Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Institute of Academic Surgery

Our People

IAS Executive

Michael SolomonMichael Solomon - Co-Chair

Professor Michael Solomon is a Colorectal Surgeon devoted to enhancing the academic standing of RPA. Having established a highly successful and collaborative academic career, including being the founding Director and Head of the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), Professor Michael Solomon has gained great joy from being involved in surgical research and education, and is committed to leading innovations that support others to follow similar pursuits.

With extensive experience in clinical research that has resulted in the publication of over 200 papers and over 9 million dollars in peer reviewed research grants, Professor Solomon's current research interests lie in developing maximally invasive techniques for advanced pelvic malignancy, clinical trials of minimally invasive colorectal surgery and the assessment and performance of randomised and alternative clinical trial designs for surgical operations.

In addition to being the inaugural Co-Chair of the IAS, Professor Solomon is the Academic Head of the Department of Colorectal Surgery at the RPA, a Clinical Professor of Surgery and Director of Colorectal Research for both RPA and the University of Sydney and is a past President of the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia & New Zealand (CSSANZ).

Under Professor Solomon's leadership, the IAS is sure to be established as a world-leading centre for academic surgery.

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Paul BannonPaul Bannon - Co-Chair

Professor Paul Bannon is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon dedicated to a life of surgery and research taking discoveries from the laboratory bench to the patient's bedside. Professor Bannon completed his surgical training at RPA and, under the guidance of the late Professor Douglas Baird, was encouraged to take up research and has never looked back.

His research interests are extensive and have the potential to result in major breakthroughs for the early detection, prevention and treatment of heart and lung disease. Underpinning this is a dedicated research group at RPA, which is led by Professor Bannon, who reviews leading evidence from around the world to get better outcomes for research and surgery.

In addition to being the inaugural Co-Chair of the IAS, Professor Bannon is the Chairman of the Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical Research, the Professorial Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Sydney, the Vice President, President-elect of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons, the Co-Chair of the Cardiac Devices Committee for the Agency of Clinical Innovation, Ministry of Health NSW, the Head of Department for Cardiothoracic Surgery at RPA and has held various positions in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and RPA.

Professor Bannon is committed to developing young surgeons into thinkers and leading researchers, and has been a strong leader in academic surgery within the University of Sydney and at RPA. His leadership skills and drive for enhancing academic surgery are a great asset to the IAS.

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Katie McBrideKate McBride - Executive Director

Ms Kate McBride is an enthusiastic and skilled hospital administrator with a passion for surgical services and the implementation of innovations that support best practice and evidence based patient care. With a Masters in Health Service Management (UTS) and considerable experience in effectively integrating clinical, academic and business activities to enhance service delivery in a variety of health settings, Kate is dedicated to ensuring the goals of the IAS are successfully achieved.

Kate is the inaugural Executive Director of the IAS and has previously worked at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in a number of management positions including within the Executive Unit as the Manager of Operational Strategy and Performance and the Business Manager for Cardiovascular Services, and most recently spent 2 years working across East Africa as a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Currently undertaking a PhD (medicine) at the University of Sydney, Kate’s research is focusing on the surgical outcomes of patients with co-morbid serious mental illness taking a mixed methodology approach with the aim to ultimately enhance the identification, management and outcomes for these disadvantaged patients.

Christopher YoungChristopher Young - Executive Director of Surgical Education

Associate Professor Christopher Young is a Colorectal Surgeon with a drive to enhance the level of evidence surrounding the way surgical education and training is delivered. He has a particular interest in decision making and competency based training, and his 2013 book Examination Surgery is an indispensable study guide to help surgical trainees prepare and perform for their fellowship exam.

In addition to being the inaugural Executive Director of Surgical Education at the IAS, Associate Professor Young is the Head of the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, a member of the Training Board in Colon and Rectal Surgery and the RACS Board of Surgical Research, and a past Chairman of the RACS Board In General Surgery.

With a reputation for getting things done, Associate Professor Christopher Young is committed to establishing a strong culture of surgical education research at RPA and will lead the overall education portfolio within the IAS.

David StoreyDavid Storey - Director of Surgical Education

Associate Professor David Storey lives and breathes surgical education. The considerable experience and knowledge that he brings to the role of inaugural Director of Surgical Education is a significant asset to the IAS, and the overall advancement of surgical education.

