Thoracic Society of Australia & New Zealand, a Community Service Award from the Asthma Foundation of Victoria and a National Research Award from Asthma Australia. He has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lung Foundation Australia
Professor Judi Walker is the Co-Principal Investigator and is responsible for the Gippsland components of the study. Judi is a Research Professor within the School of Rural Health, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University and is based at Churchill, adjacent to Morwell. As a senior rural health academic she brings a wealth of experience in rural and regional health services, health policy reform and community engagement. Over the past decade Professor Walker has been successful in attracting successful research and consultancy funds totalling well over $8M. She was also CIA for an ARC Linkage grant investigating the mechanisms behind age-related network shrinkage and social disengagement in order to design service models that can assist older rural people to stay socially engaged. Currently she is CIA on an NHMRC Partnership Project Grant developing a framework to assist future policy and practice being tested in targeted program areas in regional Tasmania and Gippsland. She is Board Director, Latrobe Community Health Services with Health Centres/GP Clinics at Morwell and in surrounding communities in the Latrobe Valley. Professor Walker is the recipient of the Dean’s 2014 Excellence in External Engagement Award and the Dean’s nominee for the Vice Chancellor’s 2014 Research Impact Award.