Veronique is a Research Administrative Assistant with OPUS, working behind the scenes to support the Centre. She completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine with Honours at the University of Melbourne, and spent her research year investigating the lifestyle factors that protect children of parents with obesity from becoming overweight, at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. She hopes to soon publish her findings as she is passionate about children’s and public health.
Veronique splits her time with OPUS between supporting the Centre Manager with various administrative tasks, liaising with the Student Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Association (SOMA), running the OPUS social media accounts and assisting with the SOCRATES data registry and projects in Stream 2.
OTHER KEY ROLES
OPUS Data Linkage, Translation & Engagement, and Education & Training Committees: Member
Student Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Association: Member
PhD, MPH, BBmedSci (Hon)
Tara is a senior physiotherapist currently undertaking a PhD at Curtin University with the OPUS Centre for Research Excellence. She is working to assess the utility of wearable sensors in measuring pain-related disability (movement quality) in patients with knee osteoarthritis that also have lower back pain. She will also explore the association between movement and pain-related beliefs and emotions in individuals with knee OA and examine how movement, beliefs and emotions change over time relative to each other, in individuals with knee OA undergoing a physiotherapy intervention. She hopes to develop an intervention that can target all these factors, to enable better long-term pain and disability outcomes in this population.
Tara also lectures at Curtin Universityand has previously conducted research into knee injuries. Prior to embarking on a career in physiotherapy, Tara was a professional international volleyball player. She captained the Australian Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team before moving to a successful career on the beach including partnering 5 time Olympian and Sydney 2000 Gold Medallist Natalie Cook on the World Beach Tour. She now combines this with her physiotherapy skills to look after the Western Australian Volleyball Teams including their injury prevention and conditioning programs.
Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend Scholarship
Curtin Research Scholarship (CRS)
OTHER KEY ROLES:
Star Physiotherapy Clinic: Senior Physiotherapist
Curtin University: Sessional Academic
BBiomedSc, MD (enrolled)
Siddharth (Sid) is a medical student involved in stream 4 of the OPUS CRE. His research currently focuses on the length of stay for patients undergoing joint replacement surgery. Sid’s specific research interest is investigating the effect reducing length of stay on short- and long-term patient outcomes and their related costs.
His broader research interest also includes patient-related factors that impact outcomes of total joint replacement.
Australian Orthopaedic Association Joint University Scholarship (2019);
James and Betty McCreery Travelling Scholarship (2019)
OTHER KEY ROLES
Student Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Association (SOMA): Treasurer
Mbiostatistics, BMechEng, PhD (enrolled)
Sharmala (Sharm) Thuraisingam is a PhD candidate in the OPUS CRE. She also works as a Biostatistician at the Department of General Practice and research assistant at the Department of Surgery, The University of Melbourne. Sharm’s research is focussed on the development of a prediction model for use in general practice to predict non-response to total knee replacement in patients with osteoarthritis. This model will utilise data from the St Vincent’s Hospital SMART registry and general practice patient data from the Department of General Practice and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
OTHER KEY ROLES
Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne: Biostatistician
Department of Surgery, The University of Melbourne: Research Assistant
BHlthSc (Hon), PhD (enrolled)
Penny O’Brien is a current PhD candidate and qualitative researcher at OPUS. Penny’s PhD explores the impact of osteoarthritis on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, a research area which has received little or no attention in Australia to date. As a novel research field, Penny also aims to investigate and evaluate the process of establishing a program of Aboriginal health research in a non-Aboriginal research group. This aspect of the PhD will explore partnership building, capacity building and culturally secure research methods to inform future research professionals initiating Aboriginal health research. Penny is also employed concurrently by the Department of surgery to coordinate qualitative research projects and to develop and facilitate a qualitative research methods training course. Within this position she hopes to contribute to the development of culturally secure arthritis education resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Penny also represents OPUS graduate researchers as an OPUS Executive committee member and is a foundation member of SOMA, the Student Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Association in which she fulfills a community engagement role.
