• About
  • People
  • Projects
  • Clinical Trials
  • Key Publications
  • Funding
  • Collaborations

The Adelaide GTRAC (Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care) Centre is part of the School of Medicine, University of Adelaide and includes the Aged & Extended Care Services at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH) and Basil Hetzel Institute. GTRAC also has a north-eastern community base on a residential aged care campus (Resthaven Inc.) in the suburb of Paradise.

GTRAC is also associated with the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence Translating Nutritional Science To Good Health based at the Royal Adelaide Hospital through Professor Renuka Visvanathan who is an associate investigator with that centre. The GTRAC centre has an extensive collaborative academic network including aged care organisations (e.g. Resthaven Inc., ECH, Southern Cross, ACH, Helping Hand etc.), local councils (e.g. Campbelltown) and consumer groups (e.g. Council of the Ageing). The team has a focus on geriatric syndromes including frailty, undernutrition, falls, polypharmacy and dementia.

We are on the look out for high quality PhD students from clinical disciplines interested in frailty research. Students with 1st class honours or research experience are encouraged to apply. For further information, please contact Professor Renuka Visvanathan.

Researchers

Students

Full staff listing

NAMEPOSITIONQUALIFICATION
Professor Renuka VisvanathanClinical DirectorPhD GradCertEd (Higher Ed.) FRACP FANZSGM MBBS ATCL
Dr Solomon YuDeputy DirectorPhD FRACP MBBS LTCL
Consultant Staff/Clinical Title Holders
Dr Pazhvoor Shibu FRACP MD CCT UK MRCP MBBS
Dr Shailaja Nair MPhil FRACP MBBS MRCP Fellowship Geriatric Medicine (Malaysia)
Dr Khai Tham Dip PalMed FRACP MBBS
Dr Jason Ng Head of General MedicineFRACP MBBS
Dr Faizal Ibrahim FRACP CCT UK  MRCP MBBCh  LRCPSI
Dr Fin Cai FRACP MBBS
Dr Kandiah ParasivamFRACP MBBS
James Smyth
GTRAC Centre Academic Staff

Dr Jeanine Teo General PractitionerMBBS FRACGP
Dr Neha Mahajan PsychologistPhD MPsych MAPsychol BA
Dr Joanne Dollard Postdoctoral Research FellowPhD Grad Cert Public Health, BA (Honours in Psychology)
Dr David YuSenior Lecturer G-TRAC, SA Health
Ms Carla SmythTQEH Research NurseCN - GEM Liaison
Ms Donna Preston G-TRAC Nurse PractitionerMNursPrac
Mr Grant EdwardsManager, Aged Care Alternatives Regional Assessment Service G-TRAC
Specialist Registrars in Geriatric Medicine
Dr Haresh Arunasalam MBBS
Dr Kareeann KhowAdvanced TraineeMBBS
Dr Michelle KeeAdvanced TraineeMBBS
Dr S NawiMBBS
Dr Thanuja JayaweeraAdvanced TraineeMBBS
Dr Anupam GuptaSenior Consultant, Senior Clinical LecturerMBBS
TQEH Geriatrics Senior Nursing
S Hoskins CSC- GEM Unit
L WakefieldCPC- GEM Liaison
International Observer
Dr Sally AhipMBBS MMed in Family Medicine
Dr Pradeep Pithadia MBBS MD
Adminstrative Staff
Leonie BakerResearch Manager, CRE Frailty and Healthy AgeingBSc(Hons) Grad Dip Bus Administration (GDip BA)
Nina WiltshireG-TRAC Administration Support Officer

Recent Student Alumni

NameDegree CompletedYearAward 
Dr Ruth TehMSc(Medical Science), The University of Adelaide2018
Dr Agathe Daria JadczakPhD, The University of Adelaide2018
Dr WMASB WickramasinghePhD, The University of Adelaide2017
Dr Shailaja NairMPhil, The University of Adelaide2015
Ms Zoe KopsaftisHonours, The University of Adelaide20141st Class
Dr Solomon Yu PhD, The University of Adelaide2014Dean’s Commendation, The University of Adelaide
Dr Elsa DentPhD, The University of Adelaide2013Dean’s Commendation, The University of Adelaide

Recent Staff Alumni

NameCurrent positionLocation  
Dr Shirantha AdikariGeriatrician, Cairns HospitalCairns, Queensland
Dr Katherine Flynn Geriatrician, Repatriation General HospitalAdelaide, South Australia
Dr Teena SilakongPalliative Care Physician, Modbury General HospitalAdelaide, South Australia
Dr Angela TehGeneral Physician, Royal Adelaide HospitalAdelaide, South Australia
Dr Naresh MakwanaProfessor of Community Medicine, MP Shah Medical CollegeJamnagar, Gjarat, India
Dr Pradeep PithadiaAssociate Professor of Community MedicineJamnagar, Gjarat, India
Frailty, Sarcopenia and Undernutrition

This research aims to clarify the prevalence and impact of frailty on older people, contribute to increased benefits from exercise for frail older people and determine a better way to predict skeletal muscle mass for the study of sarcopenia (the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of ageing).

