Our doctors are specialists in general paediatrics, paediatric neurology, paediatric cardiology, sleep disorders, respiratory issues, allergies, and clinical/metabolic genetics.
If you would like to discuss which doctor would be the best fit for your child, please speak to one of our receptionists.
Dr Alexandra (Alex) Johnson is a Paediatric Neurologist working in both the public and private sectors in Sydney, Australia. She has positions at Sydney Children’s Hospital (Randwick) and Royal North Shore Hospital, and reports paediatric EEGs privately through Northern Neurophysiology at North Shore Private Hospital.
Neurological disorders such as headache and epilepsy are not uncommon in children, teenagers and young adults. At least five out of every ten teenagers experience headaches at least once a month. One in twenty children will have a seizure during childhood, whilst one in two hundred are diagnosed with epilepsy. Both disorders can lead to a high burden of disability and distress for these children and their families. Alex aims to work with families to understand their concerns through listening, communication, and provision of appropriate information and education.
Alex contributes to teaching and research at Sydney Children’s Hospital (Randwick). Current projects include contributing factors to headache in children and young adults, and factors contributing to epilepsy including genetics, epilepsy syndromes, and epilepsy education. Alex is an ongoing investigator in studies regarding the sequelae of childhood brain tumors and their treatment, in addition to canabinoids in severe childhood epilepsy and rare diseases. She is also interested in the translation of emerging research in rare neurological diseases (including gene and enzyme therapies) to prevent neurodegeneration and ongoing cognitive and physical disability.
When not at work, Alex loves spending time with her husband and two children, who are trying to help her become an expert in Minecraft, Star Wars, and Transformers!
Dr Denise Chan is a Paediatric Neurologist who holds positions at Sydney Children's Hospital (Randwick) and Liverpool Hospital.
Denise brings to the Practice her expertise in epilepsy, neuroimaging and tuberous sclerosis, and has extensive experience in general paediatric neurology including the management of headache, tic disorders and developmental disorders. She has contributed to teaching and research in her previous appointments at Sydney Children's Hospital (Randwick) and Children's Hospital at Westmead, and recently undertook overseas training in neurophysiology (EEG) in infants.
Denise works in partnership with families, bringing excellent organisational and communication skills. She understands the complexities of managing and investigating neurological diseases in children and infants, and is very supportive of families whilst walking this road.
When not at work, Denise plays a mean bass guitar!
Please note that Denise does not speak Cantonese or Mandarin.
Dr Hugo Sampaio is a Paediatric Neurologist who has appointments at Sydney Children’s Hospital (Randwick), where he is also the Head of Department of Neurology, and Canberra Hospital. He graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 2002, started his specialisation in paediatric neurology in 2009, and has been in consultant practice since 2012.
Hugo has a Masters in Epilepsy, and reports paediatric EEGs at Prince of Wales Hospital and at Gosford Hospital. In addition to clinical practice, he supervises students and teaches at the University of New South Wales.
Child neurology is an exciting field which finds itself at the forefront of advances in medical therapies. Through his involvement in clinical trials, including gene therapy, Hugo has the rare privilege of seeing children and their families through the difficult phase of diagnosis and subsequent disease-modifying treatment. Although he sees a diverse range of neurological conditions including epilepsy, headache and tic disorders, Hugo’s primary area of focus is neuromuscular disease which focuses on nerve and muscle disorders.
Hugo centres patient care around children and their families by appreciating that patient needs depend more on the individual than on their underlying disease. Hugo has a long track record of collaboration across specialities and allied health professional to achieve the best diagnostic and therapeutic outcomes for every child he sees.
When not working as a Paediatric Neurologist, it’s highly likely Hugo will be immersed in one of his three sons’ play or extracurricular activities, or exploring corners of Australia he’s not yet discovered with his family.
Please note that due to overwhelming demand, Hugo is not currently taking on new patients.
Dr Didu (Sandi) Kariyawasam completed her Masters at the University of Cambridge, UK, subsequently graduating from University College London in 2007. She embarked on her training in Paediatric Neurology at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK, gaining specialist expertise in the management of complex epilepsy (Great Ormond Street Hospital, London), movement disorders (Evelina Children’s Hospital London) and neuroinflammation (John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford). In 2022, Sandi successfully completed a PhD in the investigation of pathways to optimise diagnosis and care for children with Neurogenetic disease.
Sandi is currently a Paediatric Neurologist at Sydney Children’s Hospital (Randwick), and a conjoint lecturer at the University of New South Wales where she is continuing her PhD research. She combines her role as a Staff Specialist with her clinical research, striving to improve outcomes for children with rare inherited neurological disease.
Sandi is active in the field of clinical trials and is part of the clinical research team providing access to new genetic therapies in the field of childhood onset neurological disease. Her work has been translational in the domain of paediatric neuromuscular disease where she strives to improve health and psychosocial outcomes for affected children and their families.
Sandi's goal is to provide optimal care and informed choice for families, based on best current evidence, taking into account the values and beliefs of the individual. The ethos that underpins her work is maintaining a child- and family-centred focus to improve the health and well-being of her patients.
In her spare time, Sandi can be found running after her son (who has just learned to walk, and who is obsessed with chasing dogs and pigeons!)
Clinical genetics, Metabolic genetics, inherited metabolic disorders, newborn screening, genetic causes of developmental delay and intellectual impairment, preconception carrier testing, genetic counseling.
Background and experience
A/Prof Carolyn Ellaway brings to the Team over 20 years’ experience in the rapidly-expanding field of clinical genetics. She is one of Sydney’s most experienced and sought-after genetic metabolic specialists.
Carolyn graduated with an MBBS from the University of Melbourne in 1990 and trained in Paediatrics at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Camperdown, and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, before completing her clinical and metabolic genetics sub-specialist training at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. In 2000, Carolyn worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, and completed a PhD with The University of Sydney in 2001. Since 2001, Carolyn has worked as a consultant clinical geneticist in the field of metabolic genetics at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and since 2014 she has also worked at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. Carolyn holds a number of leadership, teaching, and research roles with the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, and is a Clinical Associate Professor with the Disciplines of Child and Adolescent Health and Genomic Medicine at The University of Sydney.
A large part of Carolyn’s clinical practice involves consideration of an underlying genetic diagnosis and further investigation of children and young adults with developmental disorders, intellectual impairment and/or complex health issues. Carolyn provides long-term care for children and young adults with a wide range of genetic metabolic disorders, some of which are detected by newborn screening. She has a special interest in the diagnosis and management of complex genetic conditions such as mitochondrial and lysosomal storage disorders, Rett syndrome, and related disorders.
Carolyn has experience and skill in arranging access to, and interpreting results of, specialised biochemical genetic and genomic investigations.
Carolyn is also available to provide expert advice and to discuss genetic test results for couples having had preconception carrier testing.
Teaching and Research
In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Carolyn participates in a number of research projects. She has been principal and co-investigator on several clinical trials of enzyme replacement therapy for lysosomal storage disorders, cannabinoids in Rett syndrome, and gene discovery research projects. Carolyn is interested in translation of emerging research in rare disorders such as gene and other novel therapies. Her publication record includes 80 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and four book chapters. She has been an invited speaker at many national and international conferences.
When not at work, Carolyn enjoys spending time with her family, going on holidays, reading, and keeping fit.
Prior to making a new patient appointment, please forward to our practice a specialist referral and any available results (e.g. microarray). This will allow us to advise whether or not any additional information is required for the consultation.
Please note that Carolyn will not accept any new patient bookings without a referral.
Dr Kate Lichkus is a General Paediatrician with a special interest in providing care for children with complex health needs. She enjoys establishing an individualised approach to health care for each child and their family. She holds a public appointment at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead's Genetic Metabolic Disorders Service where she is involved in the care of patients with metabolic disorders.
Kate completed her medical degree in New Zealand, graduating from the University of Auckland. She subsequently moved to Sydney, Australia, where she undertook speciality training through The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, working at numerous tertiary and local hospitals throughout the state. She subsequently gained General Specialist Registration in Paediatrics and Child Health and became a Fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians. In 2017, Kate completed her Masters of Public Health, graduating with distinction.
Kate specialises in providing holistic general paediatric care for children from birth until young adulthood, including general acute and chronic health and developmental concerns, attention and hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), and suspected autism spectrum disorders.
In her spare time, Kate enjoys spending time with her family and looking after her young daughter, as well as their menagerie of backyard pets which includes a dog, a cat, chickens, and bees.
