Invited Speakers

Professor Samar Aoun

Professor of Palliative Care Research, Perron Institute and La Trobe University. She adopts a public health approach to models of care and advocates for a person-centred health and social care. Her research programs on supporting family caregivers at end of life and the public health approach to bereavement care have informed policy and practice at the national and international levels. Her recent work on social models in bereavement support has provided empirical evidence to strengthen the Compassionate Communities movement in bereavement support. She co-founded the South West Compassionate Communities Network in 2018 in WA. She recently undertook for WA Health a statewide palliative care review from the consumer perspective. Samar has established and chaired the West Australian Country Health Services Research Ethics Committee for 23 years. She has served on two principal National Health and Medical Research Council committees (2012-15) and has chaired NHMRC grant review panels (2014-18).

Professor Benhur Amanuel

Clinical Professor Benhur Amanuel is a pathologist, the Director of Anatomical Pathology, PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA, and the Head of the Cancer Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at PathWest. Prof Amanuel provides direction, leadership, effective and co-ordinated management and strategic plans of current and future advancement of cancer diagnosis and biomarker testing for a Statewide public anatomical and somatic molecular testing service in PathWest.

His major interests include enhancement of Cancer diagnostic services through expansion of molecular diagnostic work in the areas of solid tumour testing for cancer diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutics through expansion of molecular diagnostics and translation of new tests and technologies into clinical practice. Some of his most recent work has focused on the implementation of the statewide comprehensive genomic testing to expedite excellence in the treatment of WA Cancer Patients and the implementation of the Personalised Cancer Medicine Program, a statewide precision oncology program for patients with cancers. Under his leadership, PathWest Molecular Anatomical Pathology is now a testing node for the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Program, run by the Garvan Institute NSW, which specifically targets the unmet clinical need for the treatment of rare cancers. His focuses on the application of genomic technologies to refine cancer diagnosis, provide biomarker information are essential for cancer management, as well as the design and validation of multiple NGS assays for clinical testing.

Professor Ross Baker

Professor Ross Baker is a practising consultant haematologist and clinical researcher. As Principal Investigator in over 125 large international phase II and III clinical trials he has contributed to a change of practice in haematology through clinical research in venous thrombosis, leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, thrombocytopenia, Von Willebrand disease and haemophilia. He has authored over 127 papers in peer reviewed medical journals with high impact factor and has been a regularly invited speaker at international and national medical meetings. He is a founding director and secretary of the Australasian Society for Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ASTH now THANZ), Founding Chair of the Perth Blood Institute and scientific advisor to the World Health Organisation on DVT in 2001.

Currently he is Chair of the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis Von Willebrand Subcommittee, expert advisor on the Venous Thrombo-embolism Committee of National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce, Editorial Board of Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, Australian representative on the Asian Pacific Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society Council, member of Australian Haemophilia Centre Directors Organisation and Study Chairman of 2 large academic collaborative studies (Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand (THANZ) new oral anticoagulant Reversal and Event Collaborative (ARES) and the Asian Pacific Microangiopathic Thrombocytopenia Network (APMAT).

He has enthusiasm for teaching medical and science students and supervises post graduate PhD, masters, and honours research programs. He directs the Regional Training Scheme Program with Malaysia for specialist clinical and research training and mentoring with the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. He initiated Medical Science Encounter days for promising year 11 and 12 high school students, to enable them to have hands on laboratory research experience and to discover the power of science. His current basic science research interests include microRNA control of coagulation factors, platelet, and immunoglobulin receptor function, and ADAMTS 13 testing and regulation. He is currently Chairman of the Perth Blood Institute; Director of the Haemophilia Treatment Centre and Senior Clinical Haematologist at Hollywood Hospital; Director of the WA Centre for Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Murdoch University; and Director of Medical Services at Western Haematology and Oncology Clinics.

Dr Cara Barnes

Cara Barnes is a Cardiologist and Interventional Fellow from Royal Perth Hospital in Western Australia. She was the 2017 recipient of a Department of Health Registrar Research Fellowship. During this Fellowship she was involved in research into the emergency assessment of chest pain and her trial, the STAT Chest Pain Trial, was recently awarded the Clinical Trials Prize at the 2020 national Cardiac Society Annual Scientific Meeting. She has an interest in cardiac biomarkers and has been awarded a Heart Foundation Vanguard grant to investigate a novel cardiac biomarker.

Prof Miles Beaman

Prof Beaman graduated from the University of Western Australia and trained in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. He completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Stanford University under Professor Remington and then returned to the University of Western Australia and established the first Infectious Diseases Department in Western Australia at Fremantle Hospital. He joined Western Diagnostic Pathology in 2002, where he became Medical Director and Deputy CEO in 2006 with a strong focus on customer service, new laboratory initiatives and novel diagnostic technologies. He returned to Pathwest as a Clinical Microbiologist in 2019 and was appointed Chief Pathologist in 2020. He is also a Clinical Professor at both the University of Western Australia and University of Notre Dame Australia and has been active in teaching, training and medical research.

Associate Professor Chris Brennan-Jones

A/Prof Chris Brennan-Jones is a clinical audiologist and researcher focused on improving outcomes for children with ear and hearing disorders. He is an NHMRC Research Fellow, Head of the Ear Health research team at Telethon Kids Institute and a senior audiologist at Perth Children’s Hospital. He is the principal investigator for the Djaalinj Waakinj Ear Portal which brings rapid access to ear health care for Aboriginal children via telehealth in the south metropolitan region of Perth. He has previously been a Raine/Robson Fellow for the Raine Medical Research Foundation and a Visiting Fellow in the UK Cochrane Centre at the University of Oxford. In 2020 was named the Early Career Scientist of the Year at the WA Premier’s Science awards for improving ear and hearing health of children in WA through the implementation of his telehealth research in the community.

