Meet our Researchers - Finding the Answers that help ISCRR make a difference

Meet....... Dr Batchelor

Dr Peter Batchelor is a neurologist and researcher. Half of his  time is clinical in general neurology and the other half is research.

Dr Batchelor does Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) translational research. He and his team  started looking at hypothermia and early surgery for the treatment of SCI pre-clinically many years ago. Now they are translating this into a clinical trial. That has been the main thing occupying hits esearch time and mind over the last few years.

Where do you work?

I've just moved to the Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital. It's a great place to work. Very friendly positive people with great leadership.

Where were you prior to starting at  Royal Melbourne Hospital?

Department of Medicine, Austin Health.

How long have you been a researcher with ISCRR?

We received funding through ISCRR in 2013 to start the initial studies of the a hypothermia and early surgery clinical trial (ICED). Prior to this TAC funded the pre-clinical research through the Victorian Neuroscience Initiative

What area of research are you working in and what attracted you to this type of research?

There is currently no proven acute treatment for patients with SCI, so it's an area where research can make an enormous difference.

What do you like best about your role?

It's fantastic working with people who really want to improve the way we treat and manage disease. I also really like the perspective it gives. Sometimes doing medicine it's easy to forget that all these amazing ways of managing disease came from somebody's research, often many people. Only by doing research can you really understand how hard it is to advance knowledge and the effort that has been made. It makes you very grateful.

What was the most fulfilling piece of research you completed?

Probably showing that hypothermia and early surgery is of real benefit in a pre-clinical model of SCI. Pre-clinical research is often criticised for not being conducted with the same rigor as clinical research. We ran this study to the same standard as a clinical trial and it formed the foundation for the current clinical study.

How is your research benefiting/providing impact WorkSafe and the TAC?

We hope that hypothermia and early surgery will improve recovery following SCI. That would be great for patients, families, and the TAC!

What is the best piece of advice you've been given, and what would you give?

My Mum has been telling me "be patient" for as long as I can remember! It's great advice. Change is often slow and only comes with great effort.

The advice I'd give: Try to maintain focus on what is really important. It's really easy to get distracted with other demands and doing too many projects. You really need to remind yourself what is the question and the simplest way of answering it. And be patient!

Describe yourself in three words.

Always thinking ! (only two!)