Professor Bala Venkatesh

Bala Venkatesh

Program Director, Critical Care


Bala Venkatesh is Director of Intensive care at the Wesley Hospital, Pre-Eminent specialist in Intensive Care Medicine at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at the University of Queensland, and. at the University of New South Wales, and Professorial Fellow at the George Institute for Global Health, Sydney Australia. He is the Chairman of the Queensland Health Statewide Sepsis Steering Committee. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

He has completed Fellowship training in Internal Medicine, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine.  He then undertook a research degree from the University of Birminghan, UK which led to the award of an MD.  He pioneered the development of a continuous blood gas monitoring system which reached clinical application.

He served as the President for the College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand between 2014-2016.  He led the international taskforce on gender equity in Intensive Care which influenced guidelines in the World federation of Intensive Care. As President of the College of Intensive Care, he led the task force on bullying and discrimination which have informed College policy.

He led the NHMRC funded multi-center international ADRENAL trial which is largest septic shock trial to date. This was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and ranked in the top 12 articles of 2018. He has served on several  Data Safety Monitoring Committees and on the Management committee of RCTs in sepsis. His research interests include glucocorticoid physiology in critical illness including the development of the idea of the "sick euadrenal state, sepsis and vitamin D in critical illness.

In 2020, following the Covid-19 pandemic, he contributed to the REMAP-CAP steroid trial design and development and was on its writing committee recently reported in JAMA, which influenced guideline development. He was instrumental in the development of the George Institute’s Covid-19 research program in India and played a  key role in the set up of the COVID Steroid 2 trial in India which was also published in JAMA. He is currently investigating the role of fludrocortisone in septic shock.

He has published more than 250 papers, 40 book chapters, and edited 2 books. He has supervised 8 PhD students. He is now a Level 3 NHMRC Investigator Fellow.