The Sydney Medical School Nepean is located approximately 50km West of Sydney central business district at the foot of the Blue Mountains in the Nepean Hospital precinct in Penrith.
The school works out of two sights – The Nepean Clinical School Building and across the road on Level 5 South Block, Nepean Hospital.
Teaching within this School is provided by a large number of health care workers including medical staff, nursing staff and other allied health workers, in both hospital and community settings. Our Sub Dean of Education, Dr Louise Cole coordinates the medical student teaching and leads a dedicated university team of education officers. While the University of Sydney Medical Program is the main context for student teaching, medical education continues into the early postgraduate years, and indeed further into the specialist training programs, conducted by the various Colleges.
Medical research is another major part of the Medical School's activities. Many postgraduate research students undertake their training towards a higher degree in the facilities of the School, under the supervision of scientists and clinicians conducting research programs in a wide variety of fields. Research is coordinated by the Sub Dean of Research, Professor Ralph Nanan. The School has dedicated research laboratories and is well supported by the local community through the Nepean Medical Research Foundation.
Nepean Campus has built a well-deserved reputation for innovative educational programs, and a strong emphasis on giving students access to a broad range of clinical and research opportunities.
The administrative team of the School is ready to respond to enquiries, both electronically and in person, and together with the staff of the hospital are keen to help you in any way they can.
- Intensive Care Medicine- There is a strong teaching and research programme in the Department of Intensive Care Medicine. There are both local research studies ranging from genetic microarray in Sepsis to electrocardiography, in addition to engagement in multicentre trials.
- Endocrinology- Thyroid Eye Disease - Professor Jack Wall’s group investigates the pathogenesis of thyroid related eye disease. They carry out basic and clinical research into Graves’ disease, the associated ophthalmopathy, and related thyroid and orbital autoimmune disorders. The main area of research interest has been the eye muscle component of thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy for which he is known internationally which focuses on the autoimmune basis of ophthalmopathy and identifies serum autoantibodies and to recognize the importance of the serum eye muscle antibodies as markers of eye muscle damage.He has extensive collaborations around the world and has developed novel antibody tests for “poppy eyes” that are used as clinical aids by ophthalmologists in this country and overseas. He is Co-Founder of the Thyroid Foundation of Canada, the world’s first public organization for patients with thyroid disorders.
- Gastroenterology & Hepatology- Headed by Assoc. Professor Martin Weltman Epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment of GI disease including research into functional and motility disorders, eosinophilic GI diseases, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and H. pylori. Pelvic floor disorders including constipation and faecal incontinence. Hepatitis B & C epidemiology and multicentre treatment trials. Drug and addiction medicine research.
- Gastrointestinal Surgery- Professor Michael Cox has a keen interest in clinical research into biliary stone disease, provision of acute surgical services and establishing competency based training for post graduate training in surgery. The later interest is a joint venture with Professor John Cartmill at Macquarie University.
- Geriatrics- Associate Professor Gustavo Duque is the Director of the Aging Bone Research Program at Nepean Clinical School. Associate Professor Duque's major research interests include the elucidation of the mechanisms of age-related bone loss. He is also looking at the effect of vitamin D on bone and muscle mass. He has also implemented a new Falls and Fractures clinic at Nepean Hospital where patients are assessed for falls and fractures risk in an holistic manner.
- Haematology- This nationally funded research focuses on leukaemia and related conditions, and has strong collaborations with other groups within the University of Sydney and various national and international sites.
- Neurosurgery- Under Dr Vidyasagar Casikar researches Cerebral Arterio- Venous Malformation, Computational Fluid Dynamic Studies, School of Aerospace, University of Sydney, Chick embryo culture to create vascular defects, Nepean Research Laboratory and High Altitude Medicine - Cerebral Mechanisms in Mountain Sickness.
Neurology- We are involved in clinical research of Movement Disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Dystonia- a progressive most disabling disease together with the Children’s Hospital and the department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Westmead. Another project involves dysexecutive motor syndromes after deep brain lesions. Again with Westmead Hospital one further project investigates higher visual deficits (mainly motion perception deficits) after occipital and parietal brain surgery in patients with epilepsy. Besides research interests in Movement Disorders and Behavioral Neurology,the clinical focus is on acute stroke treatment, neurovascular ultrasound, and neuro-critical care.
- Perinatal Medicine and Gynaecology- This is one of the largest academic groups within Nepean Hospital and includes Professor Michael Peek, Professor Ralph Nanan, Professor Peter Deitz and Associate Professor George Condous. They work in collaboration with other hospital specialists including Professor Ron Benzie and Associate Professor Max Mongelli. The group has interests in maternal medical conditions such as pre-eclampsia and their effects on the fetus, the use of ultrasound both in the prediction of normal delivery and in the assessment of pelvic floor injury and early pregnancy. The group also contributes to a number of national and international randomised controlled trials on various areas in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The group is housed under the Nepean Centre for Perinatal Care which is a University of Sydney Centre dedicated to research and education in perinatal medicine.
- Paediatrics- Headed by Professor Ralph Nanan it includes Dr Tony Liu and Dr Sally Poulton.Paediatrics at Nepean has been strongly supported by the University of Sydney with the recent appointment of a Chair of Paediatrics and has developed a strong link with the Clinical School at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in regards to both teaching and research. Nepean's students are exposed to a broad spectrum of general Paediatrics which is also popular with students from overseas. Paediatrics has built up a strong profile in regards to research with collaborations with the other Disciplines at Nepean as well as with other major research institutions.
- Psychological Medicine- Headed by Professor Vladan Starcevic our research activities and projects: anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, dysphoria, depression and relationship between problem video game use and psychopathology. With increasing research productivity and new University of Sydney appointments to the hospital, it is anticipated the new laboratories will attract talented scientists and academic clinicians to the hospital, enhancing the learning experience of medical students.
- Surgery- Professor Michael Cox our new Professor of Surgery, sees his role as a surgical leader both within and beyond Nepean hospital, to foster clinical research within Nepean, to maintain a strong clinical presence in elective upper GI surgery and acute general surgery and to inspire and mentor students and graduates into the fulfilling and satisfying career offered by surgery and general surgery in particular. Current interests include; Research into complicated biliary stone disease, establishment and improvement of a new model for acute surgical care, training and assessment of surgical trainees, in particular competency based training, improvement of the management of elective surgical conditions in the public sector, surgical management of morbid obesity and changing the surgical paradigm to encourage new graduates into a career in general surgery. He is currently working to establish co-operative links with Universities of Western Sydney and Macquarie.
With increasing research productivity and new University of Sydney appointments to the hospital, it is anticipated the new laboratories will attract talented scientists and academic clinicians to the hospital, enhancing the learning experience of medical students.