Clinical School newsletter

2013 - Issue 3

CHW Clinical School news

Welcome to Professor Peter van Asperen


Welcome to Professor Peter van Asperen, Acting Associate Dean of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Clinical School for the next 12 months. Peter comes to the role with invaluable knowledge and experience in paediatrics, teaching and research.

As Executive Officer I work with the Associate Dean closely. I’ve taken the opportunity to interview Peter so the wider Discipline and I could get to know him better.

Where did you study?
I undertook my undergraduate medical degree at the University of Sydney, graduating in 1974 and also obtained my MD through The University of Sydney in 1987.

Where was your fist job in the health system and what other hospitals have you worked in?
I was an intern at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) within the Professorial Unit. This included a secondment to Lewisham Hospital, where I met my wife, Paula, who is a nurse. When my internship finished, I moved to the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children at Camperdown, where I completed my paediatric training & MD. I then spent four years at Westmead Hospital in the Department of Paediatrics, before returning to the Department of Respiratory Medicine at the Kids Hospital in 1987, becoming Head in 1991. The hospital then moved to Westmead as the New Children’s Hospital at Westmead in 1995.

Why did you decide to specialise in paediatrics and respiratory medicine?
When I was a child I had my own paediatrician, Dr Donald Vickery, who impressed and inspired me to practice in paediatric medicine. During my training I also had the privilege of working with a number of outstanding physicians who became role models for me and pursued paediatric respiratory training under Professor Craig Mellis. During my MD I was also co-supervised by Professor Andrew Kemp.

What are some of your key achievements in respiratory medicine?
As Head of the Respiratory Department for 21 years, I assisted with establishing the first paediatric sleep unit in Australia and the Children’s Chest Research Centre. I have supervised a number of trainees and PhD students who have subsequently become consultant paediatricians and respiratory physicians, many of whom are still at CHW. I have also enjoyed advocating and representing children with respiratory disorders and their families on National & International respiratory organisations such as the Asthma Foundation of NSW where I served as a Board Member for 8 years, including a period as Vice President.

What does your role as Macintosh Professor of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine entail?
The Chair recognises the significant health burden of respiratory diseases in children and assists in fostering excellence of clinical care, research and education, as well as advocacy for children with respiratory disease.

What would you tell medical students?
Have fun playing with children - they are always willing to say what they think and only occasionally bite. Working with children and their families also provides a very rewarding professional medical career.

What interested you about the Associate Dean role and what are your key priorities?
I was at a point in my career where I was looking for a different role. The Associate Dean role will enable me to gain further understanding of Sydney Medical School & the University. One of my key priorities will be to assist in securing a new Douglas Burrows Chair and Associate Dean for the CHW Clinical School. I hope to also provide assistance and guidance in resolving any issues arising in the Clinical School so it continues to maintain the excellent reputation it has achieved due to its outstanding and committed staff.

What are your plans for the future?
Once the Associate Dean year is over, I will continue as Macintosh Professor of Respiratory Medicine, maintaining ongoing teaching, research and advocacy roles for children with respiratory diseases. In my increased spare time I will enjoy watching my grandchildren grow up, pursue my cooking interests, and hopefully see the Sydney Swans, Eastwood Rugby and West Tigers win further grand finals, and a few more Australian cricket & rugby victories.

We thank Professor Louise Baur, A/Professor Russell Dale, A/Professor Rachel Skinner and Dr Nigel Clarke for their assistance with the Associate Dean role over the last 7 months.

Written by Katrina Hoult, Executive Officer, Clinical School, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

Congratulations to Professor Elizabeth Elliott


Congratulations to Professor Elizabeth Elliott, whose critical input has led to the federal government's recently announced $20 million grant to fund research and prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Liz has undertaken extensive research in the area and her data played an important role informing the work of a House of Representatives Committee Inquiry into FASD. The result is a new Commonwealth Action Plan that will focus on FASD research and prevention, tackle alcohol abuse and keep women and children safer.

Speaking at the launch of the plan, Liz said for paediatricians, FASDs are amongst the most frustrating and distressing of all conditions they have to deal with:
"Frustrating, because they are potentially preventable - if only women could avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Distressing, because alcohol consumed during pregnancy is toxic to the rapidly growing brain and other organs.

"The Minister's announcement is most welcome. Prevention is the future and we desperately need the proposed public education, prevention programs and evidence-based treatment for women who are alcohol dependent. We urgently need tools, training and facilities to enable health professionals to diagnose and manage FASD and we particularly need to assist Aboriginal communities."

The Action Plan has five key priority areas:

  • enhancing efforts to prevent FASD in the community
  • secondary prevention targeting women with alcohol dependency
  • better diagnosis and management of FASD
  • targeted measures to prevent and manage FASD within Indigenous communities and families in areas of social disadvantage
  • national coordination, research and workforce support

We also congratulate Liz on the 20 year anniversary of The Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU), which she established in 1993 to address gaps in knowledge about rare conditions of childhood. The unique national data APSU has provided in that time has been invaluable, widely influencing clinical practice and informing advocacy, services, treatments and policy.

Liz’s portrait was featured in last November’s Celebrating Innovators exhibition at Parliament House, Canberra. The exhibition was held by Portrait Artists Australia “to celebrate people who engage in research: inventors, explorers and creative thinkers who are harbingers of change, social reform and cultural shifts.”

International Congress of Pediatrics 2013

Leading child health experts from The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and around the world are meeting in Melbourne to discuss the health of the world’s children and adolescents and share the latest developments in research and medical treatments. The 27th International Congress of Pediatrics 2013 (ICP) is being held in Australia for the first time from 24 to 29 August 2013. More than 130 Australasian and international experts will be presenting on a diverse range of topics from genetics to surgery, infectious diseases to mental health and medical education to the Millennium Development Goals.

ICP2013 is being hosted by the RACP’s Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) on behalf of the International Pediatric Association. Professor Elizabeth Elliott is Chair of the ICP2013 Congress Scientific Program Committee and Dr Hasantha Gunasekera is a member of the Organising Committee.

Liz said rapidly evolving advances in child and adolescent healthcare requires regular interaction between Australian paediatricians and their international colleagues:

“The Congress is a rare opportunity to work collectively with leading thinkers in the field and major international organisations, such as WHO and UNICEF, towards achieving better health outcomes for children globally.

In addressing the theme for this year’s Congress, Bridging the Gaps in Child & Adolescent Health, Liz said:

“We must close the gaps in access to services and health outcomes particularly for our most vulnerable children including indigenous children, those with rare diseases, living in remote settings, dealing with disability or mental health issues or transitioning to adult services.”

ICP2013 will be officially opened by Victorian Health Minister, The Hon David Davis MLC, on Saturday evening, 24 August. Respected paediatrician and RACP Fellow Professor Fiona Stanley AC will give the opening keynote address, where she will discuss the state of health of Australia’s children.


Dean’s Visit to CHW Clinical School

The Dean, Professor Bruce Robinson, recently visited the Clinical School and discussed changes involved in moving Sydney Medical Program from an MBBS to MD. The visit enabled the Clinical School to highlight the work of four academics:

Dr Nicholas Wood has recently been involved in two 2012 NHMRC project grants. The Febrile seizures in young children project is gathering enhanced clinical and epidemiological information on febrile seizures in children aged 0 to 5, their timing in relation to vaccination and long-term (one year) clinical outcome. The Q fever project explores the four major gaps in knowledge about Q fever and its prevention: accurate estimates of burden and risk groups; longevity of immunity following vaccination; knowledge of and attitudes towards the need for vaccination; and risk of vaccine-related adverse events. This will lead to policies for the control of Q fever, which Australia is uniquely placed to do this given it is the only country using the Q fever vaccine.

Dr Philip Britton is the Sydney Medical School Dean’s Fellow in paediatric infectious diseases. He is teaching on the Child and Adolescent Health Specialty Block and the online Masters (M.Med (Paediatrics)) under the supervision of Dr Anne Morris. Phil is involved in setting up prospective surveillance for childhood encephalitis under the supervision of Professor Cheryl Jones. A pilot commenced at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead on 1 May, which will be rolled out nationally in collaboration with the Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) network in 2014. Earlier this year Phil was part of a NSW Ministry of Health committee during an outbreak of Enterovirus 71 neurologic disease.

Dr Karen Scott has been undertaking research into the way medical students, doctors, patients and carers use mobile devices in the hospital setting. Collaborators on this research are: Meg Phelps, Vikki Cheetham and Rachel Skinner from the Clinical School; Arany Nerminathan and Shirley Alexander from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead; and Amanda Harrison from Westmead Hospital. They have found that mobile devices are not being used to their full potential for learning and teaching or information retrieval at the patient bedside. This is generally due to a lack of awareness about the educational uses of mobile devices, as well as concerns about technology, security, ethics and etiquette.

Dr Megan Phelps has been enhancing links with Université Descartes (Paris V) and Hôpital Necker Enfants Malades (Necker Sick Children’s Hospital) in Paris, with which there are a number of staff and research links. Meg has been working with the Office of Global Health to establish student exchanges, electives and an overseas substitute Child and Adolescent Health Specialty Block (CAH). Necker is the oldest paediatric hospital in the world, and despite being in the main part of Paris, has recently undergone a major building restructure. The new research facility, Institut Imagine, opening in December, will have a major genetics focus. The first CAH student will undertake an overseas substitute term at Necker in October.

Clinical teacher profile: Dr Hong Du


Teaching is an important part of the medical profession according to Dr Hong Du, General Medicine Fellow at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. For Hong, teaching both medical students and junior staff is core business. She believes, “teaching and learning are part of a continuum that begins on your first day of medical school and ends when you retire.”

Teaching gives Hong the opportunity to interact with junior staff and medical students, which she finds valuable. She enjoys feeling a buzz when students learn from her. She also finds it satisfying to watch students’ progression during their child and adolescent health block: from being apprehensive about interacting with children to being comfortable talking with families and and examining children.

Hong says she learns from her students, who have the most up to date knowledge about the basic and clinical sciences. She hopes she can encourage junior staff and medical students to teach in their future careers and believes it is important to train them to do so early.

Hong has been working at CHW since 2007, with secondments to other hospitals, such as Darwin. This has given her a broader perspective of health care beyond the tertiary sector. In future she hopes to combine being a clinician and an educator with her interests in policy development and advocacy.

Welcome to Joanne Michel, Student Administration Officer


Welcome to Joanne Michel, who joins The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Clinical School with nearly 20 years of valuable experience in health administration. Joanne joined NSW Health in 1993 and has worked in various administrative and secretarial positions throughout Western Sydney, including Blacktown Hospital, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and more recently Westmead Hospital.

For the past six years Joanne has coordinated Sydney Medical School students doing the stage 3 specialty block Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine (PAAM) at Westmead Clinical School, while also working as the Professorial Secretary in the Department of Psychiatry.

As Student Administration Officer at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Clinical School, Joanne will be responsible for the organisation and day-to-day running of the paediatric teaching program. She will be the first point of contact for our medical students and teaching staff.

We would like to thank Jacquie Kufner for looking after this role over the past two months. We wish Caren Beer well in her new position as Facilities and Administration Officer at Concord Clinical School.

Research news

Researchers focus on childhood diseases

ch dis

Cheryl Jones

The University is talking to some of South America's leading universities about collaborative projects in emerging infectious diseases, including infections that affect newborn children.

Our own Professor Cheryl Jones, a paediatrician and infectious disease specialist, recently visited Chile, Brazil and Argentina to discuss opportunities for collaboration and postgraduate joint research.

A link to the full article can be found here.

Researcher Profile: Professor John Christodoulou AM MB BS PhD FRACP FFSc FRCPA


Prof John Christodoulou is currently the Director of the Western Sydney Genetics Program, and Professor in the Disciplines of Paediatrics and Child Health and Genetic Medicine, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. In April 2013 became the Head of the Discipline of Genetic Medicine.

John is a former Past President (2005-2007) of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia and has served on the NHMRC Principal Committee, the Human Genetics Advisory Committee, since 2009. In 2010 he became a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to human genetics, particularly the metabolic disorders of children, as a researcher and clinician.

He is an internationally renowned expert in Rett syndrome (RTT), as well as in genetic metabolic disorders, including phenylketonuria (PKU) and the mitochondrial respiratory chain (energy production) disorders.

