Researcher

Associate Professor Keith Ooi

My Expertise

I am an internationally and nationally recognised expert in in cystic fibrosis (CF)-related gastroenterology and nutrition, as well as in exocrine and childhood pancreatic diseases. I have interests in the gut microbiome and diet in gut health and disease, including gut inflammation, as well as their impact on the overall disease phenotype. My research is translational with experience in running clinical trials as the chief investigator. 

I am also an innovator in technology-based medical education. I co-founded and developed PlayMed, a serious game for teaching medicine.

 

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Biography

Qualifications:  MBBS, DipPaed, PhD, FRACP

A/Professor (Keith) Chee Y. Ooi (MBBS Dip Paeds FRACP PhD) is a Clinical Academic - A/Professor at the Discipline of Paediatrics, School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Specialist Paediatric Gastroenterologist at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick. He is a translational clinician investigator, who is an internationally recognised expert in cystic...view more

Qualifications:  MBBS, DipPaed, PhD, FRACP

A/Professor (Keith) Chee Y. Ooi (MBBS Dip Paeds FRACP PhD) is a Clinical Academic - A/Professor at the Discipline of Paediatrics, School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Specialist Paediatric Gastroenterologist at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick. He is a translational clinician investigator, who is an internationally recognised expert in cystic fibrosis (CF) and pancreatic diseases in childhood. His research is translational and specifically aimed at improving child health outcomes. He has published widely (>100) in prestigious journals and textbooks including as either first or last author in the top journals in the fields of gastroenterology (Ooi et al. Gastroenterology 2010; Ooi et al. Gastroenterology 2011), CF/pulmonology (Ooi et al. Thorax 2012; Ooi et al. Thorax 2014) and paediatrics (Ooi et al. Pediatrics 2015; Kumar, Ooi et al. JAMA Peds 2016). He is regularly invited to speak at prestigious international and national conferences. He has won numerous awards and receives research funding nationally and internationally. He received the UNSW Medicine Dean’s Rising Star Award in 2015.

Clinically, he sees children with all aspects of gastrointestinal, pancreatic and nutritional conditions.

Background:

Dr Ooi graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2000, with the Clara Myers Prize. He commenced training in paediatric gastroenterology at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick, supported by the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation Subspecialty Fellowship Award (2006, 2007). He accepted the offer of a 3-year clinical research fellowship (2007-2010) at the prestigious Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, to pursue a research path. This was supported by the Sydney Children’s Hospital Travelling Fellowship Award (2007), Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Fellowship Award (2008-2010) and Career Enhancement Award, Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (2009-2010). He was awarded both the Dick Hamilton and Clinical Research awards in 2010 by the Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto respectively, for his research excellence. He returned to Sydney in mid-2010 as a clinical academic in pursuit of research and academia, while having opportunities for clinical interface within a tertiary hospital setting. He completed his PhD on genotype-phenotype correlations in cystic fibrosis at UNSW in 2014 and was awarded the Dean's Rising Star award (UNSW Medicine) in 2015.

Supervision:

Dr Ooi supervises medical students (e.g. Independent Learning Projects and Honours) and higher degree research (PhD or Masters) students. He has an impressive track record of outputs and success in research supervision.

Research:

His interests and expertise are in gastroenterological conditions in cystic fibrosis (CF), diagnostic dilemmas and non-classic manifestations of CF (from infancy to adulthood), and childhood pancreatic diseases.

CF gastroenterology

His CF-related works include the first study to unravel the complex relationship between severity of CFTR mutations and risk of pancreatitis (Ooi et al. Gastroenterology 2011). He also developed and validated a novel surrogate measure of CF mutation and genotype severity, known as the “Pancreatic Insufficiency Prevalence (PIP)” score. His recent works also extend into understanding the disease processes affecting the gastrointestinal tract in CF, using faecal biomarkers and bacterial analyses (Pang et al. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2015, Dhaliwal et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2015, Ooi et al. Dig Dis Sci 2015). He also contributes to CF liver disease subsection of the North American Consortium for CF Genetic Studies.

CF diagnostic issues and non-classic manifestations

Dr Ooi is passionate about diagnostic issues related to children and adults with single-organ manifestations of CF (Ooi et al. Thorax 2012, Ooi et al. Thorax 2014) and newborn screen positive infants with an indeterminate diagnosis of CF (Ooi et al. Pediatrics 2015). He has experience in electrophysiological diagnostic tests, including the nasal potential difference test and intestinal ion channel measurement. He developed a novel diagnostic test for CF known as the “combined ion channel measurement” (Ooi et al. Ann Am Thorac Soc 2014).

Pancreatitis and pancreatic diseases in childhood

Dr Ooi is an international expert in childhood pancreatitis. He has developed clinical tools for predicting severe and biliary causes of acute pancreatitis in children. He is the only Australasian investigator for the largest research consortium studying children with acute recurrent and chronic pancreatitis.

Learning and Teaching:

Dr Ooi is interested in improving quality of teaching, and is currently developing and evaluating novel innovative approaches to medical education. He received the Learning and Teaching Innovation Grant in 2015 to develop PlayMed. PlayMed is a novel educational game to teach medicine through immersive, experience-based learning. His achievements with PlayMed has been featured in media such as The Australian. He is also the co-creator of VirtualDoc, which is the world's first virtual reality game to teach paediatric resuscitation. He was the Convenor for Paediatrics (Phase 3 of the undergraduate medical program) for the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW between 2010-2013.

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My Grants

Dr Ooi has a total research income >$7 million. Recent major funding successes as Chief Investigator include (1) $1.3M for probiotic and microbiome research in CF (CIA: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, USA; 2018); (2) $2.3M in philantropic donations in CF (2016, 2017); (3) $2.9M for childhood recurrent/chronic pancreatitis (National Institutes of Health, USA; 2015).  


My Research Supervision


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Location

Centre for Child Health Research & Innovation
Level 8, Bright Alliance Building
Cnr of Avoca & High Streets
Randwick, NSW 2031

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Contact

(02) 9382 5500
(02) 9382 5681