RESEARCHER PROFILE

Health and economic burden of interstitial lung diseases

Dr Cox’s main research interests focus on respiratory diseases and primarily on the economic burden and economic evaluation of interventions and treatments for their management. She earned her PhD from the University of Tasmania where her doctoral research examined the health and economic burden of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in Australia, one component of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence for Pulmonary Fibrosis, a national project implemented alongside the Australian IPF Registry and the Lung Foundation Australia. This research provided the first epidemiological profile and first costing estimates of the economic burden of the disease in Australia, providing essential evidence for health service reimbursement policies.

Benefits of prehabilitation ahead of surgery

Dr Matthew Wallen PhD, AES, AEP is a Senior Research Fellow in Cancer Survivorship, the Deputy Lead of the Cancer Survivorship Program, and a Senior Lecturer in Exercise Science and Clinical Exercise Physiology within the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University, in South Australia. His clinical interest focuses on improving outcomes for people requiring major surgery, specifically (1) lifestyle interventions, including exercise, nutritional, and psychological support to improve the health and wellbeing of people prior to surgery, termed ‘prehabilitation’, (2) novel physical function assessments aimed at identifying people at risk of treatment-related complications, and (3) implementation of new models of care in cancer.

Exercise therapy for metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease

Dr Shelley Keating is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Exercise Physiology and Accredited Exercise Physiologist from the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Queensland. With a strong grounding in exercise metabolism and body composition, Dr Keating’s research centres on the utility of exercise as a therapy for obesity and related cardiometabolic conditions, notably metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD).

Iodine in pregnancy on baby brain and nervous system development

Dr Karen Best is Senior Research Fellow in the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) Women and Kids Theme. She is a Registered Midwife with a unique breadth of experience in clinical project management, academic skills and knowledge translation and is committed to better understanding the essential role that modifiable exposures in pregnancy play in setting the foundations for a healthy start to life.

Health impacts of donor milk for pre-term babies

Professor Alice Rumbold is Theme Leader of SAHMRI Women and Kids, managing a multidisciplinary research team focussed on improving health outcomes for women, babies and families. She also holds an affiliate position as a Research Leader within the Robinson Research Institute at the University of Adelaide.

An epidemiologist and health services researcher, she is internationally renowned for her leadership of large-scale clinical trials, epidemiological studies and systematic review activities to improve perinatal and reproductive health care. She is passionate about improving health outcomes for women and babies, particularly those experiencing vulnerability. Her current research interests include preterm birth, breastfeeding, human milk banking and infertility

Novel silk-based biomaterials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Dr Jelena Rnjak-Kovacina is a Scientia Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow leading a multidisciplinary group at the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, UNSW Sydney in Australia.

Her research interests are at the interface of biology and engineering, focusing on the development of biomimetic materials that direct cellular interactions for enhanced vascularisation and for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. In particular, she develops novel silk-based biomaterials and investigates how biomaterial properties translate to biological outcomes.

Applying nanotechnology to chronic pain management

Dr Felicity Han is a Research Fellow and Leader in Pain Relief Innovation, at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in the University of Queensland. Dr Han’s research interests sit at the interface of drug delivery and the pain field. Her overarching research goal is to improve the quality of day to day life of patients suffering from chronic pain, by applying nanotechnology to the development of novel highly effective pain-killer products for improving chronic pain management.

Precision and personalised nutrition

Laureate Professor Clare Collins is helping people access effective medical nutrition therapies that significantly reduce their risk of chronic disease. She and her team are developing innovative technologies, including apps and online programmes.

Personalised approaches to lung therapy

Dr. Adams’ research focus is on lung cancer, which is the deadliest of all cancers worldwide. He is working towards developing personalised approaches to pinpoint a therapy that is going to be most effective for the person with that disease. Dr. Adams’ research is focusing on chemotherapy and targeted therapy, and he is trying to identify upfront which of those tumours are likely to be resistant to the therapy. He then identifies strategies that will resensitize or increase the sensitivity of the tumour to the standard of care that is targeted therapy or chemotherapy.

Anaemia guidelines updated after 50 years

Professor Sant-Rayn Pasricha is the Acting Deputy Director at the Walter Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. He is also a clinical haematologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. From a young age, Prof Pasricha dreamed of becoming a doctor and found joy in learning about the human body and how to care for patients. After completing medical school, he developed a passion for working in low and middle-income countries, which led him to spend time working in East Timor, India, and Central Australia with First Nations communities.

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