Research Establishment Fellowships

2023 recipients

Hayley BarnesDr Hayley Barnes
The Robert Maple-Brown Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘Improving the diagnostic confidence of occupational interstitial lung diseases’

Dr Hayley Barnes PhD, FRACP, MPH, MBBS, BBioMedSci (Hons) is a respiratory clinician at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, and a post-doctoral fellow at the Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health and Central Clinical School, Monash University.

Dr Barnes works both clinically and in research to improve the lives of patients with end-stage lung disease, including silicosis, interstitial lung disease, and pulmonary hypertension.

Samuel ChanDr Samuel Chan
RACP Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘Strategies to reduce infectious complications in kidney transplant recipients’

Samuel Chan is a kidney specialist working within the Metro South Nephrology and Transplant Service team in Queensland. He is currently an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow and recently completed his PhD at The University of Queensland in the kidney transplant infectious diseases area.

Samuel's RACP Research Establishment Fellowship will enable him to dive further into the transplant infectious disease space, specifically establishing clinical trials to combat transplant infections such as urinary tract infections and norovirus. Samuel is interested in the association and the role of the gut microbiota and kidney transplant infections and collaborates with a multitude of national and international transplant and infectious diseases physicians.

Sujie ChandranDr Sujie Chandran
RACP Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘The use of technology in improving bowel cleansing for colonoscopy’

Dr Sujie Chandran MBBS(hons) FRACP/PhD is an interventional endoscopist practicing at Austin and Peninsula Health. Sujie undertook his medical education through Monash University, where he graduated with honours. He subsequently completed his basic training through Monash Health before pursing advanced training in gastroenterology through Launceston General Hospital and Austin Health.

Sujie obtained his FRACP in 2012. He then embarked on a two-year interventional endoscopy fellowship through Austin Health. During this time Sujie also completed a PhD on new endoscopic techniques and technologies in the management of gastrointestinal disorders through the University of Melbourne. His PhD was supported by a scholarship through the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA). Sujie has published extensively in world-renowned gastroenterology and endoscopy journals.

He has also been nominated on multiple occasions for awards recognising the clinical and scientific impact of his studies. In 2015, Sujie undertook the prestigious interventional endoscopy fellowship at the world-renowned St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto Canada. Since his return Sujie has led the creation of the highly successful endoscopy fellow and research program at Austin Health. The program now supports a PhD candidate whom Sujie is a supervisor.

Mohamed Asif ChinnarathaDr Mohamed Asif Chinnaratha
RACP Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘GENESIS: Qualitative Gut microbiome assessmENt and the role of faEcal microbiota transplantation in Severe alcoholic hepatitis’

Dr Chinnaratha is a Gastroenterologist/ Hepatologist at the Lyell McEwin Hospital and senior clinical lecturer at the University of Adelaide. He completed his advanced training in Gastroenterology in Western Australia in 2012 followed by a year of Hepatology Fellowship with the liver transplant unit at Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia. Following this, he commenced his PhD in 2014 at Flinders University exploring the epidemiological trends in chronic hepatitis B related hepatocellular carcinoma in South Australia.

He commenced his role as a staff specialist at the Lyell McEwin Hospital in 2015 and was awarded his PhD in 2017. His main research focus includes alcoholic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. He has state-wide and national collaborations in his field and with other specialities. He has published in various high-quality peer-reviewed journals and was part of the team that published the first ever ‘Australian consensus guidelines on the management of hepatocellular carcinoma’.

Sung Kai ChiuDr Sung Kai Chiu
RACP Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘Studying the role of haematopoietic stem cells in high risk acute leukaemia’

Dr Chiu is a haematologist and an early-career clinician-scientist. He attended University of WA for his medical studies, and attained his haematologist qualifications through Fremantle Hospital and Alfred Health. He completed a PhD in the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (Monash University) in 2020 using mouse models to study acute lymphoblastic leukaemia supported by a Leukaemia Foundation scholarship.

Upon returning to Western Australia he has taken up a part-time post-doctoral position in Telethon Kids Institute; his work is focused on using mouse models to identify novel therapies for high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. He manages his research concurrently while also practising as a clinical and laboratory haematologist in SJOG Midland hospital.