Professor Jonathon Carapetis

Professor Carapetis is the Director of the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Western Australia. He is also a Professor at the University of Western Australia and consultant paediatrician at Perth Children’s Hospital. He is currently the President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI).
His research interests include Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, other group A streptococcal diseases, Vaccine-preventable disease, Indigenous child health, Child development and education, Youth health and education and Skin sores and scabies.
Professor Carapetis undertook his medical training at the Royal Melbourne and Royal Children’s Hospitals. Previous positions include terms as Theme Director at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne and Director of the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.

Professor Tomas Corcoran

Professor Tomás Corcoran is a full-time anaesthetist and the director of research, Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital; clinical professor at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, and deputy chair of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) Clinical Trials Network (CTN). He holds specialist qualifications in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine. He was a chief investigator on 4 NHMRC projects ( RELIEF (CIC),  Balanced (CIF), PADDI (CIA) and POISE-3 (CIE). He has received substantial support from the WA State Health Research Advisory Committee and the Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation. In 2019 he was awarded $4.3 million from the MRFF Neurological Disorders 2020 initiative (CIA– APP1200994) to deliver the Long-term Outcomes of Lidocaine Infusions for persistent PostOperative Pain in patients undergoing breast surgery (LOLIPOP) Trial.  He has published >60 papers, including three in NEJM, one in the Lancet, 3 in BMJ Open and 10 in leading basic science and anaesthesia and intensive care specialty journal.  As the leader of the PADDI Study, he established a collaboration of >50 sites in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong to conduct this large RCT of dexamethasone. He has also been involved in establishing a perioperative multicenter clinical trials research unit at the largest private hospital in Perth, Saint John of God Hospital Subiaco. Professor Corcoran is passionate about delivering the highest quality of evidence to inform clinical practice on an international level, with the principal focus on patient safety and outcomes. 

Dr Linda Coventry

Linda is a Senior Research Fellow at Edith Cowan University and Adjunct Research Fellow in the Centre for Nursing Research at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Linda has a clinical background with over 20 years of intensive care nursing experience and 15 years’ experience in research. Linda’s interests include improving patient outcomes in acute care settings, pressure injury, vascular access and indwelling urinary catheter management. Linda is the WA Board Representative for both the Australian Vascular Access Society (AVAS) and the Alliance of Vascular Access Teaching and Research (AVATAR). Linda is a passionate advocate for nursing research and supervises Masters and PhD students.



Dr Ian Dey

Ian is an Emergency Physician from Fiona Stanley Hospital in Western Australia who, since graduation from medicine in 1993, has always maintained a key interest in clinical workflow and systems innovation. Ian was a Clinical Commissioning Lead during the commissioning of Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH). As a Greenfield site with host of entirely new ICT platforms the FSH commissioning project provided many opportunities and challenges. Currently Ian is developing Virtual Emergency Medicine outreach from FSH to reduce Ambulance Ramping and also to allow the introduction of new models of care particularly with regards to the frail aged population. Other projects Ian is currently clinically leading are State Clinical Alert workflow improvements and Office 365 implementation and clinical integration.

Professor Eli Gabbay

Dr Gabbay graduated from University of Western Australia Medical School in 1987 and undertook specialist training in Respiratory Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital. He undertook subspecialty training at the Freeman Hospital (Newcastle upon Tyne), Stanford University Medical School Hospital (Palo Alto) and the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne where he completed his doctoral thesis. In 1999, he returned to Perth to set up WA’s first advanced lung and pulmonary vascular disease program. In 2004, he became the inaugural medical director of the WA Lung Transplant Program. He is Professor of Respiratory Medicine at The University of Notre Dame (Australia) Medical School and The University of Western Australia Medical School and Associate Professor at Curtin University School of Physiotherapy.

Elizabeth Gatonga

Elizabeth is a cardiology nurse at Fiona Stanley Hospital, a PhD Candidate at Edith Cowan University (ECU), and a sessional staff and Clinical Facilitator at ECU. She holds a hospital trained diploma of nursing (The Nairobi Hospital, Kenya, 2007), a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Curtin University, 2010), and a Master of Nursing (ECU, 2016).

Elizabeth migrated to WA from Kenya in 2010 and has since carried out roles in cardiology/orthopaedic/surgical specialty nursing, clinical nurse/acting clinical nurse consultant-infection prevention, students’ clinical supervision, and undergraduate nursing sessional academia.

Elizabeth is involved in voluntary community work, and has served as the secretary of Urumwe WA, and as an assistant director of the women’s department at the Organisation of African Communities in WA. She aims to continue using her achievement in promoting patients’ care outcome, impact knowledge on nursing students, contribute to the research field, and promote active communities in WA.

Prof Gary Geelhoed

Professor Gary Geelhoed MBBS, FRACP, FACEM, MD is the Executive Director of the WA Health Translation Network (WAHTN). Prior to commencing at WAHTN, Gary was Western Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and Assistant Director General of Clinical Services and Research, WA Department of Health. A UWA graduate, Gary worked as Director of the Emergency Department at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children for 22 years.

Gary has a keen interest in health reform, particularly in the area of clinical research and innovation. A highlight of Gary’s career involves his ongoing work to forge closer ties between our hospitals and the research community to promote greater innovation and best practice in clinical care; and to establish and embed a robust framework for safety and quality along with teaching, training and research, into the day to day operations of the State’s hospitals and health services.

