Baird News

Vale – May 2024

Our thoughts are with the families of the following generous supporters of The Baird Institute who have passed away in the last 6 months.  Wishing you all strength and peace at this difficult time.

  • John Nizzari
  • Dick Shaw
  • Dennis Charles

CardioNAD

Centre for Heart Failure & Diseases of the Aorta

Heart failure is a condition where the heart doesn’t pump blood well or does so at the expense of elevated filling pressures.

The major need in heart failure today is for a form of heart failure where the heart becomes stiffer with age, accelerated by being overweight, obese, having high blood pressure, and being pre-diabetic or diabetic. This “stiff” form of heart failure is now the most common form of heart failure in the world. Shockingly, there are almost no therapies for this type of heart failure.

To meet this unmet need, Professor Paul Bannon has designed an innovative research project where a piece of tissue is taken from the heart of these patients at the time of cardiac surgery. Professor John O’Sullivan recently discovered that replenishing a molecule called NAD can completely reverse this type of heart failure in model systems. Now, Professors Bannon and O Sullivan along with Professor Sean Lal, are undertaking the world’s first clinical trial, called CardioNAD, of NAD repletion in this type of heart failure.

In a world-first, some heart tissue is taken from patients who are on the NAD medication to demonstrate how feasible replenishing NAD is using the precursor molecule.

This is an enormous undertaking, addressing a major unmet need.

We have recently published some initial work examining the molecular changes in the tissue of these patients using the same NAD precursors, illustrated below. Now, we will undertake CardioNAD to demonstrate how this approach will work using an oral NAD precursor in heart failure patients.

Clinical Trials Update – May 2024

In this latest update, we are excited to spotlight Lisa Turner and Lorna Beattie. Lisa and Lorna have collectively been managing the Cardiothoracic and Vascular surgery clinical trials for almost 20 years. They both have a nursing background in Cardiothoracic and Vascular surgery including intensive care and post operative management. In the early years they did not expect research to be their area of interest however, with time, they have become incredible advocates for research and thoroughly enjoy their work.

The Cardiothoracic and Vascular surgery departments participate in a combination of local, national and international clinical trials, including device and drug trials, databases and tissue biobanks which cover a range of surgical techniques.

They also participate in providing data to national governing bodies, for example ANZSCTS (Australia and New Zealand Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons). They perform regular audits to ensure adherence to predetermined unit KPI’s and to ensure patient outcome deviations are detected and addressed.

Their collaborative efforts extend beyond the unit, fostering close ties with institutions such as The Baird Institute, The University of Sydney, The Charles Perkins Centre, the Heart Research Institute, and numerous others within the Sydney Local Health District and nationally.

Lisa and Lorna state that their jobs “are the glue that pull all of these many facets of research into a well-oiled research unit comprising of two very intricate surgical departments”. They are also well-regarded senior nurses offering support and education to the multidisciplinary teams.

You will find a comprehensive list of the current Cardiothoracic and Vascular clinical trials that Lisa and Lorna manage here on our Clinical Trials information section of the website.

Research Update – May 2024

Dr Robert Hume

Since I started with the Baird Institute 1.5 years ago, my research accomplishments have grown exponentially. This is only possible through the continuous support of my supervisors and mentors within the Centre for Heart Failure and Diseases of the Aorta – Associate Professor Sean Lal, Professor Paul Bannon and Professor John O’Sullivan. Importantly, all these achievements are only possible with the support of the donors, which help fund our ground-breaking research here at the University of Sydney.

One major project we hope to publish this year, investigates the heart’s natural ability to replace damaged tissue, known as cardiac regeneration. This heart tissue can die following a major event, such as a heart attack (aka myocardial infarction). Our new understanding of how the heart behaves in these circumstances could have major implications for how we treat heart failure.

This image shows dying heart muscle cells (magenta) surrounded by the collagen scar (cyan) that forms following a heart attack.

We have recently begun research into our new degradable artery graft. This artery graft will be used to replace arteries that have been damaged through disease. As arteries are quite flexible, our replacement has been designed to be more elastic than currently available materials, which are too stiff. Additionally, after it has been surgically implanted, the replacement will slowly degrade and will encourage the artery to grow back together. It is through this process that the body will be able to heal itself, replacing damaged arteries, initially with our degradable replacement, followed by a new healthy blood vessel. This new artery graft could revolutionise how we treat artery disease, allowing patients to regrow their own damaged arteries.