Emma FosterDr Emma Foster
Fellows Research Establishment Fellowship ($75,000)
‘Optimising Outcomes for People with New-Onset Seizures’

Dr Emma Foster is a Consultant Neurologist and co-head of the First Seizure Clinic at The Alfred since January 2020. She is also an Early Career Research Fellow at the Central Clinical School, Monash University. She completed her PhD on Optimisation of First Seizure and Epilepsy Management in May 2021.

Her research skills are in epidemiology, public health, and outcomes research. Dr Foster designed and is currently leading multicentre prospective clinical trials to improve the ways in which we deliver healthcare. She is a committee member for the Epilepsy Society of Australia, as well as the Australian and New Zealand Headache Society.

Rebecca GoldsteinDr Rebecca Goldstein
RACP Diabetes Australia Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘Healthy Lifestyle in Pregnancy Project and Metformin in Pregnancy Study’

Dr Rebecca Goldstein is a consultant Endocrinologist at Monash Health and a postdoctoral research at Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) at Monash University. Her research interest is in pregnancy, diabetes and implementation.

Dr Goldstein’s PhD (2021) examined obesity, gestational weight gain and healthy lifestyle in pregnancy. A systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the maternal and infant risks associated with weight gain outside of Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines (JAMA 2017). This affirmed guideline use, influenced national maternity care guidelines, National Public Health and Prevention strategies, and US Prevention task forces. She was involved in the implementation and evaluation of the Healthy Lifestyle in Pregnancy Project for women with obesity informing national and international implementation of pregnancy care models. She was awarded the Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research, Health Services Researcher (2021).

Kate HodgsonDr Kate Hodgson
RACP Research Establishment Fellowship ($25,000)
‘Nasal high-flow prior to cord clamping in preterm infants’

Kate is a neonatologist at the Royal Women’s Hospital and PIPER (Paediatric Infant Perinatal Emergency Retrieval) at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

She has recently completed her PhD through the University of Melbourne. The main component of this was the SHINE trial, using nasal high-flow to support neonatal endotracheal intubation. Her ongoing research interests include improving neonatal intubation safety, exploring alternative methods of airway support in neonates and optimising delivery room stabilisation of preterm infants.

Abdul IhdayhidDr Abdul Ihdayhid
RACP Bayer Australia Medical Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘Development of artificial intelligence guided cardiac auscultation to improve diagnosis of valvular heart disease’

Dr Abdul Ihdayhid is an Academic Cardiologist trained in coronary and structural intervention, including cardiac CT with a consultant appointment at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, Australia. He has an academic appointment at Curtin University as the Research Leader in Cardiovascular Biology.

Dr Ihdayhid completed fellowship training in interventional cardiology at MonashHeart, Melbourne and PhD in coronary physiology and cardiac CT at Monash University. This was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia, St Paul’s Hospital, Canada in advanced cardiac imaging and structural heart intervention.

Prasanti KotagiriDr Prasanti Kotagiri
The Jacquot Research Establishment Fellowship ($90,000)
‘Shared B cell clones in IgA nephropathy’

Dr Prasanti Kotagiri is a Nephrologist and early career researcher with a strong interest in B cell immunology. On completion of her renal specialist training, she undertook a PhD at Cambridge University in Prof Ken Smith’s laboratory. Her work involved studying the immune cell transcriptome and B cell receptor repertoire in auto-immunity, infection and vaccination.

Since relocating to Melbourne, she has continued collaborating with Cambridge university utilising her skills in big data analysis to study the affects the ageing on the immune system. She has been appointed as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne. In addition to her research, she is designing the clinical translation medicine course for second year medical student which aims to help students gain a greater understanding of the contribution of medical research to clinical care. She is also the recipient of a Mckenzie Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Fulbright Future Scholarship.

Jillian LauDr Jillian Lau
RACP Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘AP-IT study: Microbiome Analysis in Patients Receiving Oral and Intravenous Antimicrobial Therapy’

Dr Jillian Lau in an Infectious Diseases Physician based at Monash Health and Alfred Health. She was admitted as a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in January 2017.

