Our Research Team

Research and clinical trials at The Skin Hospital are conducted by a highly qualified and dedicated group of doctors and researchers. All team members have extensive experience and each member delivers the highest standard of service and care to patients throughout the trial process. Detailed information on the team and their individual qualifications are listed below.
Our Research Team2019-08-12T15:08:07+11:00

A/Prof Gayle Fischer, Head of Research

A/Prof Gayle Fischer is a dermatologist with a specialist interest in Paediatric and Gynaecology Dermatology. A/Prof Fischer graduated the University of Sydney with a doctor of medicine degree, with the subject thesis written on ‘Vulval Diseases in Children and Adults’.

Her specialist interest in vulval diseases has led her to becoming a member of the international society for Vulvar Disease as well as the past President of the Australia and New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society. Furthermore, she is also a member of the Society for Paediatric Dermatology. From 1991 to 2011, A/Prof Fischer was a Visiting Medical Officer at the Childrens Hospital Westmead, specialising in paediatric care.

A/Prof Gayle Fischer works for the Skin Hospital, Darlinghurst, as well as being an Associate Professor of Dermatology at The Northern Clinical School of The University of Sydney. Aside from her practitional work, A/Prof Gayle Fischer also part of the Editorial Boards of Paediatric Dermatology as well as being the Chief Censor of the Australasian College of Dermatologists.


Dr Minal Dalvi, Director of Research at Darlinghurst and Westmead

Dr Minal Dalvi received her PhD in Immunology and Microbiology from University of Arizona (USA) in 2006. Her doctoral dissertation assessed the role of genetic and environmental factors in the development of asthma and allergy.

She then worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at New York University (USA) and was involved in a proteomics project assessing immune protein expression in HIV-infected individuals pre- and post- HAART treatment. Dr Dalvi also studied the role of an oral bacteria, P. gingivalis, in development of oral cancer at NYU.

As a science editor, Dr Dalvi has reviewed over 100 manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed science journals. Her interest in bringing new treatments from bench to bedside led her to pursue a master’s degree in Intellectual Property Law at University of Technology, Sydney. Dr Dalvi currently works as the Director of Research at The Skin Hospital. She is involved in developing research projects and oversees 12 clinical trials across our two sites. She also holds the role of Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney.


Dr Philip Tong, Deputy Director of Research at Darlinghurst

Dr Philip Tong is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists after completing his dermatology specialist training in NSW as the inaugural Dean’s Fellow in Dermatology, a joint initiative with The University of Sydney. He underwent world class-research and dermatology training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital, Liverpool and Westmead Hospitals. He also completed his PhD in advanced biomedical imaging and skin immunology at Centenary Institute during this time.

Prior to obtaining his specialist qualifications, he also received training in dermatology departments in Perth, Melbourne as well as in London at the world-renowned St John’s Institute of Dermatology at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital. Currently he is the Clinical Lead of the Skin Imaging and Inflammation Group at Centenary Institute and holds a public appointment at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney where he is also involved in the training of dermatology registrars and medical students.”

Dr Deshan Sebaratnam, Deputy Director of Research at Westmead

Dr Deshan Sebaratnam completed his Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery at the University of New South Wales, graduating with Honours. While completing his residency at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, he also completed his Master of Medicine. As part of his dermatology training with the Australasian College of Dermatologists, he was chosen to complete a Fellowship at St. John’s Institute for Dermatology in London.

He has a strong interest in teaching and research and is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer with the University of New South Wales. He has published his research in international medical journals and has presented at conferences around the world. He is interested in all areas of dermatology including skin cancer, acne and psoriasis. Dr Sebaratnam has a General Dermatology clinic at The Skin Hospital, Westmead.


Dr Victoria Venning, Dermatology Research Fellow at Darlinghurst and Westmead

Dr Victoria Venning is the Dermatology Research Fellow at The Skin Hospital. She graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from University of Notre Dame (Australia) in 2012, with the University Prize for Excellence in Social Justice.  She is currently enrolled in a Master of Internal Medicine at the University of Sydney.

Dr Venning has acted as a sub-investigator across numerous dermatological clinical trials, involving detection and management of adverse events, ongoing medial management, and disease severity assessment. These trials have included atopic dermatitis, chronic spontaneous urticaria, chronic plaque psoriasis, androgenic alopecia, alopecia areata and skin cancer treatment. Her extensive experience in conducting clinical trials places her at the forefront of dermatological research and analysis.

Dr Venning has contributed as a tutor and mentor at various universities across Australia, and has co-authored numerous scholarly articles and academic presentations, discussing the treatment of various skin diseases.


Our Research Committee

A/Prof Gayle Fischer

A/Prof Stephen Shumack

Dr Alice Killen

Dr Johanna Kuchel

Dr Ebrahim AK Abdulla

Dr Minal Dalvi

Dr Phil Tong

Dr Deshan Sebaratnam

Ms Bronwyn St Clair


For research projects undertaken at The Skin Hospital we use University of Sydney ethics review.

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