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Research-based study in the Department of Anaesthesia

Areas of departmental strength for postgraduate research

Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine

  • A patient receiving an epiduralAnaesthetic and pain drugs and techniques
  • Anaesthesia - pharmacokinetics and dynamics, interface design and outcomes.
  • Matching drug delivery to patient needs.
  • Post-surgical acute pain and its transition to chronic pain
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Bio-Psychosocial- Rehabilitative model of chronic pain

Intensive Care

  • Metabolism and glycaemic control
  • Cardiovascular dysfunction and its diagnosis and treatment
  • Pulmonary mechanics and management of mechanical ventilation
  • Kidney injury in critical illness

Potential topics for PhD and Masters' study

  • Transition of Acute Post-traumatic or perioperative pain to chronic pain
  • New modes and Routes of Drug Delivery
  • New techniques in Regional Anaesthesia/Analgesia
  • The Pathogenesis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Electrical Stimulation Analgesia – new waveforms and frequencies
  • Multimodal pharmacological management of neuropathic pain
  • Central post stroke pain syndrome
  • Opioid consumption in New Zealand
  • The role of the Anaesthetist in enhanced recovery programs
  • Simulation and Anaesthesia
  • Kidney injury in Critical Illness
  • Metabolism and glycaemic control
  • Cardiovascular monitoring for circulatory dysfunction
  • Effect site levels of opioids
  • Depth of Anaesthesia and Recovery

PhD Study

Current Opportunites

We encourage enquiries from enthusiastic and highly motivated postgraduate students regarding PhD study

Current PhD study

Student: Tracey Pons 
Supervisors: Prof Ted Shipton, Prof Roger Mulder and Dr Jonathan Williman
Topic: Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) physiotherapy management : a randomised controlled trial of no-pain exposure versus pain exposure management

Summer Studentships

Topic: Volatile anaesthetic agent use during Induction of paediatric anaesthesia
Supervisors: Dr Ben van der Griend, Associate Professor Ross Kennedy and Margie McKellow
Sponsor: The Anaesthetist's Instrument Pool Limited
Student: Annabelle Vincent

Project Brief
Project Report


Topic: Does the response to IV cannulation predict post-operative pain?
Supervisors: Associate Professor Dr Ross Kennedy and Mrs Margie McKellow
Sponsor: The Anaesthetist's Instrument Pool Limited
Student: Rachel Matthews

Project Brief
Project Report


Topic: Can post-operative pain be predicted by the response to preoperative intervention?
Supervisors: Associate Professor Ross Kennedy and Mrs Margie McKellow
Sponsor: Anaesthetists' Instrument Pool Limited
Student: Catherine Marshall

Project Brief
Project Report


logo - Heart FoundationTopic: Monitoring the transient hemodynamic impact of mechanical ventilation
Supervisors: Professor Geoff Shaw, Dr CG Pretty, Dr JL Dickson and Professor J Geoffrey Chase
Sponsor:  National Heart Foundation
Student: Will Moot

Project Brief
Project Report


logo - Canterbury Medical Research FoundationTopic: A cross-sectional analysis and benchmarking of clinical assessment data using the electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration assessment tools
Supervisors: Professor Ted Shipton and Dr Jessica Mills 
Sponsor: Canterbury Medical Foundation
Student: Sneha Pulapaka

Project Brief
Project Report

Topic: Quantifying the effect and variability of neuromuscular blocking drugs on patients undergoing surgery
Supervisors: Associate Professor Ross Kennedy and Mrs Margie McKellow
Sponsor: Anaesthetists' Instrument Pool Limited
Student: Harriet Marshall

Project Brief
Project Report


logo - Maurice & Phyllis Paykel TrustTopic: Psychosocial Variables and Characteristcs of Patients with Persistent Pain assessed at a New Zealand tertiary care Pain Medicine Centre
Supervisor(s): Professor E Shipton and Ms Jessica Mills
Sponsor: Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust
Student: Campbell MacLachlan

Project Brief
Project Report


logo - New Zealand Federation of Graduate WomenTopic: Early warning of the deteriorating patient
Supervisor(s): Professor Geoff Shaw, Dr S Connor and Professor Geoffrey Chase
Sponsor: New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women Canterbury
Student: Fraser Jeffery

Project Brief
Project Report

Title: Peri-operative Analgesic Requirements and Quality of Recovery
Supervisor(s): Associate Professor Ross Kennedy, Mr Leigh Parsons and Dr Tim Chapman
Sponsor: Anaesthetists' Instument Pool Limited
Student: Harriet Marshall

Project Brief
Project Report


logo - Canterbury Medical Research FoundationTopic: Optimising PEEP in Mechanically Ventilated Patients
Supervisor(s): Associate Professor Geoff Shaw and Professor J Geoffry Chase
Sponsor: Canterbury Medical Research Foundation
Student: Minyan Voon

Project Brief
Project Report

Topic: Exploring the Relationship Between Effect-Site Levels of Opioids and Measures of Pain and Sympathetic Activity in the Immediate Postoperative Period
Student: Juno Pyun
Supervisors: Assoc Prof Dr Ross Kennedy, Mr Leigh Parsons, Ms Sandy Marshall and Dr Tim Chapman
Sponsor: Anaesthetists’ Instrument Pool Limited

Project Report


Topic: Optimising PEEP in Mechanically Ventilated Patients
Student: Gracie Nichols
Supervisor: Assoc Prof GM Shaw (CDHB, Univ of Otago), Dist Prof JG Chase (Univ of Canterbury), Dr Yeong Siong Chiew (Univ of Canterbury)
Sponsor: The Govan Family Summer Studentship & Canterbury Medical Research Foundation

Project Report


logo - University of OtagoTopic: The Transition from Acute to Chronic Post-Surgical Pain - Designing and Piloting a Prospective, Randomised Controlled Trial
Student: Campbell MacLachlan
Supervisors: Professor Edward Shipton, Professor Elisabeth Wells
Sponsor: University of Otago, Division of Health Sciences

Project Report