Renuka Visvanathan

Professor Renuka Visvanathan

Academic Geriatrician-Director Adelaide GTRAC

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


PROFESSOR RENUKA VISVANATHAN
PhD, FRACP, FANZSGM, G.Cert. Ed (Higher Education), MBBS, ATCL
Professor Visvanathan has an international reputation in the research area of nutritional frailty. She is especially interested in the provision of quality health care to prevent the impact of frailty (e.g. falls and fracture) as well as improve the wellbeing, function and quality of life of frail, older people and consumers with dementia. She is also interested in research that is likely to translate into improved clinical practice.

Professor Visvanathan is Clinical Director of the Aged & Extended Care Services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (& Basil Hetzel Institute), Central Adelaide Local Health Network since 2005.

She is Director of the Adelaide Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care (G-TRAC) Centre, which which include an innovative partnership project between the University of Adelaide and Resthaven Inc. at Paradise. GTRAC is a collaborating partner of the South Australian Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre.

Professor Visvanathan is Associate Investigator with the University of Adelaide School of Medicine's NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health based at the Royal Adelaide Hospital campus and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

Professor Visvanathan is currently a member of the Healthy Ageing subcommittee to the Economic Development Board of South Australia. Professor Visvanathan is a current board member of Resthaven Inc.. She is a current committee member of the Australasian Association of Gerontology Executive- SA Division and a member of the Policy and Planning committee of the Australia and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine.

Professor Visvanathan is a member of the Expert Advisory Board to the 49 million European Sarcopenia and Physical Frailty In Older Persons: Multicomponent Treatment Strategies [SPRINTT] Project and also a member of the Editorial Board to Frailty.net, an international education resource that aims to help primary care physicians and other health professionals involved in the care of older persons implement frailty into clinical practice.

She was previously a member to the Nestle Australia Malnutrition Board, Advisory Group Member to the board of Alzheimer's Association South Australia, member of the Clinical Governance Advisory Group, Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) in South Australia and Deputy Chair (till July 2014) of the Older Peoples Clinical Network, SA Health.

Professor Visvanathan is a graduate of the University of Adelaide, having completed her medical degree in 1996. Her basic physician training years (1998-2000) saw her teach and train at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide. She specialised in geriatric medicine and trained at both the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre. She commenced as a staff specialist in geriatric medicine at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in 2004. In 2004 also, she developed and implemented the 5th year geriatric medicine teaching program for the University of Adelaide Spencer Gulf Rural Clinical School. In 2005, on completion of her PhD in the research area of ‘Nutritional Frailty', she commenced as the Director of the Aged & Extended Care Services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide. In recognition of her contribution to academic geriatric medicine, she was academically promoted to Associate Professor in 2008 and Professor in 2014. She lead the development and establishment of the Adelaide G-TRAC Centre, which was officially opened in February 2013 by the Federal Minister of Ageing.

Professor Visvanathan has an international reputation in the research area of nutritional frailty. Her research has translated into improved clinical practice as well as influenced policy and health services. She is especially interested in the provision of quality health care to prevent the impact of frailty as well as improve the wellbeing, function and quality of life of frail, older people and consumers with dementia. In her leadership academic role, she keenly fosters research relating to the various geriatric syndromes including falls prevention, medication optimization and dementia.

She is currently the Clinical Director of the Aged and Extended Care Services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Central Adelaide Local Health Network. She is also the Project Lead for the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence Frailty Trans-disciplinary Research To Achieve Healthy Aging. She is Director of the Adelaide Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care Centre, which is part of the School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide.  GTRAC is a collaborating partner of the South Australian Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre.  

Professor Visvanathan is a current board member of Resthaven Inc. and is a member of the Ageing Well Sub-Committee To The Economic Development Board of South Australia.

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  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2013 Fellowship 2013 Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine
    2009 Fellowship 2009 Australia and New Zealand Society For Geriatric Medicine Lundbeck Fellowship Australia and New Zealand Society For Geriatric Medicine Lundbeck
    2007 Award 2007 Bristol-Myers Squibb Career Investigator Award Australia and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM)
    2005 Award 2005 Merck New Investigators Award American Geriatric Society (AGS)
    2003 Scholarship International Postgraduate Research Scholarship Department of Education, Youth and Training Affairs
    2002 Award 2002 RM Gibson Prize
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2010 University of Adelaide Australia Graduate Certificate in Education (Higher Education),
    2005 University of Adelaide Australia PhD in Medicine
    1997 University of Adelaide Australia MBBS- Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2010 SA Health Leads Future Leaders Program SA Health
    2007 Faculty of Health Science Leadership Program University of Adelaide Australia
    2004 Teaching at University Certificate University of Adelaide Australia
    2003 FRACP- Fellowship Royal Australasian College of Physicians Australia
    1987 ATCL- Associate Trinity College of Music London
  • Research Interests

