Stephen McDonald

Professor Stephen McDonald

Clinical Professor

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

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

Professor Stephen McDonald MBBS (Hons), FRACP, PhD

Stephen McDonald is Director of Dialysis and a Senior Staff Nephrologist at the Central Northern Renal and Transplantation Service (based at the Royal Adelaide Hospital), and Clinical Director of Renal Services for the Country Health SA Local Health Network. He is Executive Officer of the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry, and holds academic status as Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine of the University of Adelaide, and Principal Research Fellow in the SA Health and Medical Research Institute.

Following clinical training in nephrology at various hospitals in Adelaide, he moved to the world of epidemiological research at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin in 1998. There he examined relationships between early kidney and cardiovascular disease and markers of inflammation and nutrition among remote Aboriginal communities. He then moved to a post-doctoral position in the ANZDATA Registry; subsequently he has combined his research interests with a clinical career. As well as his role leading dialysis in the Central Northern Adelaide Renal and Transplantation Service, he retains a substantial interest in non-metropolitan renal services in his role as Clinical Director for Renal Services for Country Health SA. As a clinician, his practice includes care for in- and out-patients with all types of kidney disease including acute and chronic kidney disease, people receiving all forms of dialysis and those with kidney transplants.


MBBS (Hons), University of Adelaide, 1991
FRACP, 1997
PhD, Flinders University of SA, 2004

Thesis title: “Renal disease, cardiovascular disease and shared risk factors in remote Aboriginal communities”

He was a member of the National Examiners' Panel for the RACP Clinical Examination for a number of years, and subsequently joined the Senior Examiners' Panel in 2011 where he continues. He has ongoing ivnolvement in teaching advanced clinical skills to physician trainees sitting this examination. He speaks regularly to consumer & general practitioner groups about kidney disease, and is involved in both the formal teaching and informal supervision of undergraduate students.

Research Interests

ANZDATA and ANZOD Registries.

ANZDATA – Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplantation Registry . This is a registry which is responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information about treatment for end-stage kidney disease for Australia and New Zealand.

The ANZOD Registry collects information about deceased solid organ donors in Australia and New Zealand

Both of these Registries are based at SAHMRI. Prof Stephen McDonald is the Executive Officer. Core funding is provided by the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority , the New Zealand Ministry of Health and Kidney Health Australia. Associated research programs are supported predominantly by an NHMRC Investigator Grant held by Prof McDonald

These Registries fulfil a number of roles:

1) They are the major source of data about incidence and treatment patterns of end-stage kidney disease, dialysis and transplantation they have a substantial input into health service planning at a jurisdictional level
2) They provide an extensive network of quality-assurance reports / data to individual units about a range of processes and outcomes in dialysis and transplantation
3) They provide the database and epidemiological / statistical expertise behind a wide network of research studies based on the Registry, involving local, interstate and international collaborations.

Associated research activities span a variety of projects including data linkage, exploration of patient-reported outcomes and Registries, the role of consumers in research and improving access to transplantation.

Chronic kidney disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Rates of chronic kidney disease among Aboriginal Australians are many times higher than those of non-indigenous Australians. The epidemiology of this problem and associated treatments are a major focus, particularly with respect to end-stage kidney disease. We have demonstrated substantial inequities in access to transplantation for Indigenous people in Australia, especially for those living remotely. The National Indigenous Kidney Transplant Taskforce, based with the ANZDATA Registry at SAHMRI, is funded to address these issues.

Clinical Research
Prof McDonald is an active part of the Clinical Research Group based in the Renal Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, with involvement in a number of projects around improving the patient's experience of dialysis.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2015 Principal Research Fellow SA Health & Medical Research Institute
    2014 Director of Dialysis Central Northern Adelaide Renal and Transplantation Service
    2014 Clinical Professor University of Adelaide
    2010 Senior Staff Specialist Central Northern Adelaide Renal and Transplantation Service
    2009 Clinical DIrector, Renal Services Country Health SA LHN
    2006 Executive Officer ANZDATA Registry
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2021 Award Advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Maori Equity Award Australia & NZ Society of Nephrology Australia
    2015 Award T J Neale award ANZ Society of Nephrology Australia
    2006 Award Kidney Health Australia Award Kidney Health Australia Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    University of Adelaide Australia MBBS(Hons)
    Flinders University Australia PhD
    Royal Australasian College of Physicians Australia FRACP
  • Research Interests

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2021 Principal Supervisor Administration of Enoxaparin to Prevent Extracorporeal Circuit (ECC) Thrombosis in haemodialysis – determining the optimal dose and route of administration. Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Part Time Miss Rachel Yi Ping Tan
    2021 Co-Supervisor Enhancing cultural safety in Aboriginal kidney care – a participatory action research involving nurses and Aboriginal patients. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Melissa Arnold-Chamney
    2019 Co-Supervisor The Benefits and Burdens of Kidney Transplantation for First Nations Australians Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Samantha Bateman
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 - 2021 Principal Supervisor Improving Kidney Transplantation Outcomes for Indigenous Australians Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Namrata Khanal
    2014 - 2018 Co-Supervisor A Randomised Controlled Study Looking at Cardiovascular Effects of AV Fistula Closure after Kidney Transplantation Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Part Time APrf Nitesh Nikilesh Rao
    2007 - 2012 Principal Supervisor Investigate the Link between Disease and End Stage Kidney Disease using Traditional and Novel Markers of Risk Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Shaundeep Sen
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 - ongoing External Supervisor Epidemiology of chronic kidney disease in Queensland Univeristy of Queensland PhD Doctorate Part Time Kensoon Tan
    2009 - 2013 External Supervisor Outcomes of kidney transplantation University of Sydney PhD Doctorate Part Time Philip Clayton
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2019 - ongoing Member Clinical Quality Registry Framework Advisory Committee Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Australia
    2018 - ongoing Chair Registries Special Interest Group Australasian Clinical Trials Alliance Australia
    2016 - 2019 Member Research Advisory Committee Australia & NZ Society of Nephrology Australia
    2016 - ongoing Member Clinical Research Sub-Committee SA Academic Health Science and Translation Centre Australia
    2016 - 2018 Member Renal Medicine Clinical Committee MBS Review Taskforce, Commonwealth Department of Health Australia
    2013 - ongoing Member Expert Advisory Committee, Chronic Kidney Disease Data monitoring Centre, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Australia
    2010 - ongoing Member Senior Examiners' Panel Royal Australasian College of Physicians Australia
    2004 - 2010 Member National Examiners' Panel Royal Australasian College of Physicians Australia
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2004 - ongoing Associate Editor Nephrology Australia
  • Position: Clinical Professor
  • Phone: 0870742618
  • Email:
  • Fax: 8222 0970
  • Campus: Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • Building: RAH - East Wing, floor 9
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Medical School

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