Children's Perioperative Lab (ChiPLab) - Department of Anaesthesia

We undertake research in a number of areas related to anaesthesia and patient care. This includes pain management, pre-hospital trauma management, malignant hyperthermia, and the application of virtual and augmented reality in perioperative and periprocedural care. We also conduct research in cardiovascular monitoring in theatre, and monitoring of the brain during anaesthesia and intensive care.

We support the training of medical students, registrars and fellows in research activities and assist other departments in multidisciplinary research activities. We have collaborative projects with many other national and international research groups, and aim to support the growing community of paediatric anaesthesia and perioperative medicine researchers worldwide.

Current projects

Current research projects including basic science, departmental and collaborative research projects, which include:

  • Cyanotic congenital heart disease- the role of nitrogen species in adaptation to hypoxaemia
  • T-Rex- Neurodevelopmental outcome after sevoflurane versus dexmedetomidine/remifentanil anaesthesia in infancy: a randomised controlled trial (Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and multinational consortium)
  • General anaesthesia in early life: effect on child cognitive and development outcomes (Menzies Centre, University of Sydney)
  • Multicentre isoelectric EEG study (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and  multinational collaborative)
  • 3D Printed Airways for Paediatric Anaesthesia – collaboration with Monash University
  • Perioperative Immersive Experiences: The PIE Study
  • Children’s Co-Creation of Virtual and Augmented Reality Experiences for Peri procedural Care
  • Changes in cerebral mitochondrial oxygenation during paediatric and adult cardiac surgery (University College London, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane collaboration)
  • Multiple smaller research projects and audits 
  • Malignant hyperthermia – diagnosis and research

The research team

> Dr Justin Skowno, Research Group Leader, Senior Staff Specialist and Clinical Senior Lecturer

Justin's research interests include:

  • Non-invasive optical monitoring of cerebral and vascular physiology
  • Effects of routinely used general anaesthetics on neurodevelopment in children
  • Physiological data acquisition and processing in high acuity environments
  • Nitric oxide physiology in congenital heart disease and cardiopulmonary bypass.
  • Cardiac output and perfusion monitoring in children

Please visit Justin's University of Sydney profile page for more information.

> Dr Jonathan de Lima, Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Sydney

Jonathan's research explores pain developmental biology and he has a continuing interest in acute pain management, paediatric cardiac anaesthesia and nitric oxide physiology in congenital heart disease.

> Dr Andrew Weatherall, Co-Head of the Department of Anaesthesia, Clinical Lecturer

Andrew's research Interests include:

  • Prehospital applications of non-invasive monitoring
  • Virtual and augmented Reality in perioperative and periprocedural care
  • Applications of 3D printing technologies to paediatric research and education.

> Dr Minal Menezes, Senior Research Officer

Minal's key research interest areas are cardiovascular anesthesiology, neuroscience in anesthesiology and using computing and simulation to study the effects of anaesthetics on these systems.

> Other research team members:

  • Dr Neil Street
  • Dr Margaret Perry
  • Dr Gail Wong