Dr Joshua Francis

Senior research fellow

Qualifications:

MBBS, University of Queensland, 2006; FRACP, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 2013; Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Science), Queensland University of Technology, 2002

Location:

Darwin – Royal Darwin Hospital

Biography:

Dr Joshua Francis is a Paediatrician and Paediatric Infectious Diseases Physician, with academic appointments (Senior Lecturer / Senior Research Fellow) at Menzies School of Health Research, Flinders University and James Cook University.

Dr Francis leads programs in Timor-Leste focused on teaching, capacity building, health systems improvement and operational research. His research on tuberculosis, rheumatic heart disease and antimicrobial resistance in the Northern Territory and Timor-Leste has significantly impacted policy, guidelines and health system strategy on the national level.

Dr Francis is the chief investigator on the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security funded STRONG TL project, delivered by Menzies in partnership with the Ministry of Health in Timor-Leste, to improve communicable disease surveillance and control; the Fleming Fund Country Grant for Timor-Leste, building capacity for antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Timor-Leste; and rheumatic heart diseases projects (Pedrino and RECARDINA) which have engaged remote communities in the Northern Territory and Timor-Leste to tackle rheumatic heart disease through active case finding and community awareness initiatives.

  1. Howitt, R., de Jesus, G. A., Araujo, F., Francis, J., Marr, I., McVean, M., MacMorran, E., Rollinson, V., Chung, A., & Yip, T. W. (2020). Screening and triage at health-care facilities in Timor-Leste during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, S2213-2600(20), 30183-1. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30183-1

  2. Marr, I., Francis, J. R., Stephens, D. P., Marshall, K., Read, D. J., Baird, R. W., & Coatsworth, N. (2020). Development of a Mobile Laboratory for Sudden Onset Disasters. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness, 1–11. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2019.128

  3. Francis, J. R., Sarmento, N., Draper, A., Marr, I., Ting, S., Fancourt, N., Alves, L., Champlin, K., Bongers, A., & Yan, J. (2020). Antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic use in Timor-Leste: building surveillance capacity with a One Health approach. Communicable diseases intelligence, 44. https://doi.org/10.33321/cdi.2020.44.1

  4. Dotel, R., Tong, S., Bowen, A., Nelson, J. N., O'Sullivan, M., Campbell, A. J., McMullan, B. J., Britton, P. N., Francis, J. R., Eisen, D. P., Robinson, O., Manning, L., & Davis, J. S. (2019). CASSETTE-clindamycin adjunctive therapy for severe Staphylococcus aureus treatment evaluation: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 20(1), 353. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-3452-y

  5. de Dassel, J. L., Malik, H., Ralph, A. P., Hardie, K., Remenyi, B., & Francis, J. R. (2019). Four-Weekly Benzathine Penicillin G Provides Inadequate Protection against Acute Rheumatic Fever in Some Children. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 100(5), 1118–1120. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.18-0907

  6. Townell, N., Locke, T., Gibbons, M., Murphy, D., Francis, J., & Nourse, C. (2018). Mycetoma in Timor-Leste and first report of nocardiosis. Infectious disease reports, 10(3), 7804. https://doi.org/10.4081/idr.2018.7804

  7. Korte, L. M., Bowen, A. C., Draper, A., Davis, K., Steel, A., Teodora, I., Mascarenhas, I., Dingle, B., & Francis, J. R. (2018). Scabies and impetigo in Timor-Leste: A school screening study in two districts. PLOS neglected tropical diseases, 12(5), e0006400. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006400

  8. Francis, J. R., Villanueva, P., Bryant, P., & Blyth, C. C. (2018). Mucormycosis in Children: Review and Recommendations for Management. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, 7(2), 159–164. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpids/pix107

  9. Francis, J. R., Manchikanti, P., Blyth, C. C., Denholm, J., Lowbridge, C., Coulter, C., Donnan, E., Stapledon, R., Krause, V. L., & Waring, J. (2018). Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Australia, 1998-2012. The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 22(3), 294–299. https://doi.org/10.5588/ijtld.17.0412

