Members of the Health Translation Advisory Committee (HTAC) 2015–2018

Professor Sharon Lewin


Professor Sharon Lewin is the inaugural Director of the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health (Royal Melbourne Hospital). Professor Lewin is an Infectious Diseases Physician and basic scientist; she is also an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Infectious Diseases, Monash University and Alfred Hospital, and with the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne. Professor Lewin's main research focus is on understanding why HIV and hepatitis B virus persist and evade the immune system with the goal of finding a cure for HIV.


  • Consultant to Tetralogic Pty Ltd, Calimmune Pty Ltd, Geovax Pty Ltd and Abivax Pty Ltd
  • I am a chief investigator on NHMRC project grants, program grant, practitioner fellowship and a partnership grant I recieve funds from the National Institutes for Health, Wellcome Trust, American Foundation for AIDS Research and University of Malaya for research projects. I have received funding to support investigator initiated projects from Viiv Healthcare, Merck, Gilead Sciences and Tetralogic.
  • I have received honoraria paid to my institution for providing advice to Gilead Sciences and Bristol Myers Squibb
  • I have participated in advisory boards to Merck and Gilead. Payments are made to my institution 
  • In the last 2 years, I have participated in educational activities organised by Viiv Healthcare, Merck and Gilead. All honoraria have been paid to my institution
John Prins


John Prins is Director/CEO of the Mater Research Institute-UQ, Senior Endocrinologist at Princess Alexander Hospital and Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Queensland. He is also a Director of the Metro South Hospital and Health Service which has a budget of $2b and provides health care to over one million people.

He undertook his clinical training in Endocrinology and his PhD in adipose tissue biology in Australia. He then undertook a four year post-doctoral appointment at the University of Cambridge, UK. In 1998 he returned to Brisbane, Australia where he established an active research programme undertaking clinical trials in obesity and diabetes and investigating various aspects of adipose biology, insulin signalling and adipogenesis. Much of the work involves cell and molecular biological analysis of human tissues. He has supervised over 20 PhDs and over 30 endocrinology trainees.

John has received over $15m in research funding and has published over 140 research publications with a total of 10,000+ citations. He has significant commercialisation experience and sits on numerous grant review and advisory committees for NHMRC, NGOs and Industry.


  • Act in a consultancy role for Merck, Novonordisk, Astrazenica, Bristol Myers-Squibb and Pfizer. Receive honorariums from these companies.
  • Receive travel support from Merck, Novonordisk, Astrazenica, and Pfizer for when I attend speaking engagements.
  • Attending speaking engagements for Merck, Novonordisk, Astrazenica, and Pfizer
Associate Professor Clara Gaff

Associate Professor

Clara Gaff is Executive Director of the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance. Clara has been involved in the use of genetics and genomics in health care for more than 20 years, through roles in genetic counselling, management of genetic services, health professional education, and strategic development in Australia and the UK. She has worked in public health, government, academic and not-for-profit sectors.

Clara was appointed to the NHMRC’s Australian Health Ethics Committee, Health Translation Advisory Committee and Genetics Working Committee. Clara is also a member of the Ethics and Social Issues Committee of the Human Genetics Society of Australia, the BioGrid Australia Scientific Advisory Committee, the Advisory Committee and the VCCC Personalised Medicine Committee.

An Honorary Principal Research Fellow at the Departments of Medicine and Paediatrics at The University of Melbourne, Clara holds a PhD in molecular genetics, certification in genetic counselling and postgraduate qualifications in health service research and evaluation.


  • I have been employed by the host institution of the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance since 2013
  • I contribute in my professional capacity to these committees.
  • These honorary appointments recognise the contribution I make to the academic activities of these organisations.
  • I am a Principal Investigator. My employing institution does not receive funding from this grant.
  • Chief Investigator on NHMRC Targeted Call for Genomics Grant
Professor Michael Nilsson


Professor Michael Nilsson, MD, PhD, is the Executive Director of Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Newcastle, Burges Professor of Medical Science at the University of Newcastle and Staff Specialist in Rehabilitation Medicine at Hunter New England Health, Newcastle, Australia. He is a Conjoint Professor of Neurorehabilitation and Translational Stroke Research, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden and Honorary Professor of The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia.

