I am a Research Fellow in the Heart, Trauma and Sepsis Research Laboratory in the College of Medicine and Dentistry, at James Cook University (JCU). After graduating with a University Medal from JCU with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Physiology and Pharmacology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, I joined the Heart and Trauma Research Laboratory in 2008 where I undertook an MSc and PhD developing a small-volume resuscitation solution comprising adenosine, lidocaine and magnesium (ALM) for the treatment of traumatic hemorrhagic shock. More recently I completed the first trials of ALM in uncontrolled hemorrhage as well as traumatic brain injury, and continue to work with the US Military to translate ALM resuscitation fluid into the field.

Watch my TEDx Talk "Ten Minutes to Save a Life"


  • Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
  • Orthopaedic Research Institute of Queensland (ORIQL)
  • Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington, USA
  • US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), Tampa, Florida
  • Naval Mediccal Research Unit San Antonio (NAMRU-SA), Texas, USA
  • Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC), Maryland, USA
  • US Army Institute of Surgical Research, Ft. Sam, Houston


Guest Lecture University of Leuven, Belgium "Animal Models of Traumatic Injury and Critical Illness"

Australian Brain Alliance EMCR Network Townsville Showcase

Be My Guest Speakers

In the Media:

New Trauma Drug Increases Survival by 'Slowing Time'

 New Drug Providing Hope for Brain Injury Sufferers

Drug to Prolong 'Golden Hour' Could be a Lifesaver

New Australian Treatment Could Save Wounded Soldiers

Breakthrough: Lifesaving Drug to Save Soldiers

Gut Health Key to Effective Biomedical Research

Bloody Battle - Australasian Science

JCU Scientists Develop the First 'Pharmacological' Tourniquet

JCU and the Mater Hospital Join Forces for Better Surgery Outcomes

JCU-US Navy Tackle Battlefield Trauma

Innovative Blood Loss Treatment Awarded

  • MD6010: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 1 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6020: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 2 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6030: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 3 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6110: Advanced Clinical Medicine (Honours) Part 1 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6120: Advanced Clinical Medicine (Honours) Part 2 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6130: Advanced Clinical Medicine (Honours) Part 3 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • Trauma
  • Battlefield Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Pre-hospital Medicine
  • Traumatic Injury
  • Shock
  • Haemorrhage
  • Haemorrhagic Shock
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Combat Trauma
  • Coagulopathy
  • Obstetric Haemorrhage
  • Inflammation
  • Surgery
  • Burns
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Aeromedical Retrieval
  • Orthopaedics
  • Sepsis
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • 2017 to present - Research Fellow, James Cook University (College of Medicine and Dentistry, Townsville)
  • 2012 to 2016 - Senior Research Associate, James Cook University (College of Medicine and Dentistry, Townsville)
  • 2008 to 2012 - Research Associate, James Cook University (College of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Townsville)
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2016 - Best Poster Presentation for “Small-Volume ALM Resuscitation Reduces Blood Loss and Mortality in a Rat Model of Severe Uncontrolled Haemorrhagic Shock” Townsville Research Week
  • 2015 - Honorable Mention for “Differential Contributions of Platelets and Fibrinogen to Early Hypocoagulopathy during Hemorrhage and Shock, and its Correction with 7.5% NaCl ALM” Military Health System Research Symposium
  • 2014 - Medicine Winner for “Treatment With Adenosine, Lidocaine/Mg2+ Induces Reversible Hypotension, Improves Cardiac and Pulmonary Function, and Exerts Anti-Inflammatory Effects in an Endotoxaemic Porcine Model” (Festival of Life Sciences)
  • 2013 - Young Investigator Award for “Cardioprotective and Anti-inflammatory Effects of Treatment With Adenosine, Lidocaine/Mg2+ in a Porcine Model of Endotoxemia” presented at the Resuscitation Science Symposium (ReSS) (American Heart Association)
  • 2012 - Best Abstract Award (Trauma) at the American Heart Association Resuscitation Science Symposium (ReSS) for “Small-Volume 7.5% NaCl Adenocaine/Mg2+ Preserves Cardiac Function During Hypotensive Resuscitation in the Pig Following Severe Hemorrhagic Shock
  • 2012 - “So You Think You Can Research” Winner for “Development of a Revolutionary Small-Volume Resuscitation Fluid for Trauma Victims at North Queensland Festival of Life Sciences
  • 2012 - Young Investigator Award for “Rat To Pig Translation: Small-Volume 7.5% NaCl Adenocaine/Mg2+ Has Multiple Physiological Benefits During Hypotensive And Blood Resuscitation In The Porcine Model Of Severe Hemorrhagic Shock” (ReSS; AHA)
  • 2011 - Young Investigator Award for “Reversal of Acute Coagulopathy Using Small Volume 7.5% NaCl with Adenocaine and Mg2+ Resuscitation in the Rat Model of Severe Hemorrhagic Shock” (ReSS; AHA)
  • 2010 - Best Abstract Award (Trauma) at the AHA ReSS for “7.5% NaCl with Adenosine, Lidocaine and Mg2+ (ALM) improves hypotensive resuscitation in the pressure-controlled rat model of severe hemorrhagic shock”
  • 2007 - James Cook University Medal for Academic Excellence
  • 2005 - James Cook University School of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Academic Prize Winner
  • 2015 - Fresh Science Alumnus, Science in Public, Australia

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 84+ research outputs authored by Dr Hayley Letson from 2010 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

United States Department of Defence - Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health, Investigator Initiated Research Award

Point-of-injury intranasal ALM drug therapy to reduce secondary injury and improve outcomes after TBI in civilian and military resource-limited environments

Indicative Funding
$932,919 over 3 years
Currently there is no effective drug therapy to treat traumatic brain injury (TBI) in combat and other military and civilian settings immediately after the injury has occurred that can protect the brain and the whole body by reducing secondary injury progression and TBI-associated complications. ALM therapy is a neuroprotective fluid therapy that significantly improves survival, rescues cardiac function, reduces local bleeding, and blunts secondary injury processes including inflammation after trauma. This project will evaluate the efficacy and protective benefits of ALM therapy administered intravenously (injectable) and intranasally (via spray) in a rat model of TBI.
Geoffrey Dobson, Hayley Letson and Jodie Morris (College of Medicine & Dentistry)
Traumatic Brain Injury; intranasal; Blood brain barrier; Military; Immune; ALM

United States Department of Defence - DoD Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program (PRORP) - Applied Research Award

ALM Drug Therapy to reduce inflammation and scar formation after ACL reconstruction surgery: Targeting earlier return to active duty.

Indicative Funding
$1,061,864 over 4 years
Two complications of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery are cartilage degeneration and scarring within the joint, which can prolong healing, promote pain and restrict knee movement. Our project will evaluate a new therapy known as ALM solution that can be administrered during ACL reconstruction surgery to dampen inflammation, protect cartilage and promote tissue healing within the joint. Our study has the potential to expedite a patient's return to an active duty with fewer complications.
Geoffrey Dobson, Peter McEwen, Jodie Morris, Hayley Letson and Erik Biros (College of Medicine & Dentistry)
ACL Injury; ACL Reconstruction surgery; Scarring; Osteoarthritis; Inflammation; Therapeutics

Emergency Medicine Foundation - Leading Edge

Classifying the Type and Severtiy of Traumatic Injury in North Queensland: A Multicentre Retrospective Study

Indicative Funding
$97,580 over 2 years (administered by Queensland Health)
Queenslanders living in regional, rural and remote areas having a higher incidence of traumatic injury and are disadvantaged by prolonged prehospital times. The aim of this project is to define and describe trauma patients transported by aeromedical emergency services to and between Townsville, Cairns, Mt Isa and Mackay hospitals over a 3 - year period (2016-2018). A key objective is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of clinical interventions and therapies from point-of-injury to hospital admission, and patient outcomes to hospital discharge. This data will help inform all stakeholders on the current state of emergency trauma care in the tropics.
Clinton Gibbs, Hayley Letson, Geoffrey Dobson, Luke Lawton, Brett Hoggard and Ben Butson in collaboration with Erik Biros, Daniel Lindsay, Richard Murray and Ulrich Orda (Queensland Health, College of Medicine & Dentistry, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Townsville Hospital and Health Service and North West Hospital and Health Service)
Injury; Trauma; Prehospital emergency care; Patient transfer; Rural Health; Aeromedical

Townsville Hospital and Health Service - Study Education Research Trust Account (SERTA)

Trauma Care in the Tropics: A Multi-centre Retrospective Analysis.

Indicative Funding
$9,110 over 2 years (administered by Townsville Hospital and Health Service)
High quality pre-hospital trauma care and timely access to emergency aeromedical retrieval services is paramount for an efficient, sustainable healthcare system in North Queensland. We propose to identify and classify trauma patients in the North Queensland since 2016 to assess the magnitude of the total injury burden and evaluate the chain-of-care from the prehospital environment, through patient transfer, to hospital discharge. The dataset generated will provide valuable insights into patterns of primary retrieval, trauma distribution, and service provisions and gaps.
Clinton Gibbs, Geoffrey Dobson and Hayley Letson (Retrieval Services Queensland and College of Medicine & Dentistry)
Injury; Trauma; Prehospital Emergency Care; Patient Transfer; Rural Health; Aeromedical

United States Department of Defence - Broad Agency Award

Optimisation of Ultra-Small Volume Adenosine, Lidocaine and Mg2+ (ALM) Fluid Resuscitation and 72hr Stabilisation Drip for Uncontrolled Haemorrhage and TBI

Indicative Funding
$1,746,795 over 4 years
The resuscitation and stabilisation properties of ALM 'one-two treatment' will be investigated in rats after uncontrolled blood loss ? traumatic brain injury, and a translational arm in pigs followed for 72hrs to mimic prolonged far-forward retrieval delays. The aim is to show improved survival is associated with improved cardiac function, reduced inflammation, less coagulopathy and less secondary 'it' complications. The ALM therapy has the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality on the battlefield by buying time for treatment, stabilisation and preparedness of causalities for safer evacuation. The study also has broad-spectrum public purpose for pre-hospital trauma and aeromedical transport.
Geoffrey Dobson and Hayley Letson in collaboration with Asger Granfeldt (College of Medicine & Dentistry and The Aarhus School of Business)
Haemorrhage; Traumatic Brain / Head Injury; Pre-hospital; Trauma; Haemorrhagic shock; Inflammation

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Primary Prevention Implantable Cardiac Defribrillators: A North Queensland Perspective (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit Research Data Australia.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  • 47.113B, Pharmacy and Medical Research (Townsville campus)
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