Research within the Discipline of Surgery

The discipline of surgery at the University of Sydney has research interests in all the subspecialties of surgery. Its portfolio of basic science, clinical outcomes research and clinical trials includes general, cardiothoracic, colorectal, vascular, upper GI, head and neck, ENT, neurosurgery, orthopaedic and urology surgery.

Research within the discipline of surgery is organised within the clinical schools.

Further information can be found below. Learn more about the research that is undertaken in this discipline:

Research Students

Students interested in completing a research higher degree (MS by research, MPhil, PhD) can contact the , or Director of Research (A/Prof Manish Patel) or alternatively contact the research lead in one of the Clinical Schools above or the research lead of specific projects.


Research groups within the discipline of surgery have been successful with externally and internally funded grants to facilitate their research. This page will detail grants that are available for surgical research.

Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe) Spotlight

Established in 2002, the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe) is a multidisciplinary, academic research unit of the University of Sydney and the Sydney Local Health District. Our location at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital ideally places us to make collaborative and multi-disciplinary research a reality.

In early 2014, an exciting development within academic surgery took place with the creation of the RPA Institute of Academic Surgery (IAS). Established by SLHD, in partnership with the University of Sydney, the IAS aims to promote academic surgery and promote best surgical practice and patient care through research, education and academic career development for surgeons. Given the synergies between the two departments, SOuRCe is delighted to join the IAS and come under its governance structure. While SOuRCe will continue as a discrete entity and will continue to progress its own research programs and provision of surgical research expertise, membership of the IAS will greatly enhance the breadth and depth of our collaborations and ability to undertake research to improve surgical patients’ care, experience and outcomes.

Our research addresses the full spectrum of evidence-based surgical practice:

  • Surgical trials,
  • Cost effectiveness studies of new surgical interventions,
  • Systematic reviews of the literature,
  • Studies of the actual uptake of research evidence and clinical practice guidelines into surgical practice,
  • Measurement of patient preferences for alternate treatment options and
  • Long term studies of patient outcomes following surgical procedures.

Over the last few years, SOuRCe has developed three major Flagship Programs of Research. Each Flagship comprises a large number of interlinked projects, with contribution from a broad range of investigators and collaborators.

Pelvic Exenteration Research Program

Pelvic exenteration is complex, radical surgery for advanced or recurrent pelvic cancers. RPA is one of only two hospitals in Australia that performs large numbers of this surgery and has evolved over 20 years into an internationally recognised centre of excellence.

Currently, SOuRCe holds the largest database in the world capturing clinical and patient reported outcomes of pelvic exenterations. With over 50 ongoing research projects, SOuRCe has extensively contributed to the development of the current clinical practice.

Peritonectomy Research Program

The Peritonectomy program at RPA is the newest addition to SOuRCe’s research profile, with Cytoreductive Surgery & Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (CRS & HIPEC), performed to treat advanced cancers involving the lining of the abdomen.

The research program started at the beginning of 2017, and will allow detailed analysis and understanding of the outcomes, safety benefits and cost effectiveness of this new surgery. The data collected by SOuRCe will also be used to identify specific patient groups who are more likely to benefit from this highly specialised surgery.

Cancer Care Coordination Research Program

The cancer care pathway is complex, so making sure that patients can make informed decisions and have their supportive needs met leads to better patient outcomes. Established in 2007, the Cancer Care Coordination Research Program (CONNECT) comprises a series of studies aiming to improve care for patients being treated for cancer.

Details of these Flagship Programs and other research projects can be found within the Report as well as on our website

Our research output

Research Output

Total Number

Journal articles published:


Published abstracts





$A16.5 million










MBBS (Hons)



MD Res students



Med students



Contact Details:
Head of Department: Professor Michael Solomon
Deputy Director: Dr Daniel Steffens
Administrative Assistant: Ms Madhu Prasad
Level 9, Building 89, RPAH, Missenden Road, Camperdown NSW 2050
Ph: (02) 9515 3200