Gary’s past achievements include helping to introduce the Four Hour Rule Program to WA public hospitals, reducing delays in our emergency departments and streamlining hospital processes for admission and discharge. Western Australia was the first jurisdiction to implement this important program.

Gary has held roles on numerous state and national committees including the National Health and Medical Research Council, President of the Australian Medical Association WA, and Federal and Western Australian AMA Council.

Dr Darren Gibson

Darren is currently the Director of the Research and Innovation Office (RIO) within the WA Department of Health. RIO facilitates, supports, and promotes high quality research and innovation in both WA Health and the wider WA health and medical research and innovation sector.  

Darren previously led the collaboration, innovation and industry engagement program at Edith Cowan University.  He also has extensive research governance experience, including managing the Scottish Mental Health Research Network.  Darren has extensive experience in medicinal chemistry, having being a senior research scientist within Biotechnology (UK and New Zealand) investigating novel oncology and HIV therapeutics. Darren graduated in Medicinal Chemistry, BSc (hons), from Dundee University, and obtained a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of St Andrews.  He also completed an LLM in Medical Law and Ethics from De Montfort University and is currently undertaking an MBA. 

Dr Ashu Gupta

Dr Ashu Gupta graduated from the UWA Medical School in 1999, and completed radiology training in WA in 2008. He undertook one year of Fellowship Training in cardiothoracic imaging in Canada in 2009. He has been a consultant radiologist at Fremantle Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital since 2009, and Head of Department at Rockingham General Hospital since 2014.  He has a research interest in the application of Artificial Intelligence to Radiology and is Clinical Lead of the Radiology AI (RAI) project at SMHS.  He also has a research interest in the application of virtual reality in radiology and was awarded a Clinical Simulation and Training Grant in 2020.



Dr Kwok M Ho

Dr Ho is a practising intensive care specialist & Supervisor of Training in Intensive Care at Royal Perth Hospital. He is a fellow of the Colleges of Physicians, Anaesthetists, and Intensive Care Medicine. His research work on trauma patients was supported by WA Health through the Raine Clinician Research Fellowship between 2015 and 2018, resulting in completion of the trial evaluating the benefits, harms and cost-effectiveness of using vena cava filters as a primary means to prevent pulmonary embolism after major trauma – the topic of his presentation today.



Professor Sean Hood

Professor Sean Hood MBBS MSc FRANZCP undertook his undergraduate medical degree at the University of Western Australia before completing formal postgraduate training in Psychiatry in Perth (Australia) and Bristol (United Kingdom) in 2003.

Prof Hood chairs a novel research collaboration with the Meeting for Minds (M4M) Foundation which is a “not-for-profit organisation dedicated to research of the brain and disorders of the brain in partnership with people living with mental illness”. In 2018 CI-Hood was a founding member of the UWA Young Lives Matter (YLM) Foundation (Board Director & Research Management Lead).  In 2020 Sean convened and chairs the WA Mental Health Covid-19 Research Panel (WAMH-CoRP) a group unifying all 5 WA universities (viz: UWA, Curtin, Murdoch, Notre Dame Fremantle, Edith Cowen U), public health districts, and consumer/carer bodies.

Sean is a psychiatrist in academic (University of Western Australia), public (SCGH, Nedlands) and private practice (The Marian Centre, Wembley). Professor Hood is Head of the UWA Division of Psychiatry, and Associate Dean (Community & Engagement) for the UWA Medical School.

Dr Tim Inglis

is a medical microbiologist who works on the QEII campus as a consultant for PathWest and the University of Western Australia’s Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He is the clinical lead for the award-winning FAST Lab; a translational research group that develops new methods for rapid diagnosis and targeted treatment of infectious diseases. Dr Inglis has a particular interest in service capability development for regional and remote communities, serves on the national Public Health Laboratory Network and is a reserve medical officer in the Australian Defence Force. For recreation he learns modern languages and runs.

Anita John

Anita John is the Director of the newly created Research and Innovation area for the WA Country Health Service. This new role and team have a focus on supporting WACHS clinicians to get involved in research and innovation and have brought in over $10 million in external funding for research in WACHS.

Anita is an Economist by training with a First Class Honours degree in Economic and Social Sciences from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Social Research from the Australian National University. Her career has taken her from Commonwealth agencies in Canberra and Christmas and Cocos Island to State Government and service delivery in Perth. Anita enjoys leading reform in public sector agencies particularly in the social policy areas and has done this in Justice, education, health and regional development portfolios. Anita has worked with stakeholders from prisoners and community groups to commercial contractors, universities and research institutes as well as all levels of Government.

A career highlight to date was working with both the Malaysian and Chinese Governments on the taskforce leading the search for the missing Malaysian Airline plan MH370.

Professor Alan James

Professor James trained and practises as a consultant respiratory physician at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Hollywood Private Hospital with an adjunct appointment at the University of Western Australia. As a physician/scientist his clinical interests include airway diseases (asthma and COPD and cough) and respiratory disorders of sleep, and he has two broad fields of research interest: airway structure and function and the epidemiology of lung diseases. He chairs the Busselton Population Medical Research Institute. He is currently the Principal Investigator on 2 NHMRC-funded projects: Heterogeneity of Airway Remodelling which will develop a new method of measuring airway smooth muscle in people with asthma and Phenotypes of Airway Disease which will develop algorithms for diagnosis and management of airway diseases in primary care. He has over 250 publications. He was awarded the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand Research Medal in 2020.

Prof Peter Klinken AC

Professor Klinken is a leading Western Australian medical research scientist, highly regarded for his work in advancing the understanding of genes involved in leukemia, cancer and anaemia. After obtaining his PhD from the University of Western Australia, he undertook research at the US National Institutes of Health in Washington and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne.

