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Tony Blakely

Professorial Fellow In Epidemiology
cost effectiveness
Population interventions
Causal inference methods
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Tony Blakely

Medicine, Dentistry And Health Sciences
Primary Interest
Tony Blakely's Profile Picture

Tony Blakely


Tony is an epidemiologist and public health medicine specialist. He is committed to answering questions about which public health interventions will achieve the greatest improvements in health and social outcomes, reduce inequalities in health, and do so cost-effectively.

His research covers a range of topic areas, intersected with methodological advancements. Whilst principally an epidemiologist, he uses and combines methods from multiple disciplines: biostatistics, economics, econometrics, and computer and data science.

Tony is Director of the Population Interventions (PI) Unit within the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. PI aims to:
"provide robust evidence on the health and cost impacts of population interventions, through causal inference and simulation approaches from epidemiology, economics and data science. "
PI includes projects using contemporary epidemiological and econometric methods applied to existing data (e.g. the impact of Health Star Rating food labeling on consumer purchasing and food industry formulation), through to projects using simulation models to estimate the health gains and cost impacts of interventions such as tobacco tax, dietary counseling, etc. He is collaborating with the Institute of Health Metrics (University of Washington) and University of Otago to build next-generation macro-simulation models (i.e. VIVARIUM), that will intersect easily with Global Burden of Disease data to allow multi-country evaluations.

From 1998 to 2010 Tony was based at the University of Otago, Wellington New Zealand, leading:
- the pioneering of linking census to mortality data (the New Zealand Census-Mortality Study; NZCMS), commenced during his PhD in 1998 to 2001, to study trends over time in health inequalities and the influence of tobacco and other factors on population health
- the Health Inequalities Research Programme (2004-10) that built on the NZCMS to include census-cancer linkage, a longitudinal study of income employment and health (SoFIE-Health; similar to HILDA in Australia. ), neighborhoods and health and other research
- the Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme (BODE3; 2010 onwards) that has estimated the health gains (health adjusted life years) and health expenditure changes for about 100 population interventions (e.g. colorectal cancer screening, many tobacco interventions, dietary interventions).

Cutting across all Tony’s research is a strong focus and interest in epidemiological and quantitative research methodologies. Tony teaches short-courses in advanced epidemiology and simulation modelling, in both Australia and New Zealand. He has co-authored a book on the history of mortality decline in New Zealand, and published approximately 300 peer reviewed journal articles.

Scholarly Works

Displaying the 325 most recent scholarly works by Tony Blakely.


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Honours, Awards and Fellowships


Fellow New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine (FNZCPHM)





Professorial Fellow In Epidemiology

Melbourne School Of Population And Global Health

Iea Member, And Associate Editor Of The International Journal Of Epidemiology Since 2017

International Epidemiology Association

Public Health Medicine Specialist

New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine



University of Otago

Public Health

University of Otago


University of Otago