WSLHD announces Kickstarter Program grant funding for aspiring researchers

Westmead Medical Kickstarter program WECC Dr Chris Nahm, Dr Nishita Jagarlamudi, Dr Maryam Roudbary, Dr Chameen Samarawickrama, Dr Hassan Lami.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) has celebrated the successful recipients of the 2023 Kickstarter program in a special event held at Westmead Hospital.

The Kickstarter Program offers six grants annually across medical, allied health, nursing and midwifery for WSLHD staff to explore research topics and take their first steps in the field of publishing research.

The funds, which are $10,000 for each grant, will enable participants to gain experience in applying for research grant money, gain experience in carrying out a research project with advice from a mentor, and generate preliminary data for the next step up.

Stephen Schibeci, WSLHD’s Scientific Research Support Manager

This program was started to offer clinicians the opportunity to research an idea that may improve service and patient outcomes – and what makes these grants particularly special is the support offered to recipients to launch this next part of their careers.

The new research idea may benefit patients in the short, medium or long term by changing policies and procedures or accumulating evidence for better ways of doing things.

Stephen Schibeci, WSLHD’s Scientific Research Support Manager

Congratulations to all participants who submitted entries to the Kickstarter Program, and a special thanks to all the judges and attendees at the event.

Medical Kickstarter

Christopher Nahm, Department of Upper GI Surgery, Westmead Hospital

Project Title: Biomarker-driven pre-operative staging of patients with resectable pancreatic cancer


Chameen Samarawickrama

Department of Ophthalmology, Westmead Hospital

Project Title: Battle of the Bugs! The introduction of phage therapy in the treatment of infectious keratitis.

Allied Health Kickstarter

Westmead Allied Health Kickstarter program participants

Hannah Yejin Kim, Pharmacy, Westmead Hospital

Project Title: Lamotrigine monitoring using saliva.


Francis Gomes Occupational Therapy, Emergency RAID Service, Blacktown – Westmead Hospital

Project Title: Detecting decline in functional cognition in older adults to aid timely and safer discharge from Emergency Department

Nursing Midwifery Kickstarter

Westmead Nursing and Midwifery Kickstarter Participants

Bryan Adduru, Drug Health Services, Blacktown Hospital

Project Title: Investigating patient experiences of changing opioid dependence treatment medication.


Sital Sadhra, Clinical Midwifery Educator, Auburn Hospital

Project Title: Women’s experiences of maternity care in WSLHD – a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) perspective