John was recently awarded an NHMRC grant titled “Gene Discovery and Functional Studies to Reveal Mechanisms Underlying Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Disorders” for $368,510. The aim of this grant is to identify genetic causes of mitochondrial respiratory chain disorders using homozygosity mapping, candidate gene screening and whole exome sequencing, as appropriate, in his team’s mitochondrial gene discovery program. In addition, his lab team members have developed a suite of functional and structural studies to examine functional consequences of identified mutations to better understand the pathogenesis of the disorder, and to investigate the effect of mitochondrial biogenesis on phenotypic variability and tissue specific effects of mitochondrial respiratory chain disorders.

In addition there has been a potentially new exciting therapy being developed by the PKU research team. This involves genetically modifying a probiotic to make an enzyme, which they hope will clear dietary phenylalanine from the gut. Such an approach could lead to liberalization (or even better, normalization) of the diet with maintenance of blood phenylalanine in the target range.

Recent Publications:

Ho G, Reichardt J, Christodoulou J. In vitro read-through of PAH nonsense mutations using aminoglycosides: a potential therapy for phenylketonuria. J Inher Metab Dis. 27th March 2013 PMID: 23532445

Lim SC, Friemel M, Marum JE, Tucker EJ, Bruno DL, Riley LG, Christodoulou J, Kirk EP, Boneh A, deGennaro C, Springer M, Mootha VK, Rouault TA, Leimkühler S, Thorburn DR, Compton AG. Mutations in LYRM4, encoding iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis factor ISD11, cause deficiency of multiple respiratory chain complexes. Hum Molec Genet 28th June 2013. PMID: 23814038

Researcher Profile: Dr Nigel Clarke

It is a great time to be a genetics researcher. The field has been turned on its head by recent advances in DNA sequencing and we are in the golden age for disease gene discovery.

As head of the Gene Discovery Team in the Institute for Neuroscience and Muscle Research (INMR), I work with nine other doctors, scientists and students to use genetic and clinical clues to diagnose patients with genetic muscle disease and discover new disease genes. This work was established by Prof Kathryn North, who now heads the Murdoch Institute, and remains a close collaborator.

My clinical training is in Clinical Genetics and I see children and adults with Neurogenetic conditions at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Concord Hospital. The strength of the Gene Discovery Team is our ability to meld expert clinical assessment with the latest genetic techniques and I am privileged to work with four Clinical Geneticists and Neurologists undertaking research degrees with me. Each is applying high-throughput sequencing to improve diagnosis in various patient cohorts, spanning the muscular dystrophies, congenital myopathies (nemaline myopathy, centronuclear myopathy) and even spinal muscular atrophies.

A collaboration with Dr Daniel MacArthur at the Broad Institute, Boston allows us to access one of the leading international centres for high-throughput sequencings. Much of our success is due to the expertise and resources Dr MacArthur brings. Strong collaborations with other neurogenetic centres around the world, including Prof. Nigel Laing in Perth, are another key ingredient.

In the last year we have led or contributed to the identification of three new published disease genes (BICD2, KLHL40 and GMPPB). We have three more disease genes soon to be published and many more candidates look promising. One of our goals is to translate these advances into patient care by devising guidelines for patient diagnosis that take into account high-throughput sequencing and recently discovered disease genes. Involvement with International Standards of Care working parties and Australasian Neuromuscular Network allows advances to be quickly disseminated.

Three members of the Gene Discovery Team are scientists who study how mutations in various genes lead to muscle disease, with the aim of working out how best to treat these conditions. We particularly study mutations that lead to congenital myopathies, with expertise in studies on actin and tropomyosin using patient muscle biopsies and cultured cells.

In my other roles I am Acting Head of the Institute for Neuroscience and Muscle Research, which encompasses five other research teams that span basic research to clinical trials. I also lead a team of Early Career Researcher Subdeans across nine sites in Sydney Medical School and a deputy postgraduate research coordinator in the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Key recent publications of the team:

Oates EC et al.. Mutations in BICD2 cause Dominant Congenital Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. Am J Hum Genet in press.

