The Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is committed to excellence in translational research and education. Research in our department is focused mainly on understanding the pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), using a multidisciplinary approach, aimed at identifying new diagnostic/prognostic markers and treatment strategies to the benefit of our patients. Research projects cover all aspects of rhinological research from pathophysiological aspects of CRS to the identification and validation of new treatment strategies in vitro and in vivo, bringing research from bench to bedside.
Our Department of ENT has an excellent track record of Honours and Higher degree supervision with a 100% completion rate. Professor PJ Wormald was recognized for “Excellence in Research Supervision” by The University of Adelaide in 2013. We are always interested in students that have exceptional motivation and are passionate about research and in return we provide them with full support in terms of research supervision direction.
Two videos made by The University of Adelaide to celebrate the 120th Anniversary of the birth of Howard Florey, feature researchers from the ENT Surgery Group at the Basil Hetzel Institute:
Student Alumni (since 2016)
|Rajan Sundaresan Vediappan||PhD, University of Adelaide.||2021||Modifying Post-Surgical Wound Healing||Wormald PJ, Psaltis A, Vreugde S||The Hospital Research Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship|
|Michael Gouzos||PhD, University of Adelaide. Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.||2021||A delicate balance: Modulation of reactive oxygen species after sinus surgery to improve the healing process||Wormald PJ, Psaltis A, Vreugde S||Research Training Program Stipend (University of Adelaide)|
|Sophie Camens||First Class Honours, University of Adelaide. Department of Medical Specialities Honours Award, Adelaide Medical School. University Medal.||2020||Preclinical development of a P. aeruginosa phage cocktail for use to treat infections with multi-drug resistant bacteria||Vreugde S, Psaltis A, Liu S||The Hospital Research Foundation Honours Scholarship|
|Kitty Germein||First Class Honours, University of Adelaide||2020||Preclinical assessment of safety and efficacy of Acriflavin for the treatment of S.aureus biofilm sinus inflammation||Wormald PJ||The Hospital Research Foundation Honours Scholarship|
|Stephen Kao||PhD, University of Adelaide. Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.||2020||Nasal mucus: friend or foe? The effect of mucus on mucosal barrier dysfunction in chronic rhinosinusitis||Psaltis A, Ramezanpour M||Research Training Program Stipend (University of Adelaide); Bertha Sudholz Research Scholarship (University of Adelaide) and an Academic Surgeon Scientist Research Scholarship (The Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation)|
|Beula Subashini Panchatcharam||PhD, University of Adelaide||2020||Staphylococcus aureus exoproteins on nasal epithelial barrier in chronic rhinosinusitis||Wormald PJ, Psaltis A, Vreugde S||University of Adelaide International Scholarship|
|Rachel Goggin||PhD, University of Adelaide. Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.||2020||The role of viruses in chronic rhinosinusitis||Vreugde S, Wormald PJ, Psaltis A||University of Adelaide Research Training Program Stipend|
|Sathish Paramasivan||PhD, University of Adelaide. Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.||2020||The host-microbe interface in chronic rhinosinusitis||Wormald PJ, Vreugde S||Australian Postgraduate Award, Bertha Sudholz Research Scholarship (University of Adelaide), Academic Surgeon Scientist Research Scholarship (Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation)|
|Stephanie Fong||PhD, University of Adelaide.|
Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.
|2020||Bacteriophage therapy for chronic rhinosinusitis: Targeting Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms||Wormald PJ, Vreugde S||Joint The Hospital Research Foundation/The University of Adelaide Postgraduate Research Scholarship
|Mian Li Ooi||PhD, University of Adelaide||2020||Novel topical anti-biofilm agents in the treatment of recalcitrant chronic rhinosinusitis||Wormald PJ, Vreugde S, Psaltis A||The Hospital Research Foundation Scholarship, University of Adelaide divisional scholarship, Bertha Sudholz Research Scholarship (University of Adelaide)|
|Jacob Jervis-Bardy||Masters of Philosophy (Surgery), University of Adelaide||2020||Comparative microbial genomics of the upper respiratory tract in health and disease||Wormald PJ|
|Ahad Sabab||First Class Honours, University of Adelaide||2019||Efficacy and safety of fibrin patches in the management of small vessel bleed intracranially||Wormald PJ||The Hospital Research Foundation Honours Scholarship|
|Lisa Mary Cherian||PhD, University of Adelaide||2019||Corticosteroids and the Sinonasal|
|Wormald PJ, Vreugde S, Psaltis A||University of Adelaide International Scholarship|
|Ashley Twigger||First Class Honours, University of Adelaide||2018||Effect of dosage and length of treatment using combination of antimicrobial treatment (deferiprone and gallium-protoporphyrin) against common bacterial infections||Wormald PK, Richter K, Vreugde S||The Hospital Research Foundation Honours Scholarship|
|Jae Murphy||PhD, University of Adelaide.|
Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.
