Research Steering Committee

Our Research Steering Committee is responsible for ensuring that the scientific research undertaken at Wise Realities is aligned with our vision and is of value to Australia. We strongly believe in community involvement and consumer-centric research at Wise Realities. Therefore, the committee includes non-governing sits to represent students, consumers and community.

Governing Members

Dr Ali Fardinpour

Dr Ali Fardinpour

Founder & Executive Director - Wise Realities

Ali Fardinpour, PhD, Wise Realities’ Founder and Executive Director, Adjunct Researcher at Curtin University, is a research scientist and technology innovator. His research focuses on the clinical and educational uses of immersive technologies in health. He has developed the BEHAVE taxonomy of human actions in Virtual Training Environments and the Action-based Learning and Assessment Methodology.
Alongside with his role as the executive director, Dr Fardinpour is currently ex officio on the Research Steering Committee and lead researcher in two main research projects at Wise Realities.

Professor Christopher Reid

Professor Christopher Reid

Research Professor - Curtin University

Christopher Reid is a cardiovascular epidemiologist with appointments as Research Professor in both the School of Public Health at Curtin University and the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. He was appointed as a John Curtin Distinguished Professor in 2018 and is Director of the Monash and Curtin Centre’s of Cardiovascular Research and Education (CCRE) and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cardiovascular Outcomes Improvement (2016-2020). He holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellowship (2018-2022) in addition to being the Chief Investigator on an NHMRC Program Grant (2016-2020) focusing on cardiovascular disease prevention. He has been awarded over $113M as a Chief Investigator and has received continuous NHMRC funding since 2001. His major research interests include clinical outcome registries, randomized controlled trials, and epidemiological cohort studies. He has over 350 peer-reviewed publications, many of which are in leading journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, JACC and the BMJ. He has been Study Director for the 2nd Australian National Blood Pressure (ANBP2) Study and currently a Chief Investigator for the Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) Study, the Statins in Reducing Events in the elderly Trial and the Australian arms of the HOPE-3, REACH and CLARIFY Registries. He is a Principal Investigator for the Victorian Cardiac Procedures Registry Project, the Melbourne Interventional Group (MIG) registry, and the ANZSCTS National Cardiac Surgical Registry. He participates as a WHO consultant for prevention of cardiovascular disease in Mongolia, Vietnam and the West Pacific region.

Kirsty Freeman

Kirsty Freeman

Simulation Education Coordinator - WA Country Health Service

Ms Freeman has worked across a variety of healthcare disciplines including medicine, nursing, allied health and paramedicine, and has experience in the use of simulation in healthcare education, assessment and translational research. She has also work with government and industry bodies outside of healthcare, delivering faculty development programs and tailoring simulation-based learning programs specific to the client’s needs. Kirsty’s’ passion is in the area of human performance and patient safety, particularly from a rural perspective.
Ms Freeman is currently working as the Simulation Education Coordinator (Medical Education Unit), responsible for the development, coordination and execution of simulation based education within the WA Country Health Service, the largest country health system in Australia and one of the biggest in the world. She is the Chair of the Media and Communications Committee for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare; Secretary and founding member of the Western Australian Simulation in Healthcare Alliance Inc.; Past Chair of the Australian Society for Simulation in Healthcare; and is an International Advisory Panel Member of the Asian Pacific Simulation Alliance.

Dr Brandon Birckhead

Dr Brandon Birckhead

Resident physician - Medical College of Wisconsin

Brandon Birckhead, MD, is a resident physician in radiation oncology and has been researching the use of immersive technology (VR/AR) within healthcare for the last three years. He began his work with therapeutic virtual reality by helping providers in head restricted clinical settings, such as dentistry, use the technology for pain and anxiety relief. He then created a pilot research study at Mayo Clinic to examine the effect of VR on pain using the cold pressor test. He has collaborated with researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center to assess its use for education within radiation oncology. He is working with Dr. Brennan Spiegel and a cohort of international therapeutic VR experts to create a set of guidelines for future clinical trials within the field. Brandon received his medical degree from Mayo Medical School and is a resident physician at Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). In collaboration with Marquette University, he is developing a new education program for radiation oncology patients.

Paul Bourke

Paul Bourke

Consultant

Paul Bourke has worked as a visualisation researcher across such diverse fields as architecture, brain science, medicine, astrophysics, mathematics and cultural heritage. A key research activity has been the development and application of novel and emerging technologies for both data collection and display. This involves methodologies that leverage all the capabilities of the human visual system and how they may be used to facilitate insight in scientific research and increase engagement for public outreach. In this quest to maximise the efficiency by which data can be conveyed visually to the human brain, Paul has been at the forefront of developments of high resolution, stereoscopic and immersive display systems.

Sharon O’Brien

Sharon O’Brien

Registered Nurse and Emergency Department Research Nurse Coordinator - Princess Margaret Hospital for Children/The PREDICT

Sharon is a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Western Australia and a Research Nurse for Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative network (PREDICT).
Sharon trained at the West Australian School of Nursing and Edith Cowan University and has completed a Certificate of Paediatrics. She has been working in Paediatric Intensive Care and Emergency for over 25 years and has been involved with research within the Emergency Department since 2009. Sharon coordinates the research being undertaken within the Emergency Department at PMH and is currently involved with PREDICT Bronchiolitis Guideline Development and Knowledge Translation projects. Sharon is a Master of Philosophy candidate and her work with PREDICT on the formulation of an evidence-based, Australasian clinical practice guideline for infants presenting to, and admitted into hospital, with bronchiolitis will contribute to her master degree.

Non-Governing Representative Members