Neuroimaging refers to any means of visualizing the brain. Its great advantage is that it allows us look at the living brain.
Dr Andrew Bivard
Andrew’s research focuses on acute ischaemic stroke imaging for patient selection for reperfusion therapies, to maximize benefits and limit potential harms. Using perfusion based imaging techniques he demonstrated that clinicians could measure the volume of the acute penumbra and infarct core on CTP and PWI. This work was adopted into the positive phase two clinical trials comparing ischaemic stroke treatments alteplase and tenecteplase. The trials are also currently being tested in a phase III trial of tenecteplase, TASTE.
He oversees the standardisation and implementation of advanced imaging in 50 centers globally (across Australia, Taiwan, Canada, New Zealand, England and Spain). This work has helped establish CT perfusion as a clinically reliable tool which can be adapted into routine practice. Additionally, he has begun work in the stroke recovery field with the completion of the positive trial MIDAS. This phase II clinical trial was able to show a significant improvement in stroke survivors quality of life with an anti-fatigue agent modafinil after just 6 weeks of therapy. This project provided him with a wealth of experience which can be capitalized on in the future. Since the completion of MIDAS, the extended research team have begun MIDAS2 and Dr Bivard is a Co-PI with Professor Chris Levi.
Mr Gagan Sharma
Gagan manages the neuroinformatics laboratory of the MBC-RMH supporting the imaging analytics underpinning our clinical trials including groundbreaking studies such as EXTEND IV, EXTEND IA TNK, and HERMES. The neuroinformatics team continues to grow with 3 additional staff in 2018. The team’s work has been presented at computational informatics and programming conferences where health applications are a key focus. His boutique tool development and support for major clinical studies has successfully secured further infrastructure funding for the lab’s growing trials portfolio.
Ms Smisha Thomas
Smisha manages the MBC-RMH’s central data hub, NeuroBase which continues to go from strength to strength. The team was awarded the Victorian State government award for clinical registry support and development for our center’s major contribution to the national AUSCR stroke registry. A major new focus has been the MBC-RMH’s Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU), the first stroke ambulance in Australia, for which a new database node - PRESTIGE - was developed to collect data while the MSU is in transit, generate patient handover reports at the destination hospital and enabled close tracking of clinical outcome data.
Another key activity was the expansion of the epilepsy unit’s PGx study to link HADS, DNA sequencing data and post-2-year follow-up questionnaires including automatic data visualisation for VEM diagnosis, surgery and other parameters. . 111 projects were based on the PGx study since 2017.