|2018||The mucosal barrier in Chronic Rhinosinusitis||Wormald PJ, Vreugde S, Psaltis A||The Hospital Research Foundation Scholarship|
|Hi Yin (Aden) Lau||PhD, University of Adelaide||2018||An immunological perspective of the mucosal inflammation in chronic rhinosinusitus - Lymphoid neo-organogenesis and humoral immunity||Vreugde S, Lester S, Rischmueller M||The Hospital Research Foundation Scholarship and University of Adelaide fee waiver|
|Alistair Jukes||PhD, University of Adelaide. Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence & University Doctoral Research Award.||2018||Haemostasis in endoscopic skull base surgery||Wormald PJ, Vreugde S||Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Scholarship|
|Katharina Richter||PhD, University of Adelaide.|
Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.
|2017||Towards novel antibiofilm strategies||Vreugde S, Wormald PJ and Prestidge C||Joint The Hospital Research Foundation, University of Adelaide divisional scholarship|
|Dijana Miljkovic||PhD, University of Adelaide. Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.||2017||The role of immune cells in chronic rhinosinusitus||Wormald PJ, Vreugde S, Psaltis A||University of Adelaide divisional scholarship|
|Thanh Ha||PhD, University of Adelaide||2017||Strategies for controlling bleeding and healing during and after sinus surgery||Wormald PJ, Vreugde S||Australian Postgraduate Award|
|Chun Chan||PhD, University of Adelaide||2017||The microbiome of otitis media with effusion and the influence of Alloicoccus otitidis on Haemophilus influenzae in polymicrobial biofilm||Wormald PJ, Psaltis A, Vreugde S||Australian Postgraduate Award|
|Arvind Jothin||Honours, University of Adelaide||2016||The effect of colloidal silver sinonasal rinses in recalcitrant chronic rhinosinusitis||Wormald PJ & Vreugde S||The Hospital Research Foundation Honours Research Scholarship|
Student Alumni (2010-2015)
|Deepti Singhal||PhD||2009-2011||Post-surgical outcomes of endoscopic sinus surgery done for chronic rhinosinusitis associated with biofilms|
|Joshua Jervis-Bardy||PhD||2009-2011||The aetiology and significance of sinonasal staphylococcus aureus following endoscopic sinus surgery|
|Sam Boase||PhD||2009-2011||Bacterial biofilm formation in chronic rhinosinusitis: Testing novel treatments using a sheep model|
|Jasmine Micklen||PhD||2009-2011||Australian Aboriginal Head & Neck Cancer Patients: Health-Related Quality of Life in South Australia and the Northern Territory|
|Rachel Goggin||Honours||2012||Do steroids influence Staphylococcus aureus biofilm growth?|
|Satish Paramasavin||Honours||2012||Manuka honey augmented with Methyloglyoxal as a novel treatment option for chronic rhinosinusitis: safety and efficacy trial|
|Camille Jardeleza||PhD||2010-2012||Role of Nitric Oxide in the pathophysiology of Staph Aureus biofilm formation in chronic rhinosinusitis|
|Zacki Malik||Honours||2013||The role of deciliation and ciliary dysfunction in chronic rhinosinusitis|
|Ahmed Al-Hussain||Honours||2013||Mechanisms of Staphylococcus aureus persistence within the paranasal sinus mucosa: a tale of immune evasion and encapsulation|
|Amanda Drilling||PhD||2011-2013||Use of bacteriophage to treat Staphylococcus aureus sinusitis in a sheep model|
|Sukanya Rajiv||PhD||2011-2013||The efficacy of Chitosan gel on hemostasis in neurosurgical sheep model|
|Daniel Cantero||PhD||2011-2013||The host Immune Response to Staphylococcus aureus biofilm in Chronic Rhinosinusitis|
|Neil Tan||PhD||2011-2013||The role of Staphylococcus Aureus in the pathophysiology of Chronic Rhinosinusitis|
|Edward Cleland||PhD||2011-2014||The relevance of PNAG-producing S.aureus in predicting outcomes following endoscopic sinus surgery|
|Vikram Padhye||PhD||2012-2015||Early and late complications of endoscopic haemostatic techniques following different carotid artery injury characteristics|
|Ahmed Bassiouni||PhD||2012-2015||Understanding the role of eosinophilic inflammatory load, fibrosis and remodeling in patients with refractory chronic rhinosinusitis (rCRS) and failure of surgical and medical treatment|
|Dong Dong||Master of Surgery||2013-2014||Investigating the anti-bacterial properties of liposome-encapsulated Nitric oxide nanoparticles in vitro and in vivo|
Preclinical development of a compound to block microbial secreted toxins
Our pilot data shows that specific bacterial toxins cause damage to the epithelial barrier and are significantly correlated with disease severity. In this project we will screen a library of compounds and test their ability to block the activity of these toxins. In a second step we will test the efficacy of these compounds to block epithelial damage induced by the toxins in an in vivo murine model.