Gibbs EM, Clarke NF, Rose K, Oates EC, Webster R, Feldman EL, Dowling JJ. Neuromuscular junction abnormalities in DNM2-related centronuclear myopathy. Journal of Molecular Medicine 2013:91(6):727-37 – This study shows that anti-cholinesterase inhibitors can improve muscle function in centronuclear myopathy.

Mokbel N et al. K7del is a common TPM2 gene mutation associated with nemaline myopathy and raised myofiber calcium sensitivity. Brain 2013;136(Pt 2):494-507 – A study that describes the most common mutation in TPM2 and how this leads to muscle disease.


ECR profile: Dr Wendy Gold

Wendy Gold

Wendy Gold is a laboratory Early Career Researcher (ECR) at the Kids Research Institute (KRI) at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. She started working for Professor John Christodoulou in the Metabolic research unit in 2009 after finishing her PhD in 2008. Her main focus is on investigating the pathophysiology of the neurodevelopmental paediatric disorder Rett Syndrome.

Rett Syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder that is predominantly caused by mutations in the Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene. Children with RTT have a normal early developmental period, followed by a period of developmental regression where RTT features start to become evident, including progressive loss of motor abilities, cognitive functioning and communication skills.

Currently our team is investigating two main avenues of potential pathogenesis: mitochondrial dysfunction (and associated oxidative stress) and tubulin hypo-acetylation. We have imported in a Mecp2 knock in RTT mouse model (Mecp2T158A) which recapitulates a number of RTT-like features. At present we are conducting a pre-clinical trial of a potential therapeutic drug in the hope that it can attenuate the phenotypic symptoms of RTT.

RTT affects primarily females, with an incidence of about 1:10,000 female live births, and is considered the most common cause of severe intellectual disability in females after Down syndrome. Treatment for this disorder is symptomatic and to date there is no cure. Wendy’s work in developing therapeutic options for RTT has recently been awarded funding for a pre-clinical mouse trial from the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.

Wendy also has a vested interest in ECR development. She sat on the organising committee for the Sydney Medical School ECR showcase in April and the KRI ECR showcase in May, and is on the Clinical School/KRI ECR Talk and Cheese committee that hosts talks by reputable speakers followed by cheese and wine and the opportunity for networking every two months. Wendy is co-chair of the KRI Researcher laboratory Operations group (RLOG) at KRI and on the ASMR NSW state committee for 2013. Wendy has co-supervised one Master’s student and is currently co-supervising three PhD students.

Medical education research update

DPCH staff have recently published the following journal articles in medical education research:

O'Leary FM, Hokin B, Enright K & Campbell DE (2013) Treatment of a simulated child with anaphylaxis: An in situ two-arm study. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49, 7: 541-547.

Scott KM (2013) Does a university teacher need to change elearning beliefs and practices when using a social networking site? A longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44, 4: 571-580.

Scott KM, Charles AR & Holland AJA (2013) Clinical embryology teaching: Is it relevant anymore? ANZ Journal of Surgery (Online First).

The final journal article listed above is available online while awaiting publication. The following journal article has recently been accepted for publication:

Scott KM, Barrett J, Cheetham V, McCallum Z, Barzi F & Phelps M (in press) Mismatch between medical student expectations and experiences: Student over-entitlement or medical programs needing reform? Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-disciplinary Journal.

A number of DPCH staff presented at this year’s conference of the Australia New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE) from 24 to 27 June in Melbourne. The two oral presentations, and the workshop and poster were respectively:

McGarvey K & O’Leary F. The keys for success: What has made RESUS4KIDS a successful national simulation based program.
Scott KM & Barrett J. Medical teachers’ responses to environmental constraints.
O’Leary F, McGarvey K & Scott KM. ‘Round the table teaching’: A novel method of clinical skills teaching using a simulated learning environment.
Phelps M, Scott KM, Alexander S, Nerminanthan A, Cheetham V, Skinner, R & Harrison A. Tablets: Overdose or opportunity? Mobile devices and learning at the bedside

Student news

Annual Postgraduate Research Student Conference

The annual Postgraduate Research Student Conference was held on 2 August, attended by 160 students, supervisors and researchers. The event showcased the broad research being undertaken at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. The quality of the presentations was excellent and ten students were awarded prizes for presentation excellence.


