Academic Unit, Medicine, Peninsula Clinical School

Key terms: Ageing, dementia, cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes, frailty, data linkage

Research goal: To conduct high quality translational research into important chronic diseases of ageing

The group

2019 group: L–R back row: Michele Callisaya, Afton Nido, Nadine Andrew, Amanda Elston, Rebecca Barnden, Richard Beare, Chris Moran, David Snowdon, Bridget O’Bree. L-R front row: Sherry Wang, Margot Lodge, Melinda Munroe, Stephanie Than, Wei Wang, Rebecca Pang, Velandai Srikanth

About the unit's research

The Academic Unit, Medicine, Peninsula Health, is comprised of researchers with different and complementary skill sets whose goal is to conduct high quality translational research into chronic conditions affecting the ageing population. Expertise spans from clinical medicine, bioinformatics and imaging, health services research including data linkage, and biostatistics. Major initiatives include the study of poor metabolic health (e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes) and dementia, cerebrovascular disease and dementia, frailty and delirium in hospitalized older people, novel technologies for designing health service delivery for stroke, and community systems of care for people with dementia. Members of the group have several local, national and international collaborations. Their work is supported by several sources of funding, including NHMRC.

Group Leader

Meet the team


Department of Medicine
Monash University
Peninsula Health
PO Box 52 Frankston
Victoria 3199

Group Leader - Prof Velandai Srikanth

Current Projects:

  1. Cognition and Type 2 Diabetes – cohort studies (Cognition and Diabetes in Older Tasmanians, CDOT, CDOT-BP, CDOT-X), twin studies (Melbourne Type 2 Diabetes Twin Study, METTS), International datasets (Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, ADNI)
  2. Relating cerebrovascular disease and dementia with gait and falls – (Tasmanian Study of Cognition and Gait)
  3. The study of imaging predictors of anticoagulant related intracerebral haemorrhage in atrial fibrillation.
  4. The use of retinal vascular imaging to predict individual risk of stroke
  5. Application of Google technology in mapping acute stroke
  6. Prediction and prevention of hospital admission in chronic disease – the use of large scale datasets and registries.
  7. Development of systems to support vulnerable people with dementia at home.
  8. International consortium projects (CHARGE, STROKOG, MCR, GOOD) addressing genetic and non-genetic determinants of dementia and stroke-related dementia, and the use of motor symptoms and gait in the prediction of cognitive decline and dementia.

Current Funding:

  • NHMRC CDF/Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship
  • NHMRC Project APP1063608
  • NHMRC Project APP1108794

Selected Recent Publications:
Pubmed link [search on Srikanth VK]

  • Moran C, Phan TG, Blizzard L, Beare R, Venn A, Münch G, Wood AG, Forbes J, Greenaway TM, Pearson S, Srikanth V. “Brain atrophy in type 2 diabetes: regional distribution and influence on cognition.” Diabetes Care. 2013;36(12):4036-42.
  • Moran C, Beare R, Phan T, Bruce D, Callisaya M, Srikanth V. “Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Biomarkers of Neurodegeneration.” Neurology 85(13):1123-30.
  • Verghese J, Annweiler C, Ayers E, Barzilai N, Beauchet O, Bennett DA, et al. Motoric cognitive risk syndrome: Multicountry prevalence and dementia risk. Neurology. 2014;83:718-726
  • Sachdev PS, Lo JW, Crawford JD, Mellon L, Hickey A, Williams D, et al. Strokog (stroke and cognition consortium): An international consortium to examine the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of neurocognitive disorders in relation to cerebrovascular disease. Alzheimer's & dementia. 2017;7:11-23
  • Wood A, Chen J, Moran C, Phan T, Beare R, Cooper K, Litras S, Srikanth V. “Brain Activation during Memory Encoding in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Discordant Twin Pair Study.” Journal of Diabetes Research. 2016;2016:3978428.

A/Prof Richard Beare

Bioinformatics and Imaging

Current Projects

  1. Imaging and statistical methods for longitudinal brain imaging studies.
    Brain imaging studies using MRI generate large volumes of raw data that needs to be transformed into forms amenable to statistical analysis. Different types of image and different studies require different approaches. This project develops software processing pipelines to process data from studies run by our group, such as the TASCOG, CDOT, METTS, and within international datasets (ADNI). The project also develops methods for analysis of images from preclinical studies.

