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Marcus Chen is Adjunct Professor at the Central Clinical School, Monash University. He is a specialist in sexual health medicine at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Alfred Health. Chen is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and a Fellow of the Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine. 

Chen’s research has focused on improving the management and control of bacterial and viral sexually transmitted infections. Since receiving his PhD in 2006, he has published 335 papers in peer reviewed journals, with 240 of these published in the last 10 years. His papers have been cited over 10,000 times with citing publications spanning researchers across 120 countries. 

Chen has been an investigator on research grants totalling $27 million. He is currently lead investigator on an NHMRC Partnership Project Grant (2021-2026) which aims to design and evaluate innovative approaches to improve testing and control of syphilis in the context of growing syphilis epidemics in Australia and other countries.

Chen was chair of the subcommittee for sexually transmitted infections for the Australian Government Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections. He was a member of the working group for the Australian National Sexually Transmitted Infection Strategy and was chair of the Australasian contact tracing guidelines. Chen has served on several national and state committees responsible for developing guidelines and policy on gonorrhoea and syphilis control. Chen led the development of the web based contact tracing service Let Them Know, which has been used by over 140,000 individuals diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections to contact partners. He led the establishment of and oversees the hub and spoke network of sexual health services in Victoria after this was recommended by the Victorian Government Review of Sexual Health Services in 2019.

Chen has been plenary speaker at several international conferences including the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV Conference 2018 and the European International Union against Sexually Transmitted Infections Conference 2019. In 2011 Chen received the Award for Significant Contribution to Sexual Health Medicine, and in 2019, the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research in Sexual Health Medicine from the Australasian Chapter for Sexual Health Medicine.

Recent publication highlights:

Williamson D, Chen M. Emerging and re-emerging sexually transmitted infections. New England Journal of Medicine 2020; 382: 2023-32.

Towns J…Chen M. Oral and anal Treponema pallidum detection in lesion and non-lesion sites in men who have sex with men with early infectious syphilis: a prospective cross-sectional study. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2021; 21(9): 1324-1331.

Peel J…Chen M. Clinical presentation of incident syphilis among men who have sex with men taking HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis in Melbourne, Australia. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2021; 73(4): e934-e937.

Chow E…Chen M. Prevalence of human papillomavirus in young men who have sex with men after the implementation of gender-neutral HPV vaccination: a repeated cross-sectional study. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2021; 21(10): 1448-1457.

Tao Y, Chen M...Zhang L. A nationwide spaciotemporal analysis of syphilis over 21 years and implications for prevention and control in China. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2020; 70(1): 136-9.

Chen M…Oldach D. Solithromycin versus ceftriaxone plus azithromycin for the treatment of uncomplicated genital gonorrhoea: a randomised phase 3 non-inferiority trial. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2019; 19: 833-42.

Williamson D…Chen M & Howden B. Bridging of Neisseria gonorrhoeae lineages across sexual networks in the HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis era. Nature Communications 2019; 10: 3988.

Chow E…Chen M. Increased syphilis testing of men who have sex with men: greater detection of asymptomatic early syphilis and relative reduction in secondary syphilis. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2017; 65(3): 389-95.

Machalek DA…Chen M & Tabrizi S. Human papillomavirus prevalence in unvaccinated heterosexual males following a national female vaccination program. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2017; 215: 202-8.

Leeyaphan C…Chen M. Systematic review and meta-analysis of doxycycline efficacy for rectal lymphogranuloma venereum in men who have sex with men. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2016; 22(10): 1778-84.

Bissessor M...Chen M. Persistence of Neissseria gonorrhoeae DNA following treatment for pharyngeal and rectal gonorrhea is influenced by antibiotic susceptibility and reinfection. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2015; 60(4): 557-63.

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

Research area keywords

  • Sexual health
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections


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