Dr Gemma Sharp, Monash University
National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellow and Clinical Psychologist
Dr Gemma Sharp is known for her innovative research in the field of negative body image, the strongest predictor for the development of eating disorder. Despite having just received her PhD in 2017, she already heads a research team within Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) and conducts clinical practice and teaching that focus on enhancing community understanding about how body image concerns develop. She also designs novel treatments for these concerns using digital technologies. In the last twelve months, Sharp has been working with popular social media platform, Instagram, and Australia’s national eating disorder support organisation, The Butterfly Foundation, to develop the world’s first chatbot that educates and provides tips to young people and their loved ones about keeping a positive body image. While yet to be officially launched in 2020, the chatbot is already receiving favourable feedback on its pilot run. Beyond work, the area where Sharp shines and demonstrates exceptional leadership is media and community engagement. She co-hosts a radiotherapy program on a Melbourne radio station, has given over a dozen radio interviews and appeared multiple times on national television to educate both the public and health professionals.