Professor Michael Nilsson has over 15 years’ experience from senior executive roles in health and medical research and health care in Sweden and Australia, bringing expertise in managing large scale projects with multimillion dollar budgets. Prior to his current position, he was the Director of Research, Development and Education at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Northern Europe’s largest teaching hospital. As a clinical specialist and leader he has developed and implemented new programs in neuro-rehabilitation. He has led international clinical accreditation projects which rendered him and his team recognition for outstanding service delivery in rehabilitation and translational neuroscience. In Newcastle, Australia, in collaboration with partners, he has further developed and facilitated the translational research eco-system. He has also initiated interdisciplinary projects aimed at a deeper understanding of the outcome and impact of medical research.

As clinician and neuroscientist, Professor Nilsson is internationally renowned for his research in the fields of astrocyte biology, neuroprotection, brain plasticity and neural recovery after stroke. He is currently a CI and co-lead on an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in stroke rehabilitation and brain recovery.


  • Employed as Executive Director, Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Newcastle, Australia
  • Employed as Burges Professor of Medical Science, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia
  • Employed as Staff Specialist, Rehabilitation Medicine, Hunter New England Health, Newcastle, Australia
  • Conjoint Professor of Neurological Rehabilitation and Translation Stroke Research, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Honorary Professor, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia
  • Board Member, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, Australia
  • Board Member, Rest-Me Ltd, Sweden
  • Board member of Aina Wallstroms och Mary-Ann Sjobloms stiftelse for medicinsk forskning (Aina Wallstrom's and Mary-Ann Sjoblom's foundation for medical research), University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Chair and initiator of the Stiftelsen Peter Erikssons Minnesfond for Hjarnforskning (Foundation for Peter Eriksson's memorial fund for brain research)
  • Board Member, Neurooptima Ltd, Sweden 
  • Board Member, Medicarta Ltd, Sweden
Professor Samuel Berkovic


Samuel Berkovic is Laureate Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, and Director of the Epilepsy Research Centre at Austin Health. He is a clinical neurologist and clinical researcher with a special interest in establishing close research links with basic scientists. His group, together with molecular genetic collaborators in Adelaide and Germany, discovered the first gene for epilepsy in 1995 and subsequently have been involved the discovery of many of the known epilepsy genes. This has changed the conceptualisation of the causes of epilepsy and is having a major impact on epilepsy research, and on strategies for diagnosis and development of new treatments.

He also has active research interests in surgical evaluation and outcome of epilepsy, new onset seizures, treatment of epilepsy and imaging in epilepsy and heads a large Program Grant integrating genetic, imaging and physiological studies in epilepsy. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2007 and a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2014. Together with Ingrid Scheffer, he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2014.


  • Current Program Grant and one Project Grant completing in 2015 and new Program Grant commencing 2016 all related to epilepsy
  • Provide advice on indications and marketing of anti-epileptic drugs 
  • Research support from Pharma to run a yearly EpilepsyResearch Retreat.
Professor Steve Wesselingh


In October 2011 Professor Wesselingh took up the position as the inaugural Executive Director of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). Professor Wesselingh has also been appointed as the Infection and Immunity Theme Leader for the institute.

Professor Wesselingh was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University, from 2007-2011. Prior to taking up the Deanship, he was Director of the Burnet Institute an independent medical research institute specialising in infectious diseases, immunology and public health.

Professor Wesselingh undertook his undergraduate and doctoral training at Flinders University/Flinders Medical Centre in South Australia and his post-doctoral training at Johns Hopkins in the United States.

Professor Wesselingh is an Infectious Diseases Physician and researcher in Neurovirology, HIV and vaccine development.

Professor Wesselingh has consistently worked towards the integration of high quality medical research with health-care delivery, leading to improved health outcomes for Australia and the poorly resourced countries of the region.


