Department of Surgery Staff

Meet our team

  • Prof. Steven Chan, Consultant Upper GI Surgeon

    MBBS (Monash) PhD (London) FRACS

    Resident in Surgery:  Beth Israel Hospital
    Clinical Fellow in Surgery:  Harvard University,Boston, USA
    Research Fellow, Senior Surgical Registrar:  St Mary's Hospital, London, UK
    Wellcome Senior Lecturer, Consultant Surgeon:  St Mary's Hospital Medical School, University of London
    Senior Lecturer, Consultant Surgeon:  Royal Brisbane Hospital, University of Queensland
    Reader in Surgery (Associate Professor), Director of Surgery:  QEII Hospital, University of Queensland
    Associate Professor of Surgery, Senior Consultant Surgeon:  National University of Singapore
    Professor of Surgery, Head - Upper GI-Unit:  Western Health, The University of Melbourne

    PhD thesis (University of London) "The study of water and sodium homeostasis in the surgical patient with particular reference to hyponatraemia and sodium flux"

    Wellcome Trust, United Kingdom: "The role of carbohydrate, water and electrolyte repletion in body protein conservation following starvation and injury"
    Medical Research Council, United Kingdom: "Skeletal muscle energetics and glutamine metabolism in the surgical patient"
    National Medical Research Council, Singapore: "Role of phospholipase-A2 inhibitors and/or it’s antibodies in the pathogenesis and prevention of surgically induced adhesions"; "The peritoneal mesothelial response to trauma and sepsis with particular reference to the role of phospholipase activity"; "Does p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein (MAP)-kinase expression levels correlate with the induction of COX-2 and down-regulation of iNOS in colon cancer tissue"
    University of Queensland: "Clinical studies of the peritoneal fibrinolytic response to trauma and sepsis".

    Editorial Services
    Member Editorial Board: Digestive Diseases and Sciences (USA): Certificate for excellence in editorial services and peer review.

    Teacher and Examiner:  Universities of London, Queensland, Singapore and Melbourne.
    The University of Melbourne, Western Clinical School, Medical Student's Teaching Award: 2012, 2015, 2016

  • Ms Irene Deftereos, Clinial Research Fellow and PhD Student

    Clinical Research Fellow and PhD Student

    Irene Deftereos is a Clinical Research Fellow based at Western Health. Following the completion of the Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2009, Irene completed the Honours Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010. Irene has practised as a Clinical Dietitian since 2010, starting her career at Monash Health. Irene has worked at Western Health since 2013 in both the surgical and ICU settings.  Irene has specialised in the field of gastrointestinal surgery,  and was appointed as a senior clinician in 2017.

    Irene’s research interests lie with investigation of nutritional optimisation of patients undergoing surgery for colorectal and upper GI cancers and how nutrition can impact on surgical outcomes and quality of life.   Irene has received over $140,000 in research grants as lead investigator, and is currently leading research projects investigating outpatient support pathways for nutitional intervention for patients with Upper Gastointestinal Cancers, in partnership with other health services.

    Irene also has a keen interest for education and teaching having completed a Graduate Certificate in Health Professional Education through Monash University in 2015.  Irene has supervised Masters and Undergraduate dietetics students for many years and currently supervises MDRP research students and junior clinical researchers within the University of Melbourne and Western Health.

    Contact Email:

  • Mr. Richard Gartrell, Colorectal Research Fellow and MS Student

    Colorectal Research Fellow and MS Student

    Richard is a Colorectal Research Fellow based at Department of Surgery, Western Precinct, University of Melbourne. Richard graduated from Medicine in 2010 and began surgical training in Far North Queensland. Surgical training involved many relocations throughout Queensland but culminated in the completion of the General Surgical Fellowship in 2019.

    Richard has always had a passion for Colorectal Surgery and the opportunity to move to Victoria to take up a Research Fellow Position in the specialty was an exciting opportunity not to be missed. He is a current Masters of Surgery student with the University of Melbourne and his main project relates to changes in body composition in patients with colorectal cancer. He is a founding member of Australia’s first trainee-led research collaborative (QUEST) which was developed to improve and inspire trainee research projects. The collaborative has enjoyed success both nationally and with international projects.