Dr Louisa Adams is a General Paediatrician who enjoys caring for babies and children from birth to adolescence, and working together with children and their families to achieve the best outcome.
Louisa completed her medical degree at the University of Adelaide, where she was awarded 'The Prize' in Paediatric Medicine. Subsequently, she undertook general paediatric training through the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, and completed a Masters of Public Health.
Louisa is currently a Staff Specialist General Paediatrician in both the Genetic Metabolic Disorders Department, and the Paediatric Emergency Department at the Children's Hospital at Westmead.
Louisa has a strong interest and involvement in medical education, patient advocacy and policy development. In addition to spending a year of her training in the Child Development Unit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Louisa has trained in Griffith’s developmental testing.
Louisa is happy to see children with all different presentations. She has a special interest in developmental delay, newborn feeding and settling difficulties, and autism spectrum disorder.
In her spare time, Louisa enjoys spending time with her young family, baking and decorating cakes, and spending time in the great outdoors.
Dr Joanne Smuk is a General Paediatrician who enjoys all aspects of paediatric care and parenting concerns, from newborns to adolescents. She has a particular interest in working with families as they adjust to the challenges of a newborn, general paediatric issues such as asthma, eczema, constipation, growth issues, infant and child development, and the management of children with complex medical needs. Joanne finds it a privilege to support families in understanding and managing the diverse range of medical conditions that babies and children can experience.
Joanne has been working in Paediatric Medicine for over 10 years and has a VMO appointment at Royal North Shore Hospital, and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. She completed her Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Sydney and trained as a General Paediatrician with the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network.
Prior to commencing medical training, Joanne completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) and practised for a number of years as a Paediatric Speech Pathologist. She has also provided respite care for families with children with developmental disabilities.
Joanne is a very busy mother of four young children and can relate to the many challenges of parenthood. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, taking photographs, and exploring Sydney’s beaches.
Dr Hugh Allen is a Paediatric Respiratory/Sleep Specialist, and a General Paediatrician. Graduating from the University of Sydney in 1979, and completing his fellowship training in 1985, Hugh brings a wealth of experience from the many years he has enjoyed working with children.
Hugh has expertise in the diagnosis of sleep apnoea, restless legs syndrome, and parasomnias. Where required, sleep studies can be helpful in the diagnosis of these disorders, and Hugh is able to arrange and report sleep studies through the Paediatric Sleep Study Unit of Sydney Adventist Hospital (SAN).
Hugh continues to manage children with both complex and simple respiratory issues, and offers lung function testing to assist in assessment and management.
In his capacity as a General Paediatrician in both private and public practice, Hugh has spent the last 25 years as a Visiting Medical Officer (VMO) at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, after previously working for other metropolitan, rural, and outback hospitals in NSW. He has an interest in the management of paediatric allergy, and is delighted to assist with a wide range of common paediatric medical concerns such as asthma, gut health, headache, developmental delay, and feeding problems. Hugh works closely with families, general practitioners and other specialists to help integrate quality health care for children of all ages.
Dr David Youssef completed undergraduate training at the University of Sydney and post-graduate training at Griffith University, obtaining a Bachelor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Medicine, and Bachelor of Surgery, respectively. During his medical training, he gained experience at several hospitals, including Gold Coast, Prince Charles, Tweed Heads and Liverpool Hospital. In addition, he undertook a three-year posting at the Sydney Children’s Network, where he focused on Paediatric Cardiology training.
In 2020, David undertook two fellowships at The Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton, Canada, in the fields of Paediatric Echocardiography and Three-Dimensional imaging, and Paediatric Pulmonary Hypertension.
On completion of his Paediatric Cardiology training, David returned to Australia, where he currently runs a Paediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Pilot program integrating multidisciplinary care and treatment of complex Paediatric Pulmonary Hypertension patients. In addition, he has recently been involved in the development of a multidisciplinary Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) clinic of graduates from the neonatal intensive care unit.
David continues to work across the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, including both Randwick and Westmead Campuses.
Please note that for most of our doctors, there is currently a wait time of at least six months for all new patient appointments. To allow us to triage, and to bring forward urgent appointments when we receive a cancellation, please send us a referral at the time of booking.
Please note that our practice has moved to Suite 5, Level 6, 66 Pacific Highway, St Leonards, NSW, 2065 (three floors up from our former practice).