October 5, 2020

Inspired Researchers: Research Week 2020 launches

This week, we mark Research Week 2020 and celebrate our inspired researchers.

The video below tells you more about what inspires our researchers at Northern Health:

Today, we also highlight some of the COVID-19 research we are doing here and the Northern Health researchers seeking urgent answers of COVID-19. Answers that will frame how we provide better care today and in the post-COVID world.

Associate Professor Craig Aboltins, Director of Infectious Diseases, is Northern Health’s Principal Investigator for the Australasian COVID-19 Trial (ASCOT), an international, multi-centre randomised clinical trial to assess the clinical, virological and immunological outcomes in patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19).

Dr Rebecca Jessup, Allied Health Research Lead, is leading a study seeking to answer how health consumers interpret and apply health information during a pandemic. This is already providing insights into how our community, one of the most diverse in Australia, has been getting their information regarding COVID-19.

Mr Russell Hodgson, Research Lead from the Division of Surgery, is Northern Health’s Principal Investigator on two COVID-19 studies. COVID Elective Surgery is contributing data to a national study to determine the underlying risk of asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patients about to undergo elective surgery. This information is being used to inform guidelines regarding elective surgery during this second wave. COVIDSurg is aiming to determine the optimal timing that elective surgery should occur following COVID-19 infection.

Looking after the wellbeing of our staff and community has never been more important. Nicole Carlon, Operations Director of Women’s and Children’s, is evaluating the effectiveness of a telephone-based, peer support group (mother to mother) aimed at supporting women identified as high risk of postnatal depression during the pandemic. Dr Jaclyn Yoong, Palliative Care Physician and Medical Oncologist, is assessing the impact of stress encountered by our staff during the pandemic on mental wellbeing.

Dr Darren Lowen from the Department of Anaesthetics, is Northern Health’s Principal Investigator for intubateCOVID, an international data registry for tracking COVID-19 airway procedures in association with Alfred Health and Monash University and initiated by the NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom.

Associate Professor Lisa Hui, Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist and recent recipient of a NHMRC Medical Research Future Fund Investigator Grant, is leading two studies at Northern. The first is a project prospectively collecting data from pregnant women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. Lisa is also Principal Investigator for CoMaND, a multi-centre collaborative maternity and newborn dashboard to create a timely, powerful, adaptive monitoring system for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our cardiology team has a couple of COVID-19 studies underway. Professor William van Gaal is overseeing a registry aiming to estimate the incidence of in-hospital cardiovascular complications, and Dr Om Narayan is studying the impact of the pandemic on acute coronary syndrome presentations and management.

Vascular Surgeon, Mr Leonard Shan, has initiated two research projects. One on the ‘effect of elective vascular surgery and clinic deferral due to the coronavirus pandemic’ and the other on the ‘impact of COVID-19 on outcomes of elective and urgent vascular surgery’.

Intensivist, Dr David Crosbie, is Northern Health’s Principal Investigator for a Short Period Incidence Study of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SPRINT-SARI). SPRINT-SARI is providing valuable data on patients being cared for within Intensive Care Units, and continues to help shape Australia’s response to the pandemic.

“Despite the challenges that COVID-19 presents, we continue to expand our research portfolio thanks to our extraordinarily dedicated team of inspired researchers,” says Dr Michael Kirk, Director of Medical Services.

“What is most striking about the research occurring at Northern Health is how we are fighting this battle on so many fronts. I am proud of how all our staff at Northern Health continue to devote themselves towards providing outstanding care that is underpinned by research and evaluation”.

For more information on Research Week 2020 please click here.

For the event schedule for Research Week 2020, please click here.