  2. Analysis methods for structural covariance.
    Structural covariance is an approach to generating population level networks from brain structural MRI data. This differs from the typical source of brain network information such as diffusion weighted imaging or functional imaging. This project explores sparse methods for generation of structural covariance networks.

  3. Health services planning and optimization using Google maps.
    Travel time is an important part of many health services, such as ambulance transport to hospital emergency departments for acute stroke. This project uses Google maps queries to construct objective estimates travel time that vary with traffic conditions to allow various models of health service delivery to be evaluated and compared.

Current Funding:

  • Brain Research Foundation - Characterising structure-function relationships in childhood stroke using advanced brain imaging
  • NHMRC 1063608 The role of Central Haemodynamics in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus-related brain disease.

Selected Recent Publications:
Pubmed link [search on Beare R]

  • Moran C, Phan T, Blizzard L, Beare R, Venn A, Münch G, Wood AG, Forbes J, Greenaway TM, Pearson S, Srikanth V. “Brain atrophy in type 2 diabetes: regional distribution and influence on cognition.” Diabetes Care. 2013;36(12):4036-42.
  • Moran C, Beare R, Phan T, Bruce D, Callisaya M, and Srikanth V. “Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Biomarkers of Neurodegeneration.” Neurology 85(13):1123-30 2015.
  • Beare, R. and Callisaya, M. and Phan, T.G. and Chen, J. and Srikanth, V. “Global and regional associations of smaller cerebral gray and white matter volumes with gait in older people”. PLOS One, 2014.
  • Beare R, Adamson C, Bellgrove MA, Vilgis V, Vance A, Seal M, Silk T. “Altered structural connectivity in ADHD: A network based analysis.” Brain Imaging and Behaviour 2016;1–13.
  • Beare R, Yang JY, Maixner WJ, Harvey S, Kean M, Anderson V, Seal M. “Automated alignment of perioperative MRI scans: A technical note and application in pediatric epilepsy surgery.” Human Brain Mapping 2016;37(10):3530-3543.

Dr Chris Moran

Geriatrician, NHMRC & ARC Dementia Early Career Research Fellow

Current Projects:

  1. Type 2 Diabetes and pre-clinical dementia - an FDG-PET co-twin study A study comparing neuropsychological, neuroimaging and central haemodynamic measures in a group of middle-aged twins discordant for type 2 diabetes. This study aims to explore the potential vascular and metabolic mechanisms underlying the associations between type 2 diabetes and dementia.
  2. Dementia in Type 2 Diabetes - studying causal mechanisms This set of projects (ADNI, CDOT) explore whether diabetes leads to neurodegeneration over time and how mechanisms such as inflammation, oxidative stress and genes may contribute to the increased risk of dementia in those with type 2 diabetes. Better understanding of these mechanisms will help guide prevention and treatments of dementia.

Current Funding:

  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians Croxon Research Establishment Fellowship for Alzheimer Disease Research
  • Mason Foundation National Medical Program Grant
  • NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Fellowship
  • NHMRC 1063608 The role of Central Haemodynamics in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus-related brain disease.

Selected Recent Publications:
Pubmed link [search on Moran C+ Monash]

  • Moran C, Xie K, Poh S, Chew S, Beare R, Wang W, Callisaya M, Srikanth V. Associations of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers with brain atrophy and cognitive decline. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2019
  • Moran C, Beare R, Wang W, Callisaya M, Srikanth V. Type 2 diabetes mellitus, brain atrophy and cognitive decline. Neurology. 2019,
  • Moran C, Beare R, Phan TG, DG. Bruce, Callisaya M. Srikanth V. Type 2 diabetes mellitus and biomarkers of neurodegeneration. Neurology. 2015;85(13):1123-1130
  • Moran C, Münch G, Beare R, Blizzard L, Venn A, Phan TG, Forbes, J, Srikanth V. Type 2 diabetes mellitus, skin autofluorescence and brain atrophy. Diabetes 2015;64:279-83.
  • Moran C, Phan TG, Chen J, Blizzard L, Beare R, Venn A, Muench G, Wood A, Forbes J, Greenaway T, Pearson S, Srikanth VK. Brain atrophy in Type 2 Diabetes – regional distribution and influence on cognition. Diabetes Care, 2013;36:4036-42