Prizewinners with Prof Elliott

The keynote address was delivered by Prof Elizabeth Elliott, AM, whose talk “Around the world with paediatric research: 30 years of struggles and success” was inspirational and widely applauded.


This conference is an important event in the postgraduate research calendar and continues to grow at the same time that the quality of the work and presentations continues to impress. Postgraduate research at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead has grown considerably from 62 research students in 2008 to 105 in 2013.

We thank the students, supervisors, chairs and markers involved in the conference, who all ensured a successful event.

Postgraduate research student profile: Hayley Smithers-Sheedy


Hayley Smithers-Sheedy (BAppSc(SpPath) MPH) is a speech pathologist with a Master of Public Health and a long standing interest in disability. Her PhD studies are on cerebral palsy associated with congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) with the Centre for Perinatal Infection Research at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Hayley also works part-time at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute as a Research Officer for the Australian Cerebral Palsy Register (ACPR).

She has recently been awarded the NHMRC Dora Lush Public Health scholarship and a grant from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation.

The main focus points of Hayley’s research include: 1) Analysis of prevalence of cerebral palsy attributed to cCMV reported to state and territory cerebral palsy registers with population level ascertainment; 2) Analysis of clinical and neuroimaging data for a series of children with cerebral palsy and cCMV; and 3) A retrospective analysis of newborn screening cards to test for CMV DNA in a cohort of children with cerebral palsy in NSW.

To date, Hayley’s work has shown that children with cerebral palsy attributed to cCMV are more likely to experience severe disability, including poor functional mobility, severe intellectual impairment, epilepsy and sensory impairments. Hayley recently presented these initial findings at the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases. By better understanding the role and outcome of cCMV infection in this population, Hayley hopes her study will contribute to future work in screening and prevention strategies.

Upcoming seminars and short courses


Clinical School/KRI Early Career Researchers Talk and Cheese seminar: 24 September
The Clinical School and KRI are hosting the next Early Career Researchers (ECR) Talk and Cheese seminar on Tuesday 24 September 2013 from 5 to 6.30pm. Julie Leask and Cameron Webb will be presenting: ‘Social media for early career researchers – is it worth the time?’

The Early Career Researchers ‘Talk and Cheese’ seminar series has been developed to address ECR education needs identified in the recent Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health ECR research study. Seminars address key topics that are relevant for all ECRs, including those with clinical, basic-science and public health interests. The seminars provide an opportunity to meet other ECRs and strengthen ties within the ECR community over wine and cheese. The target audience is all ECRs who are in the first 10 years post-PhD but we invite all interested senior researchers and final-stage PhD students as well.

Seminars are held every two months on a Tuesday night from 5 to 6pm in the large conference room of the Kids Research Institute (KRI) Research Building at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. This is followed by wine and cheese in the Research Café from 6 to 6.30. For more details, contact .

Sydney Teaching Colloquium on Blended Learning for Engaged Enquiry: 2 and 3 October
Technology is changing and shaping higher education curricula, learning and teaching. Students expect technology-rich collaborative learning spaces; content is user-generated, mobile and increasingly flexible; and MOOCS remain an ambitious experiment watched by everyone concerned with quality, cost efficiencies and effectiveness. How might the University of Sydney navigate this new curriculum landscape to deliver on the promise of Engaged Enquiry learning experiences?

The third Sydney Teaching Colloquium on Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 October is an occasion to participate in two days of thoughtful conversation about the different ways these new technology-rich and blended learning environments can help to progress our commitment to Engaged Enquiry as the signature learning experience at Sydney. View the program and [[||register].

e-Health & m-Health Showcase and Roundtable: 6 November
The Charles Perkins Centre is dedicated to supporting multidisciplinary research and bringing together outstanding academics and practitioners to collaborate and forge innovative research partnerships. The showcase and roundtable is intended as a networking and learning opportunity for staff and students from across the University with interests in health, medicine and technologies that could be applied to digital and mobile health outcomes.

