Our Team

The SHiQ program builds on the long history of innovative, collaborative research between Respiratory and Sleep Medicine and the Victorian Spinal Cord Service at the Austin Hospital. This team is unique in the world and SHiQ extends those links through new national and international experts. Each collaborator brings substantial expertise to the program, all of the investigators have worked together in the past and SHiQ extends those links into neurotrauma.


Lead Investigators

The late Professor Robert Pierce
Former Professor / Director. Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine. Austin Health and Professor of Respiratory Medicine, University of Melbourne
Rob led this research program until he tragically died in the Victorian bushfires in February 2009. Rob demonstrated clinical and strategic leadership as the Foundation Professor/Director of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at the University of Melbourne / Austin Health. He was the CEO and founder of the Institute for Breathing and Sleep, a successful, independent research unit that has attracted over $4,000,000 in external research funding in its seven years of existence. He had been a Chief Investigator on 25 research grants. Rob had an extensive track record in clinical research in Respiratory and Sleep physiology and medicine over three decades, and his great vision continues to influence the program.
Dr David Berlowitz
Clinical Post-doctoral Fellow Neuromuscular Research Group. Institute for Breathing and Sleep
David is an expert on sleep disorders in spinal injury. He leads the neuromuscular research group within IBAS and has extensive clinical Respiratory Physiotherapy expertise, clinical trial and research team management experience. David has presented nationally and internationally, is a journal peer reviewer, has collaborated with Melbourne, Australian Catholic, Monash and La Trobe Universities and has secured over $1.25 million in grant support over the last 10 years. His unique combination of expertise in research project management, comprehensive health evaluation and his expert clinical knowledge of sleep and breathing disorders in quadriplegia. In addition to his responsibility for the overall research program, David is leading the COSAQ project.

Chief Investigators

Assoc Professor Doug Brown
Director, Victorian Spinal Cord Service, Austin Health
Doug Brown is the Director of the Victorian Spinal Cord Service at Austin Health and is an internationally recognised leader in the field of spinal cord injuries. Through his vision, substantial improvements in treatment of SCI patients have eventuated in Victoria. He has been prominent in research into the consequences of spinal cord injury and in the development of strategies to aid in rehabilitation. Doug has a key role in the program in the clinical aspects of SCI management of the participants and in program governance and strategy.
Professor Don Campbell
Professor of Medicine, Monash University and Head of General Medicine, Monash Medical Centre
Don has expert knowledge of clinical epidemiology, biostatistics and evidence-based medicine as well as clinical respiratory medicine. He is the Head of General Medicine at Monash Medical Centre, and a former Director of The Victorian Respiratory Support Service based at Austin Health. He has expert clinical knowledge of the respiratory disorders of sleep and ventilatory control, and is an experienced clinical epidemiologist and clinical researcher. Don will contribute expert knowledge in research design, and be involved in the production and dissemination of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and other translation activities.
Professor Peter Cistulli
Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of Discipline of Sleep Medicine, University of Sydney
Director, Centre for Sleep Health and Research, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney
Research Leader, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research