I would like to thank all the wonderful supporters of The Baird Institute for helping us undertake such exciting and groundbreaking research.

Save the Date – 28 June 2024

We are thrilled to extend to our valued supporters a warm invitation to our upcoming event where we will provide you with a comprehensive update on the groundbreaking research being conducted at The Baird Institute. Your unwavering support has been instrumental in propelling our mission forward, and we are eager to share the progress made possible by your generosity.

At this event, you will have the opportunity to gain insights into the cutting-edge projects underway, learn about the latest advancements and witness firsthand the impact of your contributions. Our team of dedicated researchers will be on hand to discuss their work and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing you there.

Scholarship & Grants Program

I grew up just outside of Sydney in the Blue Mountains and completed my Bachelor of Science at the University of Sydney, majoring in physiology. My honours year was focused on diabetes, where I spent time investigating the factors involved in the release of insulin. Following my honours year and a subsequent short research scholarship, I worked in a pathology lab for just over a year. Although I enjoyed my time there, I found myself missing science. Fortunately, I had an encounter with Associate Professor Sean Lal, who generously offered me the chance to pursue a master’s degree under his guidance and supervision.

I am in the process of converting from a master’s degree to a PhD and have been extremely fortunate to receive a Baird Institute Scholarship for 2024 and 2025. This amazing opportunity will allow me to conduct important research into the potential key drivers that cause our hearts to age, as well as the relationship between aging and heart failure. Specifically, I will be focusing on a group of factors that might be causing the aged heart to not relax properly, thus impairing its ability to fill with blood. I will also be investigating whether these same factors may promote cardiac regeneration following a heart attack.

Vale Dick Shaw: by Professor Paul Bannon

Only a few of the thousands of patients we see in cardiac surgery become good friends. Dick Shaw was one of those.

Dick faced three major heart surgeries, with each one carrying a greater and greater risk. But Dick’s optimism and love for life and his family drove us to keep trying.

As his family points out, he worked hard, he played hard, but he loved hard as well.

Dick underwent numerous surgeries primarily because the available replacement valves, meant to address heart valve failure, have limited durability. We have no valve that is perfect and unfortunately the valves failed him twice.  With the third surgery, we didn’t get a chance to see if the newer valves were going to last longer, because unfortunately we couldn’t get him through the procedure.

Dick went into the surgery optimistically, as I did, and I very much value his trust in me and the team on that day. Dick was always keen to support the research of the Baird Institute, and one of the key areas happens to be heart valve design. We must keep working to do this better. We must keep working to do this better for Dick.

An Obituary – Richard Norman (Dick) Shaw

Richard Norman (Dick) Shaw’s journey began on August 14, 1941, in Invercargill, South Island, New Zealand. His early years in Bluff, alongside his parents and cherished older sister Robyn, laid the foundation for a life characterised by resilience, passion, and remarkable adventures.

From his days as a Sea Scout, where his love for rugby union first blossomed, to being chosen as hooker for the combined primary school team, Dick’s dedication to the game and his natural camaraderie with teammates became evident early on. Despite facing challenges like dyslexia, his ‘glass half full’ attitude and knack for forging deep friendships endeared him to all who knew him.

Transitioning to Southland Boys High in Invercargill, Dick’s passion for rugby flourished further, leading him to prioritise sport over piano practice and academic pursuits. Joining the Southland High Old Boys Rugby Club marked the beginning of lifelong connections and enduring memories in the world of rugby.

Beyond sports, Dick’s life was a tapestry of adventures and memorable experiences. From organizing turnip sales to funding a new rugby clubhouse to charging for viewing the 1960 Olympics on a scratchy TV, his fundraising skills and zest for life were evident from an early age.

Dick’s thirst for exploration took him across continents, from living on a floating hostel ship in Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound, to embarking on a riotous six-week trip aboard the Southern Cross to Southampton, UK. His travels extended to driving buses for Protea Tours across Europe and India, experiencing the wonders of countries like Afghanistan and relishing the camaraderie of fellow travellers.

