Distinguished Investigator (New-Investigator) Dr Thomas Lung


Dr Thomas Lung is a Senior Research Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health where he leads the Economic Evaluation and Modelling research stream. He currently holds a NHMRC Early Career Fellowship, a Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer (UNSW) and an Honorary Research Fellow (The University of Sydney).


Research Outputs and translation As a health economist, working in chronic disease prevention in both high and middle income countries, Thomas’ research is pertinent to health policy and the burgeoning use of health services. He has a career total of 30 peer-reviewed publications, including 25 in the four years following PhD completion, in high-impact journals including: The Lancet Global Health, Diabetologia, Circulation Research and International Journal of Obesity.  He has also published three technical reports (NSW Ministry of Health, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Pfizer). His research output showcases his excellent technical expertise in economic evaluation, micro-simulation modelling, advanced biostatistics and analysis of ‘Big Data’.  Two of his publications received substantial media and academic attention (top 5% of all research outputs: Altmetric) and were selected in their respective journals’ (International Journal of Obesity and British Journal of General Practice) editor’s picks for the most cited and shared articles over a calendar year. Since 2015, Thomas has been a key proponent for the incorporation of health economics as part of the formal assessment criteria for NSW Ministry of Health population health programs. He led and developed “Commissioning Economic Evaluations: A Guide”, a primer into health economics which is part of NSW Health’s Population Health Guidance Series, publicly available on the NSW Health website.

Thomas has played a significant role in translation of evidence into policy. His expertise is recognized through roles as a health economic advisor: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2014), NSW Ministry of Health (2015), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2017-2018). Since 2017, he has also been a regular guest discussant for the Economic sub-committee of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. In addition, he is the health economics adviser for existing Population Health Programs in NSW Health, designed to help Local Health Districts and other health agencies within NSW to better plan for and use economic evidence in their decision making processes, addressing a clear capacity gap within the NSW Health system.

Contribution to the profession of health services research Thomas currently supervises three PhD students and has supervised two PhD completions in 2018. Thomas has focused on teaching health economics to the broader community. He was unit co-convener for a Masters of Health Policy subject at the University of Sydney (2017-2018) and has taught numerous introductory health economics short courses (Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and in China) in the public and private sector. Thomas has also conducted introductory 1-day health economics workshop twice a year for NSW Health staff since 2017 and is a lecturer for the Public Health Trainees Program. Thomas has mentored 10 students and early career researchers and is an invited mentor in the 2018/19 Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand Mentoring Program.

Thomas currently serves as an executive committee member of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research Australia Chapter (2019-) and is on the partnership management board of a NHMRC partnership project. In addition, he is a steering committee member on two NHMRC and one Michael J Fox Foundation funded projects. He has been a reviewer for NHMRC project grants (2018), New Zealand’s Health Research Council (2018) funding schemes and is currently serving on the Heart Foundation of Australia’s Peer Review Committee.