Dr Nadine Andrew

NHMRC Early Career Fellow, Health Services Research

Current Projects:

  1. Identifying gaps and inequalities in access to GP coordinated care for survivors of stroke (CIA grant)
    This is a data linkage project in which data from over 25,000 patients registered in the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry will be linked to data from the Medical Benefits Schedule and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. These data will be used to explore the use of models of enhance primary care in the long-term management of patients with stroke and barriers to access to the care types.
  2. Developing standardised methods for setting patient centred goals in stroke (CIA grant)
    In this project we will be developing stanadardised tools to enable clinicians to reliably and efficiently use patient centered goal setting as part of routine discharge care planning.
  3. Reducing disability from stroke by improving access to best practice stroke care in Victoria (CIB grant)
    A project testing the effectiveness of using data to drive quality improvement and changes in clinical practice in stroke care
  4. iVERVE – Inspiring Virtual Enabled Resources following Vascular Events pilot project (CIB grant)
    A pilot randomized controlled trial testing the feasibility of a novel discharge support program.

Current Funding:

  • NHMRC Early career Fellowship GNT 1072053
  • Stroke Foundation Seed grant SEED1715
  • Heart Foundation Vanguard grant VG 101397

Selected Recent Publications:
Pubmed link [search on Andrew NE]

  • Andrew NE, Sundararajan V, Thrift AG, Kilkenny MF, Katzenellenbogen J, Flack F, Gattellari M, Boyd J, Anderson P, Grabsch B, Lannin NA, Johnston T, Chen Y and Cadilhac DA. Addressing the challenges of cross-jurisdictional data linkage between a national clinical quality registry and government held state and national health data. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2016:40: 436-42.
  • Andrew NE, Kilkenny M, Naylor R, Purvis T, Lalor E, Moloczij N, Cadilhac DA. Understanding long-term unmet needs in Australian survivors of stroke. Int J Stroke 2014;9:106–12
  • Cadilhac DA, Andrew NE, Lannin NA, Middleton S, Levi CR,  Dewey HM, Grabsch B, Faux S, Hill K, Grimley R, Wong A, Sabet A, Butler E, Bladin CF, Bates TR, Groot P, Castley H, Donnan GA, Anderson CS. Quality of acute care and long-term quality of life and survival: the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry. Stroke 2017 doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.116.015714
  • Kim J, Andrew NE, Thrift AG, Bernhardt J, Lindley RI, Cadilhac DA. The potential health and economic impact of improving stroke care standards for Australia. International Journal of Stroke 2017, DOI: 10.1177/1747493017700662
  • Andrew NE, Kilkenny MF, NA Lannin, E Lalor, and Cadilhac DA. Is health related quality of life between 90 and 180 days following stroke associated with long-term unmet needs? Quality of Life Research 2016:25, 2053-62

Dr Wei Wang

Biostatistician and senior lecturer

Current Projects:

  • Analysis of TASCOG, ADNI datasets.

Selected Recent Publications:
Pubmed link [search on Wang WC Monash]

  • Veitch J, Wei C. Wang, Alison Carver, Billie Giles-Corti, Jo Salmon, Anna Timperio. (2017). Classification of park visitors: a latent class analysis approach. Leisure Sciences. Accepted 8 March 2017.
  • Worsley, A. Wang, W. C., Sarmugam, R., Pham, Q. Februhartanty, J. & Ridley, S. (2017). Family food providers’ perceptions of the causes of obesity and effectiveness of weight control strategies in five countries in the Asia Pacific region: a cross-sectional survey. Nutrients. 9(1): 78. doi:  10.3390/nu9010078.
  • Wang, W. C. & Worsley, A. (2017). Knowledge of breastfeeding duration across four countries. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. DOI: 10.1111/jpc.13432.
  • Zeng, Q., Wang, W. C., Fang, Y., Mellor, D., McCabe, M., Byrne, L., Xu, Y. (2016). Evaluations of treatment efficacy of depression from perspective of both patients’ symptoms and general sense of mental health and wellbeing: A large scale, multi-centered, longitudinal study in China. Psychiatry Research, 241, 55-60. doi:
  • Bennett, P., Wang, W.C., Moore, M., & Nagle, C. (2016). Care partner: a concept analysis. Nursing Outlook. DOI:
  • Bennett, N., Fraser, S. F., Barnard, R., Haines, T., Ockerby, C., Street, M., Wang, W. C., & Daly, R. (2015). Effects of an intradialytic resistance training program on physical function: A prospective stepped wedge randomised controlled trial. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. 31(8):1302-9.
  • Joyce, C. M., Wang, W. C., & Cheng, T. (2015). Changes in doctors’ working hours: A longitudinal analysis. Medical Care Research and Review. 72(5):605-21. doi: 10.1177/1077558715589705 (IF=2.62).

