Dr Roshini Janet Peiris-John



Dr Peiris-John is a Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology and Co-Director of University of Auckland's Centre for Asian and Ethnic Minority Health Research and Evaluation. She qualified in Medicine in Sri Lanka and obtain her PhD in Physiology before moving on to work in Epidemiology.

Research | Current

  • Health and wellbeing of Asian and ethnic minority (MELAA) communities
  • Youth health and wellbeing

I have a keen interest in inequities that challenge the health and wellbeing of ethnic minority communities and I am particularly interested in research on environmental determinants of health and disease. As a member of University of Auckland’s Adolescent Health Research Group, I am involved in the national secondary school surveys and I am currently engaged in the Youth’19 Rangatahi Smart Survey funded by the Health Research Council. As co-Director of the Centre for Asian and Ethnic Minority Health Research (CAHRE) at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, I am fortunate to work with amazing researchers and students across a range of exciting projects that contribute to understanding and advancement of health and wellbeing of ethnic minority communities in Aotearoa.

Youth19 Rangatahi Smart Survey: https://www.youth19.ac.nz/

Youth2000 survey series: The Youth2000 surveys conducted in 2001, 2007, 2012 and 2019, are NZ’s largest adolescent health surveys. Over 35,000 adolescents have participated to date. The surveys provide a well-validated and tested approach for exploring youth health strengths, needs and trends in varied population groups and contexts and continues to help guide significant changes in policy and practice in NZ. https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/en/faculty/adolescent-health-research-group.html

Centre for Asian and Ethnic Minority Health Research and Evaluation (CAHRE): https://cahre.blogs.auckland.ac.nz


Teaching | Current

Director, POPLHLTH111 Population Health


Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising new Masters and PhD students in the following areas:

  • Health and wellbeing of Asian and ethnic minority (Middle Eastern, Latin American and African) young people
  • Health and wellbeing of young people living with disability




Lathika Athauda (primary), Influence of alcohol marketing policy environment on adolescent drinking in Sri Lanka

Lovely Dizon (primary), Negotiating cultural identity for Asian adolescent migrants in New Zealand



Doctoral theses

Varuni Tennakoon, 2019 (secondary): Foundation for Age- and Disability- friendly road safety policies in Sri Lanka

S P Warnakulasuriya, 2014 (primary): Cultural and psychosocial influences on disability and, an intervention to reduce lower back pain among nurses in Sri Lanka

Nalinda Silva, 2012 (primary): Association between endometriosis and heavy metals among Sri Lankan women of reproductive age

Masters theses

Andrea Malto, 2020 (secondary): Dietary habits in persons with schizophrenia spectrum disorders in New Zealand

Lahana Shrestha, 2017 (primary): Sexual health behaviour and social connectedness among Asian secondary students in New Zealand

Natasha Geo, 2014 (secondary): Information communication technology - enabling access to health information for migrant and ethnic minority youth


2020                       Butland award for innovation in teaching, University of Auckland            

2019, 2018, 2015    Sharman award for curriculum development, University of Auckland

2017                        Women in Leadership Program, University of Auckland

2009                        F A Wickremasinghe oration, College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka

2003                        K N Seneviratne award for outstanding research in physiology, Physiological Society of Sri Lanka

2001                       IAEA training fellowship in nuclear medicine, Saint Bartholomew's hospital, London

Committees/Professional groups/Services


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Tennakoon, V., Wiles, J., Peiris-John, R., Wickremasinghe, R., Kool, B., & Ameratunga, S. (2020). Transport equity in Sri Lanka: Experiences linked to disability and older age. JOURNAL OF TRANSPORT & HEALTH, 1810.1016/j.jth.2020.100913
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Janine Wiles, Bridget Kool
  • Peiris-John, R., Dizon, L., Sutcliffe, K., Kang, K., & Fleming, T. (2020). Co-creating a large-scale adolescent health survey integrated with access to digital health interventions. DIGITAL HEALTH, 610.1177/2055207620947962
  • Peiris-John, R., Selak, V., Robb, G., Kool, B., Wells, S., Sadler, L., & Wise, M. R. (2020). The State of Quality Improvement Teaching in Medical Schools: A Systematic Review. Journal of surgical education, 77 (4), 889-904. 10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.01.003
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Vanessa Selak, Bridget Kool, Susan Wells, Michelle Wise
  • Hamm, L. M., Black, J., Burn, H., Grey, C., Harwood, M., Peiris-John, R., ... Ramke, J. (2020). Interventions to promote access to eye care for non-Indigenous, non-dominant ethnic groups in high-income countries: a scoping review protocol. BMJ open, 10 (6)10.1136/bmjopen-2019-033775
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Lisa Hamm, Joanna Black, Matire Harwood, Jacqueline Ramke
  • Dizon, L., Wiles, J., & Peiris-John, R. (2020). What Is Meaningful Participation for Older People? An Analysis of Aging Policies. The Gerontologist, 60 (3), 396-405. 10.1093/geront/gnz060
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/51557
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Janine Wiles
  • Peiris-John, R., Jain, N. R., Hogan, A., & Ameratunga, S. (2020). Educating health science students about disability: Teachers’ perspectives on curricular gaps. Disability and Health Journal, online first10.1016/j.dhjo.2020.100985
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Neera Jain
  • Lewycka, S., Peiris-John, R., & Simon-Kumar, R. (2020). Inequality and Adolescent Migrants: Results from Youth2000 Survey. In R. SimonKumar, F. L. Collins, W. Friesen (Eds.) (pp. 109-129). PALGRAVE. 10.1007/978-3-030-19099-6_6
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/49594
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachel Simon-Kumar
  • Ameratunga, S., Jackson, N., Peiris-John, R., Sheridan, J., Moselen, E., & Clark, T. (2019). New Zealand adolescents' concerns about their alcohol use and access to services: Associations with ethnicity and other factors. Journal of ethnicity in substance abuse, 18 (4), 634-653. 10.1080/15332640.2018.1428710
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/51456
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Janie Sheridan, Terryann Clark


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 507 - Bldg 507
Level 1, Room 1138
New Zealand

Web links