His previous roles have included Professor in Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Western Australia; Director of Research at the Royal Perth Hospital; and the Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (previously the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research). Under his stewardship, the Harry Perkins Institute attracted world-class researchers to the State and made numerous acclaimed medical discoveries. He also spear-headed the development of two new state-of-the-art medical research facilities at the QEII Medical Centre and Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Professor Klinken has brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role of Chief Scientist of Western Australia, providing independent expert advice to the State Government. His has supported the Government in growing the State’s science industries to achieve future prosperity for Western Australians, as well as assisting with changes to legislation.

He is passionate about issues for Indigenous people, and ensuring that the Education system provides opportunities for everyone in a rapidly changing world.

Professor Klinken was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the 2017. He was Western Australian Citizen of the Year (Professions) in 2008, and made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (2015) and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (2106).

A/ Prof. Alan Kop

Alan has extensive experience in the application of materials in biological systems, manufacturing and the mining industries.  As a materials engineer, researcher and consultant he has worked for companies including RioTinto, Argyle Diamond Mines Pilbara Iron, BHP and Bristile Ltd.  Since 2000 Alan has worked as a Biomaterials Engineer at Royal Perth Hospital (Dept. of Medical Engineering and Physics). Alan is a Charted Professional Engineer (MIEAUST) with national engineering registration. 

Alan currently works in the areas of tissue engineering, medical device retrieval analysis and custom implant technology.  He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2012 to study the area of translational tissue engineering.  His research focus lies in the application of materials for tissue engineered products, incorporating medical modelling, 3D printing and the application of stem cells to produce clinically relevant constructs for bony and soft tissue reconstruction.  He is an Adjunct Associate Professor both in the School of Engineering (UWA) and at WASM (Curtin Uni) with interests in Biomedical and Materials Engineering.

Professor Nigel Laing

Professor Nigel Laing AO, obtained his PhD from Edinburgh University in 1979. He had a one-year post-doc at Oslo University in 1980. He joined the University of Western Australia in 1981. From his PhD until 1987, Professor Laing was a developmental neurobiologist, studying motor neuron and muscle development. He re-trained in human molecular genetics at Duke University in 1987-88 and has researched genetic disease since then. His Group has identified genes for more than thirty diseases. Professor Laing has four research themes: disease gene discovery, development of therapies for genetic muscle disease, development of improved molecular diagnostics and population screening for severe recessive diseases.  He is one of the three leads of Mackenzie’s Mission, the three-year $20m Medical Research Future Fund, Australian Reproductive Carrier Screening Project. Mackenzie’s Mission aims to screen 10,000 Australian couples for 1,300 genes, associated with 750 recessive diseases researching how to deliver carrier screening across Australia.

Dr Wei-Sen Lam

Dr Wei-Sen Lam is a Medical Oncologist at Fiona Stanley Hospital and Esperance Hospital who treats a broad range of cancers with interests in lung cancer, mesothelioma and melanoma. Dr Lam has several leadership roles including Head of Medical Oncology Department at Fiona Stanley Hospital and was previously Director of Medical Oncology WA Country Health Service and Co-Chair of the WA Cancer Oncology Group. He is passionate about improving cancer services for rural and remote WA and has developed new and innovative services including Telechemotherapy and Telelymphoedema.

Wei-Sen has a keen interest in research and is actively involved in clinical trials. Dr Lam was a successful recipient of the WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network Fellowship and is a principal investigator in several lung cancer trials at Fiona Stanley Hospital. Dr Lam is currently the Director of Teletrials and is passionate about improving access to clinical trials in regional WA.

Ms Deb Langridge

Deb Langridge, Head, Consumer and Community Involvement Program (CCIProgram)

Deb has worked in the public health and prevention space at all levels of government – Federal, State and Local – and not for profit sectors to contribute to the health and well-being of communities. She has worked to capture the voices of all parts of community including access and inclusion, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, children and young people, mental health, health and community services.

Dr Robyn Lawrence

Dr Lawrence currently leads the West Australian response to Covid-19 in the State Health Incident Coordination Centre, working closely with the Deputy Chief Health Officer, Public Health and the Chief Health Officer. She has been in this role since the start of March 2020 as WA fully activated its State Hazard Plan – Human Biosecurity. In her role as Incident Controller, State Health Incident Coordination Centre managed the WA health system’s COVID incident response team.  Robyn provided advice, leadership and support on clinical services matters related to COVID-19 including those in public and private hospitals, aged care facilities and the primary health care sector and is now overseeing the role out of WA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Dr Lawrence has had a wide experience across WA Health with her substantive role being that of Chief Executive North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS). The health service is a board governed public health provider. It includes an adult tertiary service providing comprehensive care including state Neurosurgery and neuro-interventional, cancer and liver transplants. It also includes 2 general hospitals, the state’s only tertiary women’s hospital and mental health hospital. It has comprehensive outpatient services. It forms part of the state network with their being 4 other area health services, 3 in the metropolitan area and 1 in the country.

In addition she has been the Chief Executive of 2 other Health Services, including the final commissioning and opening of the 2 newest hospitals in WA. She has previously led the Innovation Unit in the Department of Health and has a keen interest in systems improvement and redesign. Following a visit to Israel in 2019 she established a staff led Innovation Program.

Prof Gary Lee

Prof Lee is a consultant respiratory physician at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital where he set up and directs Australia’s first centralized hospital pleural service. He is a Professor at UWA and a MRFF Practitioner Fellow.

He is a world leader in pleural research and heads a translational research group at the Institute for Respiratory Health. His pleural program uniquely integrates a clinical, lab and allied health research arm with his clinical pleural service.

