Photograph of Associate Professor Wendy Brown

Professor Wendy Brown MBBS(hons) PhD FRACS FACS

Head, Monash University Department of Surgery

Director, Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE)

Clinical Lead, Bariatric Surgery Registry


Professor Wendy Brown was the first woman to be appointed Chair of the Monash University Department of Surgery in 2015. She is also the Director of the Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) and Clinical Lead for the National Bariatric Surgery Registry and the Victorian Upper GI Cancer Registry.

Professor Brown’s areas of expertise include bariatric and upper gastrointestinal surgery, including cancer and reflux disease.  Her research focuses on optimally managing the chronic disease of obesity and measuring the effects of weight loss on health, quality of life and survival.  She has led the development of the Bi-national Bariatric Surgery Registry obtaining funding for the pilot and roll out.  The aim of the Registry is to capture all bariatric procedures across Australia and New Zealand and track the outcomes (weight, diabetes status and need for re-operation) longitudinally for 10 years.  She has published over 60 peer reviewed papers and has been invited to speak at over 70 National and International conferences.

Professor Brown serves the broader medical community in a wide variety of roles.  She is president elect  of the Australia & New Zealand Gastro Oesophageal Surgery Association and past president of the Obesity Surgery Society of Australia and New  Zealand.  She is Deputy Chair of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)  Section of Upper GI surgery and senior examiner in the RACS Court of General  Surgery Examiners.  She is  Chair of the Avenue Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee, and member of  their Medical Advisory Committee.  She is  the Scientific Chair of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity  and Metabolic Disorders.  She is Deputy  Chair of the Victorian Surgical Consultative Council and a member of the  Victorian Clinical Council.  She has been  a Chair and team member of Australian Medical Council assessment teams for  undergraduate programs and is a member of the RACS board in Surgical  Research.  She has previously been a  member of the Victorian State Ministerial Cancer Taskforce (2003-2004) and  Bariatric working party (2008), as well as the Tasmanian Department of Health  working party on Bariatric Surgery (2009-2010).

Photograph of Emeritus Professor Paul O'Brien

Emeritus Professor Paul O'Brien MBBS(hons) FRACS MD

Emeritus Director, Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE)

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Paul O'Brien is Emeritus Professor of Surgery at Monash University after a 19 year period as Head of the University's Department of Surgery at the Alfred Hospital. His current principal areas of clinical and research interest are in the morbidity of obesity and the health benefits of weight loss. He founded the Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) at Monash University in 2004 and is now the Emeritus Director. He is Head of the Centre for Bariatric Surgery in Melbourne. This is the most active clinical service for the surgical treatment of obesity in Australia. He is also the National Medical Director of the American Institute of Gastric Banding, a multicenter clinical facility based in Texas. He is Past President of the Obesity Surgery Society of Australia and New Zealand (1997 - 2004) and a past member of Council of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity. He is the Advisory Editor of the journal "Obesity Surgery ". He has published more than 250 papers in the medical literature and  has been actively involved in conducting postgraduate courses and workshops on obesity and its treatments in Australia, Europe, USA, Asia-Pacific countries, South America and Canada for the past 15 years.

Photograph of Mr Paul Burton

Mr Paul Burton MBBS(hons) PhD FRACS

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE)


Mr Paul Burton is a senior research fellow at CORE. He holds a clinical appointment as a Visiting Medical Officer in Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) and General Surgery at the Alfred Hospital as well as having an active clinical practice in Upper GI and Bariatric Surgery. His research work at CORE is funded by a three year competitive research fellowship awarded by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Paul was awarded his PhD 2010. This was clinical physiological research, which involved adapting and developing high resolution video manometry and related physiological techniques. Data from this research has lead to significant changes to the understanding of gastric banding and also has been translated to improvements in clinical practice.

Paul has developed an international reputation as an emerging leader of research relating to the physiology of gastric banding and the health effects of surgically induced weight loss.

 Photograph of John Wentworth

Dr John Wentworth MBBS PhD FRACS

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE)


John Wentworth is an Endocrinologist with an interest in the role of gastric band surgery in the management of diabetes, in inflammatory mechanisms that underlie insulin resistance in obesity and in the immunobiology of type 1 diabetes. He designs and runs clinical trials in diabetes at CORE, and also works as a clinician for Royal Melbourne Hospital and a senior researcher at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. As a recently appointed centre director of TrialNet, he is also involved in clinical trials of immunotherapy in type 1 diabetes.

 Photograph of Cheryl Laurie

Cheryl Laurie, RN, RM, BH.Sc

Research Nurse, Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE)


Cheryl began her work as a Research Nurse at CORE in 2000, undertaking the co-ordination of a RCT comparing the treatment of mild to moderate obesity with LAGB or Intensive medical therapy. Since then, Cheryl has co-ordinated two further RCT's and is presently managing a NHMRC funded study involving Indigenous Australians.

Prior to joining CORE Cheryl has had a broad range of clinical and managerial nursing experience. Having completed an Operating Theatre Diploma, Midwifery and Bachelor of Health Science, she has been responsible for the management of OR's in both the public and private sector.

Cheryl is currently a member of the Executive Committee and the Scientific Advisory Board.