The Baird Institute is the only dedicated cardiothoracic surgical training and research institute in Australia.

Cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeons helped to establish The Baird Institute in order to foster, fund and promote research in medical undergraduates, graduates, advanced trainees and its own surgeons.

While research is mandatory as part of surgical training, little practical support is offered within general surgical training programs.  The Baird Institute recognised this gap and has worked assiduously to encourage cardiothoracic surgical trainees to participate in clinical and applied research. To assist in this endeavour, scholarships and grants are offered annually by The Baird Institute to trainee cardiothoracic / cardiovascular surgeons or medical students to conduct research in the cardiothoracic or cardiovascular fields. 

Please scroll further down this page for information on the Research Scholarship Program and how to apply. To obtain information on our research grants, go to the “Research Grants” page by clicking on the heading to the left, or click here.

Current Research Scholarship Holders

We currently have three cardiothoracic surgical trainees who are the recipients of a Baird Institute Educational scholarship.  They are all completing an MPhil (surgery). Please find details of their research projects below.

Kei Woldendorp

Listen to Kei talking about his research and the impact it will have on patient outcomes

Kei Woldendorp

I am a registrar in Cardiothoracic surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where I have worked for the past 4 years. I studied at the University of New South Wales as an undergraduate, having received assistance from the Rural Australian Medical Undergraduate Scholarship to move to Sydney from northern NSW. I graduated in 2015 with an MD and BMed.

I have had a keen interest in Cardiothoracic surgery since my medical school years and began my involvement with The Baird Institute in 2012 under the mentorship of Professor Paul Bannon. Since then I have continued my research with The Baird and have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to present several pieces of my work at international conferences and to publish peer reviewed journals.

Since 2016 I have been involved in a Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) at the University of Sydney with a focus on Cardiothoracic surgery. My thesis is on the prevention and treatment (particularly new methods) of stroke after cardiac surgery, which although rare, still presents a devastating complication of undergoing heart surgery. I am particularly focusing on one of the largest modifiable risk factors, atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that commonly occurs after heart surgery. Although it is usually transient and not noticed by patients, it poses a risk of stroke if it persists and can often require blood thinning medications to be taken to lower this stroke risk.

Fortunately, the vast majority of patients who develop atrial fibrillation, revert back to a normal heart rhythm within a few days to a few weeks following surgery. In this setting I am looking at improved ways to manage patients who develop atrial fibrillation, particularly looking at more effective and safer methods to help reduce the risk of stroke associated with this heart rhythm. This year I’ve been fortunate enough to be awarded a generous research scholarship from The Baird Institute which will go a long way to enabling me to attend future research conferences as well as providing assistance for the purchase of necessary research equipment for my thesis.

Mathew Doyle

Listen to Mat talking about his research and the impact it will have on patient outcomes

Mathew Doyle

I am a Cardiothoracic registrar at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. I completed my junior medical training at St George Hospital in Sydney before moving to RPAH.

Prior to studying medicine, I studied exercise physiology and rehabilitation. I have previously worked with cardiac patients in both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings. My experience in cardiac exercise rehabilitation and current cardiothoracic surgical training provides a unique opportunity to bring novel exercise therapies into the acute care setting.

Since starting my training in cardiothoracic surgery, I have observed that many patients, particularly the elderly and frail, are unable to perform standing or waking exercises in the first few days following surgery. This is due to the impact of heart surgery on the body. As a result, patients who are older or physically deconditioned can rapidly lose strength in their leg muscles due to inactivity.

My research involves the development of a new piece of exercise equipment and exercise protocols for patients in the first week after cardiac surgery. We have tested our equipment in a university laboratory setting and validated its performance. We are currently performing research with this new exercise modality with patients in the first few days after major heart surgery. Our research group hopes that this mode of exercise may provide a means of maintaining leg muscle strength for those patients who are unable to walk around the hospital ward post-surgery.

I am very grateful for the scholarship that I have received from The Baird Institute as it will provide support for the construction and refinement of our exercise apparatus required for my research, as well as the purchase of several pieces of monitoring equipment that patients wear when participating in the study.

Charis Tan

Listen to Charis talking about her research and the impact it will have on patient outcomes

Charis Tan

I am a cardiothoracic registrar at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. I graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Hons) and was a recipient of the Ellice Jane Hammond Prize for excellence in student internship. I am a director of Airborne Aid, an international non-profit organisation based in Australia, connecting medical aid with destinations in need through free luggage space. I have presented at international conferences and published in international peer-reviewed journals. In 2019 I was very happy to receive a research grant from The Baird Institute pertaining to the upkeep and integrity of data entry into the ANZSCTS Cardiac database. I have also received a Baird Institute educational scholarship to complete a Masters of Philosophy (Surgery). My thesis is entitled “Optimising Medical and Surgical Treatments of Isolated Tricuspid Regurgitation”.

