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Vijaya Sundararajan

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne; Professor, Public Health, La Trobe University

Professor Vijaya Sundararajan is Head of the Department of Public Health at La Trobe University. Vijaya completed an MD and qualified as a general physician in the United States before completing fellowships in primary care research (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1994-1996) and cancer outcomes research (Columbia University, 1999-2000). She became a Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 2000.

Vijaya’s background includes periods in which she has delivered direct patient care in emergency departments, general medical wards and ambulatory clinics in the United States and Australia. Vijaya has been a Chief Investigator on 4 NHMRC grants, is a member of the Editorial Board of Health Services Research ( and is a committee member of the World Health Organization’s Topic Advisory Group on Quality and Safety for the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases. She is also a participant of the International Methodology Consortium for Coded Health Information (IMECCHI, IMMECHI has participants from Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada, Switzerland, France, Germany, Korea, Japan, China, the OECD and the WHO.

Prior to joining La Trobe University, Vijaya was an epidemiologist (2000-2005), Senior Medical Advisor (2006-2009) and Foundation Director of the Centre for Victorian Data Linkage (2009-2011) at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. She has worked across diverse program areas including public health, cancer, chronic disease, maternity, ambulance and capital planning; funding policy and acquisition/quality assurance of hospital, emergency department and elective surgery data; and health strategy. She has also worked at Monash University (Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, 2002-2002; Department of Medicine, 2008-2014) and The University of Melbourne (Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital, 2012-2018).

Vijaya research program aims to:
-Understand the outcomes and end results of health care in the spectrum of chronic disease from diagnosis to the end of life using routinely collected, “big”, data;
-Investigate health system and hospital functioning and performance; and
-Improve disease classification/coding and advance the statistical methodology that underpins health services research.


  • –present
    Head of Department, Public Health, La Trobe University