Peter is a consultant respiratory and sleep physician with 20 years experience in research on sleep-disordered breathing. His research has a strong clinical focus, and much of the work to date has had direct clinical application and impact. He has expertise in upper airway structure and function as it relates to sleep-disordered breathing, together with strong experience and expertise in novel treatments for obstructive sleep apnoea. He has specific skills in upper airway physiological recording and imaging techniques, as well as expertise in mandibular advancement splints in the treatment of sleep apnoea. Peter is leading the Oral Appliance project, and is also an Associate Investigator for COSAQ, Imaging and Mechanics.
Professor Simon Gandevia
Conjoint Professor, University of New South Wales and Deputy Director Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney
Simon is a clinician scientist with expert knowledge of the neurophysiological mechanisms involved in the control of human movement and respiration. His research and clinical work is directed to understanding the human brain controls muscle performance. Simon has specific skills in clinical neurophysiology as well as expertise in dynamic imaging of the upper airway. He has published a number of influential reviews and has more that fifty articles in the Journal of Physiology. Simon is involved in the SHiQ Imaging project.
Professor Graeme Jackson
Director, Brain Research Institute, Melbourne
Graeme is the deputy director of the Florey Neuroscience Institute and founder and director of the Brain Research Institute, Melbourne. He is internationally recognized as an expert and authority in new MR technologies, particularly in the field of animal and human studies of epilepsy. Graeme's primary interests are in MR imaging technologies applied to the human brain and the neurobiology of epilepsy. Graeme will be involved in the Imaging and other upper airways projects.
Dr Amy S Jordan
C.R. Roper Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science, University of Melbourne
Amy has extensive experience measuring the ventilatory control loop gain and pharyngeal critical closing pressure in healthy individuals and patients with obstructive sleep apnoea and has published widely on these topics. She also has experience measuring and manipulating lung volume during sleep and quantifying the ventilatory and cardiovascular responses to arousal from sleep, having measured these in healthy volunteers and patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. The major scientific discoveries Amy has made relate to understanding gender differences in breathing control which can explain the high male prevalence of snoring and sleep apnea. Amy leads the Upper Airways Mechanics project for SHiQ, and is also involved in the Imaging project. She was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
Dr. Gerard A. Kennedy
Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychology, Victoria University
Dr. Kennedy has expert knowledge of circadian rhythms and melatonin. He is a Senior Psychologist (visiting specialist) in the two largest sleep centres in Melbourne (Austin Health & Southern Health, Monash Medical Centre). He is overseeing the conduct of the melatonin project, will contribute clinical knowledge of the treatment of sleep disorders and provide expert knowledge in research design and statistical analysis.
Professor Meg Morris
Head of the Melbourne School of Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne
Meg is an internationally-renowned expert in physiotherapy, movement rehabilitation and optimizing therapy outcomes, particularly relating to patients with musculoskeletal and neurological impairments and disabilities arising from Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Stroke, MS, Traumatic Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy. Her research interests are in the area of human movement and motor control, predictors and rehabilitation of injuries and injury prevention and management. She is best known for her seminal studies on how the brain controls movement and how physiotherapists and other health professionals can prevent injuries and enhance therapy outcomes by using evidence based practice. Meg has published more than 150 journal articles, books and other works. Meg is leading the SHiQ project team translating research findings to patients, clinicians and the general community.
Dr Fergal J O'Donoghue
Respiratory and Sleep Physician, Austin Health and Senior Fellow, Institute for Breathing and Sleep
Fergal is a physician scientist with a major research interest in disorders of breathing during sleep. He is an active clinician, participating in the care of spinal cord injured patients as a physician in the Victorian Respiratory Support Service, and as Clinical Director of the Austin Health tracheostomy advisory service (TRAMS). Fergal's expertise in lies in upper airway mechanics and in MR imaging. He has been involved in a number of research projects, including examining mechanisms and treatment of sleep hypoventilation in severe COPD, and examining cerebral abnormalities in obstructive sleep apnoea patients using magnetic resonance imaging. Fergal will lead the Imaging project, as well as being involved in the other upper airways projects.

Research Team

Dr Richard Acland
Consultant, Spinal Unit and Pain Management Centre, Burwood Hospital
Rick has a keen interest in ventilation research, stemming from earlier days as an anaesthetist. He has recently been involved in the development of the LifeVent CPAP system in Christchurch, as well as carrying out a number of Phase 3 studies. Rick is also a member of the Medical Council of New Zealand and is involved in the COSAQ Project. He was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
  Professor Stuart Armstrong
Director of Veterans Psychiatry Unit Sleep Clinic, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Melbourne
Stuart Armstrong has expert knowledge of circadian rhythms and melatonin. He is a Senior Psychologist specialising in sleep disorders and will contribute his expertise to the melatonin project. He was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
  Dr Najib Ayas
Associate Professor of Medicine, University British Columbia
Najib has formal training related to clinical trials and epidemiology and has also been involved in National Guideline Development for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnoea in Canada. Najib is the site investigator for the Sleep Program at the University of British Columbia for the COSAQ project. He was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
Dr Maree Barnes
Senior Research Fellow and Sleep Medicine Practitioner, Institute for Breathing and Sleep, Austin Health
Maree has had extensive previous experience in running CPAP and oral appliance treatment studies in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. She is responsible for managing the trial of oral appliance therapy in those quadriplegics with sleep apnea recruited at the Austin site. She was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
Assoc Prof Lynne Bilston
Principal Research Fellow, Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute
Lynne has a background in biomechanical engineering and her research includes how the nervous system responds to mechanical loading and developing novel imaging methods for understanding mechanical properties of body tissues, models of spinal cord injury, and sleep apnoea biomechanics.
  Dr Christopher O'Callaghan
Director, General Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Austin Hospital
Chris has expertise in autonomic neuropathies and disorders of blood pressure control. He is investigating the consequences and treatment of the disrupted control of cardiovascular function in spinal cord injury. To do this he is applying novel methods of continuous cardiovascular monitoring to SCI patients.
Ms Theresa Dang
Research Co-ordinator and Analyst
  Ms Sue Piere-Davies
AHP Consultant -Ventilatory Support NWRSIC, Southport District General Hospital
  Dr Tim Geraghty
Medical Chair, Division of Rehabilitation and Staff Specialist, Queensland Spinal Cord Injuries Service
Tim has expertise in both acute management and rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injuries including management of complications such as sleep apnoea. He is experienced in undertaking research in a wide variety of areas of spinal cord injury and is involved with the COSAQ project. He was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
Dr Andrew Gikas
BDSc
Andrew is a dentist who specialises in oral appliance therapy for snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea. He is currently dental chairperson of the Dental and Orofacial Special Interest Group of the Australasian Sleep Association.
Dr Allison Graham
Consultant Physician in Spinal Cord Injury at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, UK
Alison has extensive practice in the management of secondary complications of SCI. She has active involvement in the audit and effectiveness of spinal cord injury practice and guideline production, and acts as a stakeholder for relevant National Institute of Clinical Excellence UK. She was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
Professor Paul Kennedy
Professor of Clinical Psychology,University of Oxford
Trust Head of Clinical Psychology, National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire Hospital, NHS Trust