    Outside of his research commitments Richard is involved in developing and delivering the surgical curriculum for the University of Melbourne and is also a research supervisor for students participating in their own Masters projects. He enjoyed a similar affiliation with the University of Queensland as an Associate Lecturer and examiner.

    Richard also enjoys a clinical role with Western Health and actively participates in the surgical care of patients at Western Health. This position also enables Richard to administer clinical ward-based teaching.

    Richard and his wife have three active children and all of them enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. The move to Melbourne has its unique challenges, which mostly relate to the unpredictable cold weather, but this is offset by the range of enjoyable activities and the great tasting coffee and croissants on offer!

  • Ms. Elizabeth Degabriele, Research Fellow

    Research Assistant

    Elizabeth Degabriele is a Research Assistant based at Western Health. After completing a Bachelor in Biomedical Science with Deakin University in 2015, Elizabeth went on to complete her Honours degree with Deakin University Medical School in 2017.

    Elizabeth has worked in the Department of Surgery since 2019 investigating interventions in colorectal cancer treatment and the impact on surgical outcomes. Elizabeth hopes to gain experience in independent clinical research that can have impacts on preventative medicine and improve treatment therapies.

    In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family, exploring outdoors and catching up with friends.

  • Ms. Jo Yeung, Research Fellow

    Research Fellow

    Jo enjoys working in the department bringing her skills from a background of pharmacy and business administration. She has taken on the responsibilities of supporting ethics applications for junior doctors as well as being involved with the administrative tasks of webpage updates and research documentation.

    Outside her work, Jo likes spending time in the garden as well as trying out new culinary recipes.

  • Ms. Jillianne McGregor, Publication Co-ordinator

    Jill McGregor

    I began working for Professor Steven Chan who was the newly appointed Head of Department of Surgery, the University of Melbourne, about 17 years ago.  At that time the department was located at the Footscray Hospital.  Professor Chan and I set up the department from humble beginnings to what it is more or less today.

    I am now retired but continue to work for the University one day a week as a Publications Co-ordinator with the Department of Surgery.  This is interesting work as I get to read about the great research being done by our surgeons and colleagues.

    That leaves me with the rest of the week to look after my garden, read my books and enjoy painting and craftwork with my grand-daughter.

  • Mr. Yasser Arafat, Colorectal Clinical and Research Fellow

    MBBS, MS (USyd), FRACS

    Colorectal Clinical and Research Fellow, Department of Surgery, Western Precinct
    Clinical lecturer, Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne

    My current research work focuses on understanding the role of body composition and dose-related toxicity following chemotherapy in patients with colorectal cancer.

    Clinically, I am a qualified General Surgeon having successfully completed my general surgical  training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS). I am also a certified endoscopist and a member of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA).

    In the past, I have supervised and co-authored in a number of published research projects. My other academic qualification includes a Master of Surgery from the University of Sydney.

    My current position as a Colorectal Fellow encompasses a unique role involving clinical works, a teaching role with the Western Clinical School, and a research position with the University of Melbourne. I am also a member of the Department of Surgery (DoS) Education Committee and involved in developing the current new MD course at the Melbourne Medical School.

    In my leisure time, I enjoy playing table tennis, medical volunteering and trying new recipes of different cuisine!

  • Ms. Ke (Doris) Cao, Clinical Research Fellow

    Ke is an interdisciplinary researcher, and her areas of expertise include the application of machine learning, deep learning and bioinformatics in Medicine. Ke completed her Master of Science degree in Bioinformatics in 2017. She is now working as a Clinical Research Fellow at Western Health while simultaneously completing her doctoral degree at the Centre for Eye Research Australia.

    Ke's primary area of research interest is the use of machine learning to clinical data, with the goals of improving our knowledge of diseases, developing more accurate diagnostic and prognostic tools, and facilitating more informed decision-making. Ke has always had a strong interest in exploring approaches from the fields of data analysis and data mining in order to appropriately treat technical topics and achieve effective decision making from complex real-world data in a broad range of projects.

  • Ms. Anna Bogusz, Executive Assistant

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