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Membership of Homeopathy Working Committee

Terms of Reference for the Homeopathy Working Committee

The Homeopathy Working Committee will guide the development of a review of the literature addressing the effectiveness of homeopathy (the Homeopathy Review) by providing advice to the Office of the NHMRC on:

  1. methods to identify relevant published guidelines, systematic reviews, government reports and evidence submitted by relevant bodies; and
  2. methods to evaluate relevant published guidelines, systematic reviews, government reports and evidence submitted by relevant bodies.

The Homeopathy Working Committee will consider the outcomes of the Homeopathy Review and use these findings to inform the development of:

  1. an information paper1on homeopathy; and
  2. position statement2 on homeopathy, for consideration by NHMRC Council.

3. The Homeopathy Working Committee will advise on the Homeopathy Review, information paper and position statement for NHMRC’s Health Care Committee, before recommendation to Council.

The Homeopathy Working Committee is effective from 2 April 2012 and appointments were originally scheduled to conclude on 30 June 2013. Appointments have been extended to 2 April 2015. The Homeopathy Working Committee will report to NHMRC’s Health Care Committee.

1An information paper “gives sufficient information to enable the target audience to understand the issues and options associated with a particular topic”. The paper will summarise the evidence but will not make any recommendations about the use of homeopathy.
2A position statement “declares NHMRC’s particular position in a current area of debate, and outlines the rationale for that position”.

Membership and Declarations of Interest

Professor Paul Glasziou (Chair) (MB BS, PhD, FRACGP)

Professor Glasziou is an expert in evidence-based medicine. Prof Glasziou is currently Professor and Director of the Centre for Research into Evidence-Based Practice at Bond University and has worked as a part-time general practitioner since 1993. From 2003-2010 he was the Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University. His research and teaching interests are in improving medical decision making, including clinical trials, systematic reviews, clinical monitoring, and evidence-based medicine.

Declared Conflict of Interest: NIL

Prof Frederick Mendelsohn (MB BS, PhD, MD, FRACP)

Professor Frederick Mendelsohn is one of Australia’s most prominent neuroscientists. He graduated from Medicine at the University of Melbourne in 1965 and continued his training as a medical registrar at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Professor Mendelsohn subsequently became an honorary physician (1971-1972) and then a senior physician (1977-1996) at the Austin Hospital, Melbourne. He completed his PhD in 1972 and has continued to develop a strong research background with over 295 publications. He was noted for his distinguished contribution as Chair in Medicine at the University of Melbourne from 1990-1996, and during this time was the Scientific Director of the Positron Emission Tomography Centre, Austin Hospital.

Professor Mendelsohn was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2003 and received an Order of Australia, Officer in the General Division, in 2004. In 2008 he retired as the Director of the Howard Florey Institute at the University of Melbourne, a position he held since 1996.

Declared Conflict of Interest: NIL

Professor Peter Brooks (AM.MBBS MD FRACP FAFRM FAFPHM MDHonCausa FRCP)

Professor Peter Brooks is currently Director of the Australian Health Workforce Institute (AHWI). Professor Brooks is a rheumatologist with a major research interest in the treatment and epidemiology of rheumatic diseases. He is a recognised international expert in this area. He was Executive Dean of Health Sciences at the University of Queensland from 1998 until 2009. During this time, he established the Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research (ACCMER). ACCMER was a joint venture between the University of Queensland’s Faculty of Health Sciences and the Southern Cross University's School of Natural and Complementary Medicine. This research and education centre aimed at delivering innovative health benefits by integrating complementary and conventional medicines through a multi-disciplinary approach.

Declared Conflict of Interest: Prof Brooks was previously a member of Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM) until 16 April 2012. Prof Brooks resigned from FSM as he did not share FSM’s views on CAM education and research programs. Prof Brooks was also involved in establishing the Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research (ACCMER) (see details above).

Dr Evelin Tiralongo (BPharm (Hons) PhD GradCertHigherEd)

Dr Tiralongo trained as a German pharmacist and specialises in complementary medicine research and teaching. She holds an Honours Degree in Pharmacognosy (1995), a PhD (2003) in Biochemistry and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (2007). Currently she is a senior lecturer at Griffith University’s Pharmacy School, a position she commenced in 2004.

Dr Tiralongo is a member of the Queensland Clinical Trial Network and Griffith University’s newly established Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre. She is also an associate investigator on the NHMRC “Centre of Research Excellence in Nursing Interventions for Hospitalised Patients”.

Dr Tiralongo has extensively published in several areas of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine field, such as biochemistry, molecular biology, pharmacology, clinical pharmacy, as well as natural product chemistry.

In 2010 Dr Tiralongo established, together with a colleague, the “Short Course in Integrative Medicine for Pharmacists”, (http://www.integramedshortcourses.com) which is accredited for Continuous Professional Development credits for pharmacists and is offered as workshops in Australia and New Zealand several times each year. This course provides pharmacy practitioners with additional training in delivering evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicines information to their patients and customers.

Declared Conflict of Interest: Dr Tiralongo teaches complementary medicines to undergraduate pharmacy students at Griffith University and as part of a Continued Professional Development (CPD) accredited short course for Pharmacists. As part of this, Dr Tiralongo discusses homeopathic medicines with undergraduate students (1 lecture) and briefly explains homeopathic medicines to pharmacists as part of an introduction lecture for the CPD course.

Dr Nikolajs Zeps (BSc (Hons), PhD)

Dr Zeps is a PhD scientist involved in translational research in breast, gastrointestinal and gynaecological malignancies. He has recently established a translational research program at St John of God HealthCare which is integrated into clinical care. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Surgery at the University of Western Australia and in the Department of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame.

Dr Zeps is also a current member of NHMRC’s Australian Health Ethics Committee and Research Committee and the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator’s Gene Technology Ethics and Community Consultative Committee.

Declared Conflict of Interest: NIL

Mr John Stubbs (BA Dip Acct)

Mr Stubbs is Executive Officer of canSpeak is a regular speaker at medical conferences and seminars on cancer advocacy, clinical trials and health related issues. He is a survivor of Leukaemia and an active representative of cancer consumers.

He holds a number of board and committee appointments at both the Commonwealth and state level. He holds degrees in accounting and arts and has 30 years experience in the public and private sectors, including 10 years operating his own management consultancy business. He is an Honorary Associate of the School of Medicine, University of Sydney for his work on clinical trials. Mr Stubbs has contributed to a number of booklets, edited consumer booklets for the Cancer Council and contributed to government policy on cancer, cancer services and the value of consumer involvement.

Mr Stubbs is also a current member of NHMRC’s Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) and Consumer Consultative Group (CCG).

Declared Conflict of Interest: NIL

Former Members

Professor Chris Baggoley (BVSc (Hons), BM BS, B Soc Admin, FACEM, FIFEM)

Professor Chris Baggoley is the Australian Government’s Chief Medical Officer. Professor Baggoley was appointed to the Homeopathy Working Committee on 10 May 2012. From 18 March 2013, he advised that his role would be limited to an observer due to his interest regarding the Department of Health and Ageing’s Natural Therapy Review Advisory Committee of which he is Chair. Professor Baggoley decided not to extend his observer role beyond 30 June 2013.

Page reviewed: 8 August, 2014