Paul has specific clinical responsibilities for the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. He is an active researcher with a broad portfolio of research on adjustment, coping with chronic illness and disabilities and physical rehabilitation.
  Dr Bonsan Bonne Lee
Staff Specialist Prince of Wales Spinal Unit, New South Wales
Bonsan has randomised clinical trial experience and particular skills in survival analysis methodologies, meta-analysis as well as quality of life and utility estimations within this patient population. He is involved in local study design and interface between the clinical and research sites at the Prince of Wales Hospital and the Spinal Medicine Department for COSAQ. He was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
  Ms Karen Marshall
Research Nurse, Burwood Hospital, NZ
  Dr Grace Leong
Staff Specialist, Spinal Cord Injury unit, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney
Mr Martin McClelland
Consultant in Spinal Injuries, Princess Royal Spinal Injuries Centre, Sheffield and Clinical Director of Specialised Rehabilitation for the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation
Martin is a co-opted member of the Governing Council of the Spinal Injuries Association offering advice on issues that relate to the medical management at the Spinal Injuries Centres and acting as liaison between SIA and the British Association of Spinal Cord Injury Specialists (BASCIS). Martin has specialist expertise in the surgery of severe pressure sores and in the surgical management of spasticity. He was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
  Ass Professor David McKenzie
Head, Respiratory medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney
  Mr Duncan Mortimer
Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Economics, Monash University, Melbourne
Duncan has more than ten years experience conducting applied health economics research and economic evaluation. His past research work includes development of a micro-economic model of drug resistant malaria for the World Health Organisation. He is leading the SHiQ Health Economics Project. He was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
  Dr Lianne Neir
Staff Specialist, Spinal Cord Injury unit, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney
Mr Peter D Rochford
Head Scientist, department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Austin Health and Fellow, Institute for Breathing and Sleep
Peter has 25 years experience in respiratory and sleep physiology. He has extensive experience in instrumentation and measurement of respiratory mechanics and physiology during both sleep and wakefulness and is involved in the Mechanics Project. He was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
  Ms Jack Ross
Senior Physiotherapist - Spinal Unit, Austin Health
Ms Rachel Schembri
Research Analyst
Mr Con Skordilis
Research Analyst
Con is a sleep scientist who works with the SHiQ (Sleep Health in Quadriplegia) Research group conducting sleep studies, analysing and reporting sleep data. His area of interests include sleep psychology, neuroscience and signal monitoring.
  Dr Raj Singhal
Consultant Physician, Burwood Hospital, NZ
Dr Jo Spong
Project Manager, Melatonin
Jo has experience in sleep research for people living with quadriplegia and laboratory sleep research. Jo completed a Bachelor of Arts (Psych/Psychophys) and Psychophysiology Honours degree from Swinburne University and a PhD from the Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University.
  Mr Pradeep Thumbikat
Specialist Registrar in Spinal Injuries Rehabilitation at the Princess Royal Spinal Injuries Centre, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield
Pradeeps interests include spinal biomechanics and spasticity management.
  Dr. Andrea Townson
Clinical Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UBC
Andrea is the medical site lead for GF Strong Rehab Centre and an attending physician on the spinal cord injury rehabilitation program at GF Strong Rehab Centre. Her research interests include spinal cord injury, high tetraplegia, ventilator dependency and fatigue.
  Dr Polly Tsai
Rehabilitation Physician, Queensland Spinal Cord Injuries Service
Professor David Pollard White
Professor of Sleep Medicine, Harvard University
David is an international authority on the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnoea. He will have input into the design and interpretation of the experiments which will evaluate respiratory control, upper airway mechanics and function. He was also an Associate Investigator on the grant application.
Ms Vanessa Wilkinson
Research Analyst

Admin Team and PhD Students

Ms Susan Delaney
Program Manager, SHiQ
Susan has extensive change management, project management and industrial engineering experience and has a Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial) degree.
Ms Marnie Graco
Project Manager, COSAQ
Marnie is a Physiotherapist with a Masters of Public Health. She has extensive experience in project management of clinical research trials, and is managing the COSAQ project.
Ms Mariannick LeGuen
Phd Student
Ms Laura Gainche
Phd Student
  Ms Emma Rainbird
Phd Student