The day will provide opportunities for researchers to:

  • find out who is doing what at the University in the area of e-Health and m-Health and it’s various other names (telehealth, digital health, health 2.0, medicine 2.0)
  • showcase developments such as apps, websites, software and devices
  • interact with and find new collaborators
  • organise researchers to prepare grant and funding applications
  • find out more about the Charles Perkins Centre and how to establish a project node.
  • Date: Wednesday 6 November
    Location: Faculty of Health Sciences Cumberland Campus
    Venue: E101 and Foyer
    Further information: Amber Colhoun, Research and Project Officer
    T 9351 3557; W

Postgraduate research students and supervisors
Postgraduate research students and their supervisors are invited to attend the following seminars:

  • Managing supervisor relationships, effective communication and conflict prevention - Tuesday 5 November 2013
  • Getting the ticket: strategies & tips for having your thesis passed with the minimum of fuss! - Friday 29 November 2013

For information on venues and times, see the postgrad student website or .

Statistics support
Liz Barnes provides biostatistics support to researchers at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. For an appointment, contact Janelle Bowden on 9845 2358 or .

Qualitative research group
The qualitative research group meets throughout the year at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. For more details, contact .

Grants, Achievements, Promotions and Titles

Grants, Appointments & titles


A/Prof. Russell Dale & Dr Fabienne Brilot-Turville. Tourette Syndrome Association Inc. (US): Cross-sectional Study of Dopamine-2 Receptor Antibodies in Patients with Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive-compulsive Disorder. Total awarded $75,000.

Prof. Cheryl Jones. Cerebral Palsy Foundation. What is the profile and burden of cerebral palsy due to congenital CMV infection in Australia – population based molecular testing for CMV on stored newborn screening cards from children on the NSW CP Register. Total awarded $30,000.

Dr Patrina Caldwell. Financial Markets Founds for Children. eADVICE (electronic Advice and Diagnosis Via the Internet following Computerised Evaluation): Interactive e-Health tools for shared health management between patients, general practitioners and specialists. Total awarded $160,000.

New titles

Arany Nerminathan – Clinical Associate Lecturer
Geshani Jayasuriya - Clinical Associate Lecturer
Kirsty Stewart – Clinical Associate Lecturer
John Earl – Principal Research Fellow
Kannan Kallapiran - Clinical Lecturer
Madhusudan Ganigara - Clinical Lecturer
Atul Prabhu - Clinical Associate Lecturer
Carla Evans – Research Fellow
Peter Procopis – Adjunct Professor
Tarun Singh – Clinical Associate Lecturer
Arany Nerminathan - Clinical Associate Lecturer


Upcoming conferences and meetings


27th International Pediatric Association (IPA) Congress of Pediatrics: Melbourne - 24-29/08/2013 further information

13th ISPCAN European Regional Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect: Dublin - 15-18/09/2013
more information.

European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP): France - 19-22/09/2013 more information.
International Physician Assessment Coalition Annual Conference: New Zealand - 30/09-2/10/2013. More information

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2013 Conference: Melbourne - 9-12/10/2013
The Conference entitled “Snakes and Ladders” reflects the profound “ups and downs” experienced by the children and families encountered in professional work. more information

Infant and Early Childhood Social and Emotional Wellbeing conference: Canberra - 30/10-2/11/2013 more information.

Annual Nepean Scientific Day 2013, Friday 8/11/2013
Online abstract submission closes 31st August 2013
For further information please contact Or visit the website

7th Annual Australian Paediatric Society Diabetes Workshop: Melbourne - 8-9/11/2013
The 7th Annual Australian Paediatric Society Diabetes Workshop will be held in the Yarra Valley at the Sebel Heritage on Friday, 8 November and Saturday, 9 November 2013 a few days after the Melbourne Cup. This practical diabetes workshop is targeted at regional paediatricians and their diabetes teams and has grown enormously in numbers and popularity. Paediatric trainees, including endocrine trainees are very welcome. Presentations will be on new devices, therapies and strategies and will include the opportunity for oral and poster presentations. SAVE THE DATE!!

8th World Congress of the World Society for Pediatric Infectious Disease (WSPID): South Africa - 19-22/11/2013 more information

Commonwealth Association of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2013
Further information. Submit your best research to present at the unique event via email to


4th Annual Winter Symposium in Intensive Care & Emergency Medicine: Colorado - 5-10/01/2014
Contact: or visit the website