Congratulations to our Australia Day Honours recipients
3 February 2009
The Faculty of Medicine warmly congratulates its staff members and alumni who were included in the 2009 Australia Day Honours list.
Professor Colin Sullivan (MBBS 1970) is Head of the David Read Sleep Laboratory. He was awarded the Officer (AO) in the General Division “for service to medicine as an innovator in the field of sleep disorders and the development of equipment and treatment practices”.
As a young medical researcher and clinician at the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Professor Colin Sullivan invented a revolutionary treatment method for the life-threatening condition Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). The method, called Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (Nasal CPAP), consists of a nasal mask attached to an air pump by means of an open respiratory circuit. Used during sleep, this maintains a slightly positive air pressure in the airway, while allowing the patient to breathe normally.
Since its 1980 invention, the treatment has been successfully used by millions of people worldwide. Nasal CPAP users experience an immediate benefit to their brain function with a return to a wakeful, energetic life, with a marked reduction in the adverse vascular events caused by untreated OSA, such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
Nasal CPAP has played a central role in the opening of a new branch of clinical medicine, Sleep Medicine. The invention also led to the establishment of thousands of sleep clinics and diagnostic laboratories.
In 1989, Professor Sullivan, along with Dr Peter Farrell, formed a company called ResCare (subsequently renamed ResMed).It entered the US market and quickly became the second-largest Nasal CPAP company globally.
Professor Sullivan's other important contributions include his pioneering use of masks with an open circuit method to provide assisted ventilation in sleep, and the invention in 1990 of the "self-sealing" or "bubble" mask, which increases the patient's comfort and their willingness to use the Nasal CPAP.
Member (AM) in the General Division recipients
Dr Malcolm Borland (MBBS 1969) was awarded “for service to the community, particularly through the Australian Foundation for Disability, and to local government in the Penrith area”.
Clinical Professor Phillip Harris (MBBS 1973) is Head of the Department of Cardiology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and was awarded “for service to medicine in the field of cardiology as a clinician, administrator and educator, through contributions to professional organisations, and to the community”.
Clinical Associate Professor Stephen Lee (MBBS 1974) was awarded “for service to medicine in the field of dermatology as a clinician, mentor and educator and through roles with professional organisations”. His research interests include melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, skin problems in diabetes and connective tissue diseases.
Dr Michael Mann is on the Board of the Hoc Mai Foundation and was awarded “for service to international relations through the development and provision of tertiary education opportunities in Vietnam, to educational reform, and as a contributor to philanthropic and humanitarian projects in the East Asia region”.
Clinical Associate Professor Brian McCaughan (MBBS 1975) was awarded “for service to medicine in the field of cardiothoracic surgery as a clinician, researcher and educator and through contributions to the delivery of health care services”. Based at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, he is recognised for his expertise in the management of lung cancers and well known for his involvement in professional matters and for contributions to the improvement of health services in NSW. Since becoming a fellow in 1982, he has held a number of positions with the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, including serving as Chair of the NSW State Committee. He has held positions in a number of key NSW health committees, including membership of the Ministerial Advisory Committee of Quality in Health Care, and Chair of the Sustainable Access Health Priority Taskforce. His international experience includes fellowships in the United States at the Mayo Clinic and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York.
Dr Susan Rutkowski (MBBS 1970) is Director of the Spinal Cord Injuries Unit at Royal North Shore Hospital. She was awarded “for service to medicine in the area of spinal cord rehabilitation as a clinician, mentor and researcher, and through contributions to advocacy groups and charitable organisations”.
Medal (OAM) in the General Division recipients
Adjunct Professor David Cody (MBBS 1965) was awarded “for service to medicine, particularly in the fields of cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation”.
Dr Bernard Cormie (MBBS 1968) was awarded “for service to the community as a general practitioner and through student support programs”.
Dr Franciscus Junius (MBBS 1965) was awarded “for service to medicine through research and clinical innovations in the use of the heart-lung machine and the improved outcome for patients”.
Dr Malcolm Stening (MBBS 1936) was awarded “for service to medicine as a gynaecological surgeon, and to the community through the recording of naval history”.
Dr Harold Thurlow (MBBS 1952) was awarded “for service to the community as a general practitioner and volunteer medical officer with a range of sporting organisations”.