Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Medicine

The Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders (CHRD) offers exciting postgraduate research opportunities in the area of cardiovascular disease.

The PhD in Medicine program involves two to four years of research for a full time candidate or the equivalent in half time candidature. Candidates will develop the capacity to conduct research independently at a high level of originality and quality to make a significant original contribution to knowledge in the discipline.

For information on how to apply, scholarships available and administrative matters related to Higher Degress by Research at The University of Adelaide, please contact Adelaide Graduate Centre.


Prof Prash Sanders

Research interests: Atrial fribillation, cardiac electrophysiology, pacemaker implantation, cardiac defibrillator implantation, cardiac resynchronization.

Professor Jeroen Hendriks

Research interests: Integrated Chronic Care Management in cardiac care – heart rhythm diseases, particularly atrial fibrillation, and the translation of this approach in chronic heart disease, integrating primary and secondary care services.

Dr Adrian Elliott

Research interests: role of exercise testing and interventions in patients with cardiovascular disease, particularly those with cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure and implanted devices.

Dr Melissa Middeldorp

Research interests: Risk factors and the relationship with atrial fibrillation, Gender differences in atrial fibrillation outcomes, Ablation outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Assoc Prof Christopher Wong

Research interests: Cardiovascular medicine, heart rhythm disorders, and public health.

  • PhD Students

    A list of current students and topics can be found here.

    A selection of PhD thesis completed at the Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders. The theses can be read by accessing Adelaide Research & Scholarship or the University of Adelaide library.

    Completed PhD students and titles.


    Jean-Jacques Noubiap Nzeale

    Title: Screening, risk stratification and management of atrial fibrillation (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Dr M Middeldorp, Dr G Thomas)

    Mehrdad Emami

    Title: Cardiac ablation by electroporation: Effects of pulsed field ablation, field strength and repetition on lesion characteristics in the atria and ventricle (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Assoc Prof D Lau, Prof J Hendriks)


    Bradley Pitman

    Title: Comprehensive Evaluation of Clinical Care: In Patients with Cardiac Implanted Electronic Devices and Arrhythmias: Action towards Improved Workflow and Outcomes (Supervisors: Assoc Prof D Lau, Prof P Sanders, Assoc Prof C Wong)

    Varun Malik

    Title: Autonomic function in atrial fibrillation (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Prof L Arnolda)

    Kadhim Kadhim

    Title: Sleep-disordered breathing and atrial fibrillation: Prevalence, detection and mechanistic insights (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Prof D Linz, Assoc Prof D Lau)


    Ricardo Mishima

    Title: Physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness in atrial fibrillation incidence, prognosis, and pathophysiology (Supervisors: Dr A Elliott, Prof P Sanders)


    Andien Munawar

    Title: Effectiveness of Cardiac Algorithm in Preventing Atrial Fibrillation  (Supervisors: P Sanders, Assoc Prof D Lau, Dr R Mahajan)

    Rachel Wells

    Title: Postural tachycardia syndrome  (Supervisors: Assoc Prof D Lau, Assoc Prof A Page)

    Kashif Khokhar

    Title: Pre-HTN and AF; Role of Non-invasive Central BP to improve risk profiling (Supervisors: Assoc Prof D Lau, Prof P Sanders, Dr M Stiles)


    Chrishan Nalliah

    Title: The impact of renal transplantation on cardiac arrhythmia burden and type and risk of CD in patients with CKD (Supervisors: Prof J Kalman, Prof P Kistler, Prof P Sanders)

    Thomas Agbaedeng

    Title: Atrial Fibrillation and Sudden Cardiac Death in Obesity: An Investigation of the Arrhythmogenicity of Epicardial Fat (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Assoc Prof D Lau, Dr R Mahajan)

    Christian Verdicchio      

    Title: Exercise in Atrial Fibrillation (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Dr A Elliott, Dr R Mahajan)            

    Celine Gallagher             

    Title: Improving Patient Outcomes and Reducing Health Care Burden - The Need for a New Paradigm of Care Delivery for Atrial Fibrillation (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Dr J Hendriks, Dr C Wong)

    Melissa Middeldorp                     

    Title: Characterisation of Atrial Fibrillation Patients: Risk Factors, Progression, Gender and Thrombogenic Risk (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Assoc Prof D Lau, Dr A Elliott)


    Timothy Baillie

    Title: Invasive and Non-Invasive Assessment of Vascular Reactivity in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)


    Jason Varzaly

    Title: Surgical Management of Atrial Fibrillation (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Dr M Worthington, Assoc Prof D Lau)

    Melissa Neo     

    Title: Atrial Electrophysiological and Structural Changes in Obesity and Diabetes Mellitus (Supervisors: Prof D Saint, Prof P Sanders)


    Wei Wen Lim   

    Title: Cardiac Remodeling in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Diabesity (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Prof D Saint, Dr P Kuklik, Dr A Ganesan, Dr M Baumert, Prof C Semsarian)

    Darragh Twomey            

    Title: The Impact of Weight Fluctuation on Atrial Substrate and the Prevention of Atrial Remodelling with the use of Anti-Fibrotics (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)


    Rajeev Pathak  

    Title: Aggressive Risk Factor Reduction Study for Atrial Fibrillation (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Assoc Prof D Lau, Assoc Prof K Roberts-Thomson, Prof W Abhayaratna)

    Christopher Wong         

    Title: Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Management of Atrial Fibrillation (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, A Prof K Roberts-Thomson)

    Anand Ganesan               


    Sachin Nayyar  

    Title: High Density Mapping of Ventricular Scar – Insights into Mechanisms of Ventricular Tachycardia (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)

    Muayad Alasady             

    Title: Atrial Arrhythmogenesis During Myocardial Infarction (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)

    Rajiv Mahajan  

    Title: Obesity and atrial fibrillation: Characterization of Electro-strutural Atrial Substrate with Sustained Obesity and Reversal Upon Weight Reduction (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Prof J Selva, Dr A Brooks, Dr P Kuklik)

    Geetanjali Rangnekar   

    Title: The characterisation of risk factors, substrate and management strategies for atrial fibrillation. (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)

    Shivshankar Thanigaimani          

    Title: Atrial reverse remodeling in hypertensive substrate (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Assoc Prof D Lau)

    Carlee Schultz  

    Title: Thrombogenesis in substrates for atrial fibrillation (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Dr A Brooks, Dr A Ganesan, Dr S Willoughby)


    Nicholas Sjoberg             

    Title: The modification of heart rate variability in normal, overweight and type 2 diabetic individuals (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)


    Hany Abed        

    Title: Obesity and Atrial Electrical and Mechanical Remodeling: Implications for Atrial Fibrillation (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Prof G Wittert)

    Han Lim              

    Title: Mechanisms of Thrombogenesis in Atrial Fibrillation (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Dr S Willoughby, Assoc Prof M Worthley)

    Hany Dimitri     

    Title: Acute and chronic atrial remodeling in obstructive sleep apnoea : implications for atrial fibrillation (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)

    Payman Molaee              

    Title: Assessment of left atrial structure and function in the setting of atrial fibrillation using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Prof S Worthley)


    Darryl Leong     

    Title: The role of myocardial fibrosis and ventricular mechanical dyssynchrony in the pathogenesis and treatment of contractile myocardial dysfunction (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Prof S Worthley)

    Angelo Carbone              

    Title: The effects of omega-3 fatty acids in an ovine model of anthracycline-induced non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)


    Dennis Lau         

    Title: Substrate for atrial fibrillation in cardiomyopathies (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Assoc Prof D Saint, Dr L MacKenzie)


    Kelvin Wong                     

    Title: Cardiac Flow Analysis Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Prof J Mazumdar, Prof D Abbott, Prof R Kelso, Prof S Worthley)

    Cynthia Piantadosi         

    Title: Effects of obesity and diet induced weight loss on cardiovascular risk factors, vascular and ventricular structure and function, prostate symptoms and sexual function in obese men (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)

    Daniel Ninio     

    Title: An examination of the role of atrial stretch in the genesis of atrial fibrillation and the antiarrhythmic effects of dietary fish oil (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)


    Martin Stiles     

    Title: Characterisation of the substrate of atrial fibrillation and flutter (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Assoc Prof G Young) 

    Bobby John

    Title: Electrical remodelling of the atria and pulmonary veins due to stretch in rheumatic mitral stenosis (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders, Prof S Chandy, Prof S Worthley)

    Kelly Douglas   

    Title: Mechanoelectric feedback in the mammalian heart (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)

    Haipeng Zhu     

    Title: The expression and function of stretch-activated 2P-4TMD K⁺ channels in the heart (Supervisors: Prof P Sanders)

  • PhD activities

    The CHRD has a vibrant research culture where our PhD program and activities are aimed at creating student experiences that are socially enriching in a supportive learning community. Regular PhD activities includes:

    • The Journal Club - to share and discuss recent articles in academic literature
    • ECG Tutorial - an interactive session for students to develop the necessary high level of ‘ECG literacy'
    • Electrophysiology Research Meeting - a safe space for students to present and be critically evaluated on the progress of their research by fellow students, researchers and experts
    • Educational events - multiple events throughout the year where students can hear from other national or international leaders and experts in the field present their work to the group