Falls and Fractures

These research projects include an NHMRC trial aimed at preventing falls in older people in hospitals, determining if improved haemoglobin levels leads to better health outcomes and investigating the relationship between oral health of in-hospital patients and their health outcomes after leaving hospital.

Dystonia and Spasticity

This research aims to find a treatment for Parkinson’s disease patients who have lower limb dystonia.

EXPRESS Study – Exercise and Protein Effectiveness Supplementation Study

The University of Adelaide and CSIRO are seeking older volunteers to participate in a study examining the effects of exercise in combination with protein intake on physical function in older people living in the community.

You are eligible to volunteer in this study if you are:

  • Aged 65 years or older
  • Living at home (or independent living unit)
  • Willing to participate in an exercise program including one centre based exercise session and at least 2 strength home based exercise sessions per week
  • Willing to consume 1 sachet of protein supplement in a glass of water (150ml) twice per day

Study period: 6 months

Interested?

Read this EXPRESS Study Flyer or contact Ms Agathe Daria Jadczak via phone +61 8 8133 4012 or email: agathedaria.jadczak@adelaide.edu.au to confirm your eligibility for this study.

The 5 publications highlighted here are all published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association which is the second highest ranked geriatrics clinical journal internationally. For more recent publications refer to BHI Research Reports.

An international definition for ‘nursing home’

Sanford AM, Orrell M, Tolson D, Abbatecola AM, Arai H, Bauer JM, Cruz-Jentoft AJ, Dong B, Ga H, Goel A, Hajjar R, Holmerova I, Katz PR, Koopmans RT, Rolland Y, Visvanathan R, Woo J, Morley JE, Vellas B. An international definition for ‘nursing home’. J Am Med Dir Assoc; 2015; 16 (3): 181-184. 

Intermittent Walking: A Potential Treatment For Older People With Postprandial Hypotension

Nair S, Visvanathan R, Gentilcore D. Intermittent Walking: A Potential Treatment For Older People With Postprandial Hypotension. J Am Med Dir Assoc; 2015; 16(2): 160-164.

Frailty in Nursing Homes: The FRAIL-NH Scale

Kaehr R, Visvanathan R, Malmstrom T, Morley J. Frailty in Nursing Homes: The FRAIL-NH Scale. J Am Med Dir Assoc; 2015; 16(2): 87-89.

Diagnostic accuracy of locally determined anthropometric-based appendicular skeletal muscle prediction equation in predicting low muscle mass

Yu S, Appleton S, Adams R, Wittert G, Visvanathan T, Visvanathan R. Diagnostic accuracy of locally determined anthropometric-based appendicular skeletal muscle prediction equation in predicting low muscle mass. J Am Med Dir Assoc; 2015; 16(1): 25-30.

Evidence-based recommendations for optimal dietary protein intake in older people: a position paper from the PROT-AGE study group

Bauer J, Biolo G, Cederholm T, Cesari M, Jentoft AC, Morley JE, Phillips S, Sieber C, Stehle P, Teta D, Visvanathan R, Volpi E, Boirie Y. Evidence-based recommendations for optimal dietary protein intake in older people: a position paper from the PROT-AGE study group. J Am Med Dir Assoc; 2013; 14 (8): 542-59.

Patents

Patent Application (#2012903239): A system, method and software application for determining movement. Ranasinghe D and Visvanathan R.

Chief InvestigatorsGranting BodyProject TitleType of GrantTotal Grant AmountFunding Period
Soebarto V, Pisaniello D, Zuo J, Williamson T, Hansen A, Visvanathan RAustralian Research CouncilImproving thermal conditions in housing to support ageing in placeDiscovery Grant$413,0002018 - 2020
Gupta ADThe Hospital Research Foundation (THRF)Efficacy of Botulinum toxin A on walking and quality of life in post-stroke lower limb spacticity - a randomised double blind placebo controlled studyProject Grant$105,0002018 - 2020
Taylor DThe Hospital Research Foundation (THRF)Inequalities in neighbourhood accessibility: implications for frailty and healthy ageingTHRF Mid Career Fellowship$420,0002017 - 2020
Wesselingh S, Visvanathan R, Whitehead C, Russell P, Daniel M, Roder D, Stanley A, Griffith L, Karnon J, Miller C, Phillips P, Denson L, Ward L, Gill T, Ratcliffe J, Walters J, Kerrins EGovernment of South AustraliaMeasuring and intervening for healthy ageing in South Australia - R Visvanathan compenent: Frailty in Residential Sector Over Time (FIRST) StudyPremier's Research and Industry Fund Research Consortia Program$4,000,0002017 - 2020
Visvanathan R, Karnon J, Kitson
A, Beilby J, Cameron I, Chehade M,
Bell S, Feist H
NHMRC (#1102208)
Frailty Trans-Disciplinary Research To
Achieve Healthy Ageing
Centres of Research Excellence - Health Services$2,301,1692016 - 2020
Visvanathan RThe Hospital Research Foundation (THRF)Frailty to achieve healthy ageingChallenge funding$625,0002016 - 2020
Ahip SS, Visvanathan R, Shariff S, Theou OThe Ministry of Health MalaysiaThe Malaysian Pictorial Fit-Frail Scale (M-PFFS): Development and testing of feasibility, validity and reliability in MalaysiaNational Institutes of Health Research GrantMYR $282,4002017 - 2019
Visvanathan R, Hill K, Ranasinghe D, Lange K, Wilson A NHMRC (#1082197)Effectiveness of an Ambient Intelligence Geriatric Management system (AmbIGeM) to prevent falls in older people in hospitals: the AmbIGeM stepped wedge randomised trialProject Grant$1,646,0802016 - 2019
Khow KNHMRC (#1133707)Fragility fractures and outcomes in older peoplePostgraduate Research Scholarship$86,7332017 - 2018
Horowitz M, Wittert G, Clifton P, Blackshaw LA, Rayner C, Chapman I, Feinle-Bisset C, Jones K, Noakes M, Chapman M. Associate Investigators: Beckett E, Deane A, Heilbronn L, Kitson A, Little T, Luscombe-Marsh N, Nguyen N, Page A, Shi Z, Turnbull D, Visvanathan R, Young RNHMRCTranslating Nutritional Science to Good Health Centre For Research Excellence$2,499,9902012 - 2017
Chapman I, Visvanathan R, Naganathan V, Hunter P, Karnon J, Horowitz M, Lange K, Cameron INHMRCThe effects of testosterone and a nutritional supplement on hospital admissions in under-nourished, older peopleProject Grant$1,018,4382010 - 2012
Jones KL, Gentilcore D, Visvanathan R, Chapman I, Rayner C, Horowitz MNHMRCGastric, small intestinal and cardiovascular mechanisms of postprandial hypotensionProject Grant$676,5002010 - 2012
Partner Site: F Ibrahim/CALHN Department of Social ServicesThe impact of the Dementia Care in Hospitals Program in improving the quality of life and adverse events in acute hospital patients with cognitive impairment: A stepped wedge cluster randomized trial. The Dementia Care in Hospitals Program (DCHP) – Pilot National Rollout and EvaluationAustralian Government grant$200,0002015 - 2016
Visvanathan RNorthern Communities Health Foundation GrantThe effects of exercise in combination with a commercially available nutritional supplement in older people at-risk of sarcopenia: A Pilot Study$50,0002014
Shibu PKNovartisImpact of a pilot fracture liaison service coordinator on the care of older patients presenting to hospital with a fragility fractureEducational grant$20,000 2014
Co-investigators: Ratcliffe J, Luszcz M, Doyle C, Visvanathan RFlinders University Incorporating older peoples’ preferences into the design and delivery of dementia diagnostic servicesDVCR (Research) Near Miss Grant$20,0002014
Bell S; co-investigators: Hilmer S, Vitry A, Visvanathan RAlzheimer’s Australia - Resthaven Analgesic load, pain and daytime sedation in people with dementia in aged care facilitiesDementia Grant$150,0002013
Co-investigators: Jones K, Gentilcore D, Visvanathan R, Chapman IM, Rayner CK, A Deane, Horowitz MHanson Institute, Royal Adelaide Hospital Assessment of splanchnic blood flow in humansEquipment Grant$65,0002011
Visvanathan RThe Hospital Research Foundation (THRF)Equipment Grant (Supported By Kidman Park Rotary Club)$40,2502010
Adams, R, Wilson D, Hill C, Visvanathan R, Ruffin R, Wittert GTQEH Research Foundation [now the The Hospital Research Foundation]The Health Observatory- promoting a multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral approach to health innovationProgram Grant$1,250,0002009-2013

