TRACK RECORD A/Prof Luregn Schlapbach, MD, FCICM

QUALIFICATIONS: Medical diploma (2003, University of Basel, Switzerland, best exam of the year); MD (2004, University of Basel, Switzerland, Best Thesis of the Year); specialist in Paediatrics (2010, Swiss Society of Paediatrics); European Diploma in Intensive Care Medicine I; Specialist in Intensive Care Medicine (2011, Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine); Specialist in Neonatology (2012, Swiss Society of Neonatology); Specialist in Intensive Care Medicine (2012, College of Intensive Care of Australia and New Zealand); A/Professor, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane; Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Faculty, University of Bern, Switzerland


Current: Consultant fulltime staff specialist at Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Brisbane; Deputy Head and Group Leader Sepsis, Infections and Immunity, Paediatric Critical Care Research Group, Mater Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Past: Director Children’s Critical Care Services, Gold Coast University Hospital, Southport QLD (2014-15); Consultant Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Mater Children’s Hospital, Brisbane (2013-14); Fellow Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Mater Children’s Hospital, Brisbane (2011-12); Consultant Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, University Children’s Hospital Bern (2009-2010); Fellow PICU University Children`s Hospital Zurich, Switzerland (2008), Registrar University Children`s Hospital Bern, Switzerland (2005-07); Registrar Department of Paediatrics, Ospedale San Giovanni, Bellinzona, Switzerland (2004).


The research activity of Luregn Schlapbach has focused on infections and inflammation in critically ill neonates and children, covering epidemiology, immunology, outcomes and genomics of severe infections in this highly vulnerable patient group. He has been responsible for several inflammation and infection marker studies, focussing on markers of inflammation and sepsis (Intensive Care Med), disease severity and organ failure (Clin Infect Dis, Intensive Care Med, Crit Care Med), including cardiovascular, and endocrine candidates. In the area of epidemiology and burden of disease in critically ill children, Schlapbach is the leading ANZ researcher on severe infections in critically ill children (Lancet Infect Dis, Ped Crit Care Med, Pediatrics). In the area of genomics of severe infections, Luregn Schlapbach is involved in several national and international trials, and leading frontline studies which cover both life-threatening viral and bacterial respiratory infections in children. He has published a landmark paper providing proof of concept to use exome sequencing to unravel susceptibility to infections in children, and is responsible for two large cohorts in the field. These translational frontline research projects demonstrate and further develop the use of GWAS, exome sequencing, and RNA sequencing combined with bacterial sequencing to achieve a major improvement in diagnosis and management of severe infections in children.


Since 2011, Schlapbach has held >$7.0M ($>1.5M as CIA) of competitive research funding including 3x NHMRC Project Grants, 21 additional project grants. Schlapbach has been leading CI for a study awarded a Swiss National Science Foundation grant (324730_153158/1*; 2014). In addition, he is principal investigator for a 18 Mio EUR H2020 Grant to improve diagnosis of infections in children (PERFORM 668303*).


Reviewer in >15 journals ranked top third in their field; NHMRC reviewer, external assessor A*STAR joint council Singapore; Wellbeing of Women UK Research Grant. Guest Editor for Frontiers Pediatrics (Pediatric Sepsis Topic) and Guest Editor for Frontiers Immunology (Immunology of Sepsis).


Since 2011, Schlapbach has been driving successfully national and international collaborations including joint applications for grants and publications: ANZ Paediatric Study Group/ANZICS CORE (Burden of severe infections in critically ill children); PREDICT ANZ (PARIS-1 and PARIS-2 RCT); Mike Levin (Imperial College; Genomics of severe infections and marker discovery); Jacques Fellay (EPFL, Switzerland, Genomics of severe infections); AMC van Rossum (Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, NeoPiNS study); Swiss Pediatric Sepsis Study; EUCLIDS consortium (15MioEUR FP7 EU Project); PERFORM consortium (Imperial College, H2020).


Committees. A/Prof Schlapbach is the most recognized expert in the field of life-threatening infections in critically ill children in ANZ. He has been invited as group lead in the paediatric panel for the 2017-2018 Surviving Sepsis Campaign development. He is Chair of the Statewide Paediatric Sepsis Group. As Chair of the Statewide Intensive Care Network – Paediatric Intensive Care Advisory Group, he is leading statewide quality improvement initiatives for the sickest children across QLD.

Awards. Talent prize of the Swiss Society of Pediatrics; Milupa Fellowship Award of the Swiss Society of Neonatology; ANZICS CORE Award for the best paper (2014); ANZICS Award for the best paediatric paper (2014, 2015, 2017); Finalist QH: Excellence in Performance Award (2015)

Memberships. College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM); European Society of Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine (ESPNIC); European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM); Swiss Society of Neonatology (SGN); Swiss Society of Intensive Care (SGI); Pediatric Infectious Diseases Group Switzerland (PIGS); Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre

Conferences. Organising and scientific committee ANZICS/ACCCN ASM congress 2017; Organising and scientific committee Asian Pacific Extracorporeal Life Support Chapter 2017; Scientific Committee, 11th European Postgraduate Course in Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care 2015, and 2017 Bern, Switzerland.

Invited talks. Since 2011, >25 invited conference presentations and institutional seminars internationally and nationally at institutions (University of Aarhus, Denmark, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland; University of Bern, Switzerland; Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane; Gold Coast Hospital, Brisbane; Bambino Gesu, Rome, Italy) and international conferences (ESPNIC, ANZICS, ASM, APELSO, SGP etc).


Total of 41 published/accepted papers in the last 5 years of 65 career publications with >1100 citations (H-index 18). Several papers in the last years feature in high ranked journals of their field, including Lancet, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Lancet Child&Adolescent Health, Intensive Care Medicine, JAMA Pediatrics, Critical Care Med, Pediatrics, etc. Schlapbach is senior/first author on >50% of publications.


  • Schlapbach LJ, Kissoon N. Pediatric Sepsis Definitions – an Urgent Need for Change. JAMA Pediatr 2018 in press
  • Schlapbach LJ, Straney L, MacLaren G, Bellomo R, Pilcher D. Prognostic Accuracy of Age-adapted SOFA, SIRS, PELOD-2, and qSOFA for In-Hospital Mortality Among Children with Suspected Infection Admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. Intensive Care Med 2018 in press
  • Schlapbach LJ, MacLaren G, Festa M, Alexander J, Erickson S, Beca J, Slater A, Schibler A, Pilcher D, Millar J, Straney L. Prediction of pediatric sepsis mortality within one hour of intensive care admission. Intensive Care Med. 2017 Aug;43(8):1085-1096
  • Schlapbach LJ, Straney L, Gelbart B, et al. Burden of Disease and Change in Practice in Critically Ill Infants with Bronchiolitis. Eur Respir J 2017;49(6)
  • Agyeman P*, Schlapbach LJ* (equally contributed), Giannoni E, et al. Epidemiology of Blood Culture-proven Bacterial Sepsis in Children in Switzerland - a Prospective Population-based Cohort Study. The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health 2017; 1(2):124–133
  • Roger T, Schlapbach LJ, Scheider A, Weier M, Wellmann S, Marquis P, Vermijlen D, Sweep FCGJ, Leng L, Bucala R, Calandra T, Giannoni E. Plasma levels of macrophage migration inhibitory factor and D-dopachrome tautomerase show a highly specific profile in early life. Frontiers Immunology 2017;8:26
  • Schlapbach LJ, MacLaren G, Straney L. Venous lactate performs comparably to arterial lactate to predict sepsis severity and sepsis mortality. JAMA Pediatr. 2017 Aug 1;171(8):813.
  • Asgari S, Schlapbach LJ, Anchisi S, Hammer C, Bartha I, Junier T, Mottet-Osman G, Posfay Barbe C, Longchamp D, Stocker M, Cordey S, Kaiser L, Riedel T, Kenna T, Long D, Schibler A, Telenti A, Tapparel C, McLaren PJ, Garcin D, Fellay J. Severe viral respiratory infections in children with IFIH1 loss-of-function mutations. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2017;114(31):8342-8347
  • Schlapbach LJ, Javouhey E, N.J.G. Jansen. Paediatric Sepsis: Old Wine in New Bottles? Intensive Care Med 2017;43(11):1686-1689.
  • Stocker M, van Herk W, el Helou S, Dutta S, Fontana MS, Schuerman FA, Tooren-de Groot RK, Wieringa JW, Janota J, van der Meer-Kappelle LH, Moonen R, Sie SD, de Vries E, Donker AE, Zimmermann U, Schlapbach LJ, de Mol A, Hoffman-Haringsma A, Roy M, Tomaske M, Kornelisse RF, van Gijsel J, Visser EG, Willemsen SP, van Rossum AMC, for the NeoPInS Study Group. Efficacy and safety of Procalcitonin-guided decision making for duration of antibiotic therapy in neonates suspected of early-onset sepsis: the NeoPInS study – an international, multicentre, randomised controlled intervention trial. Lancet. 2017: S0140-6736(17)31444-7.
  • Ostrowski J, MacLaren G, Alexander J, Stewart P, Gune S, Franciss JF, Ganu S, Festa M, Erickson S, Straney L, Schlapbach LJ. Burden of invasive infections in critically ill Indigenous children in Australia. Med J Australia 2017;206(2):78-84
  • Asgari S, McLaren PJ, Peake J, Wong M, Wong R, Bartha I, Francis JF, Abarca K, Gelderman KA, Agyeman P, Aebi C, Berger C, Fellay J, Schlapbach LJ, for the Swiss Pediatric Sepsis Study. Exome sequencing reveals primary immunodeficiencies in children with community-acquired pseudomonas aeruginosa sepsis. Frontiers Immunology 2016;7:357
  • Morin L, Ray, S Wilson C, Remy S, Benissa MR, Jansen NJG, Javouhey E, Peters MJ, Kneyber M, De Luca D, Nadel S, Schlapbach LJ, Maclaren G, Tissieres P, and ESPNIC Refractory Septic Shock Definition Taskforce the Infection Systemic Inflammation Sepsis section of ESPNIC. Intensive Care Med 2016;42(12):1948-1957.
  • Zant R, Karl T, Schlapbach LJ, et al. Procalcitonin in the early course post pediatric cardiac surgery. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Jul;17(7):624-9
  • Schlapbach LJ, Straney L, Alexander J, MacLaren G, Festa M, Schibler A, Slater A; ANZICS Paediatric Study Group. Mortality related to invasive infections, sepsis, and septic shock in critically ill children in Australia and New Zealand, 2002-13: a multicentre retrospective cohort study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2015;15(1):46-54.
  • Schlapbach LJ, Graf R, Woerner A et al. Pancreatic stone protein as a novel marker for neonatal sepsis. Intensive Care Med 2013;39(4):754-763.
  • Schlapbach LJ, Aebischer M, Adams M et al. Impact of sepsis on neurodevelopmental outcome in a Swiss National cohort of extremely premature infants. Pediatrics 2011;128(2):e348-57
  • Schlapbach LJ, Mattmann M, Thiel S et al. Differential role of the lectin pathway in neonatal sepsis. Clin Infect Dis 2010; 51(2):153-162.