Professor Alex Brown is an Aboriginal medical doctor and researcher. He grew up on the south coast of New South Wales (NSW) with family connections to Nowra, Wreck Bay and Wallaga Lake on the far south coast of NSW.
Alex trained in medicine at the University of Newcastle, before working in hospitals on the central coast on NSW. He subsequently travelled overseas to complete a Master of Public Health and returned to Australia to begin work in Alice Springs, where he spent the last 13 years.
Alex first managed the local Centre for Disease Control in Alice Springs, controlling outbreaks of disease, immunisation programs and the surveillance of disease, before starting in research for the Menzies School of Health Research. In 2007 he was appointed to set up a research program in Central Australia with Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, with a focus on heart disease and diabetes in Aboriginal people. During this time, Alex commenced and completed his PhD on depression and heart disease in Aboriginal men.
Over this time, Alex has established an extensive and unique research program focused on chronic disease in vulnerable communities, with a particular focus on outlining and overcoming health disparities. He leads projects encompassing epidemiology, psychosocial determinants of chronic disease, mixed methods health services research in Aboriginal primary care and hospital settings, and randomised controlled trials of pharmacological and non-pharmacological chronic disease interventions.
Alex has been involved in policy since he commenced as a doctor. He has been heavily involved in engaging government and lead agencies in setting the agenda in Aboriginal cardiovascular disease management and control and chronic disease policy more broadly. He sits on a range of national committees, including the Heart Foundation, chairs the Cardiac Society Indigenous Cardiovascular Council and was a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council (2009-2012).
In July 2012, Alex joined SAHMRI to lead Aboriginal health research.
In November 2012, Alex was awarded the prestigious Viertel Senior Medical Research Fellowship to further his research into the impacts of psychosocial determinants on cardiovascular disease in Aboriginal communities.