He met his beloved wife Georgie during a rugby match in Oslo and built a life cantered on family, friends, and helping others. Dick’s passion for rugby extended beyond games, fostering bonds and coaching successes that touched lives globally. Their shared adventures and deep connection led to a lifetime of cherished memories, culminating in a wedding at the Wayside Chapel in Sydney in early ’71.

Dick’s career in recruiting, fuelled by his genuine interest in people’s stories and his desire to help them achieve their dreams, was marked by success and the formation of lifelong friendships. His commitment to making a difference extended to fundraising for various causes – including The Baird Institute – and nurturing the potential of young people, believing strongly in their ability to shape a better future.

In his retirement years in Narrawallee, Dick found joy in singing with the Glorious Mud Singers, reconnecting with farming, and embracing the camaraderie of golfing communities. His legacy lives on in the countless lives he touched with warmth, generosity, and a zest for life that knew no bounds.

Dick had a deep passion for reading, particularly thrillers and detective stories, showcasing his excellent memory for facts and a knack for remembering names and faces. He possessed a remarkable gift for forming meaningful friendships. Despite facing numerous medical challenges throughout his life, Dick’s genuine interest in people endeared him to everyone he encountered, from cleaners and support staff to nurses and medical teams. Even as he prepared for what would become his final surgery, he was already envisioning his next fundraising effort for The Baird Institute.

Dick passed away after complications post-surgery in December 2023. As we bid farewell to Dick Shaw, we celebrate a life rich in experiences, friendships, and a deep love for embracing life’s adventures to the fullest. His memory will continue to inspire us all.

As Georgie, his wife, said “If I had to sum up Dick Shaw in just a few words I would say he was warm, generous, honest, loving, fun and at times a monumental pain in the butt”.

We will leave you with Dick’s words: “Love many, trust a few but always paddle your own canoe.”

Research Project – Outcomes of Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery in Elderly Patients

The Australian population is rapidly ageing, and the number of patients aged 80 years and older presenting for coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) is expected to increase. Studies investigating the outcomes of CABG in elderly patients are generally from single centres (eg. a particular hospital) and limited by small numbers and a lack of long-term follow up.

Our study aims to overcome these limitations by utilising the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) database to investigate the postoperative outcomes in this cohort of patients. The ANZSCTS database is a binational database that captures operative and postoperative data for all patients undergoing cardiac surgery in Australia and New Zealand.

The database currently collates data from 56 participating sites and will provide a large sample size to permit robust data analysis. This analysis of short and medium-term outcomes will be supplemented via linkage with the National Death Index to examine long-term survival. The overarching aim of this analysis is to explore the impact of cardiac surgery on octogenarians in both the short and long-term, and to identify risk factors that can assist with surgical risk stratification.

Stay in the loop

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Ms. Jivani Murugan

BSocSc

Jivani is a Policy Officer employed at the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW. She is a Criminal Justice graduate from Macquarie University and is passionate about reducing health inequities for all communities. Jivani was born with a congenital heart condition and has had three open heart surgeries since her first at 10 days old. Her most recent, at age 23, introduced her to The Baird Institute and Professor Bannon.

Jivani campaigned for our 2021 Mid-year Appeal to fundraise and spread awareness of cardiothoracic surgery. She is an advocate for heart health and uses her position as a patient to raise awareness in the community and continues to showcase how surgery has saved her life. Jivani has enrolled in a Master of Public Health at Macquarie University commencing in 2023.

Mr. Ross Saunders

Ross is a business leader based in Sydney and originating from the United Kingdom. He currently runs the Australia & New Zealand operation for a global manufacturer with specialisation in business transformation, governance & compliance, program management, and strategic planning.

With particular interest in organisational transformation, Ross has led business and digital transformation programs across several global and national organisations including RS Group plc, Wesfarmers Industrial & Safety and Essentra plc.

Notably, Ross is also a post-operative recipient of valve-sparing aortic root replacement surgery, provided by Prof. Bannon and his team at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney.

Associate Professor Christopher Cao

BSc (Med), MBBS (1st Hon), PhD, FRACS

Associate Professor Christopher Cao is a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Macquarie University Hospital, and Sydney Adventist Hospital.

