Thérèse Kearns

Early career fellow, epidemiologist


PhD, Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, 2014; Master of Applied Epidemiology, Australian National University, 2002; Graduate Diploma Community Health Nursing, University of South Australia, 1996;Graduate Certificate Child, Adolescent and Family Health Nursing, Flinders University, 1993; Registered Midwife, Mater Misericordiae Mothers' Hospital, 1991; Registered Nurse, Wimmera Base Hospital, 1989; Certificate IV Training and Assessment (TAE40110), Australian College of Training and Employment, 2011.

Approved level of HDR supervision at Charles Darwin University:

Principal Supervisor for PhD




Thérèse, more commonly known as TK, has been at Menzies since 2006 and is currently employed in the Child Health Division.

TK has over 15 years of experience working in rural and remote Aboriginal communities in WA and NT as a nurse/midwife and epidemiologist. Her research projects have predominantly been in population and public health areas for neglected tropical diseases (scabies and strongyloidiasis), streptococcal infections, intestinal parasites, maternal and childhood anaemia, disease surveillance and mass drug administrations. TK has built strong relationships in East Arnhem and is actively engaged in community consultations for the development and design of new projects and research translation of project results.
TK is a practitioner member of the NT Nursing and Midwifery Board and a NHMRC early career fellow and has contributed to successful grants attracting over $3 million in project funding and $500 000 in scholarship/fellowship funds.

Research Themes

Current projects:

  • Strongyloidiasis, Scabies and Impetigo – Household Clustering in a Northern Territory Community
  • Matched case control study to determine the burden strongyloidiasis has on remote Aboriginal Primary Health Care Service
  • Prevalence of scabies and strongyloidiasis five years after two mass drug administrations in a remote Australian Aboriginal community.
  • Anaemia Evaluation
  • New approaches to improve nutrition in Aboriginal Yolgnu children

Past projects:


  1. Holt, D.C., Shield, J., Harris, T.M., Mounsey, K.E., Aland, K., McCarthy, J.S., Currie, B.J., Kearns, T.M. (2017) Soil-Transmitted Helminths in Children in a Remote Aboriginal Community in the Northern Territory: Hookworm is Rare but Strongyloides stercoralis and Trichuris trichiura Persist. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2, 51.
  2. Kearns, T.M., Currie, B.J., Cheng, A.C., McCarthy, J., Carapetis, J.R., Holt, D.C., et al. (2017) Strongyloides seroprevalence before and after an ivermectin mass drug administration in a remote Australian Aboriginal community. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 11(5):e0005607. Epub 2017/05/16. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005607. PubMed PMID: 28505198.
  3. Kearns T, Ward F, Puszka S, Gundjirryirr R, Moss B, Bailie R. (2017) Anaemia Health Literacy of Community Members and Health Practitioners Knowledge of Best Practice Guidelines in a Remote Australian Aboriginal Community. Universal Journal of Public Health, 5(1):32-9. doi: 10.13189/ujph.2017.050105.
  4. Kearns, T. M., et al. (2015). "Impact of an Ivermectin Mass Drug Administration on Scabies Prevalence in a Remote Australian Aboriginal Community." PLoS Negl Trop Dis 9(10): e0004151
  5. Liberato, S., Kearns, T., Ward, F. & Brimblecombe, J. (2015). Is electronic visual recording feasible in supporting assessment of dietary intake of Australian children living in remote communities? Aust NZ J Public Health. Online.
  6. Mounsey, K., Kearns, T., Rampton, M., Llewellyn, S., King, M., Holt, D., et al. (2014). Use of dried blood spots to define antibody response to the Strongyloides stercoralis recombinant antigen NIE. Acta Trop, 19. 
  7. Kearns, T., Clucas, D., Connors, C., Currie, B., Carapetis, J., & Andrews, R. (2013). Clinic attendances during the first 12 months of life for Aboriginal children in five remote communities of Northern Australia. PLoS One 8(3), e58231.
  8. Kearns, T.M., Schultz, R., McDonald, V., & Andrews, R.M.  (2010). Prophylactic penicillin by the full moon: a novel approach in Central Australia that may help to reduce the risk of rheumatic heart disease. Rural and Remote Health, 10(3), 1464
  9. Tong, S.Y.C., Andrews, R., Kearns, T., Gundjirryirr, R., McDonald, M., Currie, B.J., & Carapetis, J.R. Trimethorpim-sulfamethoxazole compared to benzathine penicillin for treatment of impetigo in Aboriginal children: a pilot randomized controlled trial. (2010). Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 46(3), 131-133 .
  10. Andrews, A., Kearns, T., Connors, C., Parker, C., Currie, B., & Carapetis, J. (2009).  A regional initiative to reduce skin infections amongst Aboriginal children living in remote communities of the Northern Territory, Australia. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 3(11), e554.

​Click here to view more Therese Kearns publications in PubMed.

  1. Lowitja Institute Report | Anaemia Prevention Program, Katherine East

    Lowitja Institute Report | Anaemia Prevention Program, Katherine East


    An Anaemia Prevention Program has been running in three communities serviced by Sunrise Health in East Katherine region in the Northern Territory (NT)

  2. 2018 Indigenous Menís Conference and 2018 Indigenous Womenís Wellbeing Conference in Cairns QLD Australia.

    2018 Indigenous Menís Conference and 2018 Indigenous Womenís Wellbeing Conference in Cairns QLD Australia.


    The stage is set to accommodate all delegations of the 2018 Indigenous Menís Conference and 2018 Indigenous Womenís Wellbeing Conference scheduled on the 13th Ė 15th of June 2018 at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel.

  3. NT communities' anaemia management evaluated

    NT communities' anaemia management evaluated


    Evaluation of anaemia management in three remote Indigenous communities in the Katherine East region, NT Health practitioners in the remote Katherine East region are not sure why anaemia in young children is so common in Indigenous communities. What they...

  4. Scabies and strongyloides: a community snapshot

    Scabies and strongyloides: a community snapshot


    Researcher Therese Kearns tests a new treatment for mite and worm infections.

  5. ABC stateline report - beating scabies and strongyloidiasis

    ABC stateline report - beating scabies and strongyloidiasis


    The Menzies School of Health Research is hoping the drug Ivermectin will rid the Echo Island community, east of Darwin, of scabies and the strongyloides worm.