Grants (2011-2016)
Commonwealth Category 1- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Grants 
2015-2020 NHMRC Centre For Research Excellence. . CI: Visvanathan R, Karnon J, Kitson A, Beilby J, Cameron I, Bell S, Chehade M, Feist H. AI: Taylor D, Morley J, Rockwood K, Cesari M, Theou O, Yu S, Schultz T. Frailty Trans-Disciplinary Research To Achieve Healthy Ageing. $2,301169.40
2015-2017 NHMRC Project Grant. CI: Visvanathan R, Hill K, Ranasinghe D, Lange K, Wilson A (AIs Cooper I, Alford J, Karnon J, Ingam K, Shibu P, Maher S, Hoskins S). Effectiveness of an Ambient Intelligence Geriatric Management system (AmbIGeM) to prevent falls in older people in hospitals: the AmbIGeM stepped wedge randomised trial. $1,609,305.90
2012-2017 NHMRC Centre For Research Excellence- . Associate Investigator CIs Horowitz M, Wittert G, Clifton P, Blackshaw LA, Rayner C, Chapman I, Feinle-Bisset C, Jones K, Noakes M, Chapman M. AI Beckett E, Deane A, Heilbronn L, Kitson A, Little T, Luscombe-Marsh N, Nguyen N, Page A, Shi Z, Turnbull D, Visvanathan R, Young R - Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health.  $2,499,990 million
Other Research Grants
2016 Jones K-Chief Investigator. Associate Investigator- Horowitz M, Rayner C, Soenen S, Visvanathan R, Hausken T. Royal Adelaide Hospital Research Committee NHMRC Near Miss Grant. Post-Prandial hypotension- gastrointestinal mechanisms and management. $50,000
2016 - 2021 Visvanathan R. Hospital Research Foundation Challenge Funding. Frailty to achieve Healthy Aging. $625,000
2015-2016 Visvanathan R-Northern Communities Health Foundation- The effects of exercise in combination with a commercially available nutritional supplement in older people at-risk of sarcopenia: A Pilot Study. $50,000
2014 Ratcliffe J, Luszcz M, Doyle C, Visvanathan R. Flinders University DVCR (R) Near Miss Grant. Incorporating older peoples’ preferences into the design and delivery of dementia diagnostic services. $20,000
2013 Bell S (Chief Investigator), Co-Investigators-Hilmer S, Vitry A, Visvanathan R.  Alzheimer’s Australia- Resthaven Dementia Grant- ‘Analgesic load, pain and daytime sedation in people with dementia in aged care facilities’  $150,000
2011 Jones K, Gentilcore D, Visvanathan R, Chapman IM, Rayner CK, A Deane, Horowitz M. Hanson Institute, Royal Adelaide Hospital Equipment Grant- Assessment of splanchnic blood flow in humans $65,000.
    Teaching & Training Grants
    2012-2014 Visvanathan R Aged Care Workforce Fund Department of Health And Ageing - Expanding the’ Teaching Research Aged Care Service’. Development of the Adelaide Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care (G-TRAC) Centre. $543,000
    2011-2013 Visvanathan R and Beilby J. Health Workforce Australia Clinical Placement Grant- to develop a ‘Teaching Research Aged Care Service’ $1,015,706
    2011-2016 Visvanathan R Specialist Training Program. $600,000 
    2012-2016 Visvanathan R Specialist Training Program. $500,000
    2014-2016 Visvanathan R Specialist Training Program. $300,000 
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      • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

        Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
        2019 Principal Supervisor Predictive Validity Assessment of the Pictorial Fit-Frail Scale-Malay Version Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Sally Suriani Ahip
        2018 Principal Supervisor Frailty prevalence and associated factors, and its impact on state transitions, mortality, and quality of life in community dwelling South Australian older adults (longitudinal data from the North West Adelaide Health Study). Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mark Quinlivan Thompson
        2018 Principal Supervisor A pre-post, feasibility and acceptability study investigating the effects of a goal-setting coaching intervention using accelerometer guided objective feedback on real time feedback on sedentary behaviour and physical activity in hip fracture patient Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Unyime Jasper
        2017 Principal Supervisor The Utility of Frailty and Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Assessments in the Management of Emergency Department (ED) Patients from Nursing Homes (NH) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr James Farrell Smyth
        2016 Principal Supervisor Physical Activity and Frailty: Exploring Cross Cultural and Neighborhood Influences Doctor of Philosophy under a Jointly-awarded Degree Agreement with Doctorate Full Time Dr Beatriz Arakawa Martins
        2015 Principal Supervisor Falls and Fractures in Older Adults Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Kareeann Khow
        2015 Principal Supervisor Improving Functioning for People with Neurological Health Conditions Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Anupam Datta Gupta
      • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

        Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
        2015 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Ambulatory Monitoring using Passive RFID Technology Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Asanga Wickramasinghe
        2014 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Exercise and Older People: Strategies to Prevent, Treat and Delay Frailty Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Agathe Daria Jadczak
        2013 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Clinicians' Perspectives and Clinical Efficacy of a Health Information Technology Tool in Hospital Falls Risk Assessment and Prevention among Older Persons Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Part Time Dr Ruth Teh
        2012 - 2019 Co-Supervisor An Exploratory Investigation of the Oral Health of Hospitalised Older People Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Clare McNally
        2011 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Postprandial Hypotension in Older People Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Part Time Dr Shailaja Nair G.N. Nair
        2010 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Frailty Indices and Nutritional Screening Tools as Predictors of Adverse Outcomes in Hospitalised Older People Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Elsa Dent
        2007 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Sarcopenia in Older People Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time APrf Solomon Yu
      • Position: Academic Geriatrician-Director Adelaide GTRAC
      • Phone: 82226000
      • Email: renuka.visvanathan@adelaide.edu.au
      • Fax: 8222 8593
      • Campus: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
      • Building: QEH - Main Bldg, floor 8
      • Org Unit: Medicine

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