Paediatrics & Child Health
Professor Joerg Mattes is the Chair of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Newcastle, course coordinator for the Women, Children and Adolescent course in the Joint Medical program (MD) at the University of Newcastle and Clinical Director of the Paediatric Lung Function Service in the Northern NSW Child Health Network (Kaleidoscope). Professor Mattes’ research looks at understanding how asthma, allergies and respiratory infections develop and how to prevent them from occurring in early life. As a trained clinician and basic science and clinical researcher, Professor Mattes believes that excellence in research and education promotes self-improving health care. Using state-of-the-art experimental disease models, advanced laboratory and molecular techniques as well as infant and preschooler lung function testing, Professor Mattes is at the cutting edge of research into asthma during pregnancy and early life, allergies including peanut allergies in children and genetic susceptibility and regulation of infection and inflammation in the airways.
Autism spectrum disorder
Occupational Therapist Associate Professor Alison Lane has identified specific sensory subtypes in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder that relate to distinct neural profiles and patterns of challenging behaviour.
Dr Linda Campbell's research focusses on the biopsychosocial influences on social functioning and mental health amongst children vulnerable for psychopathology. Her primary focus is on children with genetic, neuropsychiatric, and neurodevelopmental conditions that affect learning and behaviour.
Dr Adam Collison is a post-doctoral researcher in the Experimental and Translational Respiratory Medicine Group in the School of Medicine and Public Heath. Adam’s PhD thesis focused upon modulating miRNA and TRAIL signalling pathways in the allergic airways as novel treatment strategies for allergic asthma. Since relocating to the new HMRI building Adam has collaborated with several clinicians based at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital on the same campus to explore both the role of TRAIL signalling in eosinophillic oesophagitis and the development of novel biomarker approaches for the detection of food allergy. Adam has a particular interest in the role of asthma exacerbations and rhinovirus infections during pregnancy, microbiome expansion and respiratory viral infections in the first year of life and their relationship to the development of allergy in childhood.
Dr Aniruddh Deshpande is a Paediatric Urological Surgeon at John Hunter Children’s Hospital with research interests in urinary incontinence in children, consumer perspectives and evolving targeted and better treatment and support strategies for medical and social morbidity in rare surgical diseases in children.
Clinical Geneticist, Dr Tracy Dudding-Byth is a physician researcher within the field of rare diseases and intellectual disability. She is currently leading a research team to develop an innovative internationally scalable face-matching clinical tool to reduce time to diagnosis for individuals with a syndromic form of intellectual disability.
Dr Megan Jensen is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (PhD) whose research focuses on randomised controlled nutritional interventions and nutritional assessment in maternal and childhood asthma. Her research areas include a focus on obesity and body composition, having conducted a dietary-induced weight loss trial in children with asthma and characterisation of paediatric obese asthma.
Dr Elizabeth Kepreotes is a postdoctoral Clinical Nurse Consultant investigating high-flow oxygen in the paediatric context, specifically examining the management of infants and young children with acute bronchiolitis and the longer term effects on lung function and neurodevelopment.
Dr Vanessa Murphy is a postdoctoral research scientist investigating the characteristics, mechanisms and consequences of asthma exacerbations during pregnancy and their health impact on both the mother and the baby.
Dr Scott Nightingale is an early career clinician-researcher in paediatric gastroenterology and hepatology. During the past 4.5 years, he has successfully established a tertiary paediatric gastroenterology service at John Hunter Children’s Hospital (the only outside Sydney in NSW). Dr Nightingale collaborates within his own discipline, initiating and facilitating multicentre clinical studies in the areas of epidemiology and outcomes of biliary atresia, enteral nutrition for treatment of paediatric Crohn disease, and acute pancreatitis in children. He has also collaborated across disciplines with a histopathological study of duodenal biopsies in children with eosinophilic oesophagitis and functional dyspepsia.
Professor Schall's career began in Germany as a psychologist with a strong interest in neuroscience. The realisation that neuroscience can help to better understand mental illness motivated him to become a psychiatrist. He earned his academic credentials in Germany by completing a PhD in Neuroscience, a MD in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and a DSc-equivalent (Habilitation) in Biological Psychology & Neuropsychology. He joined the University of Newcastle in 1999 as Senior Lecturer where he developed a successful research program investigating conditions like schizophrenia, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As a clinician he sees patients at the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service of Hunter New England Health and at EDUCARE. Professor Schall is also a member of the Priority Research Centre for Brain & Mental Health at the University of Newcastle.
Immunology and Microbiology
Dr Malcolm Starkey is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Postdoctoral Fellow who is using transgenic animal technology to investigate – and manipulate – the immunological mechanisms underpinning the onset and progression of multiple chronic illnesses.