Tobias Strunk

Dr, Clinical Professor

  • The University of Western Australia (M561), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


I am an academic neonatologist with particular interest in susceptibility to neonatal infection and inflammation. Our collaborative team is studying the impact of preterm birth and neonatal infection on long-term health outcomes and leading clinical trials to prevent infections and improve outcomes.

My research is focussed on identifying readily translatable prophylactic and therapeutic interventions that improve infant outcomes associated with newborn infections. I led the implementation of the Newborn Sepsis Calculator tool at KEMH which substantially reduced unwarranted admissions and antibiotic use along with significant health care cost savings ($1M/year) and now is being adapted nationally by leading neonatal units.


  1. Strunk T,... Burgner D. Impaired cytokine responses to live Staphylococcus epidermidis in preterm infants precede Gram-positive late-onset sepsis. Clin Infect Dis 2020. 72(2):271-278. This is the first paper to demonstrate infant sepsis prediction by simulating infection vitro.
  2. Hibbert J, Strunk T, Simmer K, Richmond P, Burgner D, Currie A. Plasma cytokine profiles in very preterm infants with late-onset sepsis. PLoS ONE 2020; 15(5)e0232933. This is the first detailed description of cytokine profiles from septic preterm infants from a prospective NHMRC cohort study, co-led by CIA.
  3. Salman S, ... Strunk T. Effect of maturation and size on the population pharmacokinetics of pentoxifylline and its metabolites in very preterm infants. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019 Jan;85(1):147-159. This is the first study to demonstrate the pharmacokinetics of Pentoxifylline in extremely preterm infants; critical to the conduct of the large RCT, led by CIA Strunk
  4. Strunk T, ...Patole S. Topical coconut oil in very preterm infants: an open-label randomised controlled trial. Neonatology
  5. Miller J*, Strunk T*, Hammond G*, ...Burgner D. Gestational age, birth weight and childhood risk of infection. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2016 Aug;16(8):952-61 (*equal contribution). This is the first publication to demonstrate a long-lasting effect of gestational age and birth weight on the risk of acquiring serious infections in childhood.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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