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The HMRI Research Programs facilitate collaborations between all levels of research to translate scientific advances and new health knowledge into better clinical care, products and improved health care guidelines.

Every one of our staff and 1,600 passionate researchers and support staff has a different reason for getting involved in medical research and choosing their particular area of expertise. Some were inspired by teachers or mentors. Others relish the challenge of solving a universal problem. And some have seen friends or family affected by a cruel disease.

But we all share the same purpose: To improve the health and wellbeing of our communities.  

We understand the effect of health and disease across the entire life course and the needs of our most vulnerable community members. To give our purpose clear direction, we have three research priorities.  

Priority Populations 

Research that improves the health and wellbeing of our vulnerable communities, Indigenous peoples, and regional and rural populations.  

Healthy Life Course 

Research that improves health and wellbeing across every stage of life.  

Healthy Future 

Research that responds to current and emerging challenges affecting the health and wellbeing of our communities through innovative approaches, technologies and translation. 

These priorities underpin all our research programs.

Since 1998, delivering patient-focused translational research has been our goal, which means seed funding start-up studies, supporting larger-scale research projects whilst fostering a flow of information and innovation between scientists, clinicians and public health professionals.

Attracting top health and medical specialists and collaborating with other leading institutes and industries helps fast-track new and better health solutions to address the real needs of patients at the point of care. 

Our research programs

HMRI now has 19 research programs that study a wide range of health issues relevant to our communities. 


HMRI Active Living Research Program
Researching the physical, mental, and cognitive benefits of physical activity and sleep behaviours and reinforcing positive behaviours. 
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HMRI Asthma and Breathing Research Program
Improving health and wellbeing with better breathing, from pregnancy and early childhood, and throughout life. 
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HMRI Brain Neuromodulation Research Program 
Researching the full spectrum of nervous system disorders including the brain and the spinal cord and all peripheral nerves and receptors connecting to the rest of the body.
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HMRI Cancer Detection and Therapy Research Program
Improving early detection and treatment of solid cancers to help identify a cure (or treatment) that allows patients to live well with the disease rather than suffering and succumbing because of it. 
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HMRI Drug Repurposing and Medicines Research Program
Investigating new uses for already approved drugs and developing or improving the use of new, old and approved drugs. 

HMRI Equity in Health and Wellbeing Research Program 
Rigorous, consumer-centred, high-impact research to achieve equity in health and wellbeing outcomes. 
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HMRI Food and Nutrition Research Program 
Developing cutting-edge nutrition strategies to improve food behaviours and prevent, manage and treat disease, while optimising nutrition-related community health and wellbeing. HMRI Healthcare Transformation Research Program 
Develop and deliver workable, evidence-based solutions for real-world problems in the health system to improve care experiences and outcomes for individuals, families, communities and the health workforce. 
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HMRI Healthy Minds Research Program 
Our Healthy Minds researchers are working with the community to create ways for all Australians to build and maintain good mental health. 
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HMRI Heart and Stroke Research Program 
Improving the lives of people affected by stroke, brain injury, and heart conditions. We’re developing optimal preventive medicine and treatments and putting them into practice. 
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HMRI Infection Research Program 
Reducing the impact of infectious diseases on human health by addressing important evidence gaps in the diagnosis, prevention, and management of infections. 
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HMRI Immune Health Research Program 
Understanding how the human immune system interacts with pathogens and the environment and the role that this plays in promoting health or acute and chronic human diseases. 

HMRI Infertility and Reproduction Research Program 
Working to resolve the precise physical and chemical nature of what impairs human fertility and offspring health, then developing appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures to improve the safety and efficacy of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and eventually do without them.
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HMRI Injury and Trauma Research Program 
Improving the lives of people affected by injuries and reducing the burden of injuries on our healthcare system and society.
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HMRI Mothers and Babies Research Program 
Optimising health for families and early childhood because the health trajectory for an individual begins at conception, and a healthy pregnancy is the beginning of a healthy life course. 

HMRI Population Health Research Program 
Understanding, developing and testing strategies to improve the population-wide implementation of evidence-based interventions by clinical and community organisations to reduce the preventable disease burden. 

HMRI Precision Medicine Research Program 
Identifying the most appropriate treatments for individual patients by deciphering the characteristics of complex diseases – providing the right treatment for each patient at the right time. 

HMRI Surgical and Perioperative Care Research Program 
Improving holistic long term community health outcomes through surgical and perioperative research. 
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HMRI Women’s Health Research Program 
Driving health policy and practice with high quality evidence to improve women’s health across the life course. 
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The HMRI Research Programs facilitate collaborations between all levels of research to translate scientific advances and new health knowledge into better clinical care, products and improved health care guidelines. As a result, Hunter researchers deliver health and medical research and technology closely aligned to community health needs. 

The HMRI Research Programs receive infrastructure funding from the NSW Office for Medical Research through the Medical Research Support Program, and the NSW Ministry of Health through both the NSW Population Health and Health Services Research Support (PHHSRS) Program, and the Capacity Building Infrastructure Grant Program. This funding supports essential research infrastructure including research salaries, equipment, technology and research support services. 

HMRI Research Programs also received community and corporate philanthropic funding for research projects, equipment, scholarships, fellowships and travel grants.

This support enables Hunter reseachers to continue making key discoveries and developments that improve the health of our community.