Sydney Local Health District
Brain Cancer Research at RPA

Our People

Our PeopleThe Brainstorm management committee is comprised of Dr Brindha Shivalingam (RPA Neurosurgeon), Dr Michael Buckland (RPA Neuropathologist) and Dr Roy Donnelly (SLHD Legal Director - Health Law and Research).

Dr Brindha Shivalingam
Dr Brindha Shivalingam is the Co-Founder of Brainstorm at RPA.

Brindha graduated at Sydney University in 1996 with her Neurosurgical training commencing in 2002. She is entirely trained in Sydney hospitals. Her Neurosurgical training was completed in 2006 and won a fellowship to study & work in neuro oncology and skull base surgery at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, in the United Kingdom. 

Brindha currently works as a VMO Neurosurgeon at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) in Sydney. She focuses on Glioma surgery and on the use of Australia’s first intra operative MRI. This technology is only available in a select few units around the world and allows Neurosurgeons to operate safely on brain tumours that would have previously been deemed inoperable. The skull base surgery involves close collaboration with ENT surgeons. Her skull base practice focuses on acoustic neuroma surgery and anterior endoscopic surgery.

The focus of Brindha’s practice lies in Neuro oncology and skull base surgery and she also practices general Neurosurgery (spine, CSF disorders, and trauma). Brindha also has a special interest in melanoma surgery where she works closely with the Melanoma Institute Australia.

Dr Michael Buckland
Dr Michael Buckland is the Co-Founder of Brainstorm at RPA.

Michael is a Senior Staff Specialist and Head of the RPA Department of Neuropathology. He is also a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and runs the Molecular Neuropathology research laboratory based at the Brain & Mind Centre. He provides sub-specialist neuropathology diagnostic expertise to RPA and the broader NSW clinical community as well as NSW Forensic services. A/Prof Buckland’s medical training was at the University of Sydney, St Vincent’s Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital and RPA. His doctoral and postdoctoral research training was at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the University of New South Wales, and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. He is active in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at the University of Sydney, RPA Hospital and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA). He is the co-founder of Brainstorm.

A/Prof Buckland’s main clinical and research focus is in the molecular and cellular biology of human brain tumours. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles covering all aspects of neuropathology with a particular focus on gliomas. He regularly presents his work at national and international forums; recent presentations include the RCPA Annual Scientific Meeting, the International Association of Pathologists Annual Scientific meeting, the Neurosurgical Society of Australia annual meeting, the Diagnostic Immunohistochemistry Society annual scientific meeting, and the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.   Along with Dr Shivalingam, he is committed to building Australia’s premier brain tumour research facility through the unique partnership of RPA Hospital and the University of Sydney.

Dr Kimberley Kaufman
Dr Kimberley Kaufman is a Research Fellow based at the Brain and Mind Centre at Sydney University. Here she leads a research group, comprising three Ph.D. students, an undergraduate research student and a part-time Scientific Officer, investigating the molecular basis of brain tumours. Her research focuses on understanding how brain tumours, specifically glioblastomas, become so aggressive and resistant to treatment. By understanding what drives these deadly tumours, she hopes to find ways to slow their growth and spread and ultimately stop them completely. Her research also aims to help clinicians provide the best standard of care, by describing new indicators that can predict the severity of a patient’s tumour and help make decisions about which treatment to choose.

With funding from an Australian Postgraduate Award, Dr Kaufman completed a Ph.D. in Neuropathology at Sydney University in 2008, after performing some of the first large-scale protein profiling studies on human brain tissue. During this time, she was an intern at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Tokyo, and was awarded Sydney University’s ‘Bercovici Medal for Excellence in Medical Research’ and the ‘Bannigan Prize for the Best PhD in Neuroscience' from the Nerve Research Foundation. In 2010, Dr Kaufman was awarded a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council Australian Biomedical Postdoctoral Fellowship to study proteins responsible for the aggressive nature of melanoma and brain tumours. Much of this work was supported through collaborations with leading researchers at the Melanoma Institute Australia and RPAH. In 2014 she was awarded a Cancer Institute NSW Early Career Fellowship to support her continuing brain tumour research.

Dr Kaufman is an Honorary Affiliate of RPAH. Here she manages the RPAH Neuropathology Tumour and Tissue Bank and is passionate about building this important resource to support brain cancer research nationwide.

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Page Last Updated: 14 July, 2021