The Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management has a proud history of quality research. All aspects of clinical research are encompassed, from the small projects of medical students to our design of, and participation in, major international multicentre trials.

The department was a significant contributor to the POISE study of perioperative beta-blocker use, POISE2 study of pre-operative use of Aspirin and Clonidine use, the ENIGMA trial of nitrous oxide in anaesthesia and a driving force of the B-Aware trial of intraoperative BIS monitoring.

Anaesthesia and Pain Management has a departmental laboratory, staffed by a full-time scientist, where it is able to perform drug assays and also muscle biopsy testing for malignant hyperthermia.

Professor Kate Leslie Head of Research
A/Prof  Andrew Bjorksten Senior Scientist
Ms Rochelle Cotter Research Nurse Manager
Ms Marcelle Stewart Research Nurse
Ms Nikki Zingerle Research Nurse

There are several foci of research within the Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management:

• Professor Kate Leslie is coordinating a large multi centre trial – BALANCED to    explore influenced in depth of Anaesthesia and patient outcomes after major surgery.

• Dr Malcolm Hogg is researching a number of areas in pain medicine.
• Dr Robyn Gillies and A/Prof Andrew Bjorkstein continue to investigate the genetics of malignant hyperthermia.
• Professor Colin Royse is the Co-Director of the Ultrasound Education Group. Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne. His major teaching interest is in echocardiography and clinical ultrasound and his group runs the Postgraduate  Certificate, Diploma and Masters in Clinical Ultrasound, as well as workshops in clinical ultrasound.  His major research interests are in echocardiography, cardiac outcomes for cardiac surgery, and quality of recovery after surgery. He is the Chair of the Postoperative Quality of Recovery Scale (PQRS) scientific

Research Fellow 

The department maintains a research position for a provisional fellow. The position is half time research and half time clinical.

University Affiliation

The department continues its close collaboration with the Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne.

Current research projects

• Balanced Study, depth of Anaesthesia and patient outcomes
• RELIEF Study, liberal vs restrictive fluids post operatively
• METS study, Measurement of Exercise Tolerance for Surgery Study
• Transthoracic Echo in Arterio_Venous Surgery patients
• ROCKET study, Reduction Of Chronic Post-surgical Pain with Ketamine
• McGrath MAC versus CMAC
• Recovery from sedation for endoscopy
• VALDA study A Prospective Study of Liver Injury by Inhalational Anaesthesia
• Malignant Hyperthermia
• PICC audit

Funding sources

NHMRC grant (2.8 million)

Volunteers Required

Anaesthetic Awareness Study

This study is being conducted by the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Royal Children's Hospital (Melbourne), the Murdoch Childrens's Research Institute (Melbourne) and Waikato Hospital, New Zealand.

Have you had an operation under general anaesthesia? Do you remember hearing sounds or conversations or feeling the operation during a time when you were supposed to be asleep?

We are conducting telephone/in-person interviews and taking a saliva sample from people who have suffered awareness.  Our aim is to create a tissue bank of people who have had awareness during anaesthesia so that research into possible genetic causes may be performed.

Please call Rochelle, Research Nurse, Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management, Royal Melbourne Hospital on 03 9342 8126.

This research project has been approved by the Melbourne Health Human Research Ethics Committee and will be conducted in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007). 

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Advanced Life Support (ALS) Course

Fibre Optic Airway Workshop



Annual Refresher Course

International Hokkaido Trauma Conference

The Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management is an accredited site of training of
the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA).