Research Overview

RMH Staff 1

The Department of Neurosurgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital is the busiest neurosurgical unit in Australia, sitting in the heart of the Parkville Biomedical precinct, and provides a comprehensive inpatient service for patients with neurosurgical diseases, with a clinical and referral service for patients with intracranial, spinal and peripheral nerve disorders requiring neurosurgical assessment and treatment.

The Department is one of the few genuinely academic Neurosurgery Departments in Australasia. It has active clinical and laboratory research programs that augment each of the clinical specialised programs undertaken by the Department alone and in conjunction with the Departments of Neurology, Radiology and Oncology. Data and tissue collection are central to the work of the Department. Most clinical programs are involved with national and international clinical trials. The specialised clinical programs include: Brain Tumours, Cerebrovascular Surgery, Spinal Disorders, Neurotrauma, Neuro-endocrinology, Epilepsy and Functional and Pain Neurosurgery. The Department has an active research, fellowship and teaching program at both an undergraduate and postgraduate level for medical, nursing and allied health staff. Enquiries for fellowships in Neuro-Oncology and Spinal Surgery are welcomed as are enquiries for PhD supervision.

The particular areas of research include:

Brain Tumours
Associate Professor Andrew Morokoff, Mr James Dimou, Professor Kate Drummond

  • Establishing circulating micro-RNA as a biomarker in glioma
  • Understanding and overcoming tumour resistance in glioma
  • Molecular mechanisms of brain tumour associated epilepsy
  • Understanding and improving the health-related quality of life in brain tumours
  • Phase 0 or "window of opportunity" clinical trials in glioma
  • Organoids to investigate novel glioma therapies

Cerebrovascular Diseases
Associate Professor John Laidlaw, Mr Alex Adamides

  • Molecular mechanisms of cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid haemorrhage
  • Surgery for spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage  (International multicentre trial)

Mr Alex Adamides, Associate Professor Andrew Morokoff, Professor Kate Drummond

  • Brain oxygen neuromonitoring in severe head injury (NHMRC funded BONANZA trial)
  • Post-traumatic epilepsy (International multicentre Epibio Study)

Professor Kate Drummond

  • Standardising practice and access in neuroimaging to improve patient outcomes
  • Centre for Research Excellence in Neuroimaging awarded 2019

Functional Neurosurgery
Mr Girish Nair

  • World-first trial of stereotactic stem cell injection for Parkinson’s disease.


2020 (Current)                                                                                      $175,644.00 (2 years)

Cancer Australia Priority-Driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme ID 1181621
A gut feeling about new therapies for glioma research: lessons from the enteric nervous system. AI with CIs Marlene Hao and Theo Mantamadiotis.

2019 (Current)

Melbourne Medical School Strategic Grant for Outstanding Women              $88,143 (2 years)

2019 (Current)                                                                                                  $2,500,000 (5 years)

NHRMC Centre for Research Excellence APP1170913
Centre for research excellence in neuroimaging. CIE with Roland Bammer, Patricia Desmond, Ashley Bush, Michael Breakspear, Shalini Amukotuwa, Anna Nowak, Jennifer Watts, Meng Law, Christopher Bladin.

2019 (Current)                                                                                                  $200,000 (2 years)

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation
Discovering novel targets for chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy in glioblastoma. CIE with Misty Jenkins, Jarrod Sandow, Ryan Cross and Andrew Morokoff.

2019 (Current)                                                                                                  $2,703,830 (5 years)

NHMRC Project ID 1156636
Brain oxygen neuromonitoring in Australia and New Zealand assessment (BONANZA) trial. CIG with D Jamie Cooper, Alistair Nichol, Jeffery Rosenfeld, David Menon, Michael Bailey and Alisa Higgins.

