• The University of Melbourne
  • Australia, Vic
  • May 19, 2021

Job Description:

Located within Physiotherapy at Austin Health, in Heidelberg, the research team of Professor Berlowitz examines sleep and breathing dysfunction in neuromuscular disease, especially in spinal cord injury and motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The research program works closely with the Victorian Respiratory Support Service (VRSS) within the Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, the state-wide service that provides domiciliary ventilatory support for over 1,000 individuals. Our research encompasses epidemiology and cohort studies, sleep and respiratory discovery experiments, especially upper airway physiology and imaging, controlled clinical trials, disease registry development, health systems research and health data analytics. Our research involves collaboration across disciplines, technologies and countries.

The research team are building future capacity and developing research ideas (protocol development, pilot data collection, writing papers and funding grant applications, etc). Specific neuromuscular disease projects underway include trials of non-invasive ventilation strategies in VRSS patient groups, especially motor neurone disease, personalised sleep medicine after spinal cord injury, the effect of acute intermittent hypoxia on respiratory drive and neurogenesis, and maximising respiratory function in neuromuscular disease with lung volume recruitment and cough assistance. The Research Fellow will assist Professor Berlowitz to translate these opportunities, in particular the program of NIV studies and acute intermittent hypoxia work into studies that make a real difference to patients.

The Research Fellow will drive and assist with the management of the team’s clinical research. This entails research project development and management in collaboration with the study leaders and broader team, data collection and analysis and preparation of publications. This position is primarily located in Heidelberg. However, we have a commitment to minimising the burden of research for participants. As such, much of our clinical research testing occurs in the homes of study volunteers and travel to participants’ homes will be necessary. The successful applicant will drive their own projects with supervision, and as such a high degree of responsibility, self-motivation and organisation is critical. The Research Fellow will be expected to function as an effective and central team member of a larger, highly cohesive research team.