Section: Overview
Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching
Career

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • Health economics
  • Emerging trends in technology and innovation
  • Investment in adolescent health and wellbeing
  • Finance of investment in health interventions
  • Assessment of interventions to reduce child marriage and gender violence

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

About Bruce Rasmussen

Professor Bruce Rasmussen became Director of the Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies in 2011, having been Deputy Director since 2001. In this role, he has led a program to increase the focus of its research activities to three programs: assessment of large-scale interventions to improve health and wellbeing; climate change, energy use and sustainability; and technology, inequality and regional diversity in contemporary growth.

Bruce's work has encompassed health economics, regional economics, innovation and economic development. His most recent work has been on estimating the economic returns to investment in health, for WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, US Chamber of Commerce, APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF) and the APEC Business Advisory Council, with partnerships with China National Health Development Research Centre and China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2015-2016, he led the work on a UNFPA adolescent project on evaluating interventions to reduce child marriage and intimate partner violence. Other multi-country evaluation studies have estimated the benefit-cost ratios for interventions to treat disease and health conditions for children and mothers, those with mental health issues and for a range of interventions to improve the well-being of adolescents. Two papers with results are published in The Lancet and Journal of Adolescent Health (evaluation child marriage interventions). He currently leads work in Burundi for UNICEF to develop an investment evaluation framework to establish economic and social returns from health and education programs for adolescents.

He has also conducted research for the US Chamber of Commerce on health and productivity. This work has estimated the economic cost of absenteeism, presenteeism and early retirement, with current research being conducted in China.

From August 2017, Bruce has been Vice Chair (Academic) of the APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum, where he leads work on encouraging Ministers and Ministries of Finance in the APEC region to more actively engage in developing innovative ways of financing health. In the last two years, he has regularly presented to meetings of Senior Finance Officers and Ministers on the new developments in health financing, such as impact bonds, micro insurance schemes and health savings accounts.

Previously Bruce had a career specialising in finance, spanning the senior levels of both the public and private sectors. In government, he held a number of senior positions, most significantly as Assistant Director General, Finance in the Victorian Treasury. He also spent seven years at the ANZ Bank, where he held various senior business strategy roles, most notably as Chief Manager, Retail Strategy in the Retail Bank and Chief Manager, Development of the Private Bank.

Qualifications

  • PhD, Victoria University, Australia, 2009
  • MPA, Harvard University, USA, 1985
  • MEc, La Trobe University, Australia, 1977
  • BEc (Hons), La Trobe University, Australia, 1974

Key publications

Year Citation
2010 Rasmussen, B. (100101). Innovation and commercialisation in the biopharmaceutical industry: Creating and capturing value.

Year Citation
2019 Rasmussen, B., Maharaj, N., Sheehan, P., & Friedman, H. S. (190701). Evaluating the Employment Benefits of Education and Targeted Interventions to Reduce Child Marriage. Journal of Adolescent Health, 65(1), (S16-S24).

doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.03.022

2018 Bertram, M. Y., Sweeny, K., Lauer, J. A., Chisholm, D., Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B., Upreti, S. R., Dixit, L. P., George, K., & Deane, S. (180519). Investing in non-communicable diseases: an estimation of the return on investment for prevention and treatment services. The Lancet, 391(10134), (2071-2078).

doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30665-2

2018 Patton, G. C., Olsson, C. A., Skirbekk, V., Saffery, R., Wlodek, M. E., Azzopardi, P. S., Stonawski, M., Rasmussen, B., Spry, E., & Francis, K. (180221). Adolescence and the next generation. Nature, 554(7693), (458-466).

doi: 10.1038/nature25759

2017 Sheehan, P., Sweeny, K., Rasmussen, B., Wils, A., Friedman, H. S., Mahon, J., Patton, G. C., Sawyer, S. M., Howard, E., & Symons, J. (171014). Building the foundations for sustainable development: a case for global investment in the capabilities of adolescents. The Lancet, 390(10104), (1792-1806).

doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30872-3

2016 Chisholm, D., Sweeny, K., Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B., Smit, F., Cuijpers, P., & Saxena, S. (160501). Scaling-up treatment of depression and anxiety: A global return on investment analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry, 3(5), (415-424).

doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30024-4

2014 Stenberg, K., Axelson, H., Sheehan, P., Anderson, I., Gulmezoglu, A. M., Temmerman, M., Mason, E., Friedman, H. S., Bhutta, Z. A., & Lawn, J. E. (140101). Advancing social and economic development by investing in women's and children's health: A new Global Investment Framework. The Lancet, 383(9925), (1333-1354).

doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62231-X

Research funding for the past 5 years

Please note:

  • Funding is ordered by the year the project commenced and may continue over several years.
  • Funding amounts for contact research are not disclosed to maintain commercial confidentiality.
  • The order of investigators is not indicative of the role they played in the research project.

