Professor Simon Brown

Simon Brown

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.

In 2015, Simon returned to Tasmania, where he is now Director of Aeromedical and Retrieval services at Ambulance Tasmania. He continues to work with UWA CCREM as Clinical Professor / Research Fellow, while he completes a number of long-term projects, including the multicentre Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax (PSP) Trial.

Research overview
Professor Brown's main research interests are the pathophysiology and management of critical illnesses including life-threatening allergy (anaphylaxis), respiratory emergencies and severe sepsis, immunotherapy for preventing anaphylaxis, the use of antivenoms for snake and spider envenoming and the conduct of clinical trials in acute medical setting. He works clinically as a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital in WA and the Royal Hobart Hospital in Tasmania. 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.


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

Research interests

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


Major grants awarded

2014 NHMRC Project Grant. A randomised controlled trial of interventional versus conservative treatment of primary spontaneous pneumothorax. $401,143. Brown SGA, Keijzers G, Smith J, Lee YC (Gary). 
2014 ACEM Foundation. Biomarkers of Organ Failure in Sepsis. $29,652. Macdonald SPJ (Applicant) and Brown SGA (Supervisor). 
2012 Government of Western Australia Department of Health SHRAC Research Translation Project. A randomised controlled trial of interventional versus conservative treatment of primary spontaneous pneumothorax. $190,000. Brown SGA, Ball EL, Summers Q, Waterer G. 
2012 US Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). Leukocyte signalling (gene expression-mRNA) during human anaphylaxis. $279,00. Brown SGA and Stone SF. 
2010 NHMRC Project Grant. Bacteraemic load and survival in septic shock. $660,041. Iredell JR, Webb SA, Stanley KK, Brown SGA, Nichol AD, Bailey MJ
2009 NHMRC Project Grant. Randomised controlled trial of intravenous antivenom versus placebo in the treatment of redback spider bite. $444,000. Isbister GK, Brown SGA.
2009 Medical and Health Research Infrastructure Fund (MHRIF), Western Australia. $25,898.
2009 Royal 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.
2008 NHMRC Career Development Award. Anaphylaxis; Pathophysiology, acute management, diagnosis and immunotherapy. $370,000.
2008 NHMRC Project Grant. A randomised controlled trial of factor replacement therapy in snakebite coagulopathy. $689,500. Isbister GK, Brown SGA, Buckley N, Seldon M.
2008 Government 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.
2007 US Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). Mediators of human anaphylaxis. $360,000. Brown SGA, Isbister GK, Holdgate A.
2007 NHMRC 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.
2006 Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation Establishment Grant. Laboratory assessment of venom immunotherapy. $60,000.
2000 Dick Buttfield Memorial Fellowship (Government of Tasmania). Life-threatening allergy to the sting of the Jack Jumper (Jumper Ant); epidemiology and venom immunotherapy. $150,000. 

Selected Publications

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]

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]

Brown SGA. 2004. Clinical features and severity grading of anaphylaxis. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 114:371-6. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

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]

11 Brown SGA, van Eeden PE, Wiese MD, Mullins RJ, Solley GO, Puy R, Taylor RW, Heddle RJ. 2011. Causes of ant sting anaphylaxis in Australia: the Australian Ant Venom Allergy Study. Medical Journal of Australia 195(2):69-73. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

12 van Eeden PE, Wiese MD, Aulfrey S, Hales BJ, Stone SF, Brown SGA. 2011. Using Time-Resolved Fluorescence to Measure Serum Venom-Specific IgE and IgG. PLoS ONE 6(1): e16741. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016741 [PLoS ONE Entry]

13 Brown SG, Wiese MD, van Eeden P, Stone SF, Chuter CL, Gunner J, Wanandy T, Phillips M, Heddle RJ. 2012. Ultrarush versus semirush initiation of insect venom immunotherapy: A randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 130(1):162-8. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

14 Arendts G, Stone SF, Fatovich DM, van Eeden P, Macdonald E, Brown SG. 2012. Critical illness in the emergency department: Lessons learnt from the first 12 months of enrolments in the Critical Illness and Shock Study. Emergency Medicine Australasia 24(1):31-6. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

15 Isbister GK, Buckley NA, Page CB, Scorgie FE, Lincz LF, Seldon M, Brown SGA, the ASP Investigators. A randomised controlled trial of fresh frozen plasma for treating venom induced consumption coagulopathy in Australian snakebite (ASP-18). J Thromb Haemost 2013;11(7):1310-8. [NCBI Pubmed Entry]

16 Stone SF, Isbister GK, Shahmy S, Mohamed F, Abeysinghe C, Karunathilake H, Ariaratnam A, Jacoby-Alner TE, Cotterell CL, Brown SGA. Immune response to snake envenoming and treatment with antivenom; complement activation, cytokine production and mast cell degranulation. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013;7(7):e2326. [NCBI Pubmed Entry]

17 Brown SGA, Stone SF, Fatovich DM, Burrows SA, Holdgate A, Celenza A, Coulson A, Hartnett L, Nagree Y, Cotterell A, Isbister GK. Anaphylaxis: clinical patterns, mediator release and severity. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013; 132(5):1141-1149. [NCBI Pubmed Entry]

18 Brown SGA, Ball EL, Macdonald SPJ, Wright C, Taylor D McD. Spontaneous pneumothorax; a multicentre retrospective analysis of emergency treatment, complications and outcomes. Internal Medicine Journal 2014; 44(5):450-7. [NCBI Pubmed Entry]

19 Stone SF, Bosco A, Jones A, Cotterell CL, van Eeden PE, Arendts G, Fatovich DM, Brown SGA. Genomic responses during acute human anaphylaxis are characterized by upregulation of innate inflammatory gene networks. PLoS ONE 2014;9(7):e101409. [NCBI Pubmed Entry]

20 Isbister GK, Page CB, Buckley NA, Fatovich D, Pascu O, MacDonald S, Calver LA and Brown SGA, on behalf of the RAVE Investigators. Randomized Controlled Trial of Intravenous Antivenom versus Placebo for Latrodectism: The Second Redback Antivenom Evaluation (RAVE- II) Study. Annals of Emergency Medicine (Accepted 6 June 12014 Published on line 04 July 2014 doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed). [NCBI Pubmed Entry]

21 Macdonald SPJ, Stone SF, Cotterell CL, van Eeden PE, Fatovich DM, Arendts G and Brown SGA. Sustained elevation of Resistin, NGAL and IL-8 are associated with severe sepsis/septic shock in the Emergency Department. PLoS One. 2014;9(10):e110678. [NCBI Pubmed Entry]

Back To Top