TORU staff

See the listing below of TORU staff and their activities.

Unit directors

Prof. Paul Smith BMBS FRACS (Ortho)

Professor Paul Smith is an Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Canberra Hospital and at Calvary John James Hospital in Canberra. He is also Co-Director of the Trauma and Orthopaedic Research Unit at Canberra Hospital.

Prof Smith received his medical and surgical training in Adelaide before specialising in hip and knee joint reconstructive and replacement surgery. He was a Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Travelling Fellow in 1996 and 1997 with Fellowships in joint replacement surgery at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and at The Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital in England.

He has recently been honoured by The Knee Society, receiving the inaugural John N Insall Travelling Fellowship in knee surgery and has been appointed as Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery at the ANU Medical School. Dr Smith's particular clinical interests are in reconstruction and replacement surgery of the hip and knee, complex revision joint replacement surgery and management of pelvic and acetabular injuries.


Laboratory Research Co-ordinator

Dr Rachel W. Li MD. PhD.
Adjunct Associate Professor (University of Canberra)

Dr Li obtained a Bachelor of Medicine from China Medical University in 1982 and worked as a surgeon and senior infectious diseases specialist at China Medical University. She led a number of clinical trials in anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs and successfully transferred an intellectual property to pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Li completed her PhD in pharmacology at Southern Cross University and gained her postdoctoral experiences in molecular pharmacology in the University of Hawaii. Dr Li returned to Australia in 2006 joining the Trauma and Orthopaedic Research Unit (TORU) and has established TORU laboratory with a focus on osteoimmunology.

She has developed a range of laboratory capabilities to determine the effects of therapeutic, surgical and physio-therapeutic treatments on biomedical markers using human primary cell culture and large animal models.

In addition to her research work in the TORU, Dr Li is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Faculty of Health in the University of Canberra teaching and supervising the students in Master of Pharmacy Program.


Clinical Research Co-ordinator

Dr Diana Perriman

Dr Diana Perriman. BAppSc (Physio), MSc., PhD

Dr Perriman is currently the Clinical Research Coordinator at TORU. She attained her undergraduate degree from Sydney University in 1982 and her master's degree at the University of East London (UK) in 1995. Her Masters research investigated the effect of orthotics on the hemiplegic ankle using electrogoniometry.

Dr Perriman was awarded a PhD from ANU in December 2011. Her PhD researchinvestigated the thoracic spine and kyphotic thoracic posture in aging. Her findings include the discovery that the thoracic erector spinae cannot be successfully measured using surface EMG and that after the age of 70 the thoracic spine is resistant to postural change. Dr Perriman has also been the recipient of an NHMRC Dora Lush scholarship for this research. As clinical research coordinator Dr Perriman's research interests lie in arthroplasty and fracture outcomes in accordance with the main focus of the Trauma & Orthopaedic Research Unit.


Office Manager

Mrs Kylie McKay

Kylie is TORU's office manager, and can be contacted at any time for queries regarding the unit.

Phone: 6244 3858

Research Staff

Dr Laura Gladkis PhD

Dr Laura Gladkis PhD

Dr. Laura Gladkis is a Senior Research Officer, at the Trauma & Orthopaedic Research Unit. Dr Gladkis graduated with a Master in Physics from the Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentine) in 2002. She recently finished her PhD degree at the Department of Nuclear Physics, Australian National University.

As part of her PhD project, Dr Gladkis developed accelerator mass spectrometry techniques to measure the radioisotope manganese-53 as a geological dating tool. Based on her work, manganese-53 dating now promises new insights into the origin of the aridity of the Australian landscape.

In parallel, she designed and constructed a new type of time-of-flight particle detector in order to detect and identify uranium-236 using accelerator mass spectrometry.

This new radioisotope tracing tool will make an important contribution to nuclear proliferation monitoring. Dr Gladkis will apply her expertise and skills in radioisotope tracing techniques to study the tribology of knee implants and to ultimately extend their survivorship in the patient.

Dr Gladkis will carry out this research on prosthesis wear as a postdoc; as part of the Advance Materials Group at UNSW@ADFA.


Corinne Coulter B(App)Sc, Physiotherapy.

Corinne is doing her research Master’s degree with an RCT to explore efficient and effective rehabilitation post total hip replacements.


Ben Scarvell

Ben Serpell, BHSc, B(App)Sc OT (hons), B(App)Sc Human Movement (hons).

Ben’s PhD asks “Is there a relationship between hamstring and quadriceps strength, and the knee joint kinematics which predict anterior cruciate ligament injury?” We look forward to collaboration with the AIS and UC.

John Warmenhoven

John Warmenhoven B Coaching Sci.

John is a graduate of University of Canberra and is currently working on his honours thesis for his Bachelor of Sports Studies (hons) in biomechanics at the Australian Institute of Sport.

John is studying the kinematics of rowers. He is a recipient of the AIS prize, and has a keen interest in swimming. John manages the TORU pelvic fractures database and assists with data management of the total knee and hip replacement study.


Dr Camilla Smith

Dr Camilla Smith

Dr Camilla Smith received her medical degree (MBChB) at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in 2009, and moved to Australia in January 2010. She is now working as a Research Officer on a Cardiac Surgery trial at the Canberra Hospital, and is interested in specializing in Surgery. In the meantime, Dr Smith is halfway through completing her Australian Medical Council exams in order to be able to do Internship and practice Medicine in Australia. Dr Smith is particularly interested in Ophthalmology, ENT and Plastic Surgery.

Liz Bennett

Elizabeth Bennett BA (Hons), M Ex Sci (Strength and Conditioning).

Elizabeth did her BA (Hons) at the Australian National University and her Masters in Exercise Science at Edith Cowan University.

Part of her Masters research focussed on plyometrics for marathon runners. Elizabeth is the TORU research officer for the Journey knee replacement study and the R3 hip replacement project.

She also manages the bone retrieval database and prepares TORU research papers for publication.


Current students

Ms Angela Fearon

Ms Angela Fearon BAppSc(Physio), MPhysio

Ms Fearon graduated from the Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences in 1986 and gained her masters degree in 2001. She has been a clinical Physiotherapist since 1986 and currently has her own practice in Canberra. Angie is enrolled as a PhD candidate at the ANU.

Ms Fearons previous research interests include interdisciplinary perspectives on arthritis. Her current research interests involve the examination of tendinosis, enthesopathy and Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. She also has a general interest in orthopaedic research into the pelvis and lower limb.


Diana Perriman

Ms Diana Perriman. BAppSc(Physio), MSc.

Diana attained her undergraduate degree from Sydney University in 1982 and her masters degree at the University of East London (UK) in 1995.

Her Masters research investigated the effect of orthotics on the hemiplegic ankle using electrogoniometry. Diana is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate at the ANU.

Her research involves an investigation of kyphotic thoracic posture in normal adults and people with stroke. For this research Diana has received an NHMRC Dora Lush scholarship.


Dr Mingming Chen

Dr Mingming Chen (PhD)

Dr Chen graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine from China in 1999. She has been a physician and clinical acupuncture and physiotherapist since then, working in China and Canberra. During her clinical practice, she came to be interested in research of mechanisms of diseases.

In 2006, she received her PhD degree in Medicine from Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medical University for studying the influences of acupuncture on pharmacokenics and drug distribution. Since she migrated to Australia in 2006, Dr Chen has been actively involved in basic medical research at John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University and gained laboratory research experiences in immunohistochemistry and pathology.

She joined TORU laboratory and is currently working on immunohistology of bone, cartilage and tendon from human joint diseases.