New ISSR professors in health and data analytics

11 June 2019

The appointment of two new professors at the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) will position UQ to respond to rapidly evolving challenges to the health, social and economic wellbeing in Australia and overseas. Professors Lisa McDaid and Rhema Vaithianathan join ISSR from the United Kingdom and New Zealand respectively, bringing deep expertise in health, social science, and social data analytics.

Professor McDaid is a social scientist who has been leading the Social and Public Health Science Unit program on social relationships and health improvement at the University of Glasgow. She examines the influence of relationships and networks on health and behaviours over the life course and she has particular strengths in co-designing public health interventions informed by social science theory and practice. Professor McDaid will support ISSR to identify evidence-based solutions to health inequalities in Australia when she commences at UQ in July 2019.

Professor Vaithianathan is an international innovator in the use of big data and machine learning for social good. She is renowned internationally for developing an advanced algorithm to help call centre staff in the United States to triage child maltreatment allegations. She has also applied predictive analytics to complex social problems in the areas of homelessness and health and she is a former policy analyst for the New Zealand Treasury. Rhema is co-director of the Centre for Social Data Analytics at Auckland University of Technology and joined ISSR in May 2019.

Contact us at to learn more about partnering with Professors Lisa McDaid and Rhema Vaithianathan.