placeholder image

A/PROF Julie Pasco




  • Summary
    Research experience: A/Prof Pasco is Principal Fellow at The University of Melbourne and Head of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit in the Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences: Barwon Health. She has eighteen years of research experience in population and clinical epidemiology. Since 1992, A/Prof Pasco has coordinated the Geelong Osteoporosis Study (GOS), an umbrella term for a program of large case-control and prospective population-based studies in both men and women. She has developed a productive research unit working principally on a series of musculoskeletal health projects, with recent expansion into active collaborations in a range of disciplines including mental health, genetics, osteoarthritis, cancer, infectious disease, obesity and nutrition.

    Research grants: Significant grant support from NHMRC ($2.95m since 2003; $1.19m as CIA) and other sources ($1.01m). NHMRC GRP member 2008.

    Publications: Sustained publication productivity; 89 publications in peer-reviewed journals (34 first author). Most frequently cited first author publications: (i) J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2001) demonstrating an association between circulating leptin levels and BMD in humans, which had not been shown before, suggesting that leptin may mediate the link between body fat mass and BMD (116 citations); (ii) Arch Intern Med (2002) reporting that statins, used for treating hypercholesterolaemia, are associated with reduced fracture risk, which was not entirely explained by increased bone mineral density (BMD) – this suggested involvement of other factors and so might have therapeutical implications (95 citations); (iii) J Bone Miner Res (2004) supporting the hypothesis that bone metabolism is modulated by the adrenergic nervous system (58 citations). Highest impact factor: published in JAMA (2006), IF=31.7, the first to report that circulating high-sensitivity CRP is an independent risk factor for fracture.



Member of

  • Australian Society of Psychiatric Research. General member 2008 -
  • International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology. General member 2008 -
  • International Bone and Mineral Society (IBMS). General member 2007 -
  • American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR). General member 1999 -
  • Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (ANZBMS). General member 1993 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Pasco JA, Nicholson GC, Kotowicz MA, Henry MJ, Evans D. Geelong Osteoporosis Study: Fracture risk prediction based on twenty years of prospective data. NHMRC (project 628582); 2010-13; $910,400.

    Pasco JA, Berk M, Henry MJ, Dodd S. A prospective study of inflammatory cytokines as common factors in the aetiology of both depression and osteoporosis. NHMRC (project 509103); 2008-10; $280,464.

    Berk M, Pasco JA, Bell C, Leslie E, Jacka FN. Developing evidence for the primary prevention of depressive disorders: the role of diet and physical activity. NHMRC (project 454356); 2007-11; $445,050.

    Wluka A, Pasco JA, Kotowicz MA, Henry MJ. Risk factors that affect knee structure in healthy women. NHMRC (project 436665); 2007-9; $190,950.

    Nicholson GC, Sanders KM, Young D, Kotowicz MA, Pasco JA. Primary care prevention of falls and fractures in the elderly by annual vitamin D supplementation. 2003-7; $292,500.

    Nicholson GC, Seeman E, Kotowicz MA, Pasco JA, Sanders KM. Male osteoporosis: A population-based study in Geelong. NHMRC (project 299831); 2004-6; $424,884.

    Kotowicz MA, Seeman E, Nicholson GC, Pasco JA. Bone size and bone turnover: relationship to fracture risk over 10 years. 2003-5. $410,500.




Education and training

  • MEpi, University of Melbourne 2008
  • PhD, Deakin University 1988
  • DipEd, Monash University 1977
  • BSc(Hons), Monash University 1976

Awards and honors

  • Percy Baxter Fellowship (Barwon Health), 2008
  • Travel grant (International Bone & Mineral Society), 2007
  • Smart Geelong Network (Barwon Health), 2007
  • Smart Geelong Network (Deakin University), 2007
  • Population Health and Well-Being Award - St John of God Pathology, Smart Geelong Network (St John of God Pathology-Pathcare), 2006
  • Kaye Ibbertson Award in Metabolic Bone Disease, Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (ANZBMS), 2006
  • Highly Commended Award - CSIRO Textiles & Fibre Technology, Smart Geelong Network (CSIRO Textile & Fibre Technology), 2006


Available for supervision

  • Y