A/Prof Dawn Aitken

Research Field: Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a painful, disabling, and costly condition that affects the joints in our body
including the knees, hips and hands. At present there are no treatments that slow disease
progression meaning patients continue to experience pain while the disease gets worse.
Dawn’s research centres on improving our understanding of osteoarthritis and developing
better treatments for the disease. A key research area is to test new drug treatments using
randomised controlled trials.
Her outreach activities include the 2018 Medical Research Week in Tasmania and the 201
Menzies Community Debate. This is one of the largest community engagement activities
Menzies hosts and is an opportunity for the community to hear about the research taking
place at Menzies. She also engages regularly with local Tasmanian clinicians who are at the
coal face treating osteoarthritis. Many of them are not engaged in research and this
engagement provides them with updates about her research and provides them with the
best evidence for treating osteoarthritis.
Associate Professor Dawn Aitken completed her PhD at the University of Tasmania in 2011
and is currently a Principle Research Fellow at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research,
University of Tasmania.