My research is to retrospectively characterize patients with isolated primary severe Tricuspid Regurgitation, who were identified or referred late (symptomatic right heart failure or right ventricular dysfunction for less than 12 months) and to fully understand the impact of our current management strategy on clinical outcomes with the aim being to improve the existing strategy.

Information for Scholarship Applicants

Each year, the Baird Institute offers scholarships to accredited or non-accredited trainee cardiothoracic surgeons to complete a post-doctoral degree such as an MPhil or a PhD

The scholarships are offered on a competitive basis to Baird Institute researchers based on completion of an application, followed by an interview with Professor Paul Bannon (Chair of The Baird Institute and Head of the Cardiothoracic Department at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital – RPAH)) and another member of the Cardiothoracic Research Department at RPAH.

We strongly encourage applicants to be enrolled at the University of Sydney in an MPhil prior to submitting their application for a scholarship. 

The scholarships are awarded on the recommendation of The Baird Institute Chair and will be administered by The Baird Institute.

Scholarship holders are expected to complete their usual expected reports for the Masters or PhD program at Sydney University (or the university they are attending), copies of which should be forwarded to The Baird Institute.  These are expected to be completed on time and the thesis submitted in accordance with University’s MPhil and Doctoral requirements.

Scholarship holders must meet with their supervisor from The Baird Institute on at least a quarterly basis and complete progress reports when required for The Baird Institute, but at least on a 6-monthly basis. The format of the reports will be determined by the award holder’s supervisor.

From time to time scholarship holders may be required to make presentations regarding the progress of research to the staff and management of one or more of the sponsoring organisations. Scholarship holders may also be required to attend various functions and events at the request of the sponsoring organisation and/or The Baird Institute.

For further information on The Baird Institute Scholarship Program or to apply, please email us by clicking on the red “Contact” button below.

We thank the following sponsoring organisations for their support of our educational research scholarship program

Research at the Baird Institute

Information for Students

The surgeons at The Baird Institute who supervise research students are called ‘Academic Surgeons’. These are surgeons who commit extra time after their clinical practice for this purpose.

They include Prof Paul Bannon, Prof Tristan Yan and Assoc. Prof Chris Cao. Each surgeon has particular interests within cardiothoracic surgery and thus supervise different students based on their project. They all belong to The Baird Institute though, & so all students benefit from the resources, knowledge, and expertise of all the supervisors.

The Baird Institute supervises all levels of research projects of medical students. This includes MD projects, Master of Philosophy (MPhil), & up to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). They also supervise research projects that may be done as part of coursework degrees, such as the Master of Surgery.

The Baird Institute also performs all types of research too. This includes evidence base medicine (systematic reviews, meta-analyses), clinical studies & trials, and lab-based basic science research.

Please visit the Research page to see the specific-interest groups at The Baird Institute. We have a particular focus in:

  • aortic pathology including genetic syndromes
  • valvular disease including bicuspid aortic valve,
  • innovative surgical techniques including minimally invasive surgery, robotics, & off-pump techniques

In addition, The Baird Institute partners with many other research groups in these areas, including the Heart Research Institute, The Centenary Institute, & The ANZAC Institute.

The Baird aims to not just supervise research students, but also to provide mentorship to them. This includes senior surgeons who can discuss career goals, advise in clinical situations, sponsor for applications and constructively critique your work.

We also help students who want to begin a career in academic surgery. There are many reasons for wanting to do this, including the ability to provide the best patient care, to discover and apply new knowledge to surgical problems, to teach trainees & surgeons across the world and to be a part of innovation and change.

Please contact us here to organise a time to meet. Be sure to include your stage of medical school or science.

Past Research Scholarship Holders

Edwards Lifesciences Fellowship

Michael Seco

PhD Candidate

Dr Michael Seco was an Intern at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital from 2015. The award of Edwards Lifesciences fellow enabled him to complete his PhD part-time during medical school and internship. Dr Seco’s PhD project is entitled “Minimising the invasive of cardiac surgery”, and is performed under the supervision of Profs. Michael Vallely, Paul Bannon, & John Fraser (UQ). The aim is to evaluate the safety and clinical outcomes of new, minimally-invasive techniques, especially in elderly or high-risk patients. This includes transcatheter aortic valve replacement, off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting, and robotic techniques.

Some early findings from the project have been published in international peer-reviewed journals and presented at the Annual Scientific Meetings of the Australian & New Zealand Society of Cardiac & Thoracic Surgery.

Medtronic Heart Fellowship

Andrew Sherrah

BSc MBBS (Hons)
PhD Candidate

Dr Andrew Sherrah was a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney and holder of the Baird Institute Medtronic Heart Fellowship. His research interest is in the diagnosis and management of thoracic aortic disease.

He has completed his Bachelor of Science (Physiology) at the University of New South Wales in 2006, and his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery with Honors at the University of Sydney in 2009.