- O’Brien, P (CIA), Bunzli, S., Dowsey, M., Lin, I. & Choong, P. (2019). St. Vincent’s Health Australia Inclusive Health Fund. The OPUS Community Reference Group for Enhancing Equity, Collaboration and Culturally secure Osteoarthritis Care for Aboriginal Australians. $16,045
- Bunzli, S (CIA)…O’Brien P (AI) (2018). St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne Research
- Endowment Fund. Health-related quality of life in Aboriginal Australians with osteoarthritis. Application 88268. $19,992.
- Gunatillake, T (CIA)…O’Brien P (AI) (2019). St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne Research Endowment Fund. The ‘in-patient’ study: exploring the knowledge and understanding of osteoarthritis in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patients admitted at SVHM. Application 90200. $16,938.
OTHER KEY ROLES
Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne – coordinates qualitative components of a range of projects: Qualitative Trials Coordinator
Student Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Association (SOMA): Community Engagement Officer
BSc Physio (Hon); PhD (enrolled)
Nardia is a clinical physiotherapist completing her PhD at Curtin University with the OPUS Centre for Research Excellence. At OPUS, Nardia is working to gain a better understand of success after TKR, through both better understanding patient satisfaction and exploring the cross-over between satisfaction and patient reported changes in pain and function outcomes. The study combines interviews from 40 people who have undergone a total knee replacement surgery, with data from 500 people from the total knee replacement registry based at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. These data will be compared to create a bigger picture of ‘success’ and potentially inform the variables that influence individuals to having a ‘successful’ total knee replacement.
Research Training Program Stipend scholarship
OTHER KEY ROLES
Curtin University: Research Assistant
Curtin University, School of Physiotherapy: Undergraduate Tutor
MPH; MPharm; PhD (enrolled)
Michelle Tew is a PhD Candidate at the OPUS Centre for Research Excellence and is a Health Economics Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Policy, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. Her research interests include economic evaluation and modelling, health services utilisation, prescription medications and using patient-reported outcomes to guide value-based care.
Her current research project focuses on the health economics of infections in cancer patients and patients undergoing lower limb arthroplasty. Her research aims to maximise the use of longitudinal data to better understand patterns of health outcomes and health service use, and to develop and test economic evaluation methods to provide valuable input and better inform health policy decisions.
OTHER KEY ROLES
Melbourne School Of Population And Global Health: Health Economics Research Fellow
Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC), Department of Health: Member
MPhty, BSc (Phys), PhD (enrolled)
Jay is a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist currently undertaking a PhD in Physiotherapy at Curtin University and the OPUS Centre for Research Excellence. He currently consults on a part time basis, working with people with complex and chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions.
Jay’s studies will explore the use of wireless movement sensors that provide joint angle and muscle activity data for people with knee osteoarthritis. If these sensors are successful in detecting movement, clinicians may be able to use them to assess the movement of their patients outside the clinical environment. He also plans to investigate the role of these sensors in detecting changes in movement after Cognitive Functional Therapy to determine if a change in movement is associated with a change in disability and pain.
OTHER KEY ROLES
Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Association WA: Chair
InTouch Magazine: Clinical Editor
Curtin University, School of Physiotherapy: Postgraduate Tutor/Clinical Supervisor
Dr Jason Trieu
MD, PhD (enrolled)
Total joint replacement surgery is highly effective for end-stage symptomatic osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. In Australia we currently perform more than 100,000 of these procedures each year, but at a cost of greater than $2 billion. Dr Trieu’s PhD research is going to critically examine the fundamental cost basis of performing total joint replacement surgery in Australia to identify areas where we can refine our practices to minimise waste and inefficiencies whilst maintaining the standard of care we provide for our patients, and will attempt to identify relationships between these underlying variables and their relation to long-term patient outcomes on a population level.
Trieu, Jason & Hadden, Alexandra & Sutherland, Alasdair. (2018). Assessment of acetabular version in total hip arthroplasty: an application of Widmer’s technique in a regional setting. ANZ Journal of Surgery. 88. 573-576. 10.1111/ans.14506.
Trieu, Jason & Sinnathamby, Mathuranthakan & Di Bella, Claudia & Pianta, Marcus & Perera, Warren & Slavin, John & Schlicht, Stephen & Choong, Peter. (2015). Biopsy and the diagnostic evaluation of musculoskeletal tumours: Critical but often missed in the 21st century. ANZ journal of surgery. 86. 10.1111/ans.13251.
Trieu, Jason & Schlicht, Stephen & Choong, Peter. (2016). Diagnosing musculoskeletal tumours: How accurate is CT-guided core needle biopsy?. European Journal of Surgical Oncology (EJSO). 42. 10.1016/j.ejso.2016.02.242.
Research Training Program Scholarship
OTHER KEY ROLES
Dr Myles Davaris
MD, BBiomed, PhD (enrolled)
Dr Davaris is a medical doctor pursuing a career in orthopaedic surgery. He is currently undertaking his PhD through St Vincent’s Hospital and The University of Melbourne within the OPUS Research Stream 4. His research interests lie at the nexus of clinical orthopaedics and digital health. He is passionate about exploring how digital technologies can enhance health literacy and improve patient outcomes during the total joint replacement journey.
Davaris M, Wijewickrema S, Zhou Y, Piromchai P, Bailey J, Kennedy G, O’Leary S. The Importance of Automated Real-Time Performance Feedback in Virtual Reality Temporal Bone Surgery Training. InInternational Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education 2019 Jun 25 (pp. 96-109). Springer, Cham.
OTHER KEY ROLES
Student Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Association (SOMA): Founding member and Vice President
BSc, MD-PhD (enrolled), Graduate Diploma in Biostatistics (enrolled)
Daniel Gould is the first MD student to transition to a formal MD-PhD program at the University of Melbourne. He works within Streams 2 and 3 of the OPUS CRE, namely Risk Prediction and Shared Decision-Making, respectively. Specifically, he is working with experienced clinical researchers, qualitative researchers, and artificial intelligence experts to develop a machine learning-enabled risk prediction tool for total knee replacement recipients while also investigating the views of patients and surgeons on the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare.
Daniel’s long-term research goal is to build artificial intelligence systems and embed them in clinical workflow to improve patient care. A key aspect of this research is involving stakeholders and ensuring their input is valued and prioritized throughout the process.
2018 Australian Orthopaedic Association Joint University Scholarship
OTHER KEY ROLES
OPUS Translation and Engagement; OPUS Consumer Engagement; OPUS Data Link; St Vincent’s Surgical Students’ Society: Committee Member
SOMA (Students in Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Academia): President
Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne: Research Assistant
BA, MA, PhD (enrolled)
Cade is a University of Melbourne PhD candidate at the OPUS Centre for Research Excellence. He has previously completed a Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics) and Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy), and is now pursuing pharmaco-epidemiological academic interests.
His PhD project aims to better understand the impact of preoperative opioid use on outcomes following total joint replacement. This project will draw on data from the SMART registry, which has recently been linked to the Australian national prescribing database. To investigate differences in the prevalence of preoperative opioid use between countries, this project will involve ongoing collaboration with members of the Consortium Against the overuse of Opioids in Surgery.
Shadbolt C, Abbott JH, Camacho X, Clarke P, Lohmander LS, Spelman T, Sun EC, Thorlund JB, Zhang Y, Dowsey MM, Choong PF. The Surgeon’s Role in the Opioid Crisis: A Narrative Review and Call to Action. Frontiers in Surgery. 2020;7:4.
McDougall R, Shadbolt C, Gillam L. The practice of balancing in clinical ethics case consultation. Clinical Ethics. 2019. Doi: 10.1177/1477750919897377
McDougall R, Hayes B, Sellars M, Pratt B, Hutchinson A, Tacey M, Detering K, Shadbolt C, Ko D. ‘This is uncharted water for all of us’: challenges anticipated by hospital clinicians when voluntary assisted dying becomes legal in Victoria. Australian Health Review. 2019. doi: 10.1071/AH19108
2020 – 2022 Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship and Stipend