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Understanding the transmission dynamics of sexually transmitted infections


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Personal profile


Professor Eric Chow [PhD, MScMed(ClinEpid), MBiostat, MPH, MApplSc(Bioinf), FRSPH] is an STI epidemiologist and biostatistician based at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC) at The Alfred Hospital. He heads the Health Data Management and Biostatistics Unit and co-head the Clinical Evaluation Unit at MSHC and is a Professor at Central Clinical School, Monash University. He is also an Honorary Principal Fellow at the Melbourne School of Population & Global Health, The University of Melbourne.

Prof Chow completed his PhD at the Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales in 2014. He holds four Master's qualifications in Applied Science (Bioinformatics), Public Health, Biostatistics and Clinical Epidemiology. He was awarded an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship to support his postdoctoral training at MSHC/Monash (2015-2018). He was awarded an NHMRC Emerging Investigator Grant (2020-2024). He received an NHMRC Research Excellence Award for the highest-ranked application in the Emerging Leadership category of Investigator Grant (2019), and the Commonwealth Health Minister's Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research (2020) as the top-ranked recipient of the 2019 NHMRC Investigator Grant in the Emerging Leadership Level 2 Category. He was also awarded the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases (2022), which is Australia's top science award and is commonly referred as the "Oscars" for Australian Science. 

Prof Chow's research program aims to improve the treatment, prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections (STI), with a particular focus on gonorrhoea and human papillomavirus (HPV).

Gonorrhoea is one of the most common STIs and it is a global public health threat because the rates of infection are increasing at an alarming rate, and it is becoming increasingly resistant to the last first-line antibiotics. Prof Chow's research program has developed a new paradigm of gonorrhoea transmission. He has led the investigation of gonorrhoea transmission via saliva and kissing, which have significant impacts on reinforcing current safe sex messages and interventions. He is currently undertaking an NHMRC-funded multicentre randomised controlled trial using mouthwash as a preventive strategy for oropharyngeal gonorrhoea. His research program has also focused on the evaluation of the national school-based HPV vaccination program. His work has demonstrated the public health benefits of the female HPV vaccination program in Australia (introduced in 2007) for females and heterosexual males. He is currently evaluating and monitoring the clinical and public health benefits of the universal HPV vaccination (introduced in 2013) for males. His work on HPV has helped to inform HPV guidelines abroad.

Prof Chow also communicates closely with the Government and community-based organisations in order to improve the health and well-being of the Australian population.

Prof Chow has a strong track record with >330 peer-reviewed publications including first or senior-author publications in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, The Lancet HIV, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Clinical Infectious Diseases and Journal of Infectious Diseases. He holds an H-index of 46 and his papers have been cited over 8000 times. Prof Chow is an Associate Editor or a member of the Editorial Board for 6 medical journals. He was the President of the Sexual Health Society of Victoria (2020-2023). He has been on the organising committee for the International Union Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI) Asia-Pacific Congress held in Okayama, Japan (2016) and Auckland, New Zealand (2018). He has been an external reviewer for NHMRC Project Grants (2016-) and the Health and Medical Research Fund in Hong Kong (2015-).

Monash teaching commitment

MPH5020 Introduction Epidemiology and Biostatistics (2014-2015)

MPH5041 Introductory Biostatistics (2015)

MPH5213 Research Methods (2014)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Biostatistics, MBiostats, University of Melbourne

Public Health, MPH, University of New South Wales (UNSW)

HIV/STI Epidemiology, PhD, University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Bioinformatics, MApplSc, University of Sydney

Clinical Epidemiology, MScMed(ClinEpid), University of Sydney

Forensic Biology, BSc, University of Technology Sydney

External positions

President, Sexual Health Society of Victoria Inc

Jul 2020 → …

Honorary Principal Fellow, University of Melbourne

2020 → …

Treasurer, Sexual Health Society of Victoria Inc

2017Jul 2020

Research area keywords

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Promotion
  • Human Papillomavirus
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Program evaluation
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Syphilis
  • HPV
  • Vaccination
  • Mouthwash
  • Transmission Dynamics
  • sexually transmitted infections

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or