Asha Bowen


  • The University of Western Australia (M561), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Areas of expertise: Skin infections, Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Aboriginal children, central line associated blood stream infections, osteomyelitis, paediatric infections including HIV, bacteraemia, TB and congenital CMV


Dr Bowen is a paediatric infectious diseases specialist leading the Hospital in the Home, HIV and Central Venous Access Device activities of the infectious diseases service. She combines this busy role with a research career focussed on reducing the burden of infectious diseases in Australia’s Indigenous children as a clinician-researcher at Perth Children’s Hospital and Telethon Kids Institute, having completed her fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) as a general paediatrician and paediatric infectious diseases specialist in 2009. Her NHMRC funded PhD (2010 – 2014) through the Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University was a randomised controlled trial of impetigo treatment in remote Indigenous children, published in The Lancet. Results of this trial have been presented at local, national and international conferences, and translated into local, regional and national guidelines. Dr Bowen has more than a decade of experience in conducting paediatric and infectious diseases research focussing on issues of significance to Aboriginal children and their health. As impetigo is caused by both Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, her ongoing research interests are in severe S. aureus bacteraemia in childhood, reducing the burden of skin infections in Aboriginal children and primary prevention of acute rheumatic fever.

As a clinician, Dr Bowen contributes actively to the Infectious Diseases Department at Perth Children’s Hospital and was acting Head of Department for 6 months in 2016. In addition, she is a committed member of the clinical staff of the hospital, serving as Secretary of the Clinical Staff Association in 2018 and is on several governance committees with a focus on patient safety. In 2018, she has taken the role of Deputy Chair of the Culture Change Steering Team to guide organisational change and improve morale.

Dr Bowen commenced an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (#1088735) at the Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia (her second NHMRC people support award) in 2015. Since 2010, she has received almost $7M in grants as a chief-investigator, $3.5M as CIA. All of these project grants have explored improvements in health care for Australian Indigenous children. Dr Bowen has published 55 papers in 10 yrs; 39 as postdoc: 4 as first author and 16 as senior author. 

Dr Bowen was awarded the 2017 Woodside Early Career Researcher in the WA Premier’s Science Awards for her research to improve the skin health in Aboriginal children. She has used this opportunity to promote science education in primary school aged children.

Research Mentoring

Dr Bowen currently mentor/supervise 3 PhD students (2 as primary supervisor), 4 postdoc fellows, 7 Honours students, 5 research staff and 1 WA Health Translation Network Fellow. She has co-supervised 3 Honours, 1 Masters and 1 PhD student to completion, co-publishing 7 peerreviewed manuscripts. As a clinician-scientist, Dr Bowen mentor trainees in Infectious Diseases and Paediatrics to build confidence, develop statistical analysis and writing for publication skills. Two trainees are now PhD candidates a 3rd completed their Master’s degree her primary supervision. In Dr Bowen's 9 years as consultant paediatrician, she has mentored >25 trainees in clinical practice and research, supporting 9 to complete their first peer-reviewed publication and many to deliver their first conference paper. Dr Bowen is a successful female clinician-scientist role model, mentoring 5 junior female clinician-scientists. In 2017 she  recognised a gap and co-established the Women in Tropical Health network, to develop careers and a peer network for 60+ female scientists involved across northern Australia. In 2012, she established the ANZPID online journal club. 

Dr Bowen mentors/supervises an Indigenous GP in the Kimberley as she explores a research career.  In 2016, a career highlight was mentoring an Indigenous pre-medical student to make the first-ever Indigenous Hip Hop video on skin health (>15,000 YouTube views). As 2018 L’Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Fellow, Dr presented to 800 high school and 50 university students to inspire them in their scientific careers. As a CSIRO STEM professional in schools partner, she hasfacilitated: science experiments with 25 5yr olds; scientific inquiry, methods and experimentation with 100 7yr olds during National Science Week; and a Q&A session with 50 12yr old girls about STEM careers. 

Previous positions

Royal Darwin Hospital, June 2012 – June 2014
General Paediatrician and Paediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist

Northern Territory Medical Program, Semester 1 2012
Tutor, Doctor and Patient

Sydney Children’s Hospital, January 2011
Paediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist (locum)

Coffs Harbour Hospital, 2010 - 2011
General Paediatrician (locum)

Royal Darwin Hospital, 2010 - 2011
Emergency registrar Microbiology registrar

Alice Springs Hospital, July 2009 – January 2010
Paediatric Registrar

Royal Darwin Hospital, January – July 2009
Microbiology registrar

Sydney Children's Hospital, 2005 - 2008
Infectious Diseases Advanced Trainee, 2007 – 2008
Conjoint Lecturer: Paediatrics, UNSW, 2007 - 2008
Paediatric Registrar, 2005 – 2006

St George Hospital, 2002 – 2004
Intern, Resident and Paediatric resident

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Charles Darwin University

… → 2015

Fellowship: RACP , Royal Australasian College of Physicians

… → 2010

Diploma of Child Health, University of New South Wales

… → 2004

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, University of Sydney

… → 2001

Bachelor of Arts, Geography & Environmental Studies , University of Tasmania

… → 1997

External positions

Team Lead & NHMRC Research Fellow, Telethon Kids Institute

2015 → …

Research expertise keywords

  • impetigo
  • scabies
  • skin infections
  • Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Aboriginal health


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