His has led several high-profile investigator-led multicentre randomized trials from SCGH. He has an H-index of 58 from 300 publications including 10+ papers in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA and Lancet journals. His publications have been included in 12+ international guidelines directly impacting global practice. He has been an invited speaker in more than 100 conferences in 32 countries.

He was awarded the Research Medal of the Thoracic Society of Australia & NZ in 2021 and the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology Research Medal in 2016. He was the Cancer Council WA Researcher of the Year in 2019.

Daniel Lightowler

Daniel is a Clinical Nurse of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Rheumatology patients at Fiona Stanley Hospital, a Nurse Researcher at the University of Western Australia and Board Director of the Gastroenterological Nurses College of Australia. Daniel has significant clinical and research experience within Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Daniel is currently the WA representative to the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Nurses Australia steering committee and also sits on the editorial board for J-GENCA. He is passionate about educating the health professional team in the holistic management of the IBD patient. In 2020, Daniel was named a semi-finalist in the WA Channel 7 Young Achiever Awards in the Community Service and Volunteering category for his services with St John Ambulance Australia. Currently, he is the Research Coordinator for the Australian Youth Advisory Network, conducting large pieces of research and consulting with youth members of St John Ambulance from across the country. Daniel holds a bachelor of Nursing from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters in Health Professions Education from the University of Western Australia.


David Lim

David is locally from Perth, and is undertaking higher degree research with the Digital Health CRC at Curtin University, Curtin School of Population Health. The PhD project he is involved with focuses at improving chronic kidney disease outcomes through linked data modelling. He is a strong professional who holds a Master degree in Health Administration with Distinction from Curtin University. He is an experienced pharmacist and maintains registration with a demonstrated history of working in the community, hospital, and the health care sector.





A/ Prof. Ed Litton

Associate Professor Litton is an Intensive Care Specialist and Director of ICU research at Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth, Western Australia and current NHMRC Early Career Fellowship recipient. He is a member of the management committee of the ANZICS CORE – one of the worlds largest registries  of ICU patients. He has >100 publications including in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, BMJ and lancet and is in receipt of >$8M in competitive research funding with interests in anaemia, recovery after ICU, sepsis, the microbiome, mechanical ventilation, cardiac surgery and novel trial designs. He is the father to three young boys and a triathlete whose ambitions far exceed capabilities.


Professor Andrew Maiorana

Professor Andrew Maiorana is a research academic with the School of Allied Health at Curtin University and an Exercise Physiologist at Fiona Stanley Hospital in the fields of cardiac rehabilitation and heart failure management. Andrew’s research focuses on optimising exercise testing and training in cardiovascular disease and developing new approaches to clinical practice to improve health outcomes for patients.

Andrew helped establish the first comprehensive clinical exercise physiology program in an advanced heart failure and cardiac transplant service in Australia, at Royal Perth Hospital in 1996. The program (now at Fiona Stanley Hospital) continues to provide quaternary heart failure care, including prognostic cardiopulmonary exercise testing and exercise prescription for patients with advanced heart failure, pre and post cardiac transplantation and following left ventricular assist device implantation.

He holds a position on the WA Department of Health Executive Advisory Group for the Cardiovascular Health Network and is an active member of the Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association, Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand and the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.

Marshall Makate

Marshall is an Economist and senior lecturer based in the School of Population Health at Curtin University. His research focuses on understanding the dynamics in population ageing, the factors contributing to the geographic maldistribution of the health workforce and inequalities in maternal and child health outcomes in rural and remote regions, along with few other topics in health economics. Marshall attended the University of Zimbabwe and received a BSc (first-class) and MSc economics degrees in 2006 and 2008, respectively. He then completed is PhD in economics at the University at Albany in New York in 2017. At Curtin, he is the course and unit coordinator for health economics and economic evaluation and decision making in health and teaches on several other units. Some of his work has been published in top-tier peer-reviewed journals including Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Social Science & Medicine, Journal of Development Studies, Plos Medicine, and Food Security.

Justin Manuel

Mr Justin Manuel is the Research Manager at the WA Country Health Service. He and his team have expertise in research development, ethics and governance, particularly relating to rural and remote health services. Justin is passionate about equity in health care access, community and consumer participation and the use of new technology to augment and support delivery of care. Previous to his time working at the WA Country Health Service, he primarily worked in HIV prevention, STI control and broader LGBTIQ+ sexual health.

Dr Annette McWilliams

Dr McWilliams is currently a Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH), Clinical Associate Professor at University of Western Australia and Clinical Lead for the Thoracic Tumour Collaborative for Western Australia. The focus of her clinical and research interest is the early detection and treatment of lung cancer and she has worked in this field in both Canada and Australia over the last 20 years.  

Helen Milroy

Helen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia but was born and educated in Perth. Currently Helen is the Stan Perron Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Perth Children’s Hospital and University of Western Australia; Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission and Honorary Research at the Telethon Kids Institute. Helen has been on state and national mental health and research advisory committees and boards with a particular focus on Indigenous mental health as well as the wellbeing of children. From 2013-2017 Helen was a Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In 2019, Helen was appointed as a Commissioner with the Australian Football league.

Professor Merrilee Needham

Professor Merrilee Needham is the current Foundation Chair in Neurology, a joint position between Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch University and Notre Dame University Australia. She was the Head of the Neurology unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital from 2015-1019 and is the current Head of Neuromuscular and Myositis research at the Perron Institute, Western Australia.  She is a consultant neurologist at Fiona Stanley Hospital and Fremantle Hospital in addition to being the Director of Research for the South Metropolitan Health Service.

