Professor Frank M.P. van Haren PhD

Intensive Care Physician
ANU College of Health and Medicine

Research interests

Dr van Haren’s main research interests include respiratory failure (ARDS), sepsis, nutritional therapy in the ICU, as well as organ donation and end-of-life.



Dr Frank van Haren is a senior Intensive Care Physician with more than 20 years of experience. He is the Director of Intensive Care, St George Hospital in Sydney, Australia and holds Academic Appointments with the Australian National University (Professor), the University of New South Wales (Conjoint Professor) and the University of Canberra (Adjunct Professor).

Dr van Haren completed his dual specialist training as Physician and Intensive Care Specialist in Nijmegen, The Netherlands in 2000 after which he worked as an Intensive Care Consultant in several large teaching hospitals in the Netherlands. From 2005 he worked as senior Intensive Care Specialist in the Waikato Hospital and as Director of ICU at the Southern Cross Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand. He moved to Australia in 2011.

Dr van Haren has a strong international research profile. He completed his PhD in 2010 at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. He has contributed to the medical literature with more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and he has given more than 150 invited presentations at international scientific meetings. He co-authored work published in the top journals NEJM, JAMA and Lancet. Some of his work has been translated into policy and guidelines and resulted in direct improvements in clinical practice and patients' outcomes.

He is section Editor for the Journal of Critical Care, which is the official journal of the World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine.

Researcher's projects


Respiratory failure (including COVID-19)

Current studies

  • Nebulised Heparin for lung injury: Can Nebulised HepArin Reduce Time to Extubation in SARS-CoV-2 Meta Trial (CHARTER-MT Study)

We are leading an international meta-trial of multicentre randomised studies in intensive care patients, to determine if treatment with standard care + nebulised heparin, compared to standard care alone, reduces the duration of invasive mechanical ventilation in ICU patients with SARS-CoV-2.

  • Nebulised Heparin for hospitalised non-ICU COVID-19 patients (INHALE HEP MT)

We are also leading an international meta-trial of multicentre randomised studies in hospitalised COVID-19 patients, to determine if treatment with standard care + nebulised heparin, compared to standard care alone, reduces the duration of oxygen treatment, length of stay and the proportion of patients requiring ICU admission.

  • Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Generating Evidence in Australia and New Zealand (SAGE-ANZ) during the COVID-19 pandemic

SAGE ANZ is a bi-national study assess the management of moderate-severe ARDS in patients with and without COVID-19 in intensive care units in Australia and New Zealand.

  • WorldwidE AssessmeNt of Separation of pAtients From ventilatory assistance (WEAN SAFE)

WEAN SAFE is a global multi-centre, prospective, observational, 4-week inception cohort study. WEAN SAFE will prospectively assess the burden of, management and spectrum of approaches to weaning from ventilation, in patients that require invasive mechanical ventilation for any reason, for a time period of at least 24 hours. 

  • Large observational study to UNderstand the Global impact of Severe Acute respiratory FailurE (LUNG SAFE)

LUNG SAFE is a global, multicentre, prospective, observational, 4-week inception cohort study. We will prospectively study patients with acute hypoxaemic respiratory failure requiring ventilatory support during the winter months. The study will focus on the epidemiology, disease burden, natural history, management, mortality and resource utilization for this patient cohort.

  • Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) in critically ill adults.

This is a research programme, led by Dr Bernie Bissett, to explore whether IMT in critically ill patients improves respiratory muscle strength and is associated with improved clinical outcomes.

Psychological effects of critical illness

Current studies

  • Sleep in the intensive care unit

This PhD research programme has several elements, including: the assessment of sleep in critically ill patients; comparison of different methods to measure sleep in ICU; assessment of the impact the intensive care environment has on sleep.

  • Prophylactic melatonin for the prevention of delirium in intensive care (PROMEDIC)

PROMEDIC is a multicentre randomised placebo-controlled trial of melatonin in intensive care patients for the prevention of delirium, and to improve sleep quality.

  • Cognitive and psychosocial assessment after mechanical ventilation in intensive care; Does an experience of delirium make a difference? (CAPA)

CAPA is a prospective observational study and part of a PhD project, investigating the effects of delirium during intensive care stay, on long-term cognitive and psychosocial outcomes.

  • Long term outcomes of intensive care survivors

This PhD programme contains several elements: study of the long-term psychological outcomes of intensive care survivors and their families; barriers to providing health care to intensive care survivors after discharge from ICU; long-term renal outcomes of intensive care survivors who required dialysis during their ICU stay.

  • Psychological outcomes of families of potential organ donors

This PhD programme aims to investigate the bereavement of families of potential organ donors, and to develop a psychological model to guide further research of family experiences.


Current studies

  • 100LPS study: Towards understanding immunoparalysis and immunological memory

The overarching aim of the 100LPS study is to investigate two important and clinically relevant immunological phenomena: sepsis-induced immunoparalysis; and immunological memory mediated through B lymphocytes (B cells).

  • Relative hypotension and acute kidney injury in patients with shock (REACT SHOCK)

REACT SHOCK is a research program, investigating whether targeting individualised blood pressure levels based on patients’ pre-morbid blood pressure levels reduce the incidence of new onset kidney injury and improve outcomes in critically ill patients with shock.

  • Fluid resuscitation in sepsis

This research programme has several elements, including: research to establish the effects of fluid resuscitation in sepsis; observational research assessing the physiological effects of fluid bolus therapy in intensive care patients; and investigation of the haemodynamic profiles of patients with sepsis before and directly after fluid resuscitation.

Nutrition in critical illness

Current studies

  • TARGET sub-studies

TARGET (The Augmented versus Routine approach to Giving Energy Trial) was a 4000 patients multicentre randomised controlled study, investigating the effects of hypercaloric versus standard caloric naso-gastric feeding in ICU on 90 day mortality and long term functional outcome. We are currently conducting several sub-studies of TARGET.

  • ICU Feeding Mode Study (ICU FM)

ICU FM is a multicentre randomised controlled trial comparing intermittent enteral feeding while in right lateral tilt position to standard care among mechanically ventilated adult ICU patients.

  • Australasian Registry of The use of Parenteral Nutrition in hospitalised patients (ART-PN)

This registry, the first of its kind in the world, prospectively collects data on parenteral nutrition and outcomes in Australia, to inform and improve clinical practice and to generate hypotheses for further research. The registry is funded through an industry grant.

Current student projects

Higher Degree Research Supervision

Supervisory Panel Chair:

  • Lori Delaney, PhD candidate Australian National University Medical School. Topic: Sleep in ICU. Start date 13/8/2013, part-time.
  • Liam Byrne, PhD candidate Australian National University Medical School. Topic: Fluid resuscitation in sepsis. Start date 13/10/2014, full-time.
  • Vince Marzano, PhD candidate Australian National University Medical School. Topic: Early rehabilitation of intensive care patients. Start date 14/01/2019, full-time.

Supervisory Panel Member:

  • Sean Dicks, PhD candidate University of Canberra. Topic: The bereavement experiences of families of potential organ donors. Start date 10/2/2014. Part-time.
  • Justine Holloway, Master's candidate University of Canberra. Topic: Physical examination performed on deceased organ donors; a review of current practice.
  • Sumeet Rai, PhD candidate Australian National University Medical School. Topic: Psychological outcomes of intensive care survivors. Start date February 2016, part-time.
  • Daniella Bulic, PhD candidate University of New South Wales. Topic: Delirium After Mechanical Ventilation in Intensive Care Units: The Cognitive and Psychosocial Assessment (CAPA) Study. Start date February 2011. Part-time.



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Updated:  20 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers