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A/PROF Mandana Nikpour


  • Immunology (Rheumatology)



  • I am a physician-scientist with a research focus in systemic autoimmune disease, particularly systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). I am currently a Consultant Rheumatologist at St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Associate Professor (Medicine) at the University of Melbourne. I have extensive training and experience in clinical and epidemiological study design (including cohort studies and clinical trials) and statistical analysis. My methodological expertise lies in clinical measurement including the development of tools for screening, prediction and outcome assessment. I have excelled at every stage of my career and at my most recent Performance Framework Development meeting with the Head of my department, my performance was rated ‘outstanding’. I held an NHMRC Clinical Early Career Fellowship from 2014-2016 and was recently awarded a highly competitive (13% success rate among all medical disciplines in Australia) and prestigious NHMRC Clinical Career Development Fellowship (Level 1), commencing 2017 (ending 2020). 

    In addition to leading my own research group comprised of two project coordinators, a research biostatistician and numerous higher degree candidates, I lead a world-first multi-centre clinical trial funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) project grant to evaluate the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation in scleroderma pulmonary arterial hypertension. I am also a Chief Investigator on an NHMRC funded project grant to quantify maximum patient and physician acceptable risk in arthroplasty. In 2018, I was appointed Executive Chair of the Australian Scleroderma Interest Group (ASIG), the major body for scleroderma care and research in Australia, comprising 13 Australian sites. I served as the Chair of the Scientific Committee of ASIG from 2016 to 2017. I, and my team were recently awarded the highly prestigious triennial Australian Rheumat   


Member of

  • Asia-Pacific Rheumatology Association (APLAR) Scleroderma and Myositis special interest group. Australian representative 2018 -
  • American College of Rheumatology. International Fellow of the peak international body for rheumatologists 2016 -
  • Pulmonary Hypertension Society of Australia & New Zealand (PHSANZ). Member 2015 -
  • Australia & New Zealand Musculoskeletal Clinical Trials Network (ANZMUSC). Member 2014 -
  • Australian Lupus Registry and Biobank (ALRB) and the SLE Special Interest Group (SLE-SIG). Member Executive and Scientific Steering Committees 2014 -
  • Asia-Pacific Lupus Collaboration (APLC). Co-founder and Member of the Executive Steering Committee 2012 -
  • International Scleroderma Inception Cohort (INSYNC) study. Founding Member and Australian Representative 2012 -
  • Australian Scleroderma Interest Group (ASIG). Chair, Executive Committee since 2018 and Chair, Scientific Committee 2016-2017 2009 -
  • Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium (SCTC). Co-Chair of Damage and Activity Index Working Group since 2013 and Co-chair of Cardiac Working Group since 2017 2009 -
  • Australian Rheumatology Association (ARA). Invited Member (one of eight) of Research and Scientific Advisory Committee since 2017 2003 -
  • Organising committee for the Lupus World Congress, Melbourne 2017. Clinical Science Program Lead and Convener 2015 - 2017


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • 1) St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne Research Endowment Fund – Seeding Grants for Clinical Research Projects 2017-2019.

    2) National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) Early Career Fellowship 2014-2016.

    3) University of Melbourne Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences David Bickart Clinician Research Fellowship 2013-2015.

    4) St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne Research Endowment Fund – Clinician Research ‘Buyout’ Award 2012.

    5) Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Australian Rheumatology Association Barbara Cameron Fellowship, 2011

    6) Lupus Ontario Geoff Carr Lupus Fellowship 2007-2008.  This award supports post-graduate research in the area of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

    7) Lupus Society of Alberta Research Grant 2006.  This award is to enable pursuit of cardiovascular research in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

    8) Merck Frosst / Arthritis Centre of Excellence Research Fellowship 2006.  This fellowship is awarded through the University of Toronto Arthritis Centre of Excellence to support post-graduate research in arthritis and autoimmunity

    9) Lupus Society of Alberta Annual Research Grant 2005.  This award is to enable pursuit of cardiovascular research in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

    10) Ontario Lupus Association Geoff Carr Lupus Fellowship 2004-2005.  This award is to support post-graduate research in the area of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

    11) University Health Network Arthritis Centre of Excellence (ACE) Fellowship 2003-2004.  This award is to support post-graduate research in arthritis and autoimmunity.



Education and training

  • PhD, University of Toronto 2011
  • MBBS, University of Melbourne 1995

Awards and honors

  • President’s Collaborative Research Prize awarded to the Australian Scleroderma Interest Group (ASIG), Australian Rheumatology Association, 2018
  • Abstract prize, Systemic Sclerosis World Congress (Rome, Italy), 2014
  • Top student in Advanced Biostatistics PhD course work, University of Toronto, 2009
  • Canadian Rheumatology Association Award for best original research presented at general meeting, Canadian Rheumatology Association, 2006
  • Henry A Beatty Scholarship, Toronto Western Hospital, 2006
  • Ian Watson Prize for best original research in lupus presented at Canadian Rheumatology Association Annual Scientific Meeting, Canadian Rheumatology Association, 2005
  • Travel Bursary, American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation, 2005
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, Australia, 2005
  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 2002
  • Scholarship to attend the European Society for Immunodeficiencies Summer School in Portugal, CSL, 2001
  • Jamieson Prize in Clinical Medicine, University of Melbourne, 1995
  • John Cade Memorial Medal in Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, 1995
  • Community Medicine Prize, University of Melboure, 1995
  • Community Medicine Prize, University of Melbourne, 1994
  • Dean’s Honors List of top students in Medical (MBBS) degree, University of Melbourne, 1994
  • First Class Honors in Introductory Economics, University of Melbourne, 1993



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Supervision and mentoring: I have supervised two doctoral candidates (Thakkar 2014 and Morrisroe 2018) and two Masters by research candidates (Tay 2018 and Ferdowsi 2018) to completion. I am currently supervising 3 PhD students (one starting in 2019) and 1 Masters by thesis student. I have supervised 3 post-doctoral fellows, including two from overseas (UK and China), and will supervise a fellow from Brazil in 2019. I have mentored over a dozen applicants for entry into the rheumatology training program at St. Vincent’s Melbourne, a teaching hospital of the University of Melbourne, including assisting these individuals with enhancing their track records through publications under my supervision, editing CVs, coaching interview technique, and acting as professional referee. Although the rheumatology training program is highly competitive, I have helped several of these applicants, mostly women, gain entry, thereby shaping the future workforce of my specialty. Over the past 5 years, I have mentored 15 other medical and physician trainees who have completed projects with me, resulting in peer-reviewed publications. Many of the people I have supervised and mentored have gone on to establish themselves as independent clinician-researchers in rheumatology. 

    Teaching: I coordinated, taught and assessed the ‘Clinical Epidemiology and Evidence Based Medicine’ semester-long course of the undergraduate medical degree at the University of Melbourne in 2010. I continue to lecture and tutor medical students on the topics of connective tissue disease (with a focus on scleroderma and lupus) and other rheumatologic disorders. I also teach rheumatology advanced trainees (registrars) and have served as the training supervisor for 6 advanced trainees. I have served as an examiner for the trial Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) exams at St. Vincent’s Melbourne, a teaching hospital of t