Phillip Tully

Dr Phillip Tully

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


Dr Phillip J. Tully is a registered psychologist and researcher in the Discipline of Medicine. He is a postdoctoral fellow of Bordeaux University (France) and Freiburg University (Germany).

The Vascular and Brain Health research group aims to advance understandings of the interplay between vascular factors and brain health. Taking a broad approach, our group researches cardiovascular and cardiometabolic diseases and related risk factors such as high blood pressure, examining the bidirectional links with brain outcomes including cerebrovascular diseases, small vessel disease on MRI, depression disorders, cognitive impairment and dementia. Our research themes incorporate biostatistics, epidemiology and cohort studies, meta-analyses (aggregate and IPD), clinical trials, consumer engagement and qualitative research, and evidence-translation into practice.

The Vascular and Brain Health research group also leads and coordinates a large international consortium examining blood pressure, and its variability, in relation to brain health. Consequently, there is a large and rich dataset from collaborators in the USA, UK, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Australia, with potential to arrange international laboratory visits or post-doctoral exchanges for interested students (see Project 3).

The Vascular and Brain Health research group is affiliated with the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health (FFCMH), which offers a dynamic and multidisciplinary research environment with an established support network for students. Our FFCMH research is focussed on the role of masculinity and help seeking for mental health. 

 

Research Project 1

Title: Are the dementia-sparing effects of antihypertensive drugs modulated by the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele? An exploration of drug-gene interaction

Project description: An emerging line of investigation posits that specific antihypertensive drugs are only beneficial to cognitive function in carriers of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele, an established genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. This points to the likelihood that antihypertensive drug-gene interactions could inform personalized medicine in primary care to mitigate dementia onset, however the findings are controversial and contested.

Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters

 

Research Project 2

Title: The importance of blood pressure and its variability to brain health: a 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring study 

Project description: A recent line of investigation suggests that fluctuation in a person’s blood pressure over consecutive assessments is a strong predictor of cerebrovascular disease and dementia, over and above a person’s mean blood pressure. However, it is currently unknown whether central or brachial blood pressure variability (BPV) measures are more vital to predict sub-clinical manifestations of cerebrovascular disease. This project will explore BPV’s association with cognitive dysfunction and depression symptoms. Approximately 200 persons will be recruited to undergo 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and a standardized cognitive assessment.

Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters

 

Research Project 3

Title: Blood pressure variability and brain health (The VARIABLE BRAIN consortium)

Project description: The VARIABLE BRAIN consortium is investigating whether blood pressure variability (BPV) is associated with brain health, independent of mean blood pressure. The consortium is harmonizing individual participant data (IPD) from more than 20 studies to evaluate BPV in relation to cerebral small vessel disease, incident dementia and cognitive impairment, depression, brain atrophy, as well as progression of dementia.

Projects available for: HDR / Masters 

 

Research Project 4

Title: Collaborative depression care in coronary heart disease

Project description: Depression is prevalent in 15-20% of persons with coronary heart disease though treatment outcomes remain poor. Collaborative care has emerged as an efficacious model of depression care in this population in the USA and UK, however, this model of care is not widely implemented in Australia. This implementation science project aims to evaluate the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and cost-utility of collaborative depression care in coronary heart disease patients in Australian clinical practice.

Projects available for: HDR / Masters

Special requirements: A police check will be required if students perform within hospital assessments of patients.

 

Research Project 5

Title: Is collaborative care a cost-effective treatment modality for depression in persons with cardiometabolic disease?

Project description: Depression is prevalent in 15-20% of persons with cardiometabolic diseases (e.g. heart disease, diabetes) but remains difficult to treat effectively in this population. Collaborative care (CC) is a system-based approach to depression care in this population. As a relatively new modality of depression care, it remains generally unknown whether there is a significant improvement in quality adjusted life-years (QALY) with CC versus usual care in the population with cardiometabolic diseases. This topic is suited to a student with a background in economics and will likely involve additional calculations for cost-data (country-specific gross domestic product inflation rates, and purchasing power parities).

Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters

Special requirements: Background in economics

 

Research Project 6

Title: Cirdadian rhythms of sleep, eating, stress, and gastrointestinal symptoms

Project description: Prolonged work hours and shift work are linked with risk of gastrointestinal disorders including cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, colitis, and change in defecation routines. It remains largely unknown whether disturbances in gastrointestinal functioning are related to changes in circadian rhythm, sleep, dietary patterns, eating behaviours, and stress or occupational factors such as workload. The itspootime project aims to analyse work hours, occupational stress, sleep and diet in relation to gastrointestinal symptoms.

Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Université de Bordeaux
    2013 - 2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Freiburg, Freiburg
    2013 Senior Lecturer Flinders University, Adelaide
    2013 - 2013 Clinical Psychologist Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park
    2012 Honorary Appointment - Clinical Psychologist Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park
    2011 - 2013 Visiting Research Fellow University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2011 - 2013 Clinical Psychologist Health SA
    2011 - 2013 Visiting Research Fellow University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2005 - 2013 Research Assistant Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2015 Award Finalist, Eur Assoc. Psychosomatic Medicine / Elsevier Young Investigator Award
    2015 Award Elsevier outstanding reviewer status – top 10% peer reviews for J Psychosom Med
    2012 Award Editor’s pick best paper #6 2012 JECT year in review “Psychological depression and cardiac surgery: a comprehensive review”
    2012 Award Best Scientific Paper 2012
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    French Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
    German Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2006 - 2011 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia PhD, Masters Psychology (Clinical)
    2000 - 2004 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia B. Health Sciences, Honours in Psychology (First Class)
  • Research Interests

Grants Awarded
2014-2019

Dr. Tully has been awarded more than 1.7 million in competitive research funding in the last 5 years as CI, and more than 10 million in funding as AI. Current grants for the VARIABLE BRAIN consortium include the Dementia Australia Research Foundation, the Rebecca L. Cooper Foundation, and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation https://www.alzdiscovery.org/

 

 

Dr. Tully performs casual teaching in Psychology at The University of New England (NSW) for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (Masters) and supervision of Honors projects.

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  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2013 - ongoing Cochrane Heart Group
    2013 - ongoing European Society of Cardiology
    2012 - 2013 Australian Cardiac Rehabilitation Association
    2012 - ongoing Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association
    2011 - ongoing Registered general psychologist AHPRA
    2011 - 2012 Member Grade, Clinical College of Psychologists, Australian Psychology Association
    2011 - ongoing Present International Society for Critical Health Psychology
    2009 - ongoing Member Australian Association of Gerontology
    2008 - ongoing Member Menzies Memorial Scholars Association
    2006 - ongoing Member Health, Disability and Lifespan Development Unit, University of Adelaide
  • Phone: 83130514
  • Email: phillip.tully@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 6
  • Room: WS6062.23
  • Org Unit: Medical Specialties

Connect With Me
External Profiles