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Dr Julie Bennett 2019 thumbnail

BSc, DPH, MPH, PhDSenior Research Fellow; HEIRU

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Research interests and activities

Dr Julie Bennett is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Public Health in Wellington. She has a wide range of public health research interests, with a particular focus on infectious diseases, indoor air quality, housing and health. Her research activities currently have a strong focus on group A streptococcal infections, acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

Julie is the lead researcher of SCIP RHD, a Trans-Tasman collaboration trialling subcutaneous infusions of benzathine penicillin for prevention of rheumatic heart disease. Julie also leads the “Isolate study” which aims to establish if group A streptococcal isolates detected prior to rheumatic fever differ from those collected on hospital admission. Julie project manages the “Endgame” project, led by Professor Michael Baker, which aims to develop an optimal strategy for ending rheumatic fever in New Zealand and the “START” study, led by Dr Nikki Moreland that aims to develop and validate biomarkers that may form the basis for a rheumatic fever blood test. Julie is a member of Pū Manawa (Rheumatic fever network Aotearoa New Zealand) and the World Health Organization ARF and RHD guideline development group.

Julie is a member of He Kainga Oranga (Housing and Health Research Programme), which was awarded the Rutherford Medal in 2021 and is a founding member of the New Zealand Indoor Air Quality Research Centre.


Wilson, N., Anderson, A., Baker, M. G., Bennett, J., Dennison, A., McGregor, R., … Webb, R. (2024). The roles of immuno-modulator treatment and echocardiographic screening in rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease control: Research from Aotearoa, New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2024.2306981

Carducci, M., Whitcombe, A., Rovetini, L., Massai, L., Keeley, A. J., de Silva, T. I., Bennett, J., … Rossi, O. (2024). Development and characterization of a hemolysis inhibition assay to determine functionality of anti-Streptolysin O antibodies in human sera. Journal of Immunological Methods, 526, 113618. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2024.113618

Lacey, J. A., Bennett, J., James, T. B., Hines, B. S., Chen, T., Lee, D., Sika-Paotonu, D., … Baker, M. G., … Moreland, N. J. (2024). A worldwide population of Streptococcus pyogenes strains circulating among school-aged children in Auckland, New Zealand: A genomic epidemiology analysis. Lancet Regional Health: Western Pacific, 24, 100964. doi: 10.1016/j.lanwpc.2023.100964

Howden-Chapman, P., Crane, J., Keall, M., Pierse, N., Baker, M. G., Cunningham, C., … Aspinall, C., Bennett, J., Bierre, S., … Chisholm, E., Davies, C., Fougere, G., Fraser, B., Fyfe, C., Grant, L., … Halley, C., Logan-Riley, A., … Olin, C., Ombler, J., O'Sullivan, K., Pehi, T., Penny, G., … Randal, E., … Robson, B., Ruru, J., Shaw, C., … Teariki, M. A., Telfar Barnard, L., Tiatia, R., Toy-Cronin, B., … Viggers, H., … Zhang, W. (2024). He Kāinga Oranga: Reflections on 25 years of measuring the improved health, wellbeing and sustainability of healthier housing. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 54(3), 290-315. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2023.2170427

Baker, M., Bennett, J., Kerr, J., & Kvalsvig, A. (2023). Covid-19 is finishing the year on a high: We need a vigorous coordinated response. The Briefing, (18 December). Retrieved from

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