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Barwon Health / Research

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Research is an essential part of healthcare development. The Anaesthetics Research Unit collaborates with local and global organisations to ensure patients receive the most appropriate care and have the best possible outcomes before, during and after surgery.

Our Unit is well regarded in leading and participating in clinical trials of new techniques, medicines and technologies to address some of the most common complications of surgery, from nausea and vomiting to chronic pain and cognitive dysfunction.

The Unit recruits patients into a number of ANZCA Clinical Trials Network multicentre public-good trials, helping seek definitive answers in the fields of anaesthesia, perioperative medicine and pain that are relevant to patients, practitioners and policymakers. Visit the ANZCA website for descriptions of trials and links to publications.

Research Areas

Collaborating Organisations

Melbourne Health 

Austin Health  Alfred Health  Deakin University  University of Melbourne  CSIRO


Research Team

Research Staff


Featured Publications

Effects of a multi-component, resistance-based exercise program combined with additional lean red meat on health-related quality of life in older adults: Secondary analysis of a 6-month randomized controlled trial. Formica, Gianoudis J, Nowson CA, O’Connell SL, Milte C, Ellis KA, Daly RM. J Nutr Health Aging. 2023 doi: 10.1007/s12603-023-1915-1

Effect of lean red meat combined with a multicomponent exercise program on muscle and cognitive function in older adults: A 6-month randomized controlled trial. Formica M, Gianoudis J, Nowson CA, O'Connell SL, Milte C, Ellis KA, Daly RM. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020;112(1): 113-128.

Greater circulating copper concentrations and copper/zinc ratios are associated with lower psychological distress, but not cognitive performance, in a sample of Australian older adults. Mravunac M, Szymlek-Gay E, Daly RM, Roberts BR, Formica M, Gianoudis J, O’Connell SL, Nowson CA, Cardoso BR. Nutrients. 2019;11: 2503.

Selenium status is not associated with cognitive performance: A cross-sectional study in 154 older Australian adults. Cardoso B, Szymlek-Gay E, Roberts B, Formica M, Gianoudis J, O’Connell S, Nowson C, Daly R. Nutrients. 2018;10: 1847.

Cited By   Citation in Context  

Post-operative cognitive dysfunction: An exploration of the inflammatory hypothesis and novel therapies. [NOTE – Abstract only; Barwon Health staff can request full text from Library]. Skvarc DR, Berk M, Byrne LK, Dean OM, Dodd S, Lewis M, Marriott A, Moore EM, Morris G, Page RS, et al. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 2018;84: 116-133.

Cited By   Citation in Context 

Does lean red meat enhance the effects of exercise on muscle health and function in the elderly? Daly RM, Formica M, Gianoudis J, Ellis K, O’Connell S, Nowson C. Innovation in Aging. 2017;1: 1052-1053.

Cited By

Brain functional alterations in type 2 diabetes – A systematic review of fMRI studies. [NOTE – Full text for Barwon Health staff; public can view abstract]. Macpherson H, Formica M, Harris E, Daly RM. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2017;47: 34-46.

Cited By   Citation in Context

The effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on human cognition – A systematic review. [NOTE – Abstract only; Barwon Health staff can request full text from Library]. Skvarc DR, Dean OM, Byrne LK, Gray L, Lane S, Lewis M, Fernandes BS, Berk M, Marriott A. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 2017;78: 44-56.

Cited By   Citation in Context 

The post-anaesthesia N-acetylcysteine cognitive evaluation (PANACEA) trial: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Skvarc DR, Dean OM, Byrne LK, Gray LJ, Ives K, Lane SE, Lewis M, Osborne C, Page R, Stupart D, et al. Trials. 2016;17

Cited By   Citation in Context

(NOTE – a number of these publications stem from M Formica’s previous affiliation with IMPACT)


Support Our Research

Participate in a Clinical Trial

To find out about Clinical Trials currently underway at Barwon Health, click here.


Clinical trials require ongoing investment and there are several ways to support this amazing work.

You can make a donation today and contribute to an item on our research wish list, consider a bequest in your will, or establish a lasting legacy fund in your name. No matter what size, your philanthropic support with deliver an immediate impact.

To donate now or for more information and further discuss your support, please contact the Barwon Health Foundation.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Research Leads

Dr Melissa Formica low res

Dr Melissa Formica
Research Fellow


Ms Rachel Fiddes
Research Nurse 


Ms Madeleine Newell
Research Nurse 

Sara Aldred low res

Ms Sara Aldred
Research Nurse 

Kayla Elridge low res

Ms Kayla Eldridge
Research Scientist 

University Hospital Geelong
Department of Anaesthesia
Perioperative Medicine & Pain Management
P.O. Box 281
Geelong Vic 3220
Research enquiries ph 0411 399 025