The Advisory Committee for Research into Debilitating Symptoms Complexes Attributed to Ticks (DSCATT) was established to define the context, objectives and desired research outcomes of the Targeted Call for Research (TCR) into DSCATT. Their knowledge and experience provided the contextual information to ensure the TCR into DSCATT made best use of the available research funds. The Advisory Committee included a range of scientific experts including infectious disease physicians and a consumer representative. 


The Advisory Group included a range of scientific experts, including infectious disease physicians, and a consumer representative.

Name Title and organisation
Dr Ann Koehler (Chair) Director
Communicable Disease Control Branch
Public Health & Clinical Systems
Department for Health and Ageing
Government of South Australia
Reverend Doctor Nikki Coleman (until December 2017) Patient representative on the Chief Medical Officer of Australia's Clinical Advisory Committee on Lyme Disease and Visiting Research Fellow, Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
Ms Jacqui van Teulingen (appointed February 2018) Consumer perspective on Lyme Disease
Associate Professor Josh Davis Infectious Diseases physician in Newcastle; Principal research fellow at Menzies School of Health Research
Professor Lindsay Grayson Director, Department of Infectious Diseases & Microbiology, Austin Health; Director, Hand Hygiene Australia; Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne
Professor Ben Howden Director, Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory and
Medical Director, Doherty Applied Microbial Genomics,
The University of Melbourne at The Doherty institute for Infection and Immunity
Professor Nigel Stocks Head of the Discipline of General Practice at the University of Adelaide
Mr Frank Hooke Retired lawyer who has worked with various Commonwealth and State Government Boards and advised on the development of ethics protocols.  Has worked in agricultural and bush environments and with people with higher risk of contracting tick borne diseases.


NHMRC has well defined procedures for the formation of advisory panels which are based on obtaining the best experts available while ensuring conflicts of interest (real and perceived) are managed appropriately.

NHMRC does not allow people to apply to a TCR if they have assisted with the development of the research question/s or associated policies of that TCR. This requirement was taken into consideration when identifying Advisory Committee members.

Terms of reference