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The Vascular Surgery Research Group has been based at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH) for approximately 20 years now. Our group consists of both clinicians and scientists. Major interests include peripheral arterial disease and associated impaired wound healing in patients with diabetes. Research projects address aspects of the pathophysiology of vascular inflammation and wound healing, potential therapies and their clinical implications



Additional staff members

Mr Joe Dawson, Consultant Vascular Surgeon

Ms Ruth Battersby, Clinical Trials Coordinator (based at the RAH)

Alumni: Postgraduate degrees awarded since 2010

Name Year AwardedSupervisorsTitle of Thesis
PhD completionsUniversity of Adelaide
Dr Nadira Ruzehaji2013Cowin A, Fitridge RThe role of cytoskeletal protein Flightless 1 in diabetic wound healing
Ms Kanchani Rhadjopadhyaya2013Wilson D, Beltrame J, Fitridge R Vascular Reactivity in patients with peripheral arterial disease
Dr Guilherme Pena2021Fitridge R, Cowled P, Dawson JPredicting outcomes in patients with diabetic foot ulcers
Master of Philosophy (Surgery)University of Adelaide
Dr Beatrice Kuang2022Fitridge R, Cowled P, Dawson JTechnological developments in the assessment and management of diabetic foot ulcers
MSc in Surgical ScienceUniversity of Adelaide
Dr Rama Ravula2014Fitridge R, Cowled P Grading of Iliac artery tortuosity and calcification and its association with deployment-related complications following EVAR
Dr Ben Thurston2015Fitridge R and Cowled PQuantification of iliac artery calcification and its influence on outcomes following endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair
BSc HonoursUniversity of Adelaide
Clementine Labrosciano2016Beltrame J, Fitridge R and Cowled PIs there a relationship between Ankle Brachial Index and Health Status in patients with Peripheral Artery Disease?


Assessing preoperative variables to predict amputation in diabetic patients (suitable for PhD students)

Approximately 75% of lower limb amputations in Australia are associated with diabetic foot ulcers. Predisposing factors contributing to the risk of amputation are the presence and severity of infection and ischaemia, size of the ulcer and presence of osteomyelitis. The Wifi model, which takes these factors into account, has recently been developed. We aim to externally validate the Wifi model and assess what other factors are correlated with outcomes.

Anti-integrin therapy to improve healing of diabetic wounds (in collaboration with Professor Allison Cowin, (Regenerative Medicine, University of South Australia) (suitable for Honours or PhD students)

Up to 25% of people with diabetes will develop non-healing ulcers. Inflammation is a fundamental component of normal wound healing but excessive inflammation is a major contributing factor leading to chronic non-healing wounds. We aim to identify immune specific integrins in chronic wounds and determine whether immune specific integrin function-blocking antibodies dampen inflammation and improve healing in diabetic mouse models.

Chief InvestigatorsGranting BodyProject TitleType of GrantTotal Grant AmountFunding Period
Program led by Prof Alex Brown (SAHMRI). R Fitridge -expert clinical advisor.Australian GovernmentAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Diabetic Foot ProgramProgram Grant$6 million2020 - 2022
RA Fitridge, C Bursill, S NichollsThe Hospital Research Foundation /BioMed City An Evaluation of the association between High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) levels and functionality with the rate of wound healing in diabetic and non-diabetic patientsTranslational Grant$250,0002018 - 2020
RA Fitridge, C Delaney, M MillerVascular Foundation (ANZSVS)Predicting outcomes in patients with diabetic foot ulcers and effectiveness of interventions to improve outcomesProject Grant$37,5002017
C Pham, J Karnon, C Gibb, R Fitridge, G MaddernHealth Services Charitable Gifts BoardPredicting 12-month mortality risk in elderly patients after elective surgery$252,0002015 - 2017
J Karnon, C Gibb, R Fitridge, V Marshall, J FieldNHMRCEconomic evaluation and optimisation of services for the preoperative assessment and management of high risk surgical patientsProject Grant$386,1552012 – 2014 
J Golledge, P Norman, P Walker, A Ahimastos, R Dalman, R FitridgeNHMRCTElmisartan in the management of abDominal aortic aneurYsm (TEDY)Project Grant$1,105,8932012 – 2016  
J Golledge, C Rush, P Walker, R Fitridge, R MullerNHMRC The role of the clotting cascade in aortic aneurysm and associated cardiovascular eventsProject Grant$619,9112011 – 2013  
J Golledge, B Kingwell, P Norman, A Tonkin, R Fitridge, C Reid, P Walker, G Hankey, J Fletcher, M NelsonNHMRC National Centre of Research Excellence to improve management of peripheral arterial diseaseCentres of Research Excellence$2,499,2502010 – 2014
R Fitridge, M Boult, J Golledge, G Maddern, M Thompson, M BarnesNHMRC Evaluating a decision-making model for EVARProject Grant$1,075,5952009 - 2015 


Project titleCollaboratorInstitutionCityCountry
PORTRAIT Registry: Patient-centered Outcomes Related to Treatment practices in peripheral Arterial disease: an International TrajectoryProfessor John Beltrame Discipline of Medicine, The University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
PORTRAIT RegistryDr John SpertusMid-America Heart InstituteKansas CityUSA
PORTRAIT RegistryDr Johan Denollet Tilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
Steering Committee for development of the new Global Vascular Guidelines on the Management of Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischemia (Society for Vascular Surgery, European Society for Vascular Surgery and World Federation of Vascular Societies)
International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot (IWGDF)
External Validation of a Model to Predict Mortality Following Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm RepairDr Manar KhashramWaikato Health ServiceHamiltonNew Zealand
An Evaluation of the association between High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) levels and functionality with the rate of wound healing in diabetic and non-diabetic patientsA/Prof Christina Bursill SAHMRIAdelaideAustralia
Arterial Biobank to Study Novel Mediators and Markers of AtherosclerosisA/Prof Peter PsaltisSAHMRIAdelaideAustralia
Development of a diagnostic platform for preventative wound managementProfessor Allison CowinUniversity of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia
The specific nature of the host-associated bacterial population in people that develop diabetic foot infections, diabetic foot ulcers and control participantsDr Stephen KiddThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Diabetic Foot ProgramProfessor Alex BrownSAHMRIAdelaideAustralia