The use of a surgical hydrogel to prevent adhesions after abdominal surgery
Abdominal adhesions are frequent after abdominal surgery with often devastating consequences. In this project we will use a surgical hydrogel complexed with anti-microbial and anti-adhesive compounds to prevent the formation of adhesions after abdominal surgery in an in vivo murine model.
Please contact Associate Professor Sarah Vreugde for more information.
Despite extensive research in the bacteriological and immunological aspects of CRS, the pathogenetic basis of CRS remains poorly understood. Several of our research projects are aimed at understanding molecular, cellular, microbiological and immunological aspects of CRS. For this, we use state-of-the-art technologies and equipment and different physiologically relevant in vitro cell culture models.
Treatment of CRS is aimed at controlling rather than curing the disease. However, despite optimal treatment measures, a significant subset of patients do not respond well and require multiple surgical interventions and repetitive antibiotic treatments, favouring the development of Staphylococcus strains resistant to all known antibiotics (MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). There is thus a need for the identification of further and improved therapeutic targets to treat this complex disease.
Professor PJ Wormald, in collaboration with a research team in New Zealand, was the first to develop a novel surgical gel (Chitosan-Dextran gel) that has shown positive effects on wound healing following Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. Different projects are investigating the use of the gel as a carrier for different pharmaceutical compounds in vitro, in vivo and in clinical studies in the immediate post-operative period.
We have established a large animal model to study different treatment possibilities to arrest bleeding from large vessel injuries and have ongoing projects on this topic.
|Granting Body||Project Title||Type of Grant||Total Grant Amount||Funding Period|
|NHMRC (#1196832)||From bench to bedside: A new treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis||Investigator Grant (Wormald PJ)||$2,360,520||2021 - 2025|
|NHMRC (#1171756)||A novel medicated resorbable adhesion barrier device for use in abdominal surgery||Development Grant||$953,800||2020-2022|
|Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation||A personalised therapeutic plan for S.aureus recalcitrant Chronic Rhinosinusitis||Conjoint Grant||$362,363||2020-2022|
|National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation (NFMRI)||A novel treatment for Non-Tuberculous Myobacteria lung infections in people with Cystic Fibrosis||Barbara Stow-Smith Cystic Fibrosis Innovation Grant||$175,000||2020-2021|
|Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation||A novel treatment for S.aureus recalcitrant Chronic Rhinosinusitis||Conjoint Grant||$375,000||2019-2021|
|NHMRC (#1153663)||A novel medicated surgical hydrogel to prevent epidural adhesions post-laminectomy||Development Grant||$522,607||2019-2021|
|NHMRC (#1164562)||Maximising the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory performance of next generation therapeutics for Chronic Rhinosinusitis||Project Grant||$767,389||2019-2021|
|The Hospital Research Foundation||A novel treatment for Non-Tuberculous Myobacteria lung infections in people with Cystic Fibrosis||Matched Funding||$30,000||2019-2021|
|The Hospital Research Foundation||A Trojan Horse strategy for antimicrobial biologicals||Mid Career Fellowship (Thomas N)||$540,000||2018-2021|
|The Hospital Research Foundation||Investigating the relationship between exoprotein production and inflammation in CRS||PhD Scholarship (Shaghayegh G)||$112,000||2018-2021|
|The Hospital Research Foundation||A novel medicated resorbable adhesion barrier device for use in abdominal surgery||Development Grant||$150,000||2018-2020|
|The Hospital Research Foundation||A new treatment for cystic fibrosis chronic relapsing upper airway infections||Translational Grant||$250,000||2018-2020|
|Cystic Fibrosis South Australia||A new treatment for cystic fibrosis chronic relapsing upper airway infections||Project Grant||$60,000||2018-2020|
|The Hospital Research Foundation||Chitosan dextran (Chitogel) with and without Deferiprone and Gallium Protoporphryn: wound healing and postoperative outcomes in Chronic Rhinosinusitis||PhD Scholarship (Vediappan R)||$112,000||2018-2020|
|Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation||Magnetic Nanotechnology for diagnostics and guided therapeutics in oral cancer||Academic Surgeon Scientist Research Scholarship (Krishnan G)||$70,000||2018-2019|
|Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation||Host-Microbe interactions in chronic rhinosinusitis||Academic Surgeon Scientist Research Scholarship (Paramasivam S)||$70,000||2018-2019|
|The University of Adelaide/The Hospital Research Foundation||Ironing out superbugs: validation and translation of a novel treatment that kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria by targeting iron metabolism||Research Fellowship||$145,000||2018|