  • In October 2011 Professor Wesselingh took up the position as the inaugural Executive Director of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). 2015: Honorary Director, South Australian Academic Health Science & Translation Centre
  • From 2000 - Current Board Director: South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) Director: SAHMRI Investments Pty Ltd Board Member: Health Industries SA Advisory Board Meeting Voting Member: Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) Board Member: ANEX Penington Institute Member: NHMRC Health Translation Advisory Committee Director: Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes Women’s & Children’s Health Research Institute EMBL Australia National Imaging Facility Australian Academy of Health & Medical Sciences Centre of Excellence in Intervention & Prevention Science 
  • Current CI on NHMRC Project Grants Past CI on NHMRC Program Grants and HIH Grants
Professor Steven Webb


Dr. Steve Webb (MBBS, MPH, PhD, FCICM, FRACP, FAHMS) is a Senior Staff Specialist in Intensive Care Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital and a Clinical Professor at the University of Western Australia and Monash University. He is a past Chair of the ANZICS Clinical Trials Group, Vice-Chair of the International Forum of Acute Care Trialists, and a member of the Executive of the International Severe Acute Respiratory Illness Consortium. He is a founding Director of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. He is a founding Fellow and member of Council of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. He leads and conducts clinical trials that change practice and policy. Prof. Webb is a recipient of more than $60 million of research funding, including as aChief Investigator on multiple NHMRC Project and Centre for Research Excellence Grants as well as funding from the European Union. He has published over 120 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals including multiple manuscripts in high impact general medical journals.


  • Since 2007 employed as a Senior Staff Specialist by Royal Perth Hospital and Partner in Critical Care Institute of Western Australia that provides treatment to compensable patients at Mount Hospital and St John of God Subiaco Hospital
  • Director and shareholder in Aalix Pty Ltd which provides consulting services to hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and entities that provide legal services.
  • Director and Company Secretary, Australian Clinical Trials Alliance
  • Member of Council, Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences
  • Adjunct appointments at University of Western Australia, Monash University, George Institute for International Health, and Oxford University
  • Research funding from NHMRC, European Union, Western Australian Department of Health, New Zealand Health Research Council, and Wellcome Trust.
  • Consultancy services to pharmaceutical company.
  • Travel, accommodation, support from academic meetings attended as invited speaker
  • I have conducted clinical trials that all have public funding but a few of which have also received either funding or in-lind support from industry. All trials that I am involved with that have had industry support have had no industry involvement in any aspect of design, conduct, analysis, and reporting.
  • Author of current version of Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines
  • Multiple submissions on behalf of Australian Clinical Trials Alliance 
  • Since February 2016, employed as Director of Clinical Trials, St John of God Hospital Healthcare
Mr Toby Hall


Toby was appointed CEO of St Vincent’s Health Australia, Australia’s second largest health care provider in April 2014. Prior to this, he was the CEO of Mission Australia, COO of World Vision Australia and CEO of South Taranaki District Council.

He is a qualified accountant with an MBA, Toby is passionate about helping people “be the best they can be”.

Toby has also held directorships of ASX listed Sterihealth, Working Links a U.K private company which at the time his joining the board was the largest welfare to work provider to the U.K government. He has also been a director of Goodstart, Australia’s largest provider of early learning services to over 60,000 children and various Christian community organisations.

He has been a member of a range of government committees and advisory panels


CEO of St Vincent's Health Australia - Influence over board appointments to The Victor Chang board, The Garvan Board, The St Vincent's Institute board, Member of Advisory board of Notre Dame School of Medicine

Professor Rosemary Calder


Rosemary Calder is a respected health and social policy expert. She has held positions as a senior executive in health policy and administration in both State and Commonwealth Departments of Health and was head of the Office for the Status of Women in the Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2000 to 2003. Most recently Rosemary was Chief of Staff to the former Victorian Minister for Health, David Davis.