Cost of Eliminating Child Marriage and Intimate Partner Violence
From: United Nations Population Fund
Investigators: Prof Peter Sheehan
For period: 2019-2019
Not disclosed
WorkWell Evaluation: Measuring Cost Effectiveness and Return on Investment (ROI) of the WorkWell Program
From: WorkSafe Victoria
Investigators: Dr Kim Sweeny
For period: 2019-2019
Not disclosed

Cost Benefit Analysis of Health Interventions to Improve Labour Productivity
From: US Chamber of Commerce Grant
Investigators: Dr John Symons, Prof Peter Sheehan, Dr Kim Sweeny
For period: 2018-2019
Not disclosed
Investment Framework Case Study: Estimating the Impacts & Opportunity Costs of Social Sector Investments for Adolescents (10-19 years) in Burundi.
From: UNICEF-Bujumbura/Burundi
Investigators: Dr Kim Sweeny, Prof Peter Sheehan, Dr John Symons
For period: 2018-2019
Not disclosed
Economic evaluation youth work program for the centre for multicultural youth
From: Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues
Investigators: Dr John Symons
For period: 2018-2018
Not disclosed
Economic evaluation youth work program for the city of Whittlesea
From: City of Whittlesea
Investigators: Dr John Symons
For period: 2018-2018
Not disclosed
A Case for National Investment in Adolescent Health & Wellbeing in India
From: United Nations Population Fund
Investigators: Dr John Symons, Prof Peter Sheehan, Dr Kim Sweeny
For period: 2018-2018
Not disclosed
Establishment of Victorian Energy Policy Centre (VEPC)
From: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Investigators: Prof Peter Sheehan, Mr Steven Parker
For period: 2018-2020
$1,590,909

Building Strength and Capability through Diversity
From: Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Ltd
Investigators: Prof Michele Grossman, Dr Joanne Pyke, Dr Fiona Macdonald
For period: 2017-2020
Not disclosed
Climate change and social determinants of health and wellbeing scoping study.
From: Director of Housing, Department of Health and Human Services
Investigators: Dr Kim Sweeny, Prof Peter Sheehan, Prof Roger Jones
For period: 2017-2017
Not disclosed

Pharmaceutical Pricing Methodologies - Phase 1 & 2
From: Merck KGaA Fund
Investigators: Dr Kim Sweeny
For period: 2016-2016
Not disclosed
Global Study
From: US Chamber of Commerce Grant
Investigators: Dr Kim Sweeny, Prof Peter Sheehan
For period: 2016-2016
Not disclosed
Economic benefits of cultural diversity research project.
From: Dept of Premier and Cabinet (Vic)
Investigators: Dr Joanne Pyke, Prof Peter Sheehan
For period: 2016-2016
Not disclosed

NCD Health Interventions as an investment opportunity for low and middle income countries
From: WHO Grant
Investigators: Prof Peter Sheehan, Dr Kim Sweeny
For period: 2015-2015
Not disclosed
Impact of Health on Pension Payments
From: US Chamber of Commerce Grant
Investigators: Dr Kim Sweeny, Prof Peter Sheehan
For period: 2015-2015
$140,000
Supply of Evaluation and Research Services Related to Investments in Adolescent Girls
From: United Nations Population Fund
For period: 2015-2015
$250,532
Festival City Program Economic Impact Study for the City of Maribyrnong
From: Maribyrnong City Council
For period: 2015-2015
$20,000
The economic costs of mental illness and relevant co-morbidities.
From: RANZCP Grant
Investigators: Dr Kim Sweeny
For period: 2015-2015
$45,000

Building an Investment Case for Global Mental Health
From: WHO Grant
Investigators: Dr Kim Sweeny, Prof Peter Sheehan
For period: 2014-2015
Not disclosed
Economic Impact of Mental Health across 75 countries.
From: World Health Organization
Investigators: Prof Peter Sheehan, Dr Kim Sweeny
For period: 2014-2015
$86,426
Mapping and understanding bushfire and natural hazard vulnerability and risks at the institutional scale.
From: Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Ltd
Investigators: Prof Peter Sheehan, Prof Roger Jones
For period: 2014-2018
$460,000
Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and enhance early warning
From: Bushfire CRC Ltd
Investigators: Prof Roger Jones, Prof Peter Sheehan
For period: 2014-2017
$420,000

Enabling Agricultural Policies for Benefitting Small holders in Dairy, Citrus and Mango Industries of Pakistan
From: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
Investigators: Prof Bhajan Grewal
For period: 2013-2016
$1,083,712

Supervision of research students at VU

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

Currently supervised research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
4 PhD Associate supervisor
1 Masters by Research Principal supervisor

Currently supervised research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (4) Associate supervisor
Masters by Research (1) Principal supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
7 PhD Associate supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (7) Associate supervisor

Key academic roles

Dates Role Department / Organisation
Jan 2011 - Jun 2019
Director VISES
Victoria University
Dates Role & Department/Organisation
Jan 2011 -
Jun 2019
Director VISES
Victoria University

Key industry, community & government roles

Dates Role Department/Organisation
Jul 2017 - Jun 2019
Academic Co-Chair
APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum
Dates Role & Department/Organisation
Jul 2017 - Jun 2019
Academic Co-Chair
APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum

Professional memberships

  • Member, Economic Society of Australia
  • Member, Harvard Club of Australia