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George Patton

Professor of Adolescent Health Research at University of Melbourne

George Patton is a Professorial Fellow in Adolescent Health Research with the University of Melbourne. He is a Senior Principal Research Fellow with Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council. He trained in Medicine in Australia and has worked in both the UK and Germany. He is a psychiatrist and Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

He is an epidemiologist and studies adolescent health from the global to the local level. He led two ground-breaking series for the Lancet on Adolescent Health as well as sentinel papers describing the health of the world's adolescents and young adults. He is Chair of a new Lancet Commission in Adolescent Health and Well-being. He has consulted and advised widely in the UN system including with WHO around child and adolescent health, mental health and nutrition, with UNICEF, UNDESA, UNAIDS, the World Bank and with UNFPA. He has also advised widely internationally on health information systems, epidemiological studies and prevention projects focussed on the adolescent years.

In Australia his group is leading a range of studies through the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and Melbourne's Centre for Adolescent Health to understand the forces shaping adolescent health and development as well as the consequences of adolescence for later life health and that of the next generation. These studies include the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (2000 Stories) as twenty year cohort examining the onset of health risks for physical and emotional health in the adolescent years, the emergence of mental health and substance use problems in young adulthood, sexual health risks and longer term health risks related to obesity, diet and physical activity. Hi group has gone on to examine the transitions of these 'teenagers of the nineties' through education, leaving home, into the workforce, forming their own families and becoming parents. This has become the Victorian Intergenerational Health Study.

George's group has undertaken studies in many other areas of adolescent health. The Child to Adolescent Transition Study (CATS) is a unique study tracking children on their journey through puberty from the age of eight years to sixteen. CATS is looking at the biological, social and emotional influences on health and development during the life transforming changes of puberty.

His group have also undertaken work into questions of how institutions shape health during adolescence and the scope for service systems to response. The Gatehouse Project was a cluster randomised trial of the scope for promoting social inclusion in Victorian schools, which demonstrated the profound effects of schools on health and behaviour. His group has extended this work to the influence of local communities and understanding how health service systems may better respond to the needs of adolescents and their families.

In Australia George has been frequently called upon by State and Commonwealth Governments to advise on aspects of adolescent health ranging from alcohol and illicit substance abuse to suicide, men's health and mental service provision. Since 2000 he has chaired advisory groups to Australia's Institute of Health and Welfare on the health and development of Australia's children and young people. He has over 350 publications that include over 250 peer reviewed papers.