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Professor Fiona Blyth AM

BSc (Med) MBBS (Hons) MPH, PhD; FAFPHM, AM

Primary affiliation:
Professor of Public Health & Pain Medicine, The University of Sydney; Associate Dean, Concord Clinical School

Research streams:
Sustainable Wellbeing in Later Life

Healthy Ageing, Lifespan, Arthritis, Pain, Epidemiology, Treatment and Intervention, Prevention and Control

Fiona Blyth AM is a CEPAR Chief Investigator and Professor of Public Health and Pain Medicine at the University of Sydney. She is a public health physician and pain epidemiologist. She has been involved in studies of chronic pain epidemiology for almost twenty years, including large prospective cohort studies, RCTs, pharmacoepidemiological studies, and health services research using linked routinely collected datasets. 

Fiona is internationally recognised for her body of work that positions chronic pain conditions as a major public health problem and contributor to the global burden of disability. Her recent work has built on her landmark 2001 study of the epidemiology of pain in NSW: the paper is a citation classic in the pain literature (>1,100 citations, GS). She was on the expert reference group for low back pain for the 2010 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Project, and has been appointed by the International Association for the Study of Pain to head an international Taskforce on the Global Burden of Pain. Her contribution and standing internationally was recognised in her appointment as the inaugural Section Editor for Pain Epidemiology in the European Journal of Pain, the first such appointment by a major specialist journal; and by her appointment in 2013 in the agenda-setting role of Section Editor for Topical Reviews in the leading specialist international journal Pain.

She has close collaborative links with local and international groups researching healthy ageing, arthritis/musculoskeletal conditions, and comorbidity/multimorbidity. She is also Senior Advisor to the Sydney Local Health District Public Health Observatory, and works with the Sax Institute in knowledge translation (promoting the use of research evidence in health policy).

Her achievements and productivity led to her promotion to full Professor at the University of Sydney within three years of her prior promotion at the same institution. In 2018 she was made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to medical research and education in the field of public health, pain management and ageing, and to health policy reform”. In May 2018 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Australasian Faculty of Pain Medicine.

She has written over 200 publications which have attracted over 53,000 citations since 2015 (GS) and, in the last five years, has had competitive research funding (as a CI) totalling more than $4.7 million.

Read more: View University of Sydney profile