A/Prof David Heslop

Associate Professor, program lead for ‘vaccines for armed forces’.


I am an Associate Professor at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW, and retains significant military responsibilities as Senior Medical Adviser for CBRNE to Special Operations Headquarters Australia and to Australian Defence Force (ADF) joint senior leadership. I am a practicing vocationally registered General Practitioner, a senior trainee in Occupational and Environmental Medicine with RACP, and a fellowship candidate for the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.

My doctoral research focussed on the central autonomic anatomy and integrative neurophysiology relating to the cardiovascular response to noxious inescapable physiological stimuli such as severe haemorrhage and visceral pain. Utilising my research background and subsequent clinical training, through the ADF I have been fortunate to have extensively deployed into a variety of complex and austere combat environments, and have gone on to undertake advanced training in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) Medicine and Senior Medical Officer training. Consequently I was appointed as Senior Medical Officer for Special Operations Command for 2014, and was the Officer Commanding and Senior Medical Officer to the ADF CBRNE medical incident response element at Special Operations Engineer Regiment from 2012-2015.

I have extensive experience in the conception, design, planning, delivery and operations of health support systems and capability in remote and austere contexts; incorporating the management of exotic or novel hazards and risks. Extensive actual experience in planning for and management of major disasters, mass casualty and multiple casualty situations. I also have extensive overseas and domestic operational experience in command, personnel management, force protection, health protection systems, resilient systems design and test and evaluation. Direct responsibility and experience with leading deployable expeditionary medical support.

I am regularly consulted and participate in the development and review of national and international clinical and operational CBRNE policy and doctrine. I am additionally a peer reviewer for the journals Military Medicine (AMSUS) and Journal and Military and Veterans Health (AMMA). I also continue to conduct CBRNE medical, and general medical education and ADF GP Registar training within my military capacity, along with civilian instruction of the Major Incident Medical Management System (MIMMS) framework with MIMMS Australia.

My interests lie in health and medical systems innovation and research. I retain linkages with key national civilian and military education, research and development organisations and retain an active involvement in a wide variety of projects and initiatives supporting national public health preparedness goals. My current research effort and interests touch on complexity science, agent based and deterministic modelling, emergent complex adaptive systems phenomena, test and evaluation of systems, policy research, epidemic modelling, exotic and emerging infections, disaster preparedness and response, organisational resilience in health care, development of robust socio-technical systems in health care, and the modelling, simulation and investigation of public health interventions and systems.

Memberships : 
Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners
RACP Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Wilderness Medicine Society (WMS)
American Congress of Government and Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM)
Australian Medical Association
Australian Military Medical Association (AMMA)
Major Incident Medical Management System (MIMMS) Australia
Royal Australian Army Medical Corps
Australasian Medical Review Officers Association



Journal articles

Currie AJ;Heslop DJ;Winter SM, 2011, 'H1N1 in the field: The impact on Australian Defence Force Field Exercise Talisman Sabre 09', Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, vol. 14, pp. 103 - 107, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aenj.2011.03.002

Heslop DJ;Bandler R;Keay KA, 2004, 'Haemorrhage-evoked decompensation and recompensation mediated by distinct projections from rostral and caudal midline medulla in the rat', European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 20, pp. 2096 - 2110, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2004.03660.x

Troy BP;Heslop DJ;Bandler R;Keay KA, 2003, 'Haemodynamic response to haemorrhage: Distinct contributions of midbrain and forebrain structures', Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, vol. 108, pp. 1 - 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1566-0702(03)00152-8

Keay KA;Clement CI;Matar WM;Heslop DJ;Henderson LA;Bandler R, 2002, 'Noxious activation of spinal or vagal afferents evokes distinct patterns of fos-like immunoreactivity in the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray of unanaesthetised rats', Brain Research, vol. 948, pp. 122 - 130, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0006-8993(02)02959-1

Heslop DJ;Keay KA;Bandler R, 2002, 'Haemorrhage-evoked compensation and decompensation are mediated by distinct caudal midline medullary regions in the urethane-anaesthetised rat', Neuroscience, vol. 113, pp. 555 - 567, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0306-4522(02)00161-6

Keay KA;Henderson LA;Heslop DJ;Potas JR;Bandler R, 2000, 'The caudal midline medulla mediates state dependent cardiovascular responses', EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 12, pp. 419 - 419, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000088236602394&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a

Shepherd VA;Beilby MJ;Heslop DJ, 1999, 'Ecophysiology of the hypotonic response in the salt-tolerant charophyte alga Lamprothamnium papulosum', Plant, Cell and Environment, vol. 22, pp. 333 - 346, http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3040.1999.00414.x

Mission statement

To reduce the immunisation gap between adults and children through research, teaching and advocacy, with a special focus on the elderly, high risk and vulnerable populations.

Contact Us

Professor Raina MacIntyre

Raina MacIntyre

NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Global Biosecurity.

+61 2 93850920


Dr Elizabeth Kpozehouen

Dr Elizabeth Kpozehouen

Research Associate

02 9385 0082