Christopher graduated with First Class Honours from the University of New South Wales and scored 99/99 in both steps of the United States Medical Licensing Exam. This was followed by a pre-internship at Yale University, USA. After his cardiothoracic surgical training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Sydney, his specialist Fellowship training was completed at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA, the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center. He was then invited to be a Faculty Member in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at New York University Medical Center, where he gained additional experience in minimally invasive cardiac surgery as well as heart and lung transplantation.

Associate Professor Cao has authored or co-authored more than 100 articles in high-impact international scientific journals and textbooks. His PhD with Sydney University was focused on the surgical management of pleural and lung cancers. He is the first author in one of the largest international registries on robotic surgery to date. His clinical interests include minimally invasive and robotic thoracic and cardiac surgery.

Dr Sean Lal

BMedSci(Hons), MBBS(Hons), MPhil(Med), PhD(Med), FRACP

Dr Sean Lal is an Academic in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney and a Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, sub-specialising in heart failure and cardiac MRI. He is also the Chair of the Heart Failure Council for the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Sean completed his undergraduate degree in Medical Science with first class honours at the University of Sydney, receiving full academic scholarship. He pursued his graduate Medical Degree (MBBS) and a Master of Medicine by research (MPhil) at the University of Sydney, where he was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship, the Medical Foundation Scholarship and the University of Sydney Bercovici Medal. As a medical doctor, Sean completed all of his general and specialty clinical training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. During his cardiology training, he was awarded a National Churchill Fellowship to study mechanisms of cardiac regeneration at Harvard Medical School.

Sean has a clinical and research interest in heart failure. For his PhD in this field, he was awarded a combined National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and National Heart Foundation (NHF) Scholarship, as well as the NHMRC and Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) scholarship for research excellence.

He was also awarded a Commonwealth Endeavour Postgraduate Fellowship to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he undertook proof of concept studies demonstrating the intrinsic regenerative capacity of the human heart following myocardial infarction; whilst also gaining clinical experience in acute heart failure management in the cardiac ICU at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Sean is the Director of the Sydney Heart Bank at the University of Sydney, which is one of the largest biorepositories of cryopreserved human heart tissue in the world. He is the Head of the Cardiac Research Laboratory in the School of Medical Sciences at the Charles Perkins Centre, which focuses on basic science and translational research into human heart failure.

Dr Brian Plunkett

Dr Brian Plunkett is an Australian-trained Cardiothoracic Surgeon with a special interest in transcatheter valve procedures and minimally invasive cardiac surgery.

Following the completion of his Royal Australasian College of Surgeons training, he undertook a Mitral Valve Repair fellowship in Edmonton, Canada, followed by dual Harvard Fellowships in Advanced Cardiac Surgery and Transcatheter Structural Heart Procedures.

He was awarded the inaugural Michael Davidson Structural Heart Fellowship by the American Thoracic Surgery Foundation, making him one of only a handful of surgeons formally trained in Transcatheter Structural Heart procedures.

He is the surgical lead of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital transcatheter valve program, supervisor of cardiothoracic surgical training, and surgical director of the ECMO program. Dr. Plunkett’s areas of specialisation include all transcatheter valve procedures (MitraClip, TriClip, TAVI, TMVI, paravalvular leak closure), aortic valve replacement, mitral and tricuspid valve repair, all-arterial coronary bypass surgery, atrial fibrillation surgery, and pacemaker, cardiac defibrillator and resynchronisation device implantation.

He has been involved in several first-in-man procedures since his return from the USA, and is a champion of novel technologies to improve patient safety in cardiac procedures at Sydney Adventist Hospital.

Dr Benjamin Robinson

Mr Benjamin Robinson is an adult cardiothoracic surgeon with a long association with The Baird Institute. Whilst a medical student, he completed honours research with the Baird on outcomes in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer, under the supervision of Professor Brian McCaughan. He was awarded a Baird Institute Fellowship for this work. He subsequently trained in cardiothoracic surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and was the inaugural Baird Institute – Stanford University exchange scholar. Mr Robinson later completed a cardiac surgery clinical fellowship at Bart’s Heart Centre in London. He then worked as a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at St. James’s Hospital in Dublin, before returning to Sydney to take up appointments at Royal Prince Alfred, Concord Repatriation General and Strathfield Private Hospitals.