Professor Needham has a passion for helping people suffering with neuromuscular disorders with a particular interest in Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM). A vital part of providing the best care possible is partnering with her patients in a research programme to understand their diseases better, identify treatment targets and facilitate participation in clinical trials. She has established a translational and experimental research programme, diagnosing and managing patients over time as well as biobanking them. The laboratory programme is performing immunological studies to better understand the role of the immune system in IBM and other forms of myositis, how inflammation links to the ultimate degeneration of muscle and identify new treatment targets. This programme now supports a full-time immunologist and clinical research manager, and is currently hosting three honours students and two PhD candidates.


Professor Jeremy Nicholson

Professor Nicholson obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from King’s College (St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School), London University in 1980. After a series of academic appointments as Lecturer, Reader at Birkbeck College and University College London University, he was promoted to Full Professor of Biological Chemistry in 1992. He was appointed to the University of London Established Chair of Biological Chemistry and as Head of Biological Chemistry at Imperial College London in 1998. Subsequently he was made Head of the Department of Biomolecular Medicine in 1997, then as Head of the Department of Surgery and Cancer in 2009. In 2012 he was the founding director of the world’s first National Phenome Centre – the MRC-NIHR National Phenome Center – and the Chairman of the International Phenome Centre Network (2016). He left Imperial in late 2018 to become the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences at Murdoch University and to direct the new Australian National Phenome Center (opened in October 2019).

Nicholson has authored over 900 papers and articles on spectroscopy, informatics, metabolic biochemistry, and systems medicine. His major research focus is on the development of diagnostic and prognostic molecular phenotyping and computational technologies as applied to problems in personalised healthcare, microbiome-host metabolic signalling, and metabolic disease. He is a Clarivate Highly-Cited Researcher in Pharmacology and Toxicology and Cross-Disciplinary Science (Clarivate H index = 130, Google H = 154) and has received several science prizes including: Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Silver (1992) and Gold (1997) Medals for Analytical Chemistry; UK Chromatographic Society Jubilee Silver Medal (1994); The Pfizer Prize for Chemical and Medicinal Technology (2002); The RSC medal for Chemical Biology (2003); RSC International Interdisciplinary Prize (2008); Pfizer Global Research Prize for Chemistry (2006) and the Semelweiss-Budapest International Prize for Biomedicine (2010).

Elected, Fellow of The UK Royal Academy of Medical Sciences (2010); as an Honorary Lifetime Fellow of the International Metabolomics Society (2012); Honorary Lifetime Member of the US Society of Toxicology (2013); Honorary Albert Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Medical Biochemistry (2014), Elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (2018) for outstanding contributions to medicine and medical sciences. He was made an Honorary Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa (Hong Kong Baptist University), in 2020.

Professor Nicholson holds multiple honorary and adjunct professorships including The Mayo Clinic, University of New South Wales, University of Western Australia, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Zhejiang University, Fudan University, where he is also co-chair of the International Human Phenome Project Steering Committee, The University of Western Australia, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Wuhan (Institute of Atomic and Nuclear Physics where he is also honorary director of the Key State laboratory of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and The Chinese Academy of Sciences Dalian Institute of Physical Chemistry and Separation Sciences where he is also honorary director of the Key State Laboratory of Metabonomics.

Jess Nolan

Jessica is a physiotherapist who is very interested in stroke recovery and rehabilitation. She works as Physiotherapy Coordinator for Stroke and Inpatient Rehabilitation at Osborne Park Hospital and is a PhD Candidate at Edith Cowan University. Jessica’s research focuses on outcomes associated with contraversive lateropulsion (pusher behaviour), a common impairment of postural control after stroke, whereby an affected person actively pushes their body toward their hemiparetic side, or actively resists accepting weight onto their nonparetic side. This research is supported by a Western Australian Department of Health / Raine Foundation Clinician Research Fellowship and by the Charlies Foundation for Research.



Dr Michael O'Sullivan

Michael is a Consultant Clinical Immunologist and Immunopathologist at PathWest, Fiona Stanley Hospital and Perth Children’s Hospital.  He is an investigator for the WA COVID-19 Immunity Collaborative Biobank project lead by Clinical Professor Dominic Mallon, in addition to his research interests in food allergy and immunodeficiency.

Professor Sanjay Patole

Professor Sanjay Patole is a clinical academic neonatologist at KEM Hospital for Women, and a Clinical Professor at the University of Western Australia. Prof Patole is devoted towards translational research, and teaching in research methodology, evidence-based medicine, and evidence based management. Prof Patole is internationally acclaimed for his research (217 publications including 50 systematic reviews) in prevention and treatment of necrotising enterocolitis, probiotic and prebiotic supplementation, and nutrition for preterm neonates. His innovative translational research has enabled introduction of routine probiotic supplementation for preterm very low birth weight neonates for the first time in Australia, guiding clinical practice in this field around the world. He is currently supervising innovative doctoral projects investigating development and testing of killed/inactivated vs. live probiotic strains, comparison of single vs. multi-strain probiotics in preterm neonates, and benefits of probiotics in surgical neonates.

Professor Christopher Reid

Christopher Reid is a cardiovascular epidemiologist with appointments as Research Professor in both the School of Public Health at Curtin University and the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. He was appointed as a John Curtin Distinguished Professor in 2018 and is currently Director of the Monash and Curtin Centre’s of Cardiovascular Research and Education (CCRE) and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cardiovascular Outcomes Improvement (2016-2020).  He holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellowship (2018-2022) in addition to being the Chief Investigator on an NHMRC Program Grant (2016-2020) focusing on cardiovascular disease prevention.