Having been a Hepatobiliary and Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon at RPA for many years, Associate Professor David Storey is currently the Director of Training for the Sydney South West Surgical Skills Network and a Clinical Advisor to the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission relating to surgical supervision. He has also held numerous positions within the Royal College of Surgeons.

Through the establishment of the Surgical Skills Facility on Level 9 at RPA, Associate Professor David Storey has provided guidance and mentoring to countless budding surgical trainees and the opportunity for ongoing surgical skills training onsite at the hospital. Under his leadership, this facility will be greatly enhanced with the drive to establish new training facilities at RPA.


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Jonathan HongJonathan Hong - Deputy Director of Surgical Education

Associate Professor Jonathan Hong is a Colorectal Surgeon who has a strong commitment to the continuous improvement of training and standards in surgery. He has been an enthusiastic teacher of medical students, trainee surgeons and colleagues throughout his career. He is particularly interested in assessment of technical and non-technical skills within a competence based surgical education framework. He is a member of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) Fundamentals of Rectal Cancer assessment subcommittee.

Associate Professor Hong has undertaken extensive training in both Colorectal and General surgery, predominantly at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He also has international experience having spent 2 years completing the Colorectal Surgical Fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto, Canada, as well as a visiting Scholar at The Wilson Center for Medical Education at Toronto General Hospital.

In addition to being the Deputy Director of Surgical Education at the IAS, Jonathan undertook a Masters of Philosophy in 2016 exploring the use of MRI to personalise the surgical approach to rectal cancer treatment, as well as a Masters of Surgical Education. 



Jane YoungJane Young - Executive Director of Research

Professor Jane Young is a Cancer Epidemiologist with a passion for equitable healthcare and the improvement of all aspects of the patient journey, from prevention through early detection to treatment. With extensive experience in a broad spectrum of research, Professor Young has a strong interest in the methodological aspects of research design, including the development of robust measures of service delivery, the conduct of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and biostatistics.

As the inaugural Executive Director of Research at the IAS, Professor Young will lead the overall surgical research direction of the Institute including facilitating the development of academic surgical departments at RPA. In addition to this, Professor Jane Young is the Executive Director of the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), the Chair of the NSW & ACT Cancer Epidemiology Network, on the Editorial Board of Implementation Science and regularly reviews articles for a number of international journals including the BMJ and is a statistical reviewer for Diseases of the Colon and Rectum.

Having written over 130 peer reviewed publications and supervised over 30 PhD and Masters students, Professor Jane Young is a world-class researcher with the expertise and leadership skills to drive the enhancement of surgical research at RPA.



Michael ByromMichael Byrom - Director of Translational Research

Dr Michael Byrom is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon with a passion for Laboratory Research. Having recently completed a PhD at the University of Sydney on the development of a novel bioengineered vascular bypass conduit, this highly collaborative project brought together leaders in the fields of physics, biochemistry, cardiology, and cardiothoracic surgery.

Building on this recent laboratory research experience, and the knowledge and skills he gained from working and training in cardiothoracic surgery in New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom, Dr Byrom is dedicated to cultivating a greater interest and expertise in laboratory research within RPA.

With an enthusiasm for the development of research skills and the ability to foster collaborative partnerships, Dr Byrom also has research interests in the role of wall shear stress in the determination of patency for conduits in coronary artery bypass surgery, in the design of surgical trials and their statistical analysis and vascular biomaterials research including thrombogenicity assessment and the design of appropriate animal models to assess new devices.

Dr Byrom is the inaugural Director of laboratory Research of the IAS.
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Rachael RobertsRachael Roberts - Director of Surgical Nursing Research

Ms Rachael Roberts is a Registered Nurse who has also worked in the Colorectal Research Unit and Surgical Outcomes Research Centre here at RPAH.  Rachael has been involved in various aspects of the research process from design to the publication, as well as helping others complete their projects. Focusing mainly on a longitudinal study investigating patient quality of life, clinical outcomes and survival of patients undergoing pelvic exenteration surgery in recent years Rachael has seen what a huge impact an increase in knowledge of patient outcomes, through research, has on delivering better patient care.

Rachael is keen to use her years of experience in research to help encourage other nurses to use the skills they already have by increasing staff awareness of what research is and the practical application it can have on their ward and daily patient care and supporting them in their endeavour to do so. 



Charbel SandroussiCharbel Sandroussi - Director of Clinical Research

Associate Professor Charbel Sandroussi is a Hepatobiliary and Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon with a strong commitment to Clinical Research.