Mr Robinson has experience in the spectrum of adult cardiac surgery, including coronary, valvular and aortic disease, as well as in general thoracic surgery. He has specific clinical interest in minimal access aortic valve surgery, arterial coronary grafting and aortic surgery. He has completed postgraduate study at Cambridge University and has academic interests in surgical outcomes research and epidemiology.

Professor Tristan Yan

Dr Tristan Yan is the Head of Department of Thoracic Surgery at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. Professor Yan graduated from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) with Bachelor of Science (Medicine), Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. He also completed three postgraduate higher degrees, Master of Surgery (USyd), Doctor of Medicine (UNSW) and Doctor of Philosophy (UNSW). He was trained at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney and then obtained Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Following advanced specialty fellowships in the United States, England, Scotland and Germany, he specializes in minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery, and minimally invasive thoracic surgery.

Professor Tristan Yan is dedicated to surgical innovations. He applies the latest pioneering techniques to minimize surgical trauma and access sites and thus achieves a more rapid and comfortable recovery for his patients. He first completed his general surgical fellowship with Paul Sugarbaker in the United States, one of the most prominent surgeons in the world. He was then closely trained by the pioneer of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, Mr. William Walker, in Edinburgh, where he mastered the technical expertise of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) to perform complex lung resections, such as lobectomy and segmentectomy.

Associate Professor Chris Cao

After completing his medical degree at the University of New South Wales with First Class Honours, Christopher attended his pre-internship at Yale University, USA. He scored 99/99 for his United States Medical Licensing Exam, and completed his Cardiothoracic surgical training in Sydney. Concurrently, Christopher completed his PhD degree with Sydney University, focusing on the surgical management of lung and pleural diseases.

After completing his surgical training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Christopher was invited to a Fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York City, one of the largest cancer centres in the world. This was followed by a Fellowship in New York University, where he was asked to join the Faculty in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. His fellowship was focused on robotic and minimally invasive thoracic surgery, treating lung cancers, mediastinal tumours, mesothelioma, and other lung-related diseases. During his 18-month Fellowship at MSKCC and NYU, Christopher was fortunate to work with some of the leading international surgeons, gaining invaluable clinical and academic experience.

With over 100 publications in international peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, A/Prof Cao has a keen interest in thoracic surgery, particularly the treatment of lung cancers through minimally invasive surgery. He has made more than 50 presentations in international meetings as a Faculty Member in Paris, New York, Edinburgh, Taipei, Sydney, and Guangzhou. Christopher has personally supervised students and residents from Sydney University, University of New South Wales, Cornell University and New York University.

He is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, and works as a Consultant Surgeon at Lifehouse, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital, Sydney Adventist Hospital, and Macquarie University Hospital.

Dr Mike Byrom

Dr Michael Byrom is a modern, innovative cardiothoracic surgeon with training and experience in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Particular areas of expertise include:

  • Truly minimally-invasive surgery to the aortic valve that avoids complete division of the breast bone (hemi-sternotomy, right anterior mini-thoracotomy); allowing faster recovery and return to normal activities
  • Mitral valve repair with excellent repair rates and outcomes – resulting from diverse training in France, Italy, and the United Kingdom
  • Avoidance of the need for anticoagulation through valve selection, valve repair, and surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation
  • Minimally-invasive lung resection, avoiding a large thoracotomy wound and enabling faster recovery and return to normal activities with reduced pain and discomfort
  • Sternal and rib titanium plate fixation of chronic non-united fractures
  • Performing these procedures while minimising risk of complications, allowing Dr Byrom to achieve world-class results for his patients

Dr Matthew Bayfield

Dr Matthew Bayfield is an extremely experienced cardiothoracic surgeon with a broad range of skills and special interests within his field. He has performed more than 6000 heart and lung procedures. Dr Bayfield has hospital appointments at Strathfield Private Hospital, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Concord Hospital. His surgical interests include:

