International Speakers Proudly Supported by RACS

David Beard is Professor and Surgical & Complex Intervention Trials Program Lead at the NHMRC CTC, University of Sydney. His role involves various aspects of evaluating (pan-specialty) surgery but with a special interest in orthopaedics and plastics, but also other (MSK) complex interventions (such as physiotherapy). He is also Professor of Musculoskeletal and Surgical Sciences at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) in the University of Oxford, an NIHR Senior Investigator and the Rosetrees/RCS Director of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) Surgical Intervention Trials Unit (SITU NDORMS-Oxford). Initially qualified clinically as a physiotherapist (Notts), he has Masters degrees in Biomedical Science (KCL London, and Oxon), a Doctorate in Medicine (Oxon) and honorary fellowships from the Royal College of Surgeons FRCS (Eng), and the British Orthopaedic Association (FBOA).

David has published several clinical trials in surgery, orthopaedics and rehabilitation and is currently Chief Investigator or Co-app in 16 substantial trials in orthopaedics, plastic surgery, ENT and RAS. Specific research interests include surgical trials methodology, including placebo control designs, outcome measurement, and innovation/robotic surgery. He has over 300 published articles (many trial and surgery related, including 8 in the Lancet). As a trialist he sits on, or chairs, several NIHR/Charitable Steering or Funding committees, both nationally and internationally.

Leading Ramsay’s engagement with the funders of private patient care and its contribution to private patient funding frameworks, Dean Breckenridge’s experience as an executive in private health insurance and private health care delivery, afford him a unique and holistic perspective on the challenges and opportunities of private health insurance.

His roles have included: governance, audit, risk, compliance, information technology, product design, financial modelling and customer experience

Dean is dedicated to the sustainability and quality of private health care, with a commitment to stakeholder collaboration and co-design as being foundational to these objectives.

Dr. Francesco Bianco is an esteemed Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Illinois in Chicago. With expertise in robotic surgery since 2003, he is also a faculty member at the International School of Robotic Surgery in Italy.

Dr. Bianco has trained over 260 surgeons worldwide and is a founding member of the Worldwide Clinical Robotic Surgery Association.

His Clinical Interests include Robotic Surgery and the development of related techniques; Pancreatic and Liver Surgery; Minimally Invasive Colo-rectal and Upper GI Surgery and as such, plays a vital role in advancing clinical applications for the Medtronic Hugo™ RAS system, training and assisting surgical teams globally.

Kai Brown is a hepatobiliary, pancreatic and general surgeon at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney where he also is the academic lead for Robotic Surgery, and NSQIP clinical lead. He is also a VMO at North Shore Private Hospital. Kai is a Senior Lecturer in surgery at the University of Sydney, where he was awarded a PhD in 2021 for his research into colorectal liver metastases. Kai has a keen interest in complex and minimally invasive HPB surgery, as well as clinical and translational research.

Philip is HPB and gastrointestinal surgeon at the Radboudumc, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He was trained at the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam. He was the 2014 fellow at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, specialized in HPB surgery.

Philip’s main focus is on the treatment of patients with gallstones, pancreatic cancer and peritoneal metastasis (HIPEC surgery).

In 2013 he initiated the multicenter randomized Secure trial to investigate the effectiveness of cholecystectomy in patients with symptomatic gallstones. He currently coordinates the work of several clinical PhD students who perform clinical studies in the fields of gallstones, gallbladder cancer, shared decision making, surgical practice variation and health care efficiency.

His research into gallbladder disease focusses on optimizing indication for cholecystectomy in patients with abdominal pain and gallstones, on prevention of bile duct injury in difficult cholecystectomy cases and lastly on the long effect of cholecystectomy.

His research into gallbladder cancer encompasses aspects of both clinical and molecular research; it focusses on both molecular mechanisms behind the development of this rare type as well as the optimization of patient selection for surgery and the value of (neo) adjuvant systemic therapy in an attempt to translate results from basic science into clinical practice.

Ian Harris is an orthopaedic surgeon and academic based in Sydney. His studies are focussed on establishing the true effectiveness of surgery and revealing the difference between he true effectiveness and the perceived effectiveness.

Professor Guy Maddern is the RP Jepson Professor of Surgery at the University of Adelaide, Director of Research at the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Director, Surgical Research and Evaluation (incorporating ASERNIP-S) of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He was trained at the University of Adelaide and became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1989. His clinical interests include the physiological impact of laparoscopic surgery, and the development of techniques to manage metastatic hepatic disease. He has over 650 publications in scientific journals, has contributed to over a dozen surgical texts and attracted $67 million of research funding.

