Sydney ILP

At Sydney campus A/Professor McLachlan oversees a small research group that focuses on medical and start-up technology including cardiac devices, precision medicine platforms that include community and global health research. We are a friendly, focused group promoting high quality outputs.

  • The team in 2018 will include A/Prof McLachlan and his 2 postdoctoral research fellows including Dr Zakaria who has an MD PhD and is a trained general surgeon, a research interest in cubic membrane structures, mitochondria and cardiovascular function, and Dr Zhou genome specialist with 2 Nature Genetics papers and a background in statistics, metabolic health, telomere length and cancer genetics.
  • In all our team has more than 120 publications in prestige journals including Nature Genetics, Lancet, BMJ Open, Medicine, International Journal of Cardiology, Cell Research, Ann Thorac Cardiovasc Surg, Brain Research etc.
  • Risk - We are strategic and manage our risk and those of students.  Given our broad research experience we are quick to identify projects that will work and not work within an ILP or HONS year. We understand student’s research capabilities – we do not overload students. We are also adept at identifying and removing risk from projects. We ensure all projects have enough back-up data to pivot a project quickly that is not working. 

Our resources and capabilities below:

  • Currently we lead and have collaborations across a number of high profile rural and global health projects. Data sets have been produced. These include data from a number of rural studies and sites including Albury (2000 plus participants – DiSCRi study), Shepparton (1800 participants – Cross Roads Study), Ararat (aim 3000 participants Big Ararat Health Study) and Nepal (3000 participants – the COBIN study).
  • We have academic-industry collaborations with emerging digital health technologies including Samsung in the USA and other start-ups to test and embed these technologies across a rural community to better understand health and physiology. Our aims are via collaboration to produce statistical models to predict health trajectories. We will be collecting sensor data in our Ararat cohort this year that can be shared for supervised ILP and Hons projects. Hence our program provides pathways to collaborate with large scale tech industry in the USA during an ILP or HONS. 
  • Our Australian rural research have focused on cardiovascular health and risk via novel cardiovascular screening technologies including mobile ECGs, blood pressure – an interest in becoming leaders in community based QRS duration and central aortic pressure.  Our genetics focus has been on mitochondrial uncoupling genes – i.e. UCP2 and the fat mass and obesity-associated gene - FTO and its methylation status. We have explored how these genes and metabolic risk factors are associated with gene aging (telomeres) See our publications - Int J Cardiol.2017;228:507-510; Sci Rep. 2016 ;6:33147; Clin Transl Med. 2016 ;5(1):8. 
  • NHMRC grant funded to support commercial development of a self powered cardiac aortic assist device with bench top and clinical testing planned. Team includes industry, engineering, manufacturing and a global network of Cardiac Surgeons.
  • New Projects – for those technologically savvy i) data extraction and analysis for a neurosurgery brain tumor dataset with a focus on the inflammatory micro-environment and ii) digital health start-ups and how they have influenced society – students with a hybrid interest in commerce/medtech – a possible project modelling societal clinical benefit versus commercial “spin”.

Student experience

  • Yes we have supervised ILP, Hons, PhD and Masters Students. 
  • Yes some of my ILP and BSc(med)Hons students have published in Pubmed listed journals – see Clin Transl Med.2016 ;5(1):8
  • One of my HONS students made it to the NSW Health State finals using decision tree models supporting the uptake of hypo-fractionated radiation oncology services for breast cancer on the Mid North Coast. See - J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol.2016 Feb;60(1):146-53.
  • We can also provide outreach supervision to value-add to projects (at other rural campuses) if there is a clear pathway to publication and data sharing.
  • Students are welcome to arrange a time to come and chat to negotiate ILP’s and HONS or a future PhD - email works best.