  • Coronary artery surgery: Dr Bayfield is one of Australia’s busiest coronary surgeons; with particular focus on minimal access incisions, and use of in-situ bilateral internal mammary artery grafts for enhanced longevity of the benefit of coronary revascularization.
  • Aortic root and arch surgery: Dr Bayfield has been performing aortic root and arch surgery since 1995, when he completed a Cardiovascular Fellowship at the University of Virginia in the USA. His focus is on o minimal access incisions, short cardiopulmonary bypass times, and for arch surgery antegrade cerebral perfusion with cerebral oxygen saturation monitoring.
  • Surgery for emphysema / CAL: Dr Bayfield was trained in open lung reduction surgery whilst doing a fellowship at the University of Virginia in 1995. Since that time he has developed thoracoscopic techniques for the procedure, and since 2003 been an implanter of endobronchial valves as a minimally invasive alternative to surgery. With over 100 endobronchial valve case experience, and long term follow-up of these patients, he is one of Australia’s most experienced endobronchial valve proceduralist.
  • Correction of pectus defects: Dr Bayfield has a special interest in correction of both pectus and carinatum defects, with techniques including implantation of Nuss bar under video-assisted control, and open radical sternochondroplasty.Lung cancer surgery: Dr Bayfield has been in surgical partnershio with Professor Brian McCaughan since 1996, and was trained by him as a registrar. Prof McCaughan is Australia’s most experienced and prolific lung cancer surgeon, has published widely on many aspects of its treatment, and has been awarded Medal of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to health in respect to his work on malignant mesothelioma.
  • Pacemaker and defibrillator implantation: Dr Bayfield was trained in device implantation as a young surgeon in the 1980’s and has developed skills to ensure that a device can be safely and reliably implanted even in the most difficult case with minimal risk. He was trained in cardiac resynchronzation therapy techniques at the introduction of that technology. He has regular pacemaker and defibrillator implantation lists at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Strathfield Private Hospital, and Concord Hospital.
  • Surgical treatment for ischaemic cardiomyopathy: Dr Bayfield trained in heart and lung transplantation whilst at the University of Virginia. With this skill base he has been able to develop a multi-faceted approach to treat patients whose hearts have been damaged by coronary artery disease (heart attack). These therapies include coronary artery bypass, mitral valve repair, and implantation of CRT defibrillators.

Professor Paul Bannon

Professor Paul Bannon is an adult cardiothoracic surgeon of international standing with clinical appointments at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord and Strathfield Private Hospital. At Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Professor Bannon is the Head of Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Co-Chair of the Institute for Academic Surgery, Director of the Robotic Training Institute and the current President of the Medical Officers Association. At the University of Sydney, he holds the inaugural Professorial Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Bosch Chair of Surgery. He is also the current Head of the Discipline of Surgery for the Sydney Medical School and the Academic Director of the newly opened Translational Research Facility or Hybrid Theatre at the Charles Perkins Centre. He is the Chair of The Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical Research. Professionally he is the Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) and in that role serves on the steering Committee for the ANZSCTS National Cardiac Surgical Database, the National TAVI Accreditation Committee and is the Cardiac Surgical Chair of the Medical Benefits Schedule review program. For the Ministry of Health NSW he has been in the role of Co-Chair of the Cardiac Devices Committee for the Agency of Clinical Innovation.

Professor Bannon graduated from the University of Sydney in 1987, completed a PhD from the same institution in 1998 and was awarded a FRACS (CTh) in 1998. He has a particular passion for translational research in the areas of congenital aortic and mitral valve disease, biomaterials and biocompatibility, limitation of blood product usage in cardiac surgery, the inflammatory response to bypass and the development of academic surgical careers. He has authored or co-authored more than 120 scientific papers, published in peer-reviewed journals. He is co-editor-in-chief of the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery, a Medline listed multimedia journal of cardiothoracic surgery. Professor Bannon has a reputation as the ‘surgeons surgeon’ and has particular expertise in surgery of the aortic root and arch, high-risk re-do surgery, total-arterial coronary artery bypass grafting and surgery for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Professor Richmond W. Jeremy

MB BS PHD FRACP FAHA FESC FCSANZ GAICD

Professor Richmond Jeremy’s medical and cardiology training were at the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

His clinical research career includes a PhD on coronary physiology and a post doctoral research Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore before returning to the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

University of Sydney responsibilities have included service as Associate Dean Sydney, Medical School, Head of Central Clinical School and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Campus Infrastructure and Services.

