TORU staff

See the listing below of TORU staff and their activities.

Unit directors

Associate Professor Paul Smith

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.


Damian McMahon

Dr Damian McMahon MBBS FRACS

Dr Damian McMahon was the Director of the Shock Trauma Service, Senior Staff Specialist in surgery and Co-Director of TORU at The Canberra Hospital. Tragically, Damian passed away in 2012 and is very much missed by us and his clinical colleagues. His name remains here as a tribute to his determination to make this unit the success it has become.

Dr McMahon was also Director of the Clinical Skills Centre and Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University Medical School. Dr McMahon received his medical and surgical training in Melbourne where he specialised in trauma surgery. He then became trauma service coordinator at Preston and Northcote Community Hospital, in Preston Victoria in 1993. From 1994 to 1997 he worked as a Trauma and Critical Care Fellow and Attending Traumatology surgeon at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In 1997 Dr McMahon took up his position as senior staff specialist and academic at the Canberra Hospital.

Laboratory Research Co-ordinator

Dr Rachel Li

Dr Rachel W. Li MD. PhD

Dr Li is a molecular pharmacologist and osteoimmunologist with interests in understanding the processes that control a ‘foreign body reaction or response’ initiated by biomaterials implanted into bone or exposed to human cells.

Dr Li worked as a surgeon and senior liver diseases specialist at China Medical University (CMU) from 1982 to 1996. She led a number of clinical trials in anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs and successfully transferred an intellectual property to pharmaceutical industry.

In 2003 Dr Li completed her PhD at Southern Cross University and gained her postdoctoral experience in molecular pharmacology at John A Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii.

Dr Li returned to Australia in 2006 and established the TORU Laboratory which pioneered basic orthopaedic research at the ACT region. She has made some major research contributions to the fields of osteoimmunology and also great contribution to medical education as a senior lecturer in CMU, Associate Professor (pharmacology) in University of Canberra, and Professor (Orthopaedic Surgery) in Shandong University, China.


Clinical Research Co-ordinator

Dr Diana Perriman

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

Dr Diana Perriman, BAppSc (USyd), MSc. (University of East London), PhD (ANU). Dr Perriman is currently the clinical research coordinator of TORU.

Dr Perriman is a physiotherapist who has completed her PhD at the ANU in 2011.

Her clinical career has spanned two decades in which she worked in hospitals, the community and private practice both in Australia and the UK. She has worked at the Trauma and Orthopaedic Research Unit since returning from the UK in 2003.

Her PhD research investigated the thoracic spine and kyphotic thoracic posture in aging., a suite of thoracic spine biomechanical and imaging studies culminating in a randomized controlled trial of the effect  of conservative treatment for thoracic kyphosis.

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 and Orthopaedic Research Unit.

Dr Perriman is a senior lecturer at the ANU Medical School and an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Canberra.


Office Manager

Ms Belinda Payne

Belinda is TORU's Office Manager, Belinda has been with TORU since 2013 and can be contacted at any time for queries regarding the unit. Belinda comes from a clinical background in nursing which gives her great insight into the many different aspects of orthopaedic research. Her role is diverse and comprehensive including conference and meeting organisation, financial management and administrative duties.

Phone: 6244 3858

Research Staff

Mr Joe Lynch, Research Officer

Joe joined the team in mid 2014. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, and a Master of Science in Biomechanics at the University of Ottawa.

At present Joe is involved in the running of various trials within the unit with his main interest being in functional and imaging analysis following injury and surgery

Ms Ruidang Wang, Database Architect

Rui is a database architect who is currently designing the Fracture Surveillance Database. Rui has extensive IT experience specialising in applying database design, analytic informatics, business intelligence and online platform technologies to clinical context. Rui is currently completing her PhD at ANU.

Ms Christine Hanrahan, Database Manager

Christine Hanrahan is a qualified nurse and has worked with both the Red Cross and the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Christine helped to develop the Arthroplasty surveillance database and continues to manage the database which is based at Orthopaedics ACT.

Ms Rebekah Ogilvie

Shock Trauma Service Coordinator