St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation

The St George and Sutherland Hospitals Medical Research Symposium Goes Virtual

The annual St George and Sutherland Hospitals Medical Research Symposium was held on Thursday 29th October.

The Symposium has been held for over 30 years and showcases and celebrates some of the research that is currently being produced within our hospitals and offers an opportunity for postgraduate and undergraduate students to present findings; build on networks; and hear from established research leaders.

This year due to COVID-19 restrictions the Symposium was held virtually incorporating a live event and dedicated event App to display all presentations and posters.

Although the format for this year’s event had changed this did not discourage from student’s submitting their projects with over 55 abstracts submitted for Best Clinical Research and Basic Science Oral Presentations, Best Poster Presentations and Best Presentation by an Undergraduate Student.

The Symposium was opened this year by Mr Tobi Wilson, Chief Executive SESLHD, joined by Mr Paul Darcy, GM St George Hospital, Ms Vicki Weeden GM Sutherland Hospital and Ms Cathy Yuncken Chair SSMRF and Ms Leanne Dib, CEO SSMRF. In addition to the Oral Presentations and Poster Presentations the Symposium featured two keynote lectures from invited speakers.

Professor Chris Semsarian AM, Head, Molecular Cardiology Program, Centenary Institute, Sydney, Professor of Medicine, University of Sydney, Cardiologist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and NHMRC Practitioner Fellow, started the Symposium with the Hasting Memorial Lecture titled “Getting to the heart of sudden death in the young.”

Scientia Professor Gregory Dore, Program Head, Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program, Kirby Institute, Infectious Diseases Physician, St Vincent’s Hospital and NHMRC Practitioner Fellow, delivered the The Christopher Stewart Memorial Lecture titled “Australian clinical and public health leadership in major viral epidemics: HIV, HCV, and COVID-19.”

We take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated and submitted their work and congratulate this year’s award winners.

We look forward to hosting the 2021 Symposium. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the Symposium Committee for further information on the Symposium, Starting your Research Career or the St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation.

Basic Science – Sponsored by SESLHD
1st Place
Dr Jason Behary
Title: Impact of the gut microbiome and metabolome on the peripheral immune response in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Submission: Basic Science Research  Postgraduate

2nd Place:
Ms Chloe Hicks
Title: Differential oral, vaginal, and stool microbial signatures in women with and without endometriosis
Submission: Basic Science Research  Undergraduate

Clinical Research – Sponsored by Lions Club of Kogarah
1st Place:
Ms Leanne Wang
Title: Changes in the Gut Microbiota of Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: a MUMS (Microbiome Understanding in Maternity Study) sub-study
Submission: Clinical Research Undergraduate

2nd Place – Tied
Dr Salim Maher
Title: Community screening identifies undiagnosed Chronic Liver Disease in high risk population
Submission: Clinical Research Postgraduate

Dr Matthew Miller
Title: Assessing the validity of two-dimensional carotid ultrasound to detect the presence and absence of a pulse
Submission: Clinical Research Postgraduate

Best Presentation by an undergraduate – Sponsored by St George Hospital Medical Staff Council
Ms Leanne Wang
Title: Changes in the Gut Microbiota of Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: a MUMS (Microbiome Understanding in Maternity Study) sub-study
Submission: Clinical Research Undergraduate

Best Posters – Sponsored by the Symposium
Mr Yicong Liang – abstract / poster 20
Evaluation of the Toxicity of Glucocorticoids in Patients with Autoimmune Blistering Disease (AIBDs) Using the Glucocorticoid Toxicity Index (GTI)

Mr Xupeng Bai – abstract / poster 16
Activation of the eIF2α/ATF4 axis drives triple-negative breast cancer radioresistance by promoting glutathione biosynthesis

People’s Choice Best Posters – Sponsored by the Symposium
Dr Osborn Jiang – abstract / poster 15
Discharge checklists and their role in COPD patient management

Dr Matthew Miller – abstract / poster 54
A retrospective data-linkage study of post-operative nausea and vomiting to compare the results of manual physician to electronic data abstraction for routine audit.

Intern /RMO of the year
Intern of the Year: Dr Gina Davis
RMO of the year: Dr Kerry Chen

We would also like to acknowledge and thank Symposium Organising Committee, Abstract Reviewers and this year’s sponsors.

2020 Symposium Organising Committee

Prof Georgina Hold
A/Prof Greg Davis
Dr Matthew Krzywicki
Dr Gina Clark Davis
Dr Hye Rim Suh
Dr Uphar Chamoli
Prof Emad El-Omar
A/Prof Allan Sturgess
Marina Margarian
Isabelle Ibrahim
Chloe Hicks
Leanne Dib
Tracie Junghans

2020 Symposium Abstract Reviewers

Dr Ivor Katz
Dr Uphar Chamoli
Dr Lan Gong
Dr Chris Weatherall
Dr Julia Beretov
Dr Michael Szczesniak
Dr Bill Giannakopoulos
Dr Jose Perdomo


St George Private Hospital
The Kogarah Lions Club