Adolescent Medicine

Children undergo profound physical and cognitive changes when they reach adolescence. A flood of puberty hormones causes growth and influences their physiology in different ways. This is also the time when smoking, obesity, mental health issues and risk taking behaviours often develop.

Our research aims to fill in the gaps of knowledge and unravel the complexities of adolescent health and behaviour, particularly during pubertal development and in chronic illness. We are committed to the promotion and improvement of adolescent health and wellbeing.

Our multidisciplinary clinical research team is led by Professor Kate Steinbeck, The Medical Foundation Chair in Adolescent Medicine at the University of Sydney.

General enquiries can be directed to the department's Executive & Research Assistant, Tina Cunningham:

The research team

> Professor Kate Steinbeck, Department Head, email:

Kate is a Staff Specialist and Australia’s first University Chair of Adolescent Medicine. She has undertaken the first comprehensive study looking at how puberty hormones affect adolescent health and wellbeing. She is also researching adolescent mental health, risk taking behaviour and chronic illness, including the health impacts of homelessness and incarceration on young people. For more information please visit Kate's University of Sydney profile page

> Professor Rachel Skinner, Consultant and Researcher in Sexual and Reproductive Health

Rachel is an Adoloscent Physician and Clinical Academic with a research interest in teenage pregnancy and contraception use, Human Papillomav Virus (HPV) vaccination and sexual risk taking in adolescents. Rachel's University of Sydney profile page has more information.

> Professor Susan Towns, Clinical Associate, email:

Susan specialises in respiratory and adolescent medicine. She has special interests in asthma and cystic fibrosis, adherence to medication, transition to adult care, and smoking prevention and cessation. She has continued ongoing clinical research in the complex chronic illness area and continues to advocate for adolescent health issues. Please visit Susan's University of Sydney profile page for more information.

> Other Research Team Members:

  • Dr Helen Cheng, Marie Bashir Clinical Research Fellow, email:
  • Dr Sharon Medlow, Research Fellow
  • Dr Harriet Gunn, Visiting Research Fellow

Key publications

Cheng HL, Medlow S & Steinbeck S (2016) The Health Consequences of Obesity in Young Adulthood. Current Obesity Reports 5(1): 30-37

Amon K, Paxton K, Klineberg E, Riley L, Hawke C, Steinbeck K (2016) Insights into Facebook Pages: An early adolescent health research study page targeted at parents. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 28(1): 69-77

Gunn H, Emilsson H, Gabriel M, Maguire A, Steinbeck K (2016) Metabolic Health in Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Longitudinal Study in a Long-Term Follow-Up Clinic. Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology 5(1): 24-30

Steinbeck K, Shrewsbury V, Harvey V, Mikler K, Donaghue K, Craig M, Woodhead H (2015) A pilot randomized controlled trial of a post-discharge program to support emerging adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus transition from pediatric to adult care. Pediatric Diabetes 16(8): 634-639

Balzer B, Duke S, Hawke C, Steinbeck K (2015) The effects of estradiol on mood and behavior in human female adolescents: a systematic review. European Journal of Pediatrics 174(3): 289-298

Cheng HL, Hancock DP, Rooney KB, Steinbeck KS, Griffine HJ, O'Connor HT (2014) A candidate gene approach for identifying differential iron responses in young overweight women to an energy-restricted haem iron-rich diet. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 68(11):1250-2

Cheng HL, Griffin H, Claes BE, Petocz P, Steinbeck K, Rooney K, O'Connor H (2014) Influence of dietary macronutrient composition on eating behaviour and self-perception in young women undergoing weight management. Eating and Weight Disorders: Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity 19(2):241-7

Griffin HJ, Cheng HL, O'Connor HT, Rooney KB, Petocz P, Steinbeck KS (2013) Higher protein diet for weight management in young overweight women: a 12-month randomized controlled trial. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 15(6): 572-5

Cheng HL, Bryant CE, Rooney KB, Steinbeck KS, Griffin HJ, et al. (2013) Iron, Hepcidin and Inflammatory Status of Young Healthy Overweight and Obese Women in Australia. PLoS ONE 8(7): e68675

Steinbeck K, Hazell P, Cumming RG, Skinner SR, et al. (2012) The study design and methodology for the ARCHER study - Adolscent Rural Cohort study of Hormones, health, education, Environments and Relationships. BMC Paediatrics 12: 143