Professional responsibilities have included service as Editor-in-Chief of Heart Lung and Circulation, membership of Boards on National Heart Foundation (NSW), Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Adult Medicine Division) and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Mr. Shaun Clyne

MA LLM (Syd)

Shaun is a corporate lawyer based in Sydney. He is the Australian Head of the Mergers & Acquisitions practice. He regularly advises on a wide range of corporate and securities law issues for public listed companies including takeovers, schemes of arrangement and capital raisings. He advises on Australian Stock Exchange compliance matters and regularly acts for both bidders and targets in connection with takeover bids and schemes of arrangement (hostile and friendly) for ASX-listed companies.

A leading practitioner in equity capital markets, Shaun has also advised numerous companies on their initial public offerings and capital raisings (rights issues, AREO’s, placements, employee share and options plans).

Shaun has presented at a variety of seminars and conferences and published several papers in his areas of specialisation.

His areas of expertise are mergers and acquisitions, corporate advisory and capital markets.

Ms. Joanne Wade

BEc LLB

Joanne Wade has been a plaintiff lawyer since her admission to the Supreme Court of NSW in 1996 and has worked in asbestos litigation for well over 18 years. Joanne is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law and prides herself on her communication with her clients and, on many occasions, her clients’ families. She understands the importance and need to handle all her cases with the utmost diligence and compassion. Joanne has acted for hundreds of people suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and asbestos related pleural disease. Her clients are everyday people who have worked hard all their lives and deserve justice. Joanne acted for Steven Dunning in his claim against BHP Billiton Limited in the Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW (Dunning vBHP Billiton Limited [2014] NSWDDT 3). Mr Dunning suffered from malignant pleural mesothelioma and in a landmark decision; the court awarded Mr Dunning the highest amount for damages for pain and suffering in NSW. Joanne went on to represent Mr Dunning in the Appeal before the NSW Court ofAppeal where BHP’s appeal was unanimously dismissed (BHPBilliton Limited v Dunning [2015] NSWCA 55). Joanne has also successfully acted for the late Bevan McGrath in his claim against Allianz Australia Insurance Limited, for his condition of asbestos related pleural disease and ensured that case was resolved on a provisional damages basis. Mr McGrath went on to develop mesothelioma, one of only a small number of cases where he then brought a second claim for further damages because his first claim was resolved on a provisional basis. Joanne successfully acted for Mr McGrath in both his claims and the late Mr McGrath successfully received further damages in a judgment by the court (McGrath v Allianz AustraliaInsurance Limited [2011] NSWDDT). The judgement was upheld on appeal (Allianz Australia Insurance Limited v McGrath [2011]NSWCA 153).

“It is with great privilege to work with people suffering from asbestos illnesses, and the greatest satisfaction formed is securing a result for those people to help ease their suffering, and to know their families will be looked after.”Joanne takes great pride in the work Slater and Gordon have undertaken in representing victims of asbestos disease, unions and asbestos support groups, including the work of Ken Fowlie in 2004 who acted for the ACTU and asbestos support groups in negotiations with James Hardie to secure an agreement which will ensure current and future victims of asbestos –related diseases would be fully compensated for years to come.Joanne is a passionate advocate and one thing that separatesJoanne from other lawyers is perspective, with her own father being exposed to asbestos working at Cockatoo IslandDockyard, she is in the unique position of seeing it from both angles.“My clients are generally people who have worked hard all their lives, and are lovely people who deserve justice. I am glad to fight for that justice and to make a difference to their lives.”

Expertise

  • Asbestos Claims
  • Dust Disease Board Appeals
  • Dust Diseases Claims
  • Compensation Claims

Career History

  • Slater and Gordon since 2008 (practice group leader)
  • 2000-2007 Watkins Tapsell (partner)
  • 1996-2000 Watkins Tapsell (lawyer)
  • 1992-1995 NSW Crown Solicitors Office (paralegal clerk)

Professor Clifford F. Hughes

AO MBBS FRACS FACC FACS FCSANZ

Professor Cliff Hughes is President of the International Society for Quality in Health Care. Until March 2015 he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Clinical Excellence Commission, a statutory health corporation established in 2004 to build capacity and design programs to promote and support improvement in quality and safety for health services across NSW. He has been chairman or member of numerous Australian state and federal committees associated with quality, safety and research in clinical practice for health care services. He has held various positions in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, including Senior Examiner in Cardiothoracic Surgery and member of the College Council. In November 2015 the College bestowed upon him the highest award given to a Fellow in his lifetime, the Sir Hugh Devine Medal. He has received awards for his national and international work including an Alumni Award from the University of NSW. He has led five medical teams to China and has performed cardiac surgery in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh. In 1998, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of his contributions and “service to cardiac surgery, international relationships and the community”. In June 2014, the University of NSW conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Science, its peak academic award.

