MACH is proud to introduce the nine successful applicants of the 2023 MACH-Track program as they prepare to start their journey towards becoming the next generation of leading clinical researchers in Victoria.

The cohort comprised of doctors, physiotherapists and a nurse will be supported as they integrate career development in research alongside completion of their postgraduate training and clinical work.

MACH Executive Director Professor Sir John Savill says he is excited to welcome this year’s larger cohort.

“After two successful years, we’ve expanded MACH-Track program to include nurses, midwives and physiotherapists.

“We’ve received great feedback from previous cohorts, and it is rewarding to see the program grow to reach further throughout the Victorian healthcare system.”

Recently appointed Co-Director of MACH-Track for Nursing, Professor Marie Gerdtz, says innovations in clinical research are needed “in every aspect of healthcare”.

“The inclusion of nursing and allied health professionals in MACH-Track will help the best young clinician-researchers shine, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this year’s recipients will achieve,” says Professor Gerdtz.

MACH would also like to welcome Professor David Berlowitz and Honorary Associate Professor Laura Bignell, who will join Professor Gertz as new co-directors of the expanded MACH-Track program.

Meet our 2023 MACH-Track candidates

  • Dr Alex Besson


    Dr Besson completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash University before commencing medical training at the University of Melbourne.

    In 2021, Dr Besson graduated with a Master of Traumatology from the University of Newcastle, and in 2023 will commence his first year of general surgical training.

    Dr Besson currently works at Western Health, where his interest in research led him to become one of the founding members of the Western Health Surgical Research Group (WestSuRG) research collaborative.

    Presently, he is particularly interested in colorectal cancer and colorectal surgery, and aims to further investigate the relationship between body composition and chemotherapy dosing and toxicities in colorectal cancer treatment.

    Through MACH-Track, Dr Besson hopes to contribute to research that advances the care of surgical patients and also inspires others to consider a similar career path.

  • Ms Nicola Burgess


    Ms Burgess completed her Doctor of Physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne in 2018, graduating as Dux.

    She now works as a clinical physiotherapist and was recently appointed to a senior orthopaedic outpatient position at Austin Health, providing rehabilitation to various post-surgical orthopaedic populations.

    Having worked in a variety of areas along the care continuum, from the Intensive Care Unit through to subacute and community physiotherapy, Ms Burgess has developed a particular interest in prehabilitation and improving multi-disciplinary perioperative care pathways to ensure patients get the best possible post-surgery outcomes.

    Ms Burgess is passionate about embedding a positive research culture into physiotherapy clinical practice and is excited by the opportunity of raising the profile of allied health in clinical research.

  • Ms Talia Clohessy


    Ms Clohessy completed her Bachelor of Science (Human Physiology), before graduating with a Doctor of Physiotherapy (with Dean’s Honours) at the University of Melbourne.

    She currently works as a physiotherapist at the Austin Hospital, largely rotating through cardiorespiratory settings which includes both clinical and research work within the ICU. Through her work, Ms Clohessy is involved with the Victorian Respiratory Support Service and Victorian Spinal Cord Service – unique state-wide services that help care for patients with lifelong disability.

    Ms Clohessy is passionate about using her advanced clinical training to inform and enact practice change. Her specific interests are cardiorespiratory and ventilatory management and neurological recovery for those living with neurodegenerative diseases.

    Through MACH-Track, she hopes to develop the skills and experience needed to help improve patient and health-care system outcomes.

  • Dr Annabelle Huguenin


    Dr Huguenin is an obstetrics and gynaecology trainee at the Royal Women’s Hospital.

    After completing her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) at Monash University, she developed an interest in the role health leadership plays in driving quality improvement.

    Supported by a Fulbright Future Scholarship, Dr Huguenin completed a Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, where she developed a passion for evidence-based leadership.

    Dr Huguenin’s research will focus on the importance of building leadership capabilities in the workforce to improve safety, quality, efficiency and workforce sustainability in the healthcare system.

    The MACH-Track program will allow her to build a professional network, form a think-tank to innovatively collaborate and contribute solutions to the complex issues facing healthcare demand.

  • Dr Roshan Karri


    Dr Karri has been selected to embark on the RANZCO Ophthalmology Vocational Training Pathway at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in 2023.

    He attained his Bachelor of Biomedicine and Doctor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne and is currently completing a Master of Philosophy at the Centre for Eye Research (CERA) in the field of medical retina.

    A self-taught data scientist with a particular interest in machine learning, Dr Karri continues to publish research in the AI space, including the first system for predicting clinical trajectories of COVID-19 patients in Australia.

    Dr Karri’s long-term goal is to develop scalable, cloud-based technologies to serve as diagnostic and prognostic aids in ophthalmology. His vision is to use technology to democratise early access to the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease.

  • Dr Paul Kinsella


    Dr Kinsella studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, where he graduated in 2012 and obtained membership (MRCPI) in 2015.

    After moving to Australia and undertaking physician training at the Austin Hospital, he became a joint trainee in microbiology and infectious diseases.

    In 2022, Dr Kinsella is a microbiology registrar at Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL). In 2023, he will complete his final year of training as an infectious diseases fellow at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

    Through MACH-Track, Dr Kinsella hopes to pursue research to introduce novel laboratory technologies, or repurpose current technologies, to improve patient outcomes and measure impact to maximise benefit.

  • Dr William Mitchell


    Dr Mitchell is an advanced ophthalmic trainee at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, in Melbourne.

    He graduated his MBBS at the University of Adelaide in 2016, and holds a Diploma of Clinical Education from the University of Melbourne. In 2019 he was awarded a General Sir John Monash scholarship to complete a Master of Public Health at Harvard University.

    Dr Mitchell has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles (>80% as first, second or senior author) and presented at multiple international ophthalmic conferences. His research to date has primarily been epidemiological, analysing inequalities in access to and outcomes of clinical and surgical care for remote Australian and global populations.

    He’s excited to continue this thread of research, and to broaden his scope with the world-leading translational research teams working at CERA.

  • Dr Rochelle Sleaby


    Dr Sleaby is a general practice registrar with research interests in preventative medicine and women’s health.

    She completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine and Master of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne and the Baker Institute, followed by a Doctor of Medicine at Bond University.

    Prior to commencing general practice in Melbourne, Dr Sleaby worked at Metro North Hospital and Health Service in Queensland and at Monash Health in Victoria.

    Dr Sleaby was awarded a competitive academic post with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne. Here, she investigated screening and prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus after gestational diabetes in primary care.

    Through MACH-Track, Dr Sleaby hopes to improve the translation of innovative, evidence-based medicine to improve health outcomes for at-risk populations in primary care.

  • Ms Ingrid Sutherland


    Ms Sutherland works as a Clinical Nurse Consultant in the Department of Neurodevelopment and Disability at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

    She completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) at Manukau Institute of Technology in New Zealand in 1996. In 2019, she completed her Master of Advanced Nursing Practice at Melbourne University.

    Since 2016, Ms Sutherland has worked in her current role, caring for children with physical and intellectual disabilities, and supporting their parents and guardians.

    She has a keen interest in equitable and accessible healthcare for children with an intellectual disability, particularly those living regionally and/or part of culturally and linguistically diverse families.

    In the MACH-Track program, Ms Sutherland aims to develop skills to advocate for children with disabilities, as well as gain the knowledge and connections to build her expertise in specialist disability nursing.