Our Research Team

The research supported by the Fiona Wood Foundation is undertaken at the Burn Injury Research Unit (BIRU) at the School of Surgery UWA and within the Burns Service of WA, based at Fiona Stanley and Princess Margaret Hospitals.

We are leading the way in gaining insights into the impact of burn injuries and scarring on both mind and body by integrating basic science research with clinical, rehabilitative and epidemiological studies. By so doing our aim is to continue to improve the quality of outcomes for those suffering burn injury and trauma.

Professor Fiona Wood, FRACS AM  

Professor Fiona Wood is the Director of the Burns Injury Research Unit (BIRU) at UWA.

Fiona leads the research team at the Fiona Wood Foundation, encompassing the BIRU and the Burns Service of WA (BSWA) - both adult and children. 

Fiona has contributed to the advancement of knowledge in burns care through her scientific research, including over 165 publications in international journals. Her research has been cited over 1,341 times. She is dedicated to ensuring the advancement of burns care is rigorous and efficient, regularly reviewing manuscripts for international journals and has reviewed grant and fellowship applications for both state and commonwealth funding bodies. 

Fiona is currently the President of the Australian New Zealand Burn Association (ANZBA).


Fiona Wood

Associate Professor Janine Duke

BPharm, M.P.S, Grad Dip.Epidemiology, PhD (Clinical Epidemiology & Community Medicine)

Janine is an epidemiologist with expertise in injury, clinical and pharmaco-epidemiology, as well as analysis and data linkage methodologies. She has been a lecturer and researcher in public health since 1996 and her research focus since 2009 has been on burn injury to generate evidence to inform burn care, prevention, education and policy.

Janine joined the Burn Injury Research Unit in 2012 to develop a population-based burn injury research project, which incorporates a number of areas including assessment of spatial or geographic trends in burns, the long-term health impacts of burns, burn-related readmissions and costs associated with treatment. She is also involved in other clinical and burn prevention projects, including collaborative endeavours in Nepal.

Janine Duke 

Dr Dale Edgar

BPhty (Hons First), PhD

Dale is the Fiona Wood Foundation's Director of Clinical Research and, as a senior physiotherapist and researcher, has devoted the past 19 years to the provision and improvement of burn survivor rehabilitation. He holds academic teacher and mentoring positions at UWA's School of Surgery, Curtin University of Technology, the University of Notre Dame and James Cook University (Townsville). Previous roles have included Executive Officer of the Australian and New Zealand Burns Association (ANZBA), including being President of ANZBA for three years.

Dale is active in and recognised by the international burns community. He received the Andre Zagame International Society of Burn Injury Rehabilitation Specialist Award in 2012. His goals for the Foundation are to focus his research into the challenging area of acute major burn patient rehabilitation and using exercise as a therapeutic tool. He is continuing to focus on burn prevention, preparedness and pre-hospital management of burn patients, and he is heavily involved in community education programs and strategies, burn registries, plans and first aid strategies.

Dale Edgar

Associate Professor Mark Fear

MA (Oxon), PhD (Lond)

Mark is a Senior Scientist at the Fiona Wood Foundation and Associate Professor at the Burn Injury Research Unit at UWA.  Since graduating in 1996, Mark has been involved in scientific research at Northwestern University in Chicago, the University of London and UWA.

Since 2006, Mark’s research focus has been on wound healing, scar formation and ways to improve outcomes for burn patients. Together with Professor Fiona Wood, he established the basic scientific research group at UWA.


Mark Fear

Vidya Finlay

BSc (Phty), MPhil (Public Health)

Vidya is a Burns Physiotherapist and Research Fellow at the Fiona Wood Foundation since 2007, primarily looking at functional outcomes after burn injury. She is interested in helping people with burns recover from their injuries and achieve good physical function, scar and quality of life. Vidya is has been working on using outcome information to assist the improvement of burn care, and is involved in Research Ethics and Governance.



Vidya Finlay

Dr Tiffany Grisbrook

BSc (Hons First), PhD

Tiffany is a research fellow for the Fiona Wood Foundation. She also holds an academic position at the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science at Curtin University where she has a lecturing and research role for the Exercise, Sport and Rehabilitation Science course.

Tiffany holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons, First Class) and a PhD in Exercise and Health Science, both from the University of Western Australia. Her honours research was the first study to utilize three-dimensional motion analysis to measure functional outcomes in adults with burn injuries.

Tiffany’s PhD thesis investigated outcomes of exercise training for individuals with long term functional impairment following major burn injury. Her current research area of interest remains around determining optimal exercise prescription for patients with burn injuries, as well as measuring biomechanical and physiological outcomes in this population.

Tiffany Grisbrook

Dr Mitali Manzur

BSc (Hons), PhD (Viral Immunology)

Mitali completed her PhD at UWA in the field of viral immunology before conducting postdoctoral research in angiogenesis and cancer biology. With extensive experience in the fields of cancer research and general cell biology, Mitali was keen to expand and apply her skills to burns research.

Mitali is a Research Associate who provides support to the various aspects of burn injury being investigated at the Fiona Wood Foundation that are working towards the goal of minimizing the impact and suffering caused by burn injury.