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite

BA, MIR (Hons), MBA, DipLR, PhD, FIML, FCHSM, FFPHRCP (UK), FAcSS (UK), Hon FRACMA, FAHMS

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, BA, MIR (Hons), MBA, DipLR, PhD, FIML, FCHSM, FFPHRCP (UK), FAcSS (UK), Hon FRACMA, FAHMS is Founding Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Director, Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, and Professor of Health Systems Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University. His research examines the changing nature of health systems, attracting funding of more than AUD$131 million (EUR€81.8 million, GBP£70.8 million).

He has contributed over 470 peer-reviewed publications presented at international and national conferences on more than 915 occasions, including 97 keynote addresses. His research appears in journals such as JAMA, British Medical Journal, The Lancet, BMC Medicine, BMJ Quality & Safety, and International Journal for Quality in Health Care. He has received numerous national and international awards for his teaching and research.

He is interested in the Anthropocene and the impact of human activity on human and species’ health, population and climate. He blogs at http://www.jeffreybraithwaite.com/new-blog/.

Further details are available at his Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Braithwaite.

Ms. Michelle Sloane

BA MA MBA CMAHRI MAPsS​

Michelle’s background is in psychology and human resources working for many years in senior executive positions at Westpac, IBM and Unilever. Twenty years ago she established a human resources management consulting practice, Diversity Management, and led that organisation for 16 years. Michelle has worked extensively in the areas of change management, organisational analysis and design, human resource management, program management, stakeholder engagement as well as leadership development and training.

Michelle has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Technology, a Master of Arts (Psychology) from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales. In addition Michelle is a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Michelle has also been a Councillor for the City of Willoughby in Sydney. During her time as Councillor and Deputy Mayor, she has worked tirelessly with the local community advocating across a range of local and state-wide issues. Her interest in local government was developed over many years as a very active volunteer in her local community.

Professor Paul G. Bannon

MBBS PhD FRACS

Professor Paul Bannon is the Chair of The Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical Research, a not-for-profit medical research institute established in 2001, to improve the outcomes and better the lives of those undergoing heart and lung surgery.

He is Head of Department, Cardiothoracic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney and holds the Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Bosch Chair of Surgery, University of Sydney. He has performed over 2500 adult cardiac surgical procedures ranging from coronary artery bypass to complex aortic root and arch reconstructions. He is President of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons and is the Society representative to the Cardiac Surgery National Database. He is the Co-Chair of the Institute of Academic Surgery at RPAH where he also oversees the robotic surgical program. He heads the National MBS Taskforce Review for Cardiac Surgery and has held various positions in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Professor Bannon’s teaching responsibilities are currently to all years of the Graduate Medical Program at Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. He supervises local and international Doctorate, Masters and Honours students as well as international elective students. He is the Co Editor-in-Chief of The Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery and a Director of the CORE Group for International Collaborative Research. Professor Bannon has published widely in books, journals and conference proceedings on cardiothoracic surgery, basic science and evidence based medicine.

He has a particular passion for translational research in the areas of congenital aortic and mitral valve disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, biomaterials and biocompatibility, limitation of blood product usage in cardiac surgery, the inflammatory response to bypass and the development of academic surgical careers. He is a current Chief Investigator on NHMRC and NHF grants for biomaterials and congenital heart disease research as well as a current NHMRC CRE grant on mechanical circulatory support. His role in the CRE is to produce NHMRC Clinical Practice Guidelines and measure their dissemination, adoption and outcomes. He personally oversees more than $500,000 worth of research funding annually. His Department currently runs 16 clinical trials amongst many other laboratory and clinically based projects.