• Built environment and health (built environment)
  • Disability and health (disability)
  • Employment and health
  • Evaluation of breast cancer screening programs (breast cancer screening)
  • Gender and Health Inequalities (gender)
  • Housing and health
  • Mammographic density and the performance of screening mammography (mammographic density)



  • Professor Anne Kavanagh is a medically trained epidemiologist who is well-known for her work on health inequalities and cancer screening programs. She is Director of the Gender and Women's Health Unit in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. 

    Her research on health inequalities focusses on the importance of gender and social and economic disadvantage in relation to a range of health behaviours such as physical activity and diet and outcomes including diabetes, heart disease and mental health and wellbeing. Her work concentrates on the effects a range of social determinants of health including disability, the built environment, and housing.

    Professor Kavanagh's research in relation to breast cancer screening includes the evaluation of Australia's mammographic screening programs in relation to quality and efficacy. She also conducts a range of projects on the effects of high breast density (a large proportion of breast glandular tissue) on the performance of mammographic screening programs.   


Member of

  • International Epidemiological Association. Member 1995 -
  • Australasian Epidemiological Association. Member 1990 -
  • Public Health Association of Australia. Member 1990 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • available on request   


Education and training

  • PhD, The Australian National University 1995
  • BMBS, Flinders University of South Australia 1987

Awards and honors

  • Melbourne School of Population Health Knowledge Transfer Award, 2007
  • Public Health Award for Research Innovation - This was awarded for the Victorian Lifestyle and Neighbourhood Environments Study (VicLANES), Department of Human Services Victoria, 2006
  • Young Tall Poppy Award, Australian Institute of Political Science, 2002
  • Fellow of the Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, 1995
  • Accounts of abnormal Pap smears, Australian National University, 1990
  • Brighton and Sussex Medico-Chirurgical Society, 1989



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I am keen to supervise higher degree students with an interest in social epidemiology. Students could focus on a range of social determinants such as gender, disability, housing, built environment and employment and their intersections.

    In particular, I am looking to build research capacity in the field of disability in health. My research on disability focusses on the relationships between disability, gender and socio-economic disadvantage (e.g. housing, employment, poverty) as they relate to health. Our group analyses large cross-sectional and longitudinal databases. 

    Students would be part of a team of researchers at the Melbourne School of Population Health working in this area.