Professor André Van Zundert had been working for three decades at Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, when he was asked – in 2013 – to set up an academic department of anaesthesia at The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) in Brisbane, Qld, Australia.
André has professorial appointments at The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and Queensland Brain Institute.
This collaboration resulted in almost 500 scientific publications, 76 book chapters, and four major textbooks. Professor Van Zundert established at the RBWH a ‘Centre for Excellence and Innovation in Anesthesia’, offering teaching, training, testing equipment, quality care (audits, incident reporting) and research. He supervises teaching and training and is also involved in supervising research. His research focused in the past on pain relief in obstetrics, which resulted in a major textbook ‘Pain Relief and Anesthesia in Obstetrics’; improvements in regional anesthesia (e.g., thoracic segmental spinal anesthesia for the frail patient); and more recently improvements in airway management through visualisation techniques, i.e., videolaryngoscopy and video laryngeal mask airways. For his contributions, André received international recognition and acclaim and was awarded many prizes, awards, and royal distinctions.
Recently, André obtained a special diploma in ‘perioperative geriatric medicine’. Currently, Professor Van Zundert works on reversal agents for general anaesthetics in an attempt to decrease or halt the potential impact of neuro-inflammation on the elderly brain. Research at the Queensland Brain Institute focuses on exploring reversal agents of general anaesthesia on the brains of flies and other small animals, with promising results. ANZCA awarded André the 2023 Lennard Travers Professor of Anaesthesia.