The evaluation of new technologies and in particular surgical technologies is another area of focus and interest.

Dr. Chris Nahm is a Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Sydney. He is a HPB/Transplant Surgeon at Westmead Hospital. After obtaining FRACS, he completed a PhD in the field of pancreatic cancer biomarker discovery at the University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital. He undertook clinical HPB and transplant fellowships at Westmead Hospital and St. James’s University Hospital in Leeds, United Kingdom. He has clinical and research interests in surgery for pancreatic and biliary tract cancer.

Professor Padbury is the Director of Surgery and Perioperative Medicine in the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) since 2001. He has worked at Flinders Medical Centre since 1986. He is also the Clinical Lead for Clinical Improvement Programmes within SALHN.

He was the Surgical lead in the establishment of the SA Liver Transplant Unit at Flinders Medical Centre in 1992, following periods of training in Paris, France and Birmingham, UK. Professor Padbury oversaw the development of clinical protocols and the adoption of clinical practice improvement programmes within the Division. He was the foundation President of the ANZHPBA (Australian and New Zealand Hepatic, Pancreatic and Biliary Association) and the Chairman of the SA Surgical Taskforce. His current clinical practice is in the area of liver, pancreas and gallbladder surgery, hernia surgery and vascular access for chemotherapy.

A/Prof Pilgrim completed fellowships in Upper GI surgery at The Alfred and Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin (USA) and has a PhD from Peter MacCallum. He has appointments at Cabrini Hospital, The Alfred (HPB and Trauma) as well as Frankston and Peninsula Private hospitals and is a serving military surgeon and lieutenant colonel in the Australian Army. He is an Associate Professor at Monash University and a Senior trauma instructor/examiner for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He is a member of the Academy of Surgical Educators and the Section of Academic surgery with the College of Surgeons.

Professor Christobel Saunders AO, MB BS, FRCS, FRACS, FAAHMS is the James Stewart Chair of Surgery, the Head of the Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne (Royal Melbourne Hospital precinct), Director of Medical Research at Melbourne Medical School, and consultant surgeon in the Department of General Surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute. Christobel is internationally recognised as one of Australia’s most prominent research-orientated cancer surgeons. She has substantially contributed to breast cancer research, including clinical trials of new treatments, and psychosocial, translational and health services research.

In recognition of her sustained career excellence and innovation, Christobel has been publicly acknowledged through numerous awards and honours including the Order of Australia 2018, the Uccio Querci della Rovere Award (2018), WA Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee (2018), WA Scientist of the Year (2017), Cancer Council WA Career Achievement Award (2021) and was elected to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science in 2016.

She has performed research for >30 years evaluating the efficacy and utility of therapy for early breast cancer. In the past five years, Christobel has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles. She sits on the boards of several health and research organisations including as Vice-President for All. Can International and on the boards of All. Can Australia, Breast Cancer Trials, the Australian Centre for Value-Based Health Care and PathWest. Christobel is closely involved in strategic planning and management of health and cancer services in Australia including being a member of the Medicare Review Advisory Committee, panel member of the Medical Services Advisory Committee, past President of the Breast Surgical Society of ANZ, and past Advisory Council member of Cancer Australia. She was the Inaugural Chair of the state Health Service Provider, PathWest Laboratory Medicine.

Formerly Professor and Director of Surgery at the PA Hospital in Brisbane, where he established the HPB unit in the early 1980’s and the liver transplant unit at PAH and the Royal Children’s Hospital, performing the first liver transplants in Australia in early 1985. He was instrumental in innovating reduced-size grafts from deceased adult donor livers to transplant into children and performed the first successful living donor liver transplant in the world from a mother to her son on 1989. He has been Visiting Professor/Guest Lecturer on more than 100 occasions in 25 countries, and has some 300 publications in the scientific literature, including 17 book chapters. More than 85 surgeons from overseas, mostly from Asia, but also from Europe and the USA, came to Brisbane to train in HPB and liver transplant surgery.

Dr Kim Sutherland joined the Agency for Clinical Innovation in May 2018. Her previous role was Senior Director, Performance Measurement & Reporting at the Bureau of Health Information.

Kim is a health services researcher with experience in performance measurement and reporting, evaluation and assessment of quality, and change management in healthcare organisations. She played a central role in the development of performance measurement frameworks in NSW and the UK and co-authored a series of reports on the English NHS quality agenda. Kim holds a Master of Science from London Hospital Medical College, a Master of Business Administration from Imperial College London and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. In 2022, Kim received the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to NSW Health.