Maleesa Pathirana

Dr Maleesa Pathirana

Study Coordinator

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


Dr Maleesa Pathirana is an adjunct associate lecturer and study coordinator at The University of Adelaide and Robinson Research Institute. She is a research member of the Northern Cardiology Research Group led under A/Prof Margaret Arstall.

She is a clinical research coordinator for the Discipline of Psychiatry at The University of Adelaide led under A/Prof Scott Clark.

Maleesa completed her PhD in 2022. She works as a research assistant under the Department of Cardiology at the Lyell McEwin Hospital and the Discipline of Psychiatry at The University of Adelaide.

Her research interests include:

-Coordination and management of clinical trials and observational clinical studies.
-Cardiovascular risk and prevention of early onset heart disease in women
-The effect of major pregnancy complications on maternal and child cardio-metabolic health
-Metabolic health in the first 1000 days.
-Preventative health in vulnerable people and individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds

Northern Cardiovascular Research Group (Lyell McEwin Hospital)

Our research group aims to improve outcomes for people with cardiovascular disease in northern Adelaide. Our main research themes include management of coronary heart disease, heart disorders during pregnancy, and heart disease in women. We are a passionate team of clinicians and scientists who have a strong focus on collaborative clinical research in a hospital setting. The diversity of our research strengths and methods means that there are many opportunities for students to explore and develop their own research interests.

My research interests: I am interested in the effect of pregnancy complications on cardiometabolic heath in women and young children, and understanding what risk factors are prevalent in is cohort to allow for early treatment and intervention for early onset metabolic syndrome and heart disease later in life.  

Research Project 1 - Pregnancy and heart disease

Project description: This project seeks to explore the influence of pregnancy complications on future health of women who present to the Lyell McEwin Hospital with heart disease. Traditional risk factors for heart disease include hypertension, diabetes, smoking and obesity. There is clear evidence indicating that pregnancy complications should be counted as equally important risk factors, but they are not routinely considered by clinicians in risk assessments. This clinical project will recruit inpatients and administering pregnancy history questionnaires.

Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters
Location: LMH
Research project start: Semester 1 and 2 
Special requirements: Police clearance and vaccinations

Research Project 2 - Cardiovascular assessment after obstetric complications: follow-up for education and evaluation (COFFEE)

Project description:  This study encompasses clinical, lab-based, and qualitative projects with a strong emphasis on translatable research. Women who experience complications of pregnancy have an increased risk of developing future cardiovascular disease. The COFFEE program is the first Australian research-informed, clinical-based postpartum initiative for women who have had a pregnancy complication.

Projects available for: Third Year / Honours / HDR / Masters
Location: LMH
Research project start: Semester 1 and 2

Special requirements: Police clearance and vaccinations

Research Project 3 – The effect of pregnancy complications and lifestyle on the health of mother and child

Project description: This clinical project focuses on following up women and children to measure cardiovascular and other risk factors. A range of sub-projects may be developed to focus on clinical and social influences of maternal and child health.

Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters
Location: LMH
Research project start: Semester 1 and 2

Special requirements: Police clearance and vaccinations

Discipline of Psychiatry (The University of Adelaide)

I am the study coordinator for multiple clinical studies run by the Discipline of Psychiatry, including those on psychosis, and youth mental health in Northern Adelaide. More information about our core research programs can be found here

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2022 - ongoing Adjunct Associate Lecturer The University of Adelaide
    2022 - ongoing Study Coordinator Lyell McEwin Hospital
    2021 - ongoing Study Coordinator The University of Adelaide
    2020 - 2022 Research Officer - CADOSA The University of Adelaide
    2019 - 2019 Research Assistant The University of Adelaide
    2019 - 2022 HDR Representative RRI Early Mid Career Research Council
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2018 - 2022 The University of Adelaide Australia Doctor of Philosophy
    2017 - 2017 The University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences (Honours in Obstetrics and Gynaecology)
    2014 - 2016 Flinders University Australia Bachelor of Medical Science
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    ICH GCP Certification Praxis Australia
  • Research Interests

HDR research funded by Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Divisional Scholarship

Other awards:

2019 - Hospital Research Foundation Travel Grant

2022 - Robinson Research Institute Travel Grant
 

  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2021 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Insulin resistance in offspring exposed to gestational diabetes mellitus Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide 4th Year Medicine Research Project Other Full Time Cicilia Gomes
    2021 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Insulin resistance in offspring exposed to gestational diabetes mellitus The University of Adelaide 4th Year Medicine Research Project Other Full Time Nipun Herath
    2021 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Insulin resistance in offspring exposed to gestational diabetes mellitus The University of Adelaide 4th Year Medicine Research Project Other Full Time Elise Toyer
    2021 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Insulin resistance in offspring exposed to gestational diabetes mellitus The University of Adelaide 4th Year Medicine Research Project Other Full Time Kayla Koh
    2020 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Inter-pregnancy Interval and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease The University of Adelaide Third Year Health and Medical Science Placement Other Full Time Lorraine Cometa
    2020 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Gestational Hypertension and risk of cardiovascular disease The University of Adelaide Other Ayani Gamage
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2019 - ongoing Member Australian Society of Medical Research Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member DOHaD ANZ Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member Healthy Development Adelaide Australia
  • Position: Study Coordinator
  • Email: maleesa.pathirana@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 6
  • Org Unit: Women's and Children's Health

Connect With Me
External Profiles