Professor Toby Richards

Professor Toby Richards is the Lawrence-Brown Professor of Vascular Surgery at the University of Western Australia. He is also a Honorary Professor of anaesthesia at Monash University and Honorary Professor at International Centre for Clinical Trials at UCL. He specialises in multicentre collaborative research trials.

He has led a series of international clinical trials and previously was director of the CTU at UCL overseeing over 30 trials. He has supervised successful cohorts of students with 14 successful PhDs as well as over 50 BSc and master’s students. He has over 150 peer reviewed publications and $16M of research funding in the last decade.

Dr Andrew Robertson

Dr Andrew (Andy) Robertson is the Assistant Director General and Chief Health Officer within the Public and Aboriginal Health Division in the Western Australia Department of Health (WA Health). With specialist qualifications in Public Health Medicine and Medical Administration, he served with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from 1984 until 2003, including completing three tours to Iraq as a Biological Weapons Chief Inspector with the United Nations Special Commission in 1996 and 1997. He remains in the RAN’s Active Reserve, and was promoted to Commodore and undertook the role of Director General Navy Health Reserves from July 2015 until December 2019.

In October 2003, he took up the position of the Director, Disaster Preparedness and Management in WA Health. In December 2004, he led the Australian Medical Relief team into the Maldives post tsunami, managed WA Health’s response to the 2005 Bali Bombing, led the WA Health team into Indonesia after the Yogyakarta earthquakes in June 2006, worked as the Radiation Health Adviser to the Australian Embassy after the Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011 and conducted the AUSMAT needs assessment in Nepal after the Nepal earthquake in 2015. Since 2008, as Director, Disaster Management and Deputy Chief Health Officer, he has coordinated the WA Health disaster and public health responses to the Ashmore Reef incident, the H1N1 2009 pandemic, the 2011 CHOGM meeting and the 2015 Ebola preparations, and acted as the Chief Information Officer and the Chief Medical Officer. He has been undertaking the current role since June 2018, including leading the WA Health response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Professor Christobel Saunders

Professor Christobel Saunders AO, is internationally recognised as one of Australia’s most prominent research-orientated cancer surgeons. She has substantially contributed to breast cancer research including clinical trials of new treatments, psychosocial, translational and health services research and is active in several areas of surgical oncology cancer research, with a particular emphasis on breast cancer. In recognition of her sustained career excellence and innovation, Christobel has been publicly acknowledged through numerous awards and honours the most recent being the AO (Order of Australia) (2018), Uccio Querci della Rovere Award (2018), International Women’s Day WA Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee (2018) and WA Scientist of the Year (2017). She has performed research for >30 years evaluating the efficacy and utility of therapy for early breast cancer. In the past five years, Christobel has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles (two in The Lancet), six letters to the editor/editorials, two research reports, two book chapters and one book. She sits on the boards of a number of cancer organisations including the ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group. Christobel is closely involved in strategic planning and management of cancer services in Western Australia as author of the WA Health Cancer Services Framework and as first A/Director, WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network, past President of the Cancer Council WA, past President of the Breast Surgical Society of ANZ, and nationally as past Advisory Council member of organisations such as Cancer Australia. She is the Inaugural Chair of the state Health Service Provider, PathWest Laboratory Medicine.

Dr Vinutha Shetty

Dr Vinutha B Shetty (PhD 2020, the University of Western Australia) is an Endocrinology consultant at Perth Children Hospital, a clinical lecturer with UWA and clinical researcher at Telethon Kids institute with a passion for researching in the field of exercise and type 1 diabetes. She leads the exercise research theme at Children Diabetes Centre and has established track record in diabetes research with multiple awards and grants, peer-reviewed publications and presentations in both national and international conferences. She is the recipient of Royal Australasian College of Physicians Trainee Research Award for Excellence (2013) and Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group Young Investigator Award (2014). In 2017 she was awarded the Faculty HMS Early Career Researcher Best Publication Award. She has been instrumental in developing a unique digital solution in the form of exercise App for young people with type 1 diabetes, which is currently being tested in a clinical trial. 

Professor Desiree Silva

Desiree Silva is the Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Western Australia and Joondalup Health Campus. She is also the co-director of the ORIGINS project which is a community intervention birth cohort creating a new research platform with a strong translational focus. 

Desiree has been involved in a number of strategic reviews including the impact of swimming pools in Aboriginal communities and paediatric planning for Western Australia. She has been a strong advocate for understanding early brain development and its association with neurodevelopmental disorders and mental health.  

She is on the board of Nature Play WA and is a strong advocate of having a healthy lifestyle, good work life balance and a sense of adventure.


Dr David Speers

Dr Speers is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine.  He is Chair of the Microbiology Discipline at PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA, the Western Australian public health laboratory, which has implemented diagnostic SARS-CoV-2 PCR, culture, serology, and wastewater testing. This laboratory performs the SARS-CoV-2 public health genomics for all PCR positive cases with sufficient template RNA in WA to investigate phylogenetic relatedness, assign lineages, establish transmission links between cases and identify variants of concern.  He is a member of the Public Health Laboratory Network of Australia and the Communicable Diseases Genomics Network (Australia and New Zealand) responsible for oversight and coordination of public health microbial genomics for Australia.  He is a certified RCPA supervisor for clinical governance of microbial genomics and a member of several state and national COVID-19 working groups. 

Dr Tobias Strunk

Tobias is a mid-career researcher who was awarded his PhD by the University of Western Australia in 2012. He completed Paediatric specialist training in in Australia and Germany and subspecialist training in Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine in Australia in early 2012. Since then, he has been a full-time consultant neonatologist at King Edward Memorial Hospital.  

