fbpx Cynthia Bierl | HMRI

Dr Cynthia Bierl

Brief Profile / Biography 

I am a staff specialist in Intensive Care at John Hunter Hospital (JHH). In 2006, I landed in beautiful Newcastle where I live and work now. However, I was born in Pennsylvania in the USA and went to the College of William and Mary where my favorite research post sent me to collect crab urine from remote farms in Florida. I graduated to study international public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and completed my project in social science in West Africa. I then worked in epidemiology in the USA where my most interesting investigation sent me to exhume a deceased llama on a hunt for rabies.  Inspired by the junction between public health and medicine, I went on to study medicine at the University of Sydney. After graduating, I was drawn to critical care, specialized in intensive care, and am currently co-directing the adult intensive care unit.   


Why did you get into research? 

I got into research because it improves our clinical practice and lifts our standard of care. The scientific method applied in research is our protection against the implicit biases and conflicting narratives that are marketed loudly in our modern world. I believe it is imperative that clinicians value and support the research process to provide best patient-centered care. 


What would be the ultimate goal for your research? 

My vision for research in my lifetime would be to see a change in how the agenda is set. So often, the research question goes through a sieve of political drivers, stakeholder priorities, and finally publication bias. Too often, the results are lost in translation as they don’t have meaning in our ‘real world’ setting. The goal of my research is to prioritise questions that are meaningful for our patients and practical for our systems. 


Future Focus 

John Hunter Hospital’s acute service capacity is expanding to meet area demands, with the opening of the acute services building for the JHH Innovation precinct.  With this in the near future, I hope to work with my team to support a research program that improves our services and benefits the communities.  


Specialised/Technical Skills  

  • Intensive care staff specialist at tertiary intensive care 



  • Co-director John Hunter Hospital Intensive Care 
  • Conjoint Lecturer University of Newcastle 
  • Member of College of Intensive Care (CICM)  
  • Member Australia-New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) 
  • Member of Global Health group in ANZICS