Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR)


Professor Simon Brown

Simon Brown

Email: simon.brown@uwa.edu.au

Professor Simon Brown graduated in Medicine from the University of Tasmania in 1988 and then worked in a variety of clinical posts in New Zealand, Western Australia, England and Queensland and completed specialty training in Emergency Medicine (FACEM) in 1996. He returned to Tasmania to work as a Staff Specialist at the Royal Hobart Hospital in Tasmania from 1997-2003 where he was Director of Emergency Medicine from 1999. During this time he also completed a PhD in Clinical Immunology as an extramural student of Flinders University. He moved to Western Australia in 2003 and was appointed to an academic post with the University of Western Australia in 2004, initially based at Fremantle Hospital and then transferred to Royal Perth Hospital to establish the Centre for Clinical Research in Emergency Medicine in 2008.

Professor Brown's main research interests are the pathophysiology and management of critical illnesses including life-threatening allergy (anaphylaxis) and severe sepsis, immunotherapy for preventing anaphylaxis, and the clinical use of antivenoms for snake and spider envenoming. He works clinically as a Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital and is also a visiting Consultant to the Royal Hobart Hospital in Tasmania where he manages the Tasmanian Jack Jumper Venom Allergy Program [PDF, 1.8MB]. He is an examiner for the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and assists with the postgraduate clinical training program in Emergency Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital. Professor Brown is also a Member of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.


1985BMedSci - Bachelor of Medical Science, University of Tasmania, Australia
1988MBBS - Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery, University of Tasmania, Australia
1992DA (UK) - Diploma of Anaesthetics, Royal College of Anaesthetists, UK
1996FACEM - Fellowship of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, Australia
2004PhD - Doctor of Philosophy, Flinders University, Australia
Thesis Title: "Preventing anaphylaxis to venom of the jack jumper ant (Myrmecia pilosula)"

Research Interests

  • Clinical immunology/allergy.
  • Anaphylaxis.
  • Insect venom allergy and immunotherapy.
  • Envenoming.
  • Antivenoms - clinical use.
  • Sepsis.
  • Resuscitation.

Major Grants Awarded

2009NHMRC Project Grant. Randomised controlled trial of intravenous antivenom versus placebo in the treatment of redback spider bite. $444,000. Isbister GK, Brown SGA.
2009Medical and Health Research Infrastructure Fund (MHRIF), Western Australia. $25,898.
2009Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation (Infrastructure Grant). Establishing a Centre for Clinical Research in Emergency Medicine. $192,848. Brown SGA, Stone SF, Arendts G, Fatovich DM.
2008NHMRC Career Development Award. Anaphylaxis; Pathophysiology, acute management, diagnosis and immunotherapy. $370,000.
2008NHMRC Project Grant. A randomised controlled trial of factor replacement therapy in snakebite coagulopathy. $689,500. Isbister GK, Brown SGA, Buckley N, Seldon M.
2008Government of Western Australia State Health Advisory Council Research Translation Projects. Streamlining the assessment of patients presenting to Emergency Departments with Chest Pain to ensure more rapid discharge and freeing up of cardiac monitored beds within the ED. $456,800. Nagree Y, Brown SGA, Dey I, Bailey P, MacDonald S, Banham N.
2007US Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). Mediators of human anaphylaxis. $360,000. Brown SGA, Isbister GK, Holdgate A.
2007NHMRC Project Grant. Anaphylaxis to Australian native ant venoms: major allergens, cross-reactivity, diagnosis and risk assessment. $338,615. Brown SGA, Heddle RJ, Wiese MD, Loh RKS, Mullins RJ, Weiner JM.
2006Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation Establishment Grant. Laboratory assessment of venom immunotherapy. $60,000.
2000Dick Buttfield Memorial Fellowship (Government of Tasmania). Life-threatening allergy to the sting of the Jack Jumper (Jumper Ant); epidemiology and venom immunotherapy. $150,000.

Top Publications

  1. Brown SGA, Wiese MD, Blackman KE, Heddle RJ. 2003. Ant venom immunotherapy: a double blind placebo controlled crossover trial. Lancet 361:1001-6. [NCBI PubMed Entry]
  2. Brown SGA, Franks RW, Baldo BA, Heddle RJ. 2003. Prevalence, severity, and natural history of jack jumper ant venom allergy in Tasmania. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 111:187-92. [NCBI PubMed Entry]
  3. Brown SGA. 2004. Clinical features and severity grading of anaphylaxis. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 114:371-6. [NCBI PubMed Entry]
  4. Brown SGA, Blackman KE, Stenlake V, Heddle RJ. 2004. Insect sting anaphylaxis; prospective evaluation of treatment with intravenous adrenaline and volume resuscitation. Emergency Medicine Journal 21: 149-54. [NCBI PubMed Entry]
  5. Wiese MD, Brown SGA, Chataway TK, Davies NW, Milne RW, Aulfrey SJ, Heddle RJ. 2007. Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper) Ant Venom: Identification of Allergens and Revised Nomenclature. Allergy 62:437-443. [NCBI PubMed Entry]
  6. Isbister GK, O'Leary MA, Schneider JJ, Brown SGA, Currie BJ on behalf of the ASP Investigators. 2007. Efficacy of antivenom against the procoagulant effect of Australian brown snake (Pseudonaja sp.) venom: In vivo and in vitro studies. Toxicon 49:57-67. [NCBI PubMed Entry]
  7. Isbister GK, Brown SGA, MacDonald E, White J, Currie BJ for the ASP Investigators. 2008. Current use of Australian snake antivenoms and frequency of immediate-type hypersensitivity reactions and anaphylaxis. Medical Journal of Australia 188:473-6. [NCBI PubMed Entry]
  8. Isbister GK, Brown SGA, Miller M, Tankel A, MacDonald E, Stokes B, Ellis R, Nagree Y, Wilkes GJ, James R, Short A, Holdgate A. 2008. A randomised controlled trial of intramuscular versus intravenous antivenom for latrodectism - the RAVE study. Quarterly Journal of Medicine 101:557-65. [NCBI PubMed Entry]
  9. Isbister GK, Duffull SB, Brown SGA, for the ASP Investigators. 2009. Failure of antivenom to improve recovery in Australian snakebite coagulopathy. Quarterly Journal of Medicine 102:563-8. [NCBI PubMed Entry]
  10. Brown SGA, Caruso N, Borland ML, McCoubrie DL, Celenza A, Isbister GK, on behalf of the ASP investigators. 2009. Clotting factor replacement and recovery from snake venom induced consumption coagulopathy. Intensive Care Medicine Published online ahead of print 23 June 2009. [NCBI PubMed Entry]