Her research interests includes the use and misuse of long-term antibiotics, and HIV/AIDs.

Sarah McGuinnessDr Sarah McGuinness
Cottrell Research Establishment Fellowship ($70,000)
‘Improving travel vaccine communication and uptake with decision aids’

Dr McGuinness is an infectious diseases physician at The Alfred and a Research Fellow at Monash University. She has clinical sub-specialty interests in travel and tropical medicine and leads the Alfred Hospital Travel Medicine Clinic. She is an active member of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM), currently serving as Chair of the ISTM’s Digital Communications Committee.

Dr McGuinness’ research focuses on improving ways to prevent and treat infectious diseases in vulnerable populations, such as travellers and people living in low-resource settings. She has a particular interest in optimising the uptake of interventions that prevent infections (such as improved water supplies and vaccination) using co-design approaches. Her PhD, awarded from Monash University in December 2019, focused on understanding the health effects of water and hygiene interventions in low- and middle-income countries. Her current project focuses on co-designing evidence-based tools to help Australian travellers make better informed decisions about pre-travel vaccines.

Bianca MiddletonDr Bianca Middleton
The Robert Maple-Brown Research Establishment Fellowship ($60,000)
‘Project: ORVAC Stage 2 – Optimising Rotavirus Vaccine in Aboriginal Children’

Bianca Middleton is a Darwin-based paediatrician with a strong research interest in vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases. She recently submitted her PhD entitled ‘Strategies to reduce the burden of gastroenteritis for Aboriginal children’ with a particular focus on improving the real-world effectiveness of oral rotavirus vaccines.

Her post-doctoral work will extend the ORVAC study – Optimising Rotavirus Vaccine in Aboriginal Children, an adaptive clinical trial which seeks to improve and extend the effectiveness of oral rotavirus vaccines by administering an additional or ‘booster’ dose of rotavirus vaccine to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children 6 to < 12 months old, and establish a program of vaccine research at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.

Brendan NolanDr Brendan Nolan
RACP Endocrine Society of Australia Research Establishment Fellowship in Endocrinology ($50,000)
‘Short-term effects of micronised progesterone in transgender individuals: a randomised, placebo-controlled cross-over trial’

Dr Brendan Nolan is an endocrinologist and clinician researcher with primary research interest in transgender health. His PhD examined the safety of gender affirming hormone therapy for transgender individuals and was supported by a RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship and NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship.

Brendan was awarded the Bryan Hudson Clinical Endocrinology Award at the 2022 Endocrine Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting.

Sudarshini RamanathanDr Sudarshini Ramanathan
The Sir Roy McCaughey Research Establishment Fellowship ($60,000)
‘Establishing consensus diagnostic criteria and therapeutic guidelines in antibody-associated demyelination’

Dr Sudarshini Ramanathan is a neurologist and clinician-scientist, with subspecialty expertise in autoimmune neurological disorders. She is a staff specialist neurologist at Concord Hospital in Sydney, where she diagnoses and treats patients with suspected autoimmune neurological conditions. After subspecialising in neurology (FRACP), she completed her PhD in neuroimmunology at the University of Sydney, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford. She has received 14 continuous years of NHMRC fellowship funding, and is currently an NHMRC Investigator Fellow.

She heads the Translational Neuroimmunology Group at the Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, and leads a fundamental science and clinical research program. She aims to improve our understanding of underlying disease pathogenesis to guide therapeutic approaches, and improve the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune neurological disorders including demyelination and encephalitis.

In 2014, Dr Ramanathan established the Australasian MOGAD Study Group, and has since been the lead investigator of this consortium which now includes 150 clinicians from over 45 centres, evaluating over 700 children and adults with MOGAD. Her work has facilitated adoption of laboratory biomarkers into routine clinical use for diagnosis, and the development of diagnostic criteria and therapeutic recommendations in order to reverse disability and improve outcomes.

