Professor Deborah Turnbull
Overview of Research Achievements
Deborah Turnbull was awarded the Chair in Psychology at the University of Adelaide in 2005 and has been researching in the area of health and clinical psychology for over 20 years. Her research income for peer reviewed grants is the vicinity of 5.6 million and overall, about 6.4 million. Her major contributions have been in relation to breast and colorectal cancer screening and maternity care and her work has influenced the development of services in Australia and the UK. Professor Turnbull has published over 125 peer reviewed papers during her career. Her work has been published in high quality outlets including The Lancet, International Journal of Behavioral Medicine and Medical Screening. Her research group regularly presents at the peak international meetings relevant to her field, including the International Congress of Behavioral Medicine.
Collaborations and invitations
Professor Turnbull has a number of collaborations. Much of her group’s recent NHMRC funded work is conducted via collaboration with the Cancer Council of South Australia, Flinders University and CSIRO. This research has been the subject of a symposium organised by Professor Carlene Wilson (CSIRO, Cancer Council of South Australia) and presented collaboratively at the 11th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine in Washington DC in August 2010. Professor Turnbull has subsequently presented follow-up work at this meeting in Europe in 2012. Professor Turnbull is invited to provide commentary on numerous issues associated with health services. She has provided an invited commentary to The Lancet on the follow-up of preterm babies and co-authored a chapter on the future of maternity services in the UK at the invitation of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She has also responded to an invitation by the World Health Organisation to lead a pre-conference workshop with Dr Rogayah Ja’afar of the Universiti Sains Malaysia on the topic of international women’s health.
In 2006 Professor Turnbull was a Chief Investigator awarded a ‘10 of the Best Award’ for the NHMRC grant examining attitudes affecting participation in bowel cancer screening (#187644). She has received a Flagship Fellowship from CSIRO Preventative Health Flagship to develop a research plan for investigating the psychological issues associated with novel methods of bowel cancer screening. Her work in maternity care development has been recognised by the Victoria University in New Zealand who awarded her an Invited Visiting Fellowship to disseminate the research from her Lancet publication of a randomised trial for midwife managed care.
Professor Turnbull is invited to review on a wide range of topics relevant to psychology and health for journals such as the British Journal of Obstetrics and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She is a regular reviewer for Obesity Research and Clinical Practice and acted as an Associate Editor for Australian Psychologist between 2005 and 2009. Additional 2012 reviewing responsibilities include: ARC Future Fellowships and National Competitive Grants Program, Child Development Research Journal, Medical Education, BMC Public Health, Health Education and Behavior.
Research Boards and Advisory Panels
Professor Turnbull serves as a Member of the Research Advisory Board, Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, The Australian National University. She is a member of the NSW Cancer Institute, Cancer Research Advisory Committee and the Freemasons’ Foundation Centre for Men’s Health Management Committee. In 2013 she acted as an international observer for the Canadian Institutes of Health grant review process. Professor Turnbull has contributed to the NHMRC project grants process over an extended period of time. She has served as a Member of the Public Health Grants review panel; as Chair of the Public Health Grants review panel and Selector for the process. During 2012 and 2013, she has acted as the University of Adelaide representative for the Thinkers in Residence program, Martin Seligman Residency, Office of the South Australian Premier and Cabinet.
Professor Turnbull’s has served on the National Cancer Control Initiative as well as the Communication and Education Task Group of the Commonwealth Bowel Screening Pilot. She has been a member of the National Institute of Clinical Studies Hospital Advisory Group and in this role, co-authored an invited paper in the Medical Journal of Australia about organisational change for evidence based practice. She has provided consultancy for the Australian Dental Council on the topic of international workforce and the Department of Human Services, Victoria for the Maternity Services Enhancement Strategy.
State and Local Bodies
Professor Turnbull chairs the Adelaide Colorectal Cancer Collaborative, which is underpinned by a memorandum of understanding between the three South Australian universities. She served for four years on the South Australian Education and Health Promotion Committee of the Heart Foundation. In 2003 she served on the State Implementation Committee for the South Australian pilot that preceded the national bowel cancer screening roll out. She has also been a member of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative State Administrative Body and has been a member of the Midwifery Group Practice Evaluation Group of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. This group has published three papers in national and international journals which are among the first to report on midwifery group practice as it is practically implemented in Australia.
Professor Turnbull is a current member of the Kathleen Lumley College Council. She chairs the University’s Gender Equity and Diversity Committee and serves on the Wilto Yerlo Indigenous Education and Engagement Committee. She has chaired for several years, the special considerations subcommittee of the Adelaide to Outback GP Training Program.
- BA (Hons)
- Research Methods
- Cross Cultural Psychology
- Evidence Based Practice
- Maternity Care
- Chronic Disease
- Bowel Cancer Screening
- Men's Health
- Rural and Remote Health
- Primary Health Care
- Mental Health
- Dodd JM, Turnbull D, McPhee AJ, Wittert G. Project Grant. (2008 - 2011) (519240) National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant. Limiting weight gain in overweight and obese women during pregnancy to improve health outcomes - a randomised trial.
- Wilson C, Flight I, Turnbull D, Young G, Cole S. (2010-2012) (593505) National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant. Population testing of an internet-based Personalised Decision Support system for colorectal cancer screening.
- Turnbull D, Wilson C, Flight I, Zajac I. (2012-2013) (1026510) National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant. Optimising men’s uptake of FIT screening for bowel cancer: a population based randomised controlled trial.
- Wilkinson C, Turnbull D, Adelson P. (2012) Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation A pilot randomised trial of outpatient balloon catheter priming of the cervix for induction of labour.
- Wilson C, Flight IHK, Zajac I, Turnbull D, Young G, Olver I. (2012) Cancer Council SA, State Government of South Australia, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. Web based decision supoort for colorectal cancer prevention.
- Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand
- Australian Psychological Association
Entry last updated: Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014
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