Australian Collaborators

CollaboratorPositionInstitutionCityState
Dr Natalie Luscombe-MarshCSIROAdelaideSouth Australia
Professor Julie RatcliffeHealth EconomicsFlinders UniversityAdelaideSouth Australia
Dr Diana PiscitelliSenior Lecturer, Nuclear MedicineUniversity of South Australia AdelaideSouth Australia
Professor Justin BeilbyGeneral PracticeTorrens UniversityAdelaideSouth Australia
Dr Damith RanasingheDirector, Adelaide Auto-ID Lab and Faculty of Engineering and Computer SciencesUniversity of Adelaide AdelaideSouth Australia
Professor John Karnon Health Economics, School of Population HealthUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideSouth Australia
Professor Alison Kitson School of NursingUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideSouth Australia
Dr Helen BarrieDiscipline of Geography, Environment and PopulationUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideSouth Australia
Associate Professor Michael ReedRobinson InstituteUniversity of Adelaide AdelaideSouth Australia
Professor Ian ChapmanCRE Translating Nutritional Science To Good HealthUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideSouth Australia
Professor Karen JonesCRE Translating Nutritional Science To Good HealthUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideSouth Australia
Professor Michael HorowitzCRE Translating Nutritional Science To Good HealthUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideSouth Australia
Dr Sharmalar RajendranDepartment of CardiologyThe Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH)AdelaideSouth Australia
Ms Kylie LangeCRE Translating Nutritional Science To Good HealthUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideSouth Australia
Dr Tim SchultzSchool of NursingUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideSouth Australia
Professor Keith HillHead of School, School of PhysiotherapyCurtin UniversityPerthWestern Australia
Professor Ian CameronRehabilitation Studies Unit, Sydney Medical SchoolUniversity of SydneySydneyNew South Wales
Associate Professor Simon BellFaculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science: Centre of Medicine Use and Safety Monash UniversityMelbourneVictoria
Dr Anne-Marie VallenceSchool of Pyshcology and Exercise ScienceMurdoch UniversityPerthWestern Australia
Associate Professor Vasi NaganathanCentre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA) & Staff Specialist in Geriatric MedicineUniversity of Sydney & Concord HospitalSydneyNew South Wales
Associate Professor Sarah HilmerNorthern Clinical School & Staff Specialist, Clinical Pharmacology and Aged CareUniversity of Sydney & Royal North Shore HospitalSydneyNew South Wales
Associate Professor Peter HunterClinical Program Director Rehabilitation and Aged CareAlfred HealthMelbourneVictoria

International Collaborators

  • Professor Matteo Cesari is a geriatrician based at the Gérontopôle, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse (Toulouse, France). Professor Cesari is the coordinator of the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS) Working Group on ‘Frailty in older persons’. He is one of the scientific coordinators of the ‘Sarcopenia and physical frailty in older people: multicomponent treatment strategies’ (SPRINTT) study, a scientific project funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (overall budget about €48 million) focused on providing all the necessary information and tools to identify older people with frailty and sarcopenia.
  • Professor John Morley is a geriatrician and Divisional Director of Geriatrics at St Louis University (SLU), Missouri, USA. He has published more than 1000 papers and lead the International Consensus Committee on Frailty. He was recently on an advisory committee with Professor Cesari to the World Health Organisation initiative to develop worldwide strategies to screen for and treat frailty.
  • Professor Ken Rockwood is a geriatrician based at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada with research expertise in clinical and epidemiological frailty. His work has been cited in 25,000+ articles and 62 of his articles have been cited more 100+ times. He pioneered the cumulative deficit model to diagnose frailty (the second most commonly used definition of frailty). He also developed the Clinical Frailty Scale and the Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility tool which have been widely used in geriatric and specialty setting by researchers and clinicians in Canada and internationally.

International Visitors to GTRAC

  • 2015: Dr Olga Theou, Banting Post-doctoral Fellow, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 2013: Dr Roberto Hernandez, Geriatrics Registrar, National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition
  • 2011-2013: A/Prof Gopi Gopal, Geriatrician, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India