Research in PICU

The Starship Paediatric Intensive Care Unit has a strong commitment to clinical research and an active research programme that aims to translate research outcomes into sustainable improvements in clinical practice.

The PICU research team is led by Dr John Beca - Principal Investigator, with the Research Co-ordinator - Claire Sherring, and Research Nurse - Shelley Coetzer overseeing the day to day running of the research programme.

The research programme has a strong acute brain injury and cardiac focus. Some current studies and initiatives include:

  • The Nitric on Bypass follow up study – Following up previously enrolled cardiac surgery patients every year until they are 5 years old, to assess their cognitive development and function as they reach school age.

  • The Respond Study – Does a combination of IV Vitamin C and Hydrocortisone improve outcomes in paediatric patients admitted with septic shock?

  • International respiratory studies Prospect and Ascend looking at prone positioning, ventilation and ECMO outcomes.

  • Respiratory product development projects.

In addition to these projects, the PICU consultants and fellows have successfully completed several independent projects that have provided a strong foundation for the growth of clinical research within PICU.

Starship PICU is also an active member of the Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Paediatric Study Group (PSG). We have been the lead centre for an international randomised controlled trial, and collaborated on many other Australasian trials. Starship PICU is also involved in other multi-centre international collaborations. Claire and Shelley are both executive committee members of the ANZICS Intensive Research Co-ordinator Interest Group (IRCIG) which provides study facilitation, professional support, education, and a network for all PICU research co-ordinators in New Zealand and Australia.

If you would like to know more about the PICU Research Programme you can contact:

John Beca, Clinical Director -
Claire Sherring, Research Co-ordinator -
Shelley Coetzer -
PICU Research Nurse -