Tobias’ research is focused on reducing the burden of neonatal sepsis through improvements in prevention, diagnosis and therapy. His research has been immediately translated into clinical care via implementation of evidence-based interventions/tools such as topical coconut oil and the Newborn Sepsis Calculator. Tobias also serves as the Head of Neonatal and Life Course Health at the Telethon Kids Institute and Lead of the Neonatal Infection and Immunity Team.  

A/Professor Marian Sturm

A/Prof Sturm has been involved in the manufacture of therapeutic products for over 20 years. She is the Facility Director of Cell and Tissue Therapies WA (CTTWA), a highly accredited biotherapeutic manufacturing facility at Royal Perth Hospital producing products for patient treatments.  She has been active in the development and translation of new and emerging therapies to the clinical setting, particularly mesenchymal stromal cells, CAR T-cells and cell-scaffold complexes. She holds an adjunct position in Regenerative Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Science, the University of Western Australia and has been a member of the TGA Advisory Committee on Biologics since its inauguration. She is part of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation (CERI) in Perth, a director of the biotech company Isopogen WA Ltd and a non-executive director of Stem Cells Ltd.


Dr Robert Swart

Robert Swart is currently an Anaesthetic Consultant at Fiona Stanley and Fremantle Hospital Group (FSFHG). He completed his medical training in South Africa as a specialist Anaesthetist. As a simulation-based education (SBE) enthusiast he completed his MMed on simulation-based education within South Africa. This was the first national survey related to simulation-based education. The article produced was awarded the Tamara Burchard Book Prize for best original article in the South African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia 2019.

After moving to Australia, he pursued his passion for combining technology and education completing Simulation and Regional fellowships at FSFHG. During this time, he initiated an innovation project focusing on the incorporation Virtual Reality technology for training of junior and senior Anaesthetic doctors. This is the first time Virtual Reality is being used in Australia for this purpose. This innovation project has been developed in collaboration with the Fiona Stanley Innovation Leadership group.


Dr Dayse Tavora-Vieira

Dr Dayse Távora-Vieira is Head of Audiology Department at the Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospital Group, and the leader coordinator of the state-wide adult audiology services.  She completed her PhD on cochlear implant, unilateral deafness and brain plasticity at the School of Surgery, University of Western Australia and obtained her Doctorate at the University of Florida, USA.  Dr Távora-Vieira has ~20 years adult and paediatric audiology experience in different international frameworks including North America, South America, Europe and Australia. Dr Távora-Vieira has published several papers in international peer-reviewed Journals while maintaining a full-time appointment as a senior lead clinician in the field of diagnostic and hearing restoration. Dr Távora-Vieira is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia and Curtin University. She is a respected clinical educator in the national and international arena particularly in the field of hearing rehabilitation. Dr Távora-Vieira is the chair of the Hearing Implant Research Unit at Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospital. Her main research activity is focused on cortical activity, binaural hearing pathway and brain plasticity after hearing implantation. 

Dr Gavin Turbett

Dr. TURBETT is the Head of the Department of Forensic Biology at PathWest, and has been in that role since 1999. He has published 35 scientific papers and lectures regularly to the WA Police, the legal profession, the judiciary, university students and others about forensic biology and DNA profiling.
Other appointments include:
• Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Science, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.
• Current Chair of the Australia New Zealand Forensic Executive Committee.
• Mentor to the Biology Specialist Advisory Group.
• Member – Australia & New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS), WA Branch.
• Scientific Chair – ANZFSS 2018 (Perth) conference.
• Current Deputy Chair of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission DNA Database User Advisory Group.
• Adjunct Professor, Murdoch University.
• Adjunct Associate Professor, Curtin University.
• Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Western Australia.

Clinical Professor Jane Valentine

Clinical Professor Jane Valentine is a consultant paediatrician and Head of Research at Kids Rehab WA, a clinically integrated research unit with an established consumer reference group at Perth Children’s Hospital. Her research work focuses on translation to improve outcomes and has impacted on policy and practice with over 50 peer reviewed publications and $18M secured funding for clinical and research programs.

Dr John Van Bockxmeer

John van Bockxmeer is a rural generalist doctor who is passionate about health equity. Through his frontline work, quality and safety initiatives, research and teaching he has become known as a local changemaker. He works tirelessness to improve care for underserviced populations, as evidenced by his role as an emergency medical officer for WACHS in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. John is the founder and patron of the health promotion charity Fair Game Australia. 

Professor Grant Waterer

Dr Waterer is Professor of Medicine at the University of Western Australia, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University, Chicago and Curtin University, Perth and Adjunct Professor at Edith Cowan University .  He is the Area Director of Medical Services for East Metropolitan Health Service, the Director of Medical Services for Royal Perth Bentley Hospital Group.  His main research interests are in pulmonary infections, making 2020 a very busy year. He has over 200 peer reviewed publications and more than 70 invited international presentations.   He is the section editor for infections for the European Respiratory Journal and on the editorial board of 8 other journals including the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  He is the ATS chair of the recently published Community-acquired pneumonia guidelines and a member of the 2017 HAP/VAP guideline panel.

Professor Steve Webb

Dr Steve Webb is an ICU specialist at Royal Perth Hospital, a Professor of Critical Care Research at Monash University, Director of Clinical Trials at St John of God Subiaco, and Deputy Chair of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. He has been an investigator on trials with an accumulated sample size of more than 50,000 patients, is a named investigator on more than $115 M of competitive research funding, and has published more than 180 manuscripts including in the NEJM (7), JAMA (5), and The Lancet (2).  He has particular experience with Bayesian adaptive platform trials and other innovative designs such as cluster cross-over trials.