  10. Francis, J. R., Nourse, C., Vaska, V. L., Calvert, S., Northill, J. A., McCall, B., & Mattke, A. C. (2014). Australian Bat Lyssavirus in a child: the first reported case. Pediatrics, 133(4), e1063–e1067. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2013-1782

  1. Active screening needed for rheumatic heart disease in the NT

    Active screening needed for rheumatic heart disease in the NT

    Date

    The high burden of rheumatic heart disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people requires more active case finding and echocardiographic screening to detect undiagnosed cases, according to Australian experts

  2. Pacific Beat | Timor-Leste faces dengue fight amid COVID-19 pandemic

    Pacific Beat | Timor-Leste faces dengue fight amid COVID-19 pandemic

    Date

    Dr Josh Francis, who leads Timor-Leste programs at Menzies, said the country was in a strong position to respond to the pandemic due to its expertise in managing dengue.

  3. NT News | Funds for critical health issue studies

    NT News | Funds for critical health issue studies

    Date

    Report on Menzies NHMRC and MRFF Investigator grants.

  4. Five medical research projects recognised in the Northern Territory

    Five medical research projects recognised in the Northern Territory

    Date

    Five researchers based at Menzies have received recognition in the form of Investigator Grants from the NHMRC and the MRFF.

  5. $400 million funding boost for health and medical research

    $400 million funding boost for health and medical research

    Date

    Including Menzies School of Health Research work towards the elimination of chronic hepatitis B in the Northern Territory.

  6. Dili laboratory begins testing for coronavirus independently

    Dili laboratory begins testing for coronavirus independently

    Date

    In collaboration with Menzies, the National Health Laboratory in Timor-Leste has begun reporting results of COVID-19 tests independently.

  7. Australian doctors aid Timor Leste in COVID-19 fight

    Australian doctors aid Timor Leste in COVID-19 fight

    Date

    Australian doctors have joined the fight against COVID-19 in Timor-Leste in a bid to prevent devastation in one of South-East Asia's most vulnerable countries.

  8. Australian doctor in East Timor warns of impact coronavirus could have if it spreads there

    Australian doctor in East Timor warns of impact coronavirus could have if it spreads there

    Date

    An Australian doctor on the frontline of treating COVID-19 in East Timor, has called on his trust in God to help him, warning of the “devastating” impact if the virus spreads in the vulnerable nation.

  9. Australian doctors aim to stop COVID-19 from 'tearing through' Timor-Leste

    Australian doctors aim to stop COVID-19 from 'tearing through' Timor-Leste

    Date

    Australian doctors have joined the fight against COVID-19 in Timor-Leste in a bid to prevent devastation in one of South-East Asia's most vulnerable countries.

  10. A political impasse in Timor-Leste as coronavirus looms

    A political impasse in Timor-Leste as coronavirus looms

    Date

    Despite the political impasse, preparations for their COVID-19 response by the interim government and President have been systematic and reassuring.

  11. Rapid regional assistance for Pandemic Preparedness and Response Planning

    Rapid regional assistance for Pandemic Preparedness and Response Planning

    Date

    The Australian Government is working closely with partners to support a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Pacific.

  12. Australia helps Timor-Leste to prepare for COVID-19

    Australia helps Timor-Leste to prepare for COVID-19

    Date

    Australia is supporting Timor-Leste to be prepared in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19.

  13. Capacity building in Timor-Leste

    Capacity building in Timor-Leste

    Date

    Menzies has had a key role in helping the Ministry of Health in Timor-Leste prepare for the likelihood of a COVID-19 outbreak through health systems strengthening. Currently, Timor-Leste has only one confirmed case of COVID-19, however an outbreak could...

  14. Coronavirus assistance to Pacific and Timor-Leste

    Coronavirus assistance to Pacific and Timor-Leste

    Date

    Coronavirus [COVID-19] is now affecting 75 countries, with the total number of cases over 90,000 and the global death toll at more than 3000.