Before joining the Victorian Department of Health in 1990, Ms Calder worked for 10 years in policy and management with the Australian Council on the Ageing. She is a sociologist and began her career as a journalist with The Age. Rosemary has been awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws by Monash University.

Rosemary was appointed to Victoria University in February 2013, and was appointed inaugural director at AHPC in July 2015.


Director, Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University, Melbourne. Director, PPR Pty. Ltd. (inactive since 2010-2011) Honorary appointment- School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

Professor Vlado Perkovic


Vlado Perkovic is Executive Director of The George Institute, Australia, Professor of Medicine at The University of Sydney, and a Staff Specialist in Nephrology at the Royal North Shore Hospital. His research focus is in clinical trials and epidemiology, in particular in preventing the progression of kidney disease and its complications. He leads several major international clinical trials, serves on the Steering Committees of several others, and has led the development of George Clinical, the global clinical trials arm of The George Institute. He has been involved in developing Australian and global guidelines in kidney disease, cardiovascular risk assessment and blood pressure management.

Vlado holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Melbourne and completed his undergraduate training at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Australasian Kidney Trials Network; and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and of the American Society of Nephrology.


  • 2012-current Executive Director, The George Institute Australia 210-current Board Member, George Clinical Pty Ltd 2011-2011 Executive Director (Acting), The George Institute Australia 2009-2014 Executive Director, George Clinical, The George Institute for Global Health
  • 2012-current Professor Sydney Medical School, 2009-2014 Cojoint Associate Professor, University of Sydney
  • 2005-CURRENT Part time Staff Specialist in Nephrology and Hypertension Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney
  • 2015 Pfizer Honoraria for speaking at Scientific Symposia 2015 Boehringer Ingelheim Honoraria for speaking at Scientific Symposia 2015 Bayer Honoraria for speaking at Scientific Symposia 2015 Janssen Honoraria for speaking at Scientific Symposia 2014 Eli Lilly Honoraria for speaking at Scientific Symposia 2012 Pfizer Honorarium for meeting presentation 2012 Sevier Honorarium for meeting presentation
  • 2014 Servier Honoraria for speaking at Scientific Symposia 2013 Merck Honoraria for speaking at Scientific Symposia
  • 2015 GSK Member of steering committee/Advisory Board 2015 Bayer Member of steering committee/Advisory Board 2015 Abbvie Member of steering Committee 2015 Astellas Member of Steering Committee 2014 Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Member of steering committee/Advisory Board 2013 Boehringer Ingelheim Member of steering Committee 2013 Janssen Member of steering Committee 2012 Vitae Member of steering committee
  • 2013 Baxter Grant Support for clinical trial 2013 2014 Abbvie Grant Large-scale outcome trial in CKD 2014 2013 Janssen Grant Large-scale outcome trial in diabetes 2013 2013 Pfizer Grant Support for clinical trial - provision of dugs 2013.
  • 2014 National Health and Medical research Council Senior Research Fellowship 2014 National Health and Medical research Council Program Grant 
  • 2011 Heart Foundation of Australia Career development fellowship Grant


Prof Cadet-James has an extensive background in health spanning some 40 years.  She is currently the Chair of Indigenous Australian Studies at James Cook University where she is responsible for providing leadership in education and research especially in matters which affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She has been involved in national reform regarding improving research health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

Her research expertise includes empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to identify their own issues and practical solutions to those issues. Her other research interests lie in community based models to address alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use. Prof Cadet-James is particularly focused on strengthening the capacity of researchers and communities to ensure that research addresses their priorities and needs.

She provides representation on international, national and local boards, committees and working groups and is an invited keynote speaker at forums and conferences. Prof Cadet-James is a Gugu Badhun Aboriginal person from the Valley of Lagoons in north Queensland.


  • Chief Investigator on NHMRC project grants Current, past and likely future application to NHMRC for research and people support
  • Provided expert advice regarding Indigenous research, ethics and funding criteria 
  • Received support for travel, meals and accommodation to attend grant review panels and committee meetings