|The University of Adelaide/The Hospital Research Foundation||A new medicated surgical hydrogel to improve wound healing after endoscopic sinus surgery||CAS Grant||$120,000||2018|
|Cure4CF||A new treatment for cystic fibrosis chronic relapsing upper airway infections||Project Grant||$27,000||2018|
|The Hospital Research Foundation||A novel formulation to prevent epidural adhesions post-laminectomy||Development Grant||$200,000||2017-2018|
|The University of Adelaide||The microbiome in chronic rhinosinusitis||Investment for success NHMRC Near miss grant||$10,000||2017|
|The Hospital Research Foundation||Preclinical development of a novel formulation to prevent adhesions post-abdominal surgery||Near miss project grant||$75,000||2017|
|Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation||The mucosal barrier in CRS||Academic Surgeon Scientist Research Fellowship (Murphy J)||$123,992||2016-2018|
|Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation||The effect of corticosteroid therapy on the host immune response and microbiome profile in CRS||Conjoint grant||$375,000||2015-2017|
|Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation||Sinonasal microbial and immune homeostasis and its breakdown in Chronic Rhinosinusitis||Conjoint grant||$375,000||2014-2016|
|The Hospital Research Foundation||Bacteriophage: a novel treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis||Project Grant||$300,000||2014-2015|
|Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation||The clinical significance of intracellular Staphylococcus aureus in CRS||Project grant||$299,993||2013-2016|
|NHMRC||In vivo evaluation of the safety and efficacy of a novel chitosan gel in the reduction of adhesions following abdominal surgery in both animal and human models||Project grant||$514,976||2013-2015|
|NHMRC||A novel nitric oxide-based treatment for recalcitrant Staphylococcus aureus-associated chronic rhinosinusitis||Project grant||$522,957||2013-2015|
|Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation||Unravelling the role of type 2 innate lymphoid cells and their activating cytokines IL25, IL33 and TSLP in chronic rhinosinusitis||Scholarship||2013-2015|
|Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation||Treatment and prevention of injuries to large arterial vessels in the ENT surgical setting||Research Scientist Fellowship||$225,000||2013-2015|
Please also refer to page 59 of the BHI Research Report 2019.
|Collaborators||Department or Project||Institution||City||Country|
|Professor Guy Maddern and Dr Ehud Hauben||Surgical Science Research Group, Department of Surgery||Basil Hetzel Institute TQEH and The University of Adelaide||Adelaide||Australia|
|A/Professor Maureen Rischmueller and Sue Lester||Rheumatology Research Group and Department of Medicine||Basil Hetzel Institute TQEH and University of Adelaide||Adelaide||Australia|
|Professor P. Hwang and Dr M. Costa||Department of ENT||Stanford University Medical school||Stanford||USA|
|Dr R. Douglas||Department of ENT||Gillies Hospital||Auckland||New Zealand|
|Dr Steve Moratti, Prof Lyal Hanton, and Prof Brian Robinson||Chemistry Department.|
Development of a novel chitosan based gel to prevent adhesion formation in the nose and sinuses, in the abdomen and in spinal surgery. NHMRC project grant.
|Otago University||Otago||New Zealand|
|Professor Wytske Fokkens||Department of ENT. The use of a bacteriophage cocktail to treat bacterial biofilms||Academic Medical Centre||Amsterdam||The Netherlands|
|Professor R Schlosser (Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston), A/Prof S Wise (Emory University Atlanta), Prof S Govindara (Mt Sinai, New York), A/Prof B Woodworth (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa), Prof I Witterick. (University of Toronto, Canada)||Departments of ENT.|
Factors that impact perioperative co-morbiditiy in endoscopic skull base procedures
|Charleston, Atlanta, New York, Tuscaloosa, Toronto||USA and Canada|
|Professor R. Kern||Department of ENT.|
Characterisation of B-cells in CRS
|Professor G. Dubin||The X-ray Crystallography Laboratory, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology and Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology||Jagiellonian University in Krakow||Krakow||Poland|
|Research Groups led by Prof. Clive Prestidge and A/Prof. B. Thierry||Department of Nanomedicine.|
(1) NH&MRC project grant, A novel nitric oxide-based treatment for recalcitrant Staphylococcus aureus-associated chronic rhinosinusitis, (2) Development of novel nanoparticles for use in the treatment and prevention of bacterial biofilms
|University of South Australia||Adelaide||Australia|
|Research Groups led by Prof. J. Mitchell and P. Speck||Department of Microbiology.|
The use of a bacteriophage cocktail to treat bacterial biofilms
|Special Phage Services||The use of a bacteriophage cocktail to treat bacterial biofilms||Sydney||Australia|
|Special Phage Services|
Dr S. Kidd
|Department of microbiology.|
Genetics and genomics of small colony variants in CRS.
|University of Adelaide||Adelaide||Australia|