Research Publications

View Professor Kate Drummond's latest PubMed publications here

  1. Morokoff A, Jones J, Ma C, Nguyen HPT, Lasocki A, Gaillard F, Bennett I, Luwor R, Stylli S, Paradiso L, Koldej R, Paldor I, Molania R, Speed T, Webb A, Infusini G, Li J, Malpas C, Kalincik T, Drummond K, Siegal T, Kaye A. Circulating serum miRNA for monitoring in glioma. Neuro-Oncology 2020, in press.
  2. McAlpine HA, Sejka M, Drummond KJ. Brain tumour patients use of social media for disease management: Current practices and implications for the future. Patient Educ Couns 2020 in press.
  3. Chaurasia B, Deora H, El-Ghandour NMF, Oyesiku NM, Chaurasia RK, Schulder M, Soriano Sanchez JA, Teo M, Hernesniemi J, Linzey JR, Schwartz TH, Cohen-Gadol AA, Lawton M, Umana G, Mura J, Grotenhuis A, Sinha AK, Schroeder HWS, Natarajan S, Sughrue ME, Spetzler RF, Drummond KJ, Tanikawa R, Seixo Kadri PAD, Kato Y, Teo C, Suri A, Tomasi SO, Winkler PA, Scalia G, Sampron N, Rasulic L, Cappabianca P, Fontanella MM, Laws ER. In memoriam: A memoir for our fallen “heroes”. Neurosurgery 2020 in press.
  4. Kan LK, Seneviratne S, Drummond KJ, Williams DA, O’Brien TJ, Monif M. P2X7 receptor antagonism inhibits tumour growth in human high-grade gliomas. Purinergic Signal 2020 in press.
  5. Lasocki A, Rosenthal MA, Roberts-Thomson S, Neal A, Drummond KJ. Neuro-oncology and radiogenomics: time to integrate? Am J Neurorad 2020 in press.
  6. Germano IM, El Abbadi N, Drummond KJ, Rubiano A, Harkness WFJ, Servadei F. Introduction. Neurosurgical international education. Neurosurg Focus 2020;48:E1
  7. Drummond KJ, Hunn BHM, McAlpine HE, Jones JJ, Davies MA, Gull S. Challenges in the Australasian neurosurgery training program: who should be trained and where should they train? Neurosurg Focus 2020;48:E10.
  8. Kan LK, Drummond KJ, Hunn M, Williams DA, O’Brien TJ, Monif M. A simple and reliable protocol for the preparation and culturing of fresh surgically resected human glioblastoma tissue. Methods and Protocols 2020;3:11.
  9. Whitehead CA, Kaye AH, Drummond KJ, Widodo SS, Mantamadiotis T, Vella LJ, Stylli SS. Extracellular vesicles and their role in glioblastoma. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 2019:1-26. Cited 2 times.
  10. Hong A, Fogarty GB, Dolven-Jacobsen K, Burmeister BH, Lo SN, Haydu LE, Vardy JL, Nowak AK, Dhillon HM, Ahmed T, Shivalingam B, Long GV, Menzies AM, Hruby G, Drummond KJ, Mandel C, Middleton MR, Reisse CH, Paton EJ, Steel V, Williams NC, Scolyer RA, Morton RL, Thompson JF. Adjuvant whole brain radiotherapy compared with observation after local treatment of melanoma brain metastases: A multicentre, phase III, randomized trial. J Clin Oncol 2019;37(33):3132-41. Cited 3 times.
  11. Power L, Murray K, Bullus K, Drummond KJ, Trost N, Szmulewicz DJ. Central conditions mimicking benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: A case series. J Neurol Phys Ther 2019;43:186-191. Cited 2 times.
  12. Lo S, Hong A, Haydu L, Ahmed T, Paton E, Steel S, Hruby G, Tran A, Morton RL, Nowak AK, Vardy J, Drummond K, Dhillon H, Mandel C, Scolyer R, Middleton M, Burmeister B, Thompson J, Fogarty GB. Whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) after local treatment of brain metastases in melanoma patients: Statistical Analysis Plan. Trials 2019;20(1):477. Cited 1 time.
  13. Nassiri F, Mamatjan Y, Suppiah S, Badhiwala JH, Mansouri S, Karimi S, Saarela O, Poisson LM, Gepfner-Tuma I, Schittenhelm J, Ng HK, Noushmehr H, Harter P, Baumgarten P, Weller M, Preusser M, Herold-Mende C, Tatagiba M, Tabatabai G, Sahm F, Von Deimling A, Zadeh G, Aldape KD, Au K, Barnhartz-Sloan J, Wenya LB, Brastianos PK, Butowski N, Carlotti C, Cusimano MD, DiMeco F, Drummond KJ, Dunn IF, Galanis E, Giannini C, Goldbrunner R, Griffith B, Hashizume R, Hanemann CO, Horbinski C, Huang RY, James D, Jenkinson MD, Jungk C, Kaufman TK, Krischek B, Lachance D, Lafougère C, Lee I, Liu JC, Malta TM, Mawrin C, McDermott M, Munoz D, Perry A, Pirouzmand F, Pollo B, Raleigh D, Saladino A, Santarius T, Schichor C, Schultz D, Schmidt NO, Selman W, Sloan A, Spears J, Snyder J, Tirapelli D, Tonn JC, Tsang D, Vogelbaum MA, Wen PY, Walbert T, Westphal M, Workewych AM. DNA methylation profiling to predict recurrence risk in meningioma: development and validation of a nomogram to optimize clinical management. Neuro-Oncology 2019;21:901-10. Cited 15 times.
  14. Brownsett SLE, Ramajoo K, Copland D, McMahon KL, Robinson G, Drummond K, Jeffree RL, Olson S, Ong B, De Zubicaray G. Language deficits following dominant hemisphere tumour resection are significantly underestimated by syndrome-based aphasia assessments. Aphasiology 2019;1-19. Cited 2 times.
  15. Kan LK, Williams D, Drummond K, O’Brien T, Monif M. The role of microglia and P2X7 receptors in gliomas. J Neuroimmunol 2019;332:138-146.
  16. Lasocki A, Phillips KA, Drummond K, Caspersz L. Unexpected diagnosis of spinal leptomeningeal metastatic disease on MRI myelography. J Clin Neurosci 2019;66:259-61. Cited 1 time.
  17. Nassiri F, Price B, Shehab A, Au K, Cusimano MD, Jenkinson MD, Jungk C, Mansouri A, Santarius T, Suppiah S, Teng KX, Toor GS, Zadeh G, Walbert T, Drummond KJ (and the International Consortium on Meningiomas). Life after surgical resection of a meningioma: a prospective cross-sectional study evaluating health-related quality of life. Neuro-oncology 2019;21 (Suppl 1):i32-i43. Cited 4 times.
  18. Azriel A, Gogos A, Rogers TW, Moscovici S, Lo P, Drummond K. Glioblastoma in a patient with tuberous sclerosis. J Clin Neurosci 2019;60:153-155. Cited 1 time.
  19. Towner JE, Azriel A, Rogers T, Box G, Adamides AA, Drummond K. Solid non-enhancing cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma: case report. J Clin Neurosci 2019;60:155-157.
  20. Neal A, Moffat B, Stein JM, Nanga RPR, Desmond P, Shinohara RT, Hariharan H, Glarin R, Drummond K, Morokoff A, Kwan P, Reddy R, O’Brien TJ, Davis KA. Glutamate weighted imaging contrast in gliomas with 7 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging. NeuroImage:Clinical  2019;22:101694. Cited 10 times

Research Projects

For project inquiries, contact our research group head.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Professor Kate Drummond

Department / Centre


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