Brendan SmythDr Brendan Smyth
RACP Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘SEISMIC and RESOLVE – next stages in improving symptom management and cardiovascular outcomes in kidney failure’

Dr Smyth is nephrologist at St George Hospital, Sydney, Australia. He completed his PhD in 2020, investigating randomized controlled trial methods and implementation in haemodialysis. His interests are in improving dialysis care, symptom management, and increasing participation in randomized research in nephrology. He has led the development of the ISN Clinical Trials Toolkit and Global Trials Focus and he is an ISN Emerging Leader for 2022.

He has multiple publications and has contributed textbook chapters, been an associate editor of the journal Kidney Blood Pressure Research, and reviewer for journals including NDT and JASN. He now works as a post-doctoral fellow at the NHRMC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, where he has leadership roles in a number of innovative trials in dialysis.

Janani ThillainadesanDr Janani Thillainadesan
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘Social media enhanced education of junior doctors to improve the care and outcomes of hospitalised older adults’

Dr Janani Thillainadesan is a Staff Specialist Geriatrician at Concord Hospital and Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney. Janani was a recipient of a NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship and her PhD work culminated in the implementation and evaluation of a novel geriatric comanagement model of care for hospitalised older vascular surgery patients that was shown to reduce complications. She was awarded the Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM) 2021 Career Investigator Prize. She completed her PhD in three years (2018-2021) with an output of 10 peer-reviewed publications (3 editorialised).

Her ongoing research is based at the Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA), Concord Hospital. Janani is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research supervision. Her ongoing service contributions include Co-Chair of her hospital’s Human Research Ethics Committee, Associate Editor for Australasian Journal on Ageing, lead of the Hoc Mai Geriatric Medicine education and research collaboration with National Geriatric Hospital, Vietnam and she is a Board Director on a medical charity organisation.

Moe ThuzarDr Moe Thuzar
RACP Australian Diabetes Society Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonism to Counteract Cardiometabolic Adverse Effects of Steroids’

Dr Moe Thuzar (MBBS, FRCP UK, FRACP, PhD) is an Endocrinologist at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and a Research Fellow at the Endocrine Hypertension Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. She has a strong research interest in the Neuroendocrine Regulation of Metabolism and Cardiovascular Health in Humans.

After completing her specialist training and receiving FRACP (Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians), she undertook her PhD study (2014-2018, UQ) investigating the role of adrenal neuroendocrine system in the regulation of human brown adipose tissue and energy metabolism. She is currently pursuing further research in Cardiovascular Endocrinology, in particular, elucidating the role of the mineralocorticoid system in the regulation of cardiometabolic health and its interplay with other systems in humans, and investigating optimal diagnostic strategies r primary aldosteronism.

Melanie WyldDr Melanie Wyld
The Jacquot Research Establishment Fellowship ($90,000)
‘Addressing intersectional sex and gender inequities in kidney transplantation’

Melanie Wyld (B.Econ(Hons) MBBS MBA MPH PhD FRACP) is a transplant nephrologist at Westmead Hospital and senior lecturer at the School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney. She received her PhD ‘Health outcomes and cost-effectiveness in kidney disease’ in 2019 from the University of Sydney.

She is an early-career clinical researcher with research interests in gender and intersectional disparities in access to, and outcomes from, transplantation, as well as health-economics and quality-of-life in kidney disease. She is a member of ANZDATA’s transplant working group, the renal executive committee of NSW governments Agency for Clinical Innovation and the AIHW CKD expert advisory group.

Wayne YauDr Wayne Yau

RACP Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
‘Improving health outcomes of dystonia through genetics’

Dr Wayne Yau is a neurologist and early career researcher in the field of neurogenetics. He completed his medical degree with honours at the University of Western Australia followed by general medical and specialist training in Australia and United Kingdom. He was an Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists (ANZAN) overseas clinical training fellow, also a clinical research fellow at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (2017-2021).

He was awarded his master’s degree in clinical epidemiology from the University of Sydney and his PhD from the University College London in repeat expansions of movement disorders. In 2021, he received the inaugural Nicholas Blair Fellowship from the Movement Disorder Society of Australia and New Zealand. Currently, he is the genomics program lead for movement disorders at the Perron Institute, which is the only Western Australia state referral clinic providing comprehensive multi-disciplinary care to patients with movement disorders. He is also an active member of Rare Disease Genetics and Functional Genomics group at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

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