His specific research interests include transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma, technical outcomes in adult to adult live donor liver transplantation, portal haemodynamics following transplant and liver resection, and multivisceral and major vascular resection in oncology.

Associate Professor Charbel Sandroussi has an extensive track record of successful collaborations with both local and overseas research groups and a genuine enjoyment for teaching and working with others.
In addition to being the inaugural Director of Clinical Research of the IAS, Associate Professor Sandroussi is the Head of the Department of Hepatobiliary and Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery at RPA, the medical director of TPN at RPA, and a Director of the Surgical Outcomes Resource Centre (SOuRCe).

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Trevor McGowan Trevor McGowan - Facility Coordinator

Trevor McGowan is an experienced operating theatre Registered Nurse who has a keen interest in the training and education of nurses in the peri-operative environment. Trevor has been involved in the training and development of nurses within the RPA operating theatre complex, helping to increase their knowledge and skill in a challenging environment. Trevor has also worked in management roles within operating theatres and encourages collaboration between health care disciplines to provide timely and effective patient outcomes.

Trevor is the inaugural Facility Coordinator of the IAS Technical Skills Laboratory and Simulation Theatre and will continue to strive to improve the knowledge and skills of health professionals.



Lucy MackenzieLucy Mackenzie - A/Manager, Surgical Partnerships

Ms Lucy Mackenzie is the A/ Manager, Surgical Partnerships and an invaluable member of the IAS Executive Team. From coordinating various committees, meetings and events, providing oversight of all IAS social media and establishing sound administrative systems, Lucy plays a key role in keeping the Institute running smoothly on a daily basis.

Having completed her Bachelor of Business (Marketing / Public Relations) from the University of Technology Sydney in 2015, Lucy has previously worked in a number of function and marketing positions within the hospitality industry and has a strong interest in administration, marketing and communications skills within a healthcare setting.



Research Staff

Sarah O’ShannassySarah O’Shannassy –Advanced GI Surgical Program Manager

Sarah O’Shannassy is an experienced colorectal nurse who has a passion for the education and professional development of nurses working across the Advanced GI Surgical services. Sarah, along with the team from IAS have developed and implemented a unique and specialised Advanced GI Surgical Nursing Training Program. This program is a rotational program which can be completed over two-three years and involves rotating amongst four-six different speciality departments within the Advanced GI Surgery Service. Nursing research is embedded in this program, focusing on encouraging and inspiring nurses to develop a passion and interest in research. Before stepping into this role, Sarah was the first dedicated Pelvic Exenteration Clinical Nurse Consultant at RPA and is currently undertaking research in this area.



Kai ChengKai Cheng - Surgical Innovations Research Officer  

Kai Cheng  is the Surgical Innovation research officer at the IAS. Kai has more than 14 years’ experience in 3D modelling, 3D printing, data visualisation, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality development.

Kai is currently working on a wide range of clinical and educational projects within Sydney Local Health District and Chris O'Brien Lifehouse  with the aim to advance healthcare communication, 3d printing for patient specific surgical instrument development and preoperative planning. Some of the projects that Kai has worked on include advanced facial reconstructive surgery and 3D guides for advanced sarcoma. 



Sascha KarunaratneSascha Karunaratne - Orthopaedic Research Officer

Mr Sascha Karunaratne is a Physiotherapist who is committed to evidence based clinical practice, particularly in Orthopaedic research. With a determination to make meaningful contributions in pursuit of this, he is assisting in the establishment of databases and co-ordination of clinical studies within the Orthopaedic Surgery Department. Having pursued research in education and clinical practice during completion of his Bachelor of Health Science (Hons)/Master of Physiotherapy at Western Sydney University, Sascha has a strong foundation in health services and clinical research.

Sascha hopes to pursue his PhD in Orthopaedic Surgery whilst developing his research skills further and continuing his contributions to the department.



Danielle Van DiepenDanielle Van Diepen - Robotic Research Fellow

Dr Danielle van Diepen is a Dutch trained and certified urological surgeon with a special interest in oncological urology and minimal invasive surgery. After 6 month training period at the Netherlands Cancer Institute she moved to Sydney, Australia for a  fellowship at Concord Repatriation General Hospital where she was trained in trans perineal ultrasound of the pelvic floor. Dr van Diepen is currently undertaking a Robotic and Research fellowship at the Royal Prince Alfred Institute of Academic Surgery.