Robert Ali

Dr Robert Ali

Associate Professor

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

I'm a public health physician and specialist in addiction medicine. Until October 2016 I was Director of Community Based Treatment at the Drug & Alcohol Services South Australia. I was also the Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research into the Treatment of Drug and Alcohol Problems based at the University of Adelaide until 2017. Currently I'm a member of the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs, member of the Cochrane Alcohol and Drug Group editorial board and the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence and Alcohol Problems.

Research Projects Available
DASSA-WHO Collaborating Centre for Research in the Treatment of Drug and Alcohol Problems, University of Adelaide.

Addiction (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral Into Treatment)

Project 1 - Alcohol and Other Drug Screening and Brief Advice in Antenatal Care 

Project description:  This study aims to help reduce the risks and harms of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period via effective screening and the provision of brief advice. Women attending the antenatal clinic at Lyell McEwin and Modbury Hospital will be asked to self-complete the ASSIST-Lite screening tool (on computer tablet or paper based) and be provided with brief advice by antenatal staff and relevant to their personal level of risk.

The ASSIST-Lite is a short form of the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST), which was developed by the World Health Organization. The findings from this study will help to determine if this is logistically appropriate and effective approach to screening and brief intervention for substance use in an antenatal setting.

Projects available for: Third Year B.Hlth.Med.Sci.
Location: Helen Mayo South
Research project start: Semester 1 only
Special requirements: NA


  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2015 Honorary Associate Professor National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales,
    2012 Affiliate Graduate Faculty Member Virginia Commonwealth University
    2002 Clinical Associate Professor University of Adelaide
    1988 - 2016 Director, Community Based Treatment Drug & Alcohol Services South Australia
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2013 Award Mentorship Award: Princess Mother National Institute on Drug Abuse Treatment, Thailand
    2012 Recognition Australasian Professional Society of Alcohol and Drugs; James Rankin Orator;
    2005 Award Royal Australasian College of Physicians College Medal
    1997 Achievement South Australian Postgraduate Medical Education Association: Edward Stirling Oration
    1995 Award AIDS Council of South Australia Award for outstanding work in HIV and AIDS in South Australia
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1975 - 1981 University of Adelaide Australia MBBS
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    FAFPHM RACP Australia
    FAChAM RACP Australia
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    Graduate Diploma in Public Health University of Adelaide
  • Research Interests

  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2005 - 2010 Principal Supervisor Treatment Retention in Methadone Maintenance Programs in Indonesia: Towards Evidence-Informed Drug Policy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Riza Sarasvita
    2004 - 2010 Principal Supervisor Investigation of the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (The ASSIST) in Pregnancy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Elizabeth Dorothy Hotham
    1998 - 2002 Co-Supervisor ACUTE PAIN MANAGEMENT IN METHADONE MAINTENANCE TREATMENT Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Mark Doverty
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Are Primary Care and Dosing Regimen Factors in the Outcomes of Injectable Heroin Treatment for Severe Opioid Use Disorder? University of Adelaide International Programme in Addiction Studies Master Full Time Lynda Thorson
    2012 - 2016 External Supervisor Economic evaluation comparing the cost-effectiveness of centre based compulsory rehabilitation and voluntary community-based methadone maintenance treatment in Hai Phong City, Vietnam National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales Doctorate Full Time Thu Vuong
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing Member National Alcohol Treatment Guidelines Advisory Committee University of Sydney Australia
    2018 - ongoing Chair NCCRED Methamphetamine and Emerging Drugs: Clinical Research Network NCCRED Australia
    2016 - 2020 Member NHMRC Alcohol guidelines committee NHMRC Australia
    2014 - ongoing Member Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs
    2004 - 2014 Board Member Australian National Council on Drugs
    1998 - 2004 Chair National Expert Advisory Committee on Illicit Drugs
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2005 - ongoing Member College on Problems of Drug Dependence
    2004 - ongoing Member International Society of Addiction Medicine
    2000 - ongoing Member Society for the Study of Addiction
    1990 - ongoing Member Australasian Society of HIV Medicine
    1986 - ongoing Member Australian Professional Society on Alcohol & Drugs
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2005 - ongoing Editor Chinese Journal of Drug Dependence
    2004 - ongoing Associate Editor Drug and Alcohol Dependence
    2003 - 2016 Editor Drug and Alcohol Review APSAD Australia
    1997 - ongoing Editor Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  • Offices Held

    Date Office Name Institution Country
    2004 - 2014 Asia-Pacific Drug Issues Committee – Chair Australian National Council on Drugs
    2004 - 2007 Chapter Committee – President Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
    1996 - 2004 Chair, Board of Continuing Education Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
    1988 - 1994 Council Member Australian Professional Society on Alcohol & Drugs Australia
  • Position: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 83138057
  • Email:
  • Fax: 8124 1492
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo South, floor S3
  • Room: S312
  • Org Unit: Medicine

Connect With Me
External Profiles