Comorbidity expert Katherine Mills a rising star of research world

April 2016

Associate Professor Katherine Mills from The Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use at NDARC has been named one of 20 University of New South Wales (UNSW) 'rising stars who will change our world'.

Katherine Mills has been recognised for her national and international program of research in the field of mental health and substance use. Roughly one-third of Australians with substance abuse problems have a concurrent mental illness. On some treatment programs as many as 80 per cent of clients have a co-occurring mental illness or have experienced trauma and abuse.

Katherine Mills is figuring out why, and leading world-first trials of innovative treatment programs. She has also produced a wide range of resources for clinicians, the drug and alcohol sector and the general public including the Australian Government’s Guidelines on the Management of Co-occurring Alcohol and Other Drug and Mental Health Conditions in Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Settings.

Mills works with more than 70 international experts studying the two conditions to try to better understand how they are related and how they should be treated.

“My hope is that we will have a range of effective treatments for mental health and substance use disorders, and a service system that will allow for the right treatment to be delivered to the right person at the right time,” says Mills.

The rising stars series of Research@UNSW celebrates the work of emerging research leaders, who are tackling some of society’s biggest challenges.  Rising stars were named across all faculties, and work on a variety of projects such as developing next-generation batteries to enable a clean energy future, improving mental health outcomes for refugees, or designing measures to prevent corporate fraud.

For the full feature on Associate Professor Katherine Mills visit