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Outstanding international scientist to lead Australia’s alcohol policy research centre


Internationally renowned alcohol researcher Professor Emmanuel Kuntsche is set to join Australia’s world-leading alcohol policy research centre.

Professor Emmanuel Kuntsche will lead the team at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR) in Melbourne, a joint initiative of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and La Trobe University, from 1 August 2017.

CAPR is a unique research facility with the sole focus of building the evidence base on alcohol issues and exploring policy measures that would prevent alcohol-related harm.

The centre has been at the forefront of informed alcohol policy development since its establishment in 2006, with its invaluable work providing insights into Australia’s attitudes towards alcohol and drinking behaviours, informing governments. It has received global recognition and endorsement from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Professor Stephen P Kent, Head of the School of Psychology and Public Health at La Trobe University, welcomed Kuntsche’s appointment as Professor of Public Health and Director of CAPR.

“We are delighted to have appointed Emmanuel Kuntsche, one of the leading alcohol cognition researchers in the world, at La Trobe. Professor Kuntsche conducts innovative research that affects social change and makes a real difference, so I have no doubt he will be a great asset to the already thriving centre,” said Professor Kent.

Professor Kuntsche has a background in health and developmental psychology, and quantitative social research. He is currently a Senior Researcher with Addiction Switzerland, an Associate Professor at Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands, and Honorary Professor at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary. He has directed or contributed to 42 national and international research projects and published more than 300 scientific articles, book chapters, and research reports.

He brings to the role 20 years of experience in alcohol research and policy – including cutting-edge scientific techniques and strong communication and research translation skills – and is keen to make his mark in Australia.

“I am excited to share my knowledge and expertise, and to push the existing research at CAPR to the next level,” said Professor Kuntsche.

CAPR recently released ground-breaking research, The hidden harm: Alcohol’s impact on children and families (2014), exposing the full extent of alcohol-related family and domestic violence in Australia. It followed the internationally renowned report The range and magnitude of alcohol’s harm to others (2010), which was the first to examine the harms from alcohol on people other than the drinker.

Outgoing CAPR Director Professor Robin Room has worked in the drug and alcohol field for more than 50 years. He has been an advisor to WHO since 1975 and received a number of prestigious accolades including the 2012 Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Drug and Alcohol Endeavours.

Professor Room will remain with the centre. He is confident the facility will continue to excel with Professor Kuntsche at the helm.

FARE Chief Executive Michael Thorn echoed the sentiment, saying the appointment of a brilliant new Director will enhance CAPR’s invaluable work and standing.

“Professor Emmanuel Kuntsche has a terrific track record and is a great fit for CAPR. The research centre is a vital resource for both policymakers and for everyday Australians – contributing to world-leading alcohol policy development and stimulating important discussions on a national and global stage. This new appointment will continue that great tradition and allow Professor Kuntsche to build on the successes of award-winning founding Director Professor Robin Room,” said Mr Thorn.

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