St George Swallow Centre

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Speech Pathology, St George Hospital and University of NSW, Sydney, Australia

Professor Ian J Cook MB.BS(Hons), MD (Syd), FRACP.

Ian J Cook MB BS(Hons), MD (Syd), FRACP.

Director St George Swallow Centre and GI Motility Service, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, St George Hospital;

Professor of Medicine (Conjoint), University of NSW, Sydney, Australia


Professor Cook graduated in Medicine from the University of Sydney in 1978, completed his Doctorate in Medicine (USyd) in 1989, with further postgraduate training and research in Canada (1985-86) the US (1987) and University of Adelaide (1988-1990). He served as Director of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at St George Hospital, Sydney 1990 – 2010). Over the past 26 years he has attracted near continuous NHMRC and other grant funding and has built up a research program focussing on gastrointestinal motor disorders including pharyngo-oesopahegal physiology and swallowing disorders. He has published more than 150 book chapters, review articles and original papers in peer reviewed journals. In 2010 he was awarded a prestigious Masters Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic or Clinical Digestive Sciences from the American Gastroenterological Association in recognition of his sustained contribution to clinical research in gastroenterology. He has served on the editorial boards for the journals Aust NZ J Med, Dysphagia, and Neurogastroenterology & Motility. He has served on national and international expert committees and medical societies including: Gastroenterological Society of Australia, American Gastroenterology Association, International Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, International Dysphagia Research Society (President 2003) and the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus. He is a founding member of the St George & Sutherland Hospital Medical Research Foundation.

Affiliated Services
(Alphabetical Order)

  • Department of Head and Neck Surgery
  • Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Department of Otolaryngology (ENT) 
  • Department of Radiation Oncology
  • Department of Upper GI Surgery

Dr Julia Maclean B.App.Sc. (Speech Path.), MSc(Med), PhD 

Speech Pathologist and Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow 
Julia graduated from speech pathology at the University of Sydney in 1993. She has held the senior surgery/oncology speech pathology position at St George Hospital, Sydney, since 1997. She completed her Master of Science in Medicine in 1999 investigating the relationship of swallowing disorders during acute exacerbation of Chronic Airflow Limitation. In 2010, she completed her PhD, investigating the prevalence and nature of swallowing disorders following total laryngectomy surgery. Julia has a particular interest in voice restoration and swallowing following total laryngectomy surgery. 

Dr Michal Szczesniak BMedSc, PhD

Senior Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, UNSW 
Michal has begun his research career at St George Hospital in 2001 after graduating from biomedical science degree at Newcastle University. In 2008 he was awarded a PhD for thesis  on oesophageal afferent pathways and their implications for oesophago-pharyngeal reflexes, regurgitation and symptom perception. In the course of this research he has gained extensive experience in videofluroscopic, manometric, pH and impedance studies in the pharyngo-oesophageal segment. 

Ms Grace Teng Zhang BMedSc (Neuroscience), MBiomedEng

Clinical Manometrist and Laboratory Manager
Grace completed a medical science degree (Neuroscience), and a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering with a research thesis at the University of New South Wales in 2010. Her Masters thesis was on the interaction between human monocytes and chitosan biomaterial. In the last year of her study, she also worked in the Gut Neuroscience Laboratory, as a part-time research assistant investigating the electrophysiology of guinea pig's ileum smooth muscle. In 2011, Grace joined the motility service in St George hospital, as the clinical manometrist and a research officer.

Dr Peter Wu, MB.BS 

Registrar and Research Fellow (Jan 2011)