Mitali Manzur

Lisa Martin

RN, MSs (Public Health) Research Associate Burn Injury Research Unit, UWA

Lisa is a registered nurse with specialist training in critical care in the UK and Australia, and has a Master's in Public Health. She is interested in the fact that the same treatment causes different scars in different people, and is intent on investigating differences in genetic make-up.

Lisa strives to raise awareness of burn risk in the community by identifying and targeting at-risk groups through prevention campaigns.



Lisa Martin

Dr Sarah McGarry 

BSc (OT) (Hons First), PhD

Post-doctoral research fellow, Dr Sarah McGarry conducts research in both paediatric and adult burn injury. Her research is in collaboration with multidisciplinary teams as well as Edith Cowan University, University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute. Sarah is a committee member of the Australian Society of Medical Research and is research convenor for the WA Occupational Therapy Association.

Sarah’s research focuses on the impact of stress on healing and scarring. She is interested in the impact of early life stress in young children with burns and the long term consequences of chronic stress in burns patients and their carers.

Sarah works clinically on the burns unit as well as conducting research and has been the recipient of awards such as the Health Professional award at Princess Margaret Hospital and the Vice Chancellor Engagement award at Edith Cowan University.

Sarah McGarry

Professor Suzanne Rea

MB, Bch (Hons), MRCSF, FRCSI(Plast) PhD

Suzanne is a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Fiona Stanley Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital. Her research has been awarded by the Australian and New Zealand Burns Association and the American Burns Association.

Suzanne is currently researching the role of the bone marrow, peripheral nerve and muscle responses to burn injury, as well as supervising epidemiology studies to identify areas for further scientific research. She is also driving research into paediatric burn injuries and outcomes and also is instrumental in our research involving the laser. 


Suzanne Rea

Dr Hilary Wallace Associate Professor,

Burn Injury Research Unit, UWA

Hilary has worked as a scientist in the field of wound healing research – both in chronic wounds and burn injury – for 20 years. She leads a diverse range of clinical research projects, including understanding genetic and microbiological risk factors for poor scarring after burn injury, new methods of scar assessment and identification of novel molecular targets underlying scarring based on epigenetic modifications in scar cells.

Hilary joined the Burn Injury Research Unit in 2009. Since 2010, she has also been involved in public health approaches to burn injury, and she plays an internationally recognised role in burn epidemiology and prevention in low to middle income countries, in particular Nepal. She believes that burns clinicians and researchers in developed countries can make a significant contribution towards reducing the mortality and suffering due to burn injury globally.

Hlary Wallace

PhD & Masters Students

Our PhD and Masters students are paving the way by undertaking new research into key areas of burn injuries.


Mansour Alghamdi

M.Sc. Anatomy and Human Biology, PGDip Surgical Anatomy, M.Sc. Forensic Science

Mansour is a third year doctoral student with three post-graduate programs at UWA already under his belt. Mansour is also involved in teaching Human Anatomy units at Murdoch and Notre Dame University. His PhD research with the BIRU centres on the role of epigenetic modification in keloid scar pathogenesis.

Mansour is introducing an integrated approach to identifying epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation in keloid scarring that has the potential to increase the understanding of keloid development, and may eventually lead to the identification of novel therapeutics. A list of targets genes which may play a major role in keloid scar formation has been identified. These genes are being tested in the lab as a potential therapeutic target.

Mansour Alghamdi

Paul Gittings

BSc (Phty), (Hons First)

Paul is a senior Physiotherapist at the State Adult Burns Unit and a clinical researcher with the Fiona Wood Foundation. He has an interest in the patient’s journey through rehabilitation after a burn injury.

Paul is currently undertaking a PhD testing a specific exercise programme for burns patients immediately after their injury and assessing the quality of their outcomes.

Paul Gittings

Pippa Kenworthy

BSc (Phty)

Pippa works as a senior physiotherapist on the burns unit. She is currently undertaking her Masters investigating the use of bioimpedance spectroscopy as a measure of swelling in the acute burn.

Pippa Kenworthy

Dr Vetrichevvel Palanivelu

MBBS, MD (Dermatology and Venereolgy)

Vetrichevvel is a dermatologist from India (a graduate of the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research) with a keen interest in research. His PhD with the BIRU is investigating the systemic effect of localised burn on the skin.

Vetrichevvel is looking at the different subtypes of nerve fibres that are affected in the skin, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and the spine when burn injuries occur. Patients often suffer from decreased sensation or chronic pain at the site of a burn injury, changes that are not only due to the way the nerves regenerate in the burn scar but also due to the effect of the burn injury on the cutaneous sensory pathways.

Vetri Palanivelu

Dr Casey Whife

Casey went to medical school at UWA and graduated at the end of 2012. Since then, Casey divided his time between working at Bunbury Regional Hospital and Royal Peth Hospital. Whilst working in Perth in 2014, Casey worked at the WA State Burns Unit. This year Casey will be completeing a Master's through UWA, and is the recipient of the 2016 Cynthua Banham Burn Inury Research Fellowship, awarded by The Ian Potter Foundation.




 Read more about the research work of the team.

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