In the world of cutting-edge research, we want to spotlight a selection of exceptional women researchers who are making a lasting impact in their respective fields. Professor Amanda Wheeler, Professor Caroline Donovan, Dr Elisabeth Coyne, Associate Professor Laura Diamond, Professor Lara Farrell, Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik and Professor Wendy Chaboyer are just a few of the many remarkable researchers at Griffith University, each contributing significantly to advancing knowledge and leaving a positive mark on society. Join us in celebrating these outstanding journeys and the multitude of achievements across our diverse research community. 

Professor Amanda Wheeler: Bridging mental health and pharmacy practice 

Professor Amanda Wheeler plays a pivotal role at Griffith University, bridging mental health and pharmacy practice with over 25 years of experience as a health practitioner, educator, and researcher. Amanda’s practical perspective focuses on understanding the impact of mental health on physical well-being, emphasising person-centered care and navigating the complexities of pharmacy practice. Her leadership spans clinical practice, public health, and social sciences, contributing to workforce development. With a track record of securing over $20 million in national research funding, Amanda is dedicated to tangible improvements in representation, rights, and outcomes for mental health consumers and carers. Her pragmatic approach reshapes mental health research, prioritising real-world impact through concrete results. 

Professor Caroline Donovan: Transforming youth mental health through early intervention 

As a Clinical Psychologist and Professor at Griffith University, Professor Caroline Donovan is a guiding force in the world of youth mental health. Centered on early intervention, her research explores underlying mechanisms of anxiety, depression, sleep, and body image issues in young individuals. With extensive funding, numerous publications, and leadership roles in academic journals, Professor Donovan is committed to enhancing the trajectories of youth mental health. Her impactful work signifies not just academic leadership but a dedication to unraveling the complexities of mental health issues, shaping interventions that may positively alter the course of young lives. 

Dr Elisabeth Coyne: Bridging gaps in cancer care through innovative education 

Dr Elisabeth Coyne, an internationally recognised cancer nurse researcher, is dedicated to improving outcomes for those affected by cancer. Her interdisciplinary research program focuses on designing innovative educational resources, emphasising consumer partnership and safety. Dr Coyne envisions transforming the care of individuals impacted by cancer and chronic diseases through cutting-edge digital resources, ultimately enhancing their long-term quality of life. With a commitment to bridging gaps in cancer care, her work exemplifies a forward-thinking approach that not only addresses immediate needs but also contributes to the long-term well-being of individuals navigating the complexities of cancer treatment and chronic conditions. 

Associate Professor Laura Diamond: Pioneering biomedical engineering for musculoskeletal health 

As a Research Leader at the Griffith Centre of Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering and Associate Professor at Griffith University, Laura Diamond stands at the forefront of biomechanical research. Her commitment to understanding and treating musculoskeletal and orthopedic conditions has garnered over AU$ 11.5 million in grant funding. Diamond’s leadership extends beyond the laboratory, with an impressive publication record, research awards, and a dedication to mentoring a diverse group of scholars in biomechanics, motor control, and neuromusculoskeletal modelling. 

Professor Lara Farrell: Illuminating childhood phobias and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders 

As a Clinical Psychologist and Professor at Griffith University, Professor Lara Farrell is a driving force in clinical research, particularly in childhood phobias and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. Serving as the Director of the Griffith OCD and Phobia Clinic, she brings expertise and leadership to her field. Professor Farrell’s work not only contributes to scientific understanding but also directly impacts individuals struggling with these conditions, offering hope and transformative interventions to families across the nation. Her programmatic research has led to the development of a suite of evidence-based interventions for childhood OCD, enabling greater access to timely and effective interventions for children and families. Professor Farrell’s leadership in research is evident in her extensive roles on national and international research grant review panels and as Editor-In-Chief of leading international clinical psychology journal – Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review.

Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik: Unraveling the complexities of chronic fatigue syndrome 

Renowned for her expertise in immunology, virology, and chronic fatigue syndrome, Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik is a distinguished researcher at Griffith University. With a prolific career spanning decades, she has significantly advanced our understanding of immune dysregulation and the underlying mechanisms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Professor Marshall-Gradisnik’s contributions have not only elevated her as a leading figure in the field but also paved the way for breakthroughs in the diagnosis and management of this debilitating condition. Her relentless pursuit of knowledge and commitment to improving the lives of those affected by chronic fatigue syndrome exemplify the transformative impact of women in research. 

Professor Wendy Chaboyer: Enhancing patient safety through nursing research 

Professor Wendy Chaboyer directs her research towards examining nurses’ roles in patient safety, with a focus on patient engagement, pressure injury prevention, and surgical wounds. Wendy has earned honorary life membership in Australian College of Critical Care Nurses for her significant contribution and has also been inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. With a track record of over $11 million in research grants, 350 peer-reviewed publications, and extensive supervisory experience, Wendy Chaboyer continues to make notable contributions to the discipline of nursing, shedding light on practical aspects that impact healthcare practices. 


This International Women’s Day, we celebrate the achievements of these remarkable women researchers, recognising their invaluable contributions to research, mentorship, and the betterment of society. Their stories inspire and pave the way for future generations of women in research to continue breaking barriers and shaping a brighter, more inclusive healthier future for all. 

Griffith Health