Dr Clare Heal is  Professor (Promotional Chair) in the department of  General Practice and Rural Medicine at James Cook University School of Medicine and Dentistry Rural Clinical School in Mackay, Queensland.

Over the past ten years she has been principle investigator, or supervising co-investigator of seven successful practice based randomised controlled trials investigating the management of skin cancer surgery. The results of these trials have been published in high impact medical journals, such as the British Medical Journal.  In 2016 her study comparing sterile to clean boxed gloves was named one of the top 20 top international studies for Primary Care Physicians.She was awarded the AAAGP award for best research in Primary Care in 2015, and the RACGP Peter Mudge Medal for best research in General Practice in 2016. She is principle author of a Cochrane review on topical antibiotic prophylaxis was published in November 2016.

She continues to be active in clinical and academic general practice. She is a member of the editorial advisory group for the British Medical Journal, and the RACGP National Research Committee. She is a member of the NHMRC project grant review panel.

She currently supervises four honours students and two PhD students and has had fourteen successful honours completions, and one PhD completion. She has published more than 50 peer reviewed journal articles.

In addition to her research activities, she is chair of the Year five assessment and co-ordinator of general practice for James Cook University.  She is a member of an expert exam item-writing panel for the Australian Medical Council and is co-chair of ACCLAIM, a national exam writing collaboration.  

  • MD5010: Integrated Clinical Practice Part 1 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD5020: Integrated Clinical Practice Part 2 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD5030: Integrated Clinical Practice Part 3 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2015 - AAAPC Distinguished paper chosen for international presentation at NAPCRG
  • 2014 - Best paper and audience choice awards RACGP Queensland annual meeting
  • 2012 - Peter Mudge Medal, Best Research in General Practice presentation, RACGP annual scientific meeting
  • 2011 - Senior author, annual best paper, Australian Family Physician
  • 2015 to 2018 - Member of Oxford primary care research leadership cohort

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 53+ research outputs authored by Prof Clare Heal from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Sanofi Pasteur - Research Grant

An intervention to improve detection and management of familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) in primary care

Indicative Funding
$55,448 over 2 years (administered by University of Notre Dame Australia)
Familial hypercholesterolaemia is an inherited condition (prevalence 1:500 - 1:200) leading to excessively high cholesterol in the bloodstream from birth, increasing the risk of heart attacks and angina by age 40 or earlier if left untreated. Until recently FH has been managed mainly through hospital clinics. This national study trials an innovative primary care based approach using clinical diagnostic criteria rather than expensive genetic testing. The research aims to improve detection of cases, reduce cholesterol in treated cases, increase the number of family cases detected and contacted. It also explored the cost implications of method of care and aims to establish a registry of FH patients. Early diagnosis and treatment have important health outcomes for FH patients.
Tom Brett and Clare Heal in collaboration with Jennifer Banks (University of Notre Dame Australia and College of Medicine & Dentistry)
Familial hypercholesterolaemia; Primary Care

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Carrier Rates of Group A Streptococci (GAS) in Australian Wet Tropics

Indicative Funding
It is now possible to do a cheap rapid PCR analysis directly in the GP clinic for presence of Group A Streptococci in a throat swab and obtain a result in 8 minutes. This study intends to clarify the carrier rate of Group A Streptococci in Australian Wet Tropics. This knowledge is crucial to be able to correctly interpret test outcomes in patients with a sore throat.
Clare Heal, Ronny Gunnarsson and Bradley Elliot (College of Medicine & Dentistry and Hinchinbrook Health Care)
Streptococci; Carrier; Streptococcus Pyogenes

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

The Interest In Ongoing Medical Research

Indicative Funding
Most people perceive that they are clever enough to understand research if they just can get the information. This study aims to clarify if the population in Far North Queensland is interested to know about ongoing medical research in the area. An automated information system will also be trialled.
Ronny Gunnarsson, Paul Cullen, Clare Heal and Jennifer Banks (College of Medicine & Dentistry and Cairns & Hinterland Health Service District)
Information services; Research; Television

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These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Is There a Role for L-Arginine Supplementation in the Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers in a North Queensland Community Diabetics Clinic? (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Fibrin Glue in Skin Grafts for Skin Cancer (Masters , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  2. Dr Jennifer Banks
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  3. A/Prof Ronny Gunnarsson
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  4. Dr Hayley Letson
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  5. A/Prof Petra Buttner
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