  15. Partnership provides vital service to Maningrida

    Partnership provides vital service to Maningrida

    Date

    The provision of Orange Sky Australia free laundry facilities comes about following a study by Menzies School of Health Research.

  16. Rheumatic heart disease discussed at national conference

    Rheumatic heart disease discussed at national conference

    Date

    Menzies School of Health Research senior research fellow Josh Francis said there was positive news when it came to RHD “in the sense that there’s a really good plan coming together”.

  17. How we can end TB by 2030

    How we can end TB by 2030

    Date

    A regional research collaboration with the Menzies School of Health Research has been highly productive in building capacity in PNG and Indonesia,.

  18. Fleming Fund Country Grant in Timor-Leste announced!

    Fleming Fund Country Grant in Timor-Leste announced!

    Date

    Menzies has been awarded a Fleming Fund Country Grant to support testing and surveillance for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Timor-Leste.

  19. Fleming Fund helps Menzies battle drug resistance in Timor-Leste

    Fleming Fund helps Menzies battle drug resistance in Timor-Leste

    Date

    Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) has been awarded a Fleming Fund country grant to support testing and surveillance for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Timor-Leste.

  20. NT News | Research honoured

    NT News | Research honoured

    Date

    Report on Menzies researcher Josh Francis receiving the AMA research paper of the year award.

  21. CDU Enews | Menzies staffer wins national award for RHD research

    CDU Enews | Menzies staffer wins national award for RHD research

    Date

    Dr Josh Francis, a researcher from the Menzies School of Health Research, has been recognised by his national peers for his work on rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Timor-Leste.

  22. Wire | RHD SCREENING CONTINUES

    Wire | RHD SCREENING CONTINUES

    Date

    Health professionals and Maningrida stakeholders have come together to continue screenings of rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

  23. Wire | RHD SCREENING CONTINUES

    Wire | RHD SCREENING CONTINUES

    Date

    Health professionals and Maningrida stakeholders have come together to continue screenings of rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

  24. Arnhem Land children suffer world's highest known rates of rheumatic heart disease

    Arnhem Land children suffer world's highest known rates of rheumatic heart disease

    Date

    In a remote Indigenous community of 3,000 people, researchers have discovered the highest known rates of rheumatic heart disease in the world, where children as young as four have died from the entirely preventable condition.

  25. Australian support for eliminating malaria and health research in the Indo-Pacific

    Australian support for eliminating malaria and health research in the Indo-Pacific

    Date

    Australia is playing a leading role in supporting malaria elimination efforts, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. The Government's Stronger Systems for Health Security program is supporting practical, relevant research into fundamental health security challenges.

  26. Timorese Government prepares plan to prevent and combat rheumatic heart disease

    Timorese Government prepares plan to prevent and combat rheumatic heart disease

    Date

    The Timorese Ministry of Health is designing a prevention and diagnosis plan, part of the Family Health program, to combat rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, the ministry's minister announced today.

  27. DN Lusa - Timor-Leste Pedriño Study

    DN Lusa - Timor-Leste Pedriño Study

    Date

    An Australian study has shown that Timor-Leste has one of the highest rates of rheumatic heart disease in the world, with most cases being diagnosed, until children and young people develop serious problems.

  28. Saving Lives of remote children | NT News

    Saving Lives of remote children | NT News

    Date

    Darwin researchers have uncovered alarming rates of rheumatic heart disease in East Timorese children.

  29. Cardiologists identify alarming levels of rheumatic heart disease in Timor-Leste

    Cardiologists identify alarming levels of rheumatic heart disease in Timor-Leste

    Date

    Research by Australian cardiologists has found the rates of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Timor-Leste are among the highest in the world. The landmark study was published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

  30. Rheumatic heart disease program in East Timor 'saving lives' with 'simple' penicillin injections

    Rheumatic heart disease program in East Timor 'saving lives' with 'simple' penicillin injections

    Date

    Australian doctors are working with East Timorese health workers to screen and treat children and young people with the illness, using methods similar to those used in Australia.