Our Team

Metabolic Research

Prof Mark McLean

Prof Mark is Head of Department of Medicine at Blacktown-Mt Druitt Hospital. He is extensively involved in clinical and basic science research and his main research interest is the effect of events in pregnancy on the metabolic health of the mother and baby, with a particular emphasis on Gestational Diabetes.

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Dr Vita Birzniece

Vita Birzniece is a Senior Lecturer in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Western Sydney University and a member of the Translational Health Research Institute (THRI). She leads the Metabolic Research Unit at Blacktown Clinical School, investigating the mechanisms how body composition is regulated by hormones. Special focus is on developing a novel safe treatment for sarcopenia, and the use of resistance training and diabetes drugs to supress cancer progression.

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Dr Haleh Shahidipour

Dr Haleh Shahidipour is part of the research team at the Blacktown Clinical School and Research Centre. Her current research is focused on understanding the effect of the anti-diabetic drug Metformin on prostate cancer.

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Dr Dmitrii Shek

Dmitrii Shek is currently Master of Research student in the Western Sydney University. His research project is directed on detection of possible prognostic biomarkers of immune-related adverse events in patients with cancer, treated by immune-checkpoint inhibitors.

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Neeta Reddy

Navneeta Reddy is the Clinical Trial Manager/Research Nurse at the University Clinic and Research Centre, Blacktown Hospital. She is responsible for trials conducted by the Metabolic Unit and works under Dr Vita Birzniece and Dr Mark McLean.

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Liver Immunology and Inflammation

Prof Gollo Ahlenstiel

Professor Golo Ahlenstiel is the Chair of Medicine at Blacktown Clinical School, Western Sydney University and Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist at Blacktown Hospital, Sydney.

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Dr Scott Read

Scott is a Senior Lecturer at Western Sydney University, where he splits his time between the Blacktown Mt Druitt Clinical School and Research Centre and the Westmead Institute for Medical Research. Scott’s research focuses on understanding the links between viral infections, innate immunity, and the deleterious effects of chronic inflammation in the liver and gastrointestinal tract.

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Dr Ratna Wijaya

Dr Ratna Wijaya is a PhD student in the Liver Immunology Unit at the Blacktown and Mt Druitt Clinical School and Research Centre.


Obesity Research and Bariatric Surgery Program

Dr Ramy Bishay

Ramy is a staff specialist endocrinologist and clinical lead of the Metabolic & Weight Loss Clinic at Blacktown Hospital; he is also staff specialist endocrinologist and general physician at Canterbury Hospital. He did his endocrinology and physician's training at St Vincent's, Concord, Blacktown and St George Hospitals.

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Prof Michael Edye

Michael is the Chair of Surgery, University of Western Sydney, Blacktown Hospital. He is a General Surgeon with an interest in advanced laparoscopic surgery.

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Sarah Messer

Sarah Messer is a Senior Metabolic Dietitian for the Blacktown Metabolic & Weight Loss Program at Blacktown Hospital and an Associate Lecturer (conjoint) with Western Sydney University. With a background in nutrition and dietetics as well as food science and nutrition.

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Diabetes and Endocrinology

Dr Sue Lynn Lau

Sue Lynn Lau is a staff specialist endocrinologist at Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals and a Senior Lecturer at the Blacktown Clinical School and Research Centre, Western Sydney University.

Dr Tien-Ming Hng

Tien-Ming Hng is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine at Western Sydney University.

Dr Anna Duke

Dr Anna Duke is an Endocrinologist with Specialist Services and a Staff Specialist in the Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology at Blacktown and Mt Druitt Hospitals.

Allison Sigmund

Allison Sigmund is a Clinical Trial Manager, Dietitian & DEXA Technologist employed by Blacktown Hospital working at the University Clinic and Research Centre. She is responsible for Endocrinology trials conducted with Dr Mark McLean within the University Clinic and is also an experienced operator of the DEXA scanner within the unit.

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Anna Bubb

Susan Hendon

Susan Hendon is the Clinical Trial Coordinator and Research Midwife at Blacktown Hospital and an Adjunct Fellow at Western Sydney University. She has 16 years’ experience working in clinical and research roles involving Gestational Diabetes and Diabetes.