Doctor Sherrah’s current projects include the qualification of myeloperoxidase as a prognostic marker in aortic aneurysm disease and the use of magnetic resonance imaging in the assessment of flow dynamics in aortic dissection. He has presented his research at both national and international scientific conferences. Doctor Sherrah is also a medical student tutor in the Sydney Medical Program, University of Sydney.

Medtronic Heart Fellowship

James Edelman

BSc (Hons) MBBS (Hons)
PhD Candidate

Dr James Edelman was awarded the inaugural Medtronic Heart Fellowship in 2010. At that time, he was a trainee in Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Medtronic Fellowship enabled him to take time away from clinical training to undertake his PhD full-time at the University of Sydney, under the supervision of Associate Professor Michael Vallely and Professor Paul Bannon.

Dr Edelman’s PhD project was entitled Inflammation, Tissue Injury and Thrombosis in Off-pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting. The aim is to better understand thrombotic complications after surgery, and the processes linking injury with inflammation and coagulation. Divided into three parts, the project focuses on 1) novel inflammatory markers and cellular responses that are altered after cardiac surgery, and may contribute to the systemic inflammatory response syndrome; 2) the alterations in coagulation that follow surgery, and may put patients at risk of either post-operative bleeding or thrombosis; and 3) the prevention of neurologic injury in coronary artery bypass grafting by using the ‘an aortic’, off-pump technique.

Some findings from the project have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at the Annual Scientific Meetings of the Australasian Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. James is a Clinical Associate Lecturer at the University of Sydney and regularly teaches students in the Graduate Medical Program at the Sydney Medical School.

St Jude Medical Aortic Disease Fellowship

Hamid Mollahajian

PhD Candidate

Dr Hamid Mollahajian was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to Australia after graduating from Medical School at Tehran University. His passion for surgery started in the early days of medical school, along with a genuine interest in research which led to his participation in research on oesophageal and cervical cancer, two common cancers in Iran, during his internship.

After moving to Australia in 2007, Dr Mollahajian developed an interest in cardiovascular surgery whilst working in the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He participated in research on Routine Use of Noradrenaline in Coronary Surgery, which he presented at the national cardiothoracic meeting.

Dr Mollahajian moved to Sydney after he was awarded the St Jude Medical Fellowship in 2010. This fellowship allowed him to undertake a full-time PhD, researching biocompatibility of vascular grafts, under the supervision of Professor Paul Bannon at the University of Sydney. He also participated in the teaching of medical students at the Central Clinical School, as an Honorary Associate of the University of Sydney.

Slater & Gordon Mesothelioma Fellowship

Tristan Yan

Master of Surgery

Dr Tristan Yan received the inaugural Slater & Gordon Mesothelioma Fellowship in 2008, enabling him to complete his Master of Surgery in 2010.

Dr Tristan Yan is a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Professor of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the Macquarie University Hospital and Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and Sydney Adventist Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

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 a Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Following advanced surgical fellowships in the United States, England, Scotland and Germany, he now specializes in minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery, and minimally invasive thoracic surgery. He has authored or co-authored more than 250 articles and textbook chapters, with an h-index of 41 and approximately 6,700 citations. He is the Chairman of the Collaborative Research (CORE) Group responsible for establishing and organizing the world’s largest multi-institutional Aortic ARCH Registry, consisting of more than 14,000 patients. He is also the founder and the Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery. 

St Jude Medical Medical Scholarship

Michael Byrom

PhD Candidate

Dr Michael Byrom completed his PhD in 2013. He joined The Baird Institute as the St Jude Medical Scholarship holder. He initiated research into the development of new artificial blood vessels for use in vascular bypass surgery such as coronary artery bypass. To date this research has resulted in the development of two entirely new types of blood vessel prosthesis as well as numerous conference presentations, publications, and international patents.

Michael has worked on reviews of bypass conduit failure as well as guidelines for the laboratory assessment of vascular prosthetic blood compatibility assessment.

Christopher Cao


Dr Christopher Cao is a Past Research Fellow at the Baird Institute. Concurrent with his clinical practice in Cardiothoracic Surgery, he had a keen interest in academic research, as demonstrated by more than 80 publications and book chapters, including first authorships in The Lancet, The Lancet Oncology, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Circulation, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Chest, and others. He was the chief investigator in a large number of institutional studies, multi-institutional registries, systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Many of these were achieved in a team environment, where he supervised and trained junior residents and medical students to become proficient with statistical analysis and academic writing.

As the Section Editor for the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery, a Founding Member of the Collaborative Research Group, and a reviewer in more than 20 international journals, he has had extensive experience in surgical academia.

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Ms. Jivani Murugan


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

This content is currently being updated.

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


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


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.”


  • 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


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


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

Further details are available at his Wikipedia entry:

Ms. Michelle Sloane


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


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.