Professor of Nursing and Director
Professor Rochelle Wynne is a Professor of Nursing and Director of the Western Sydney Nursing & Midwifery Research Centre, a conjoint appointment between Western Sydney University and the Western Sydney Local Health District. Since becoming a Registered Nurse in the early 1990s Rochelle has been an active clinical researcher in cardiothoracic patient care for over two decades. After completing a Graduate Diploma in Critical Care, and a Master of Education degree, Rochelle was the first Australian nurse to be awarded a Biomedical Scholarship from the NHMRC to undertake her PhD. Studies for her PhD investigated the trajectory of pulmonary dysfunction in adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Rochelle has a particular interest in the trajectory of patient recovery, practice patterns in acute and critical care and predictors of readmission. Rochelle is the clinical representative for the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) Steering Committee and Quality Committee. She has published in leading cardiothoracic journals including Circulation, The European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Chest, the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, Heart & Lung and the American Journal of Critical Care. With a focus on exploring patients’ recovery trajectory, Rochelle’s research to date has investigated the ways in which point of care nursing practice impacts on patient safety, quality of care and the patient experience. A quantitative researcher, Rochelle has expertise in logistic and multivariate regression, repeated measures, risk prediction modelling and propensity analyses. Rochelle has a keen interest in reducing unnecessary variation in patient recovery by investigating modifiable risk factors that prevent wellness, improving patient participation in care and testing interventions to optimise patient outcome. In addition to supervising higher degree and Honours students, to date Rochelle’s has had the privilege of constant clinical engagement during her career, which has enabled her to mentor numerous clinicians from a variety of disciplines in understanding, generating and translating evidence into practice. She is passionate about mentoring the next generation of clinical nursing researchers.
Senior Research Fellow
Doctor Caleb Ferguson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Western Sydney Nursing & Midwifery Research Centre (WSNMRC) and holds a conjoint appointment at Western Sydney University and Western Sydney Local Health District. Dr Ferguson is a Registered Nurse with over a decade of clinical experience caring for individuals with stroke, neurological and cardiovascular conditions.
He undertook his PhD at the UTS: Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care which was awarded by UTS in 2015, for his thesis titled: The AFASTER Study: Patient centered approaches to thromboprophylaxis in individuals with heart failure and concomitant atrial fibrillation. His program of research focuses on patient centred approaches to the management of atrial fibrillation, stroke prevention and digital health. He has previously held appointments as Chancellors Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer and Director of Postgraduate Nursing Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, where he continues to hold an honorary appointment. Since 2012, he has published over 60 academic works. Including peer-reviewed journal articles, editorials, book chapters and scientific abstracts. Dr Ferguson is an Editor of Contemporary Nurse and an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Clinical Nursing. He also contributes to peer review for the Journal of Advanced Nursing, International Journal of Nursing Studies, International Journal of Cardiology, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes and the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. In 2015, Caleb was awarded a National Stroke Foundation Fostering Future Leader Award. Since 2012 he has been a volunteer StrokeSafe Ambassador for the Stroke Foundation undertaking community advocacy work. He is a member of the Stroke Foundation Research Advisory Committee and 2017 Stroke Guideline Executive Development Group and the Heart Foundation's Atrial Fibrillation Guideline Working Group (2016-).
Dr Ferguson is available to supervise higher degree research students. He particularly welcomes interest from high achieving students from the nursing discipline, employees of WSLHD or those with an interest in stroke or cardiovascular care.
Doctor Anjalee Amarasekera is an outstanding early-career researcher in the Western Sydney Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre and holds a conjoint appointment as a Research Officer at Western Sydney University and Western Sydney Local Health District. Dr Amarasekera started her career overseas as an academic at the research-oriented University of Colombo (Sri Lanka). She undertook her PhD at the University of South Australia: Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research (BHI) which is the research arm of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide. She was awarded her PhD in early 2015 for a thesis titled “Does Vitamin D Deficiency Contribute to the Endothelial Dysfunction in Obese-diabetics?”. Her research interests and expertise are in the areas of vitamin D and prevention of early stages of cardiovascular diseases including endothelial dysfunction in obesity, diabetes and frailty through clinical interventions. Her program of research includes multidisciplinary approaches to address clinical questions via both clinical and biochemical laboratory research. She is interested in prevention, minimizing and correction of the early stage of vascular dysfunction (endothelial dysfunction) and associated-comorbidities through pharmacological interventions such as vitamin D supplementation therapy. Even though she is still early in her research career, from her previous research, she demonstrated two original findings on potential effects of low vitamin D levels on endothelial dysfunction via endothelial nitric oxide signalling pathway in both obese-diabetics and healthy volunteers.
Dr Amarasekera’s future research goals are to provide promising clinical and biochemical knowledge to understand the importance of sufficient plasma vitamin D levels for reducing plasma low vitamin D levels-associated adverse health outcomes.