Dr Chris Karayiannis

Geriatrician and PhD student

Current Projects:

  1. Type 2 Diabetes and Dementia: The Role of Central Haemodynamics
    PhD thesis aims to examine the role of central vascular haemodynamics in explaining the association of type II diabetes with dementia. Better understanding of these mechanisms will help guide prevention and developing treatments for dementia.

Current Funding:

  • Australian Postgraduate Award- Monash University
  • NHMRC 1063608 The role of Central Haemodynamics in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus-related brain disease.

Selected Recent Publications:
Pubmed link [search on Karayiannis C]

A/Prof Michele Callisaya

Physiotherapist and NHMRC Boosting Dementia Leadership Research Fellow

Current Projects

  1. Using technology to improve physical function and reduce falls in older people
    Two NHMRC funded studies: Standing Tall Cognition and Mobility – A randomised controlled trial using technology to improve cognition and function in people with cognitive complaints and mild cognitive impairment (CIA) and Standing Tall – Plus – A novel, technology-based multifaceted program targeting physical, cognitive and mental well-being to reduce falls in older adults (CID)
  2. A cognitive mobility stress test to determine MCI and increased risk of dementia
    A study of people attending Cognitive Disorder and Memory Clinics investigating the role of dual-task walking as a motor biomarker of dementia.
  3. Understanding the role of brain structure and function in mobility, frailty and falls
    A range of studies using sensitive brain MRI and neuropsychological tests to better understand the role of the brain in a range of adverse outcomes in older people
  4. Rehabilitation for Dementia – A study investigating the evidence for improving physical function in people with dementia
  5. Improving outcomes after stroke
    1. Investigating ways to decrease sedentary behaviour after stroke
    2. Cardiac Rehabilitation for the Secondary Prevention of Stroke
    3. REDucing Delays in aneurysmal Subachnoid Haemorrhage
  6. Cognition and Type 2 Diabetes – A range of studies investigation the role of physical activity and diet of cognition in people with and without T2D.

Current Funding

  • NHMRC Boosting Dementia Leadership Fellowship and project grant APP1135761 (CIA)
  • NHMRC 1139673 (CID)
  • NHMRC 1143155 (AI)
  • Dementia Australia Research Foundation (CIA)

Selected Recent Publications

Pubmed link [search on Callisaya M]

  • Callisaya ML, Beare R, Moral C, Thanh Phan Wang W, Srikanth VK Type 2 diabetes mellitus, brain     atrophy and cognitive decline in older people – a longitudinal study Diabetologia Accepted 1/11/2018
  • Simpson D, Breslin M, Cumming T, Zoete S, Gall S, Schmidt M, English C Callisaya M.L Go home, sit less: The impact of home versus hospital rehabilitation environment on activity levels of stroke survivors Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Accepted May 8. Epub ahead of print doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2018.04.012
  • Siejka TP, Srikanth VK  Hubbard R, Moran C, Beare R, Wood A, Phan T, Callisaya ML Frailty and Cerebral Small Vessel Disease: a cross-sectional analysis of the Tasmanian Study of Cognition and Gait (TASCOG) J Gerontology Med Sci 2018 Jan 16;73(2):255-260
    Joe Verghese, Cédric Annweiler, Emmeline Ayers, Nir Barzilai, Olivier Beauchet, DavidA. Bennett, Stephanie A Bridenbaugh, Aron S. Buchman, Callisaya ML, et al Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome: Multi-country Prevalence and Dementia Risk Neurology 2014 Aug 19;83(8):718-26. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000717. Epub 2014 Clinical Neurology
  • Martin K, Blizzard L, Srikanth V, Wood A, Thomson R, Sanders L, Callisaya ML Cognitive function modifies the effect of physiological function on the risk of multiple falls a population based study Journal of Gerontology Medical Sciences 2013 68(9):1091-7