The SERT Leadership Team

The Surgical Education Research and Training (SERT) Institute Leadership Team

Meet the SERT Institute Leadership Team

Prof Tom Hugh

Director of the SERT Institute, Professor and Chair of Surgery Northern Clinical School, Board member of the AANZHPBA

Tom Hugh is the Chair of Surgery at the Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney. He is an Upper Gastro-Intestinal surgeon based at Royal North Shore Hospital and North Shore Private Hospital, Sydney Australia. His clinical interests include the management of benign and malignant liver tumours, gallstone disease and repair of groin and complex abdominal wall hernias. He has a long-standing interest in clinical audit and has been the instigator and driver of several on-going prospective clinical databases in the Northern Upper GI Surgical unit at RNSH (Total practice Upper GI surgery, Liver resection, and Cholecystectomy). He was a co-founder of the Kolling Institute liver tumour biobank which was established in 2001. Currently, this contains approximately 500 banked tumour specimens which are all linked to a long-term clinical database.

Tom supervises PhD, Masters of Surgery and medical students and is actively engaged in both clinical and laboratory-based research. He is invited to talk regularly at national and international surgical meetings. He is a member of the Board of CanSur, a not-for-profit cancer surgery research foundation based in the Kolling Institute, RNSH.

Tom has a long-standing interest in clinical skills training and was one of two surgeons who established a state-of-art skills training centre at RNSH in 2005. He has designed, delivered, and taught on more than 100 skills training courses since 1998. Currently, he is the acting Clinical Director of the Sydney Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre (SCSSC) at RNSH.

He has had extensive administrative experience over the past 20 years. Tom served as Head of the Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery at RNSH from 2006 to 2014, and then as Head of the RNSH Upper GI Surgery unit from 2014 to 2018. He has taken on multiple local and national committee roles ever since being appointed as a consultant surgeon at RNSH in 1998. He was a long-standing member (1999 to 2006) of the executive of the Sydney Upper Gastrointestinal Surgical Society (SUGSS) and an inaugural member of the Australia and New Zealand Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (ANZHPBA) executive (established in 2004). Tom was a long-serving member of the ANZHPBA executive between 2005-2018, and he was the Chairperson of the ANZHPBA research committee from 2012 to 2017. He joined the executive committee again in 2021 and was the scientific program coordinator of the 2023 AANZHPBA annual meeting held in Sydney (Valued Based Care in HPB surgery).

In 2016, Tom established the RNSH Data Analysis and Surgical Outcomes (DASO) unit and the Surgical Education, Research and Training (SERT) Institute at RNSH. He is passionate about the need for prospective “total practice” clinical audit to become routine for all surgeons, as well as to improving engagement of surgeons in the public hospital sector. He continues in his role as Director of the RNSH SERT Institute.

Ellie McCann

SERT Institute Manager

Ellie McCann is the Manager of the Surgical Education Research and Training Institute at Royal North Shore Hospital. She has an extensive career in healthcare holding senior leadership and management positions at the national, state-wide, local health district and hospital level.

Her nursing career, substantial experience and can do attitude created opportunities to lead national and state-wide reform strategies for The Organ and Tissue Authority, DonateLife and NSW Organ Donation and Transplant Services, The National Centre for Immunisation, Research and Surveillance, and NSW Ambulance, leading their Statewide Workforce Enhancement Program (SWEP) prior to joining the SERT Institute. In WSLHD Ellie Worked in the Research Education Network (REN) managing the district Education and Training Services in addition to corporate, management and leadership development.
As a Nurse Manager she has managed surgical services, operating theatres, interventional procedural units and gained nursing experience in acute care, medical and palliative care.
She is passionate and driven to provide safe and high quality healthcare services, underpinned by clinical research, quality improvement and a positive workplace culture that strives for excellence in patient care.
We are very pleased to have Ellie join the SERT Institute leadership team as we move forward, strengthening surgical academic activities, clinical research, leadership and education at RNSH.

Angela Cho

DASO Unit Manager

Angela Cho is the Data Analysis and Surgical Outcomes (DASO) Unit Manager at Royal North Shore Hospital. DASO comes under the umbrella of SERT. She manages a number of surgical data managers who support the clinical audit and research activities for several surgical departments.

She has a background in research – basic and clinical. She was awarded with a PhD from the University of Sydney in 2021, identifying biomarkers of progression and recurrence in gliomas (brain tumours). She gained clinical research experience as a clinical trial coordinator at the Melanoma Institute Australia, coordinating various Phase I-III clinical trials.

Dr Jonathon Parkinson

Postgraduate Research and Training Lead

Dr Jonathon Parkinson was a medical student at RNSH, before going on to complete Neurosurgical training across Sydney and Newcastle. During this time, he also completed a PhD in the Cancer Genetics Laboratory at the Kolling Institute, examining the molecular biology of brain cancer. Following his Neurosurgical training, Jonathon undertook a fellowship in complex spinal surgery at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Alberta. On his return to Australia, he took up his current appointments as a VMO at Royal North Shore, North Shore Private and Sydney Adventist Hospitals. Jonathon’s main areas of clinical and research interest are in complex spinal surgery and neuro-oncology, with the latter seeing him on the Management Committee of the Co-operative Trials Group in Neuro-oncology (COGNO) Australasia’s dominant neuro-oncology society. He also has a keen interest in medical student, registrar and fellow education across both clinical and research areas.

Assoc Prof Anthony Glover

Masters of Surgery Lead

Associate Professor Anthony Glover is a practicing specialist endocrine surgeon and surgical oncologist and is the Director for the Master Surgery Program with the University of Sydney. 

He specialises in the care of thyroid and parathyroid disease and has clinical practices at Royal North Shore Hospital and St Vincent’s Clinic. Anthony runs research and education programs focusing on improving the understanding of endocrine cancer biology, improving clinical outcomes from surgery and aiding the development of surgical competencies and professional skills.

Dr Kai Brown

Robotics and NSQIP Lead

Kai Brown is a hepatobiliary, pancreatic and general surgeon at Royal North Shore Hospital, North Shore Private Hospital and Mater Hospital in Sydney, Australia. His main areas of expertise are in treatment of tumours and diseases of the liver, pancreas and gallbladder, as well as abdominal wall hernias. Kai has a particular interest in minimally invasive surgical techniques and is the Academic Lead for Robotic surgery at Royal North Shore Hospital.

Kai graduated from the University of New South Wales with a degree in Medicine and a first-class honours degree in Medical Science. He undertook specialist general surgery training at Royal North Shore Hospital and obtained his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) in 2019. During this time, he also completed a PhD researching colorectal liver metastases at the University of Sydney, resulting in several scholarships, prizes, publications, and presentations at a national and international level. Kai went on to do a further three years of subspecialty fellowship training with the ustralian & Aotearoa New Zealand, Hepatic, Pancreatic & Biliary Association (AANZHPBA) in hepatopancreatobiliary and liver transplant surgery in major high-volume centres across Australia, including Westmead Hospital in Sydney, The Austin Hospital in Melbourne, and Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. He has a keen and ongoing interest in teaching medical students and junior doctors, as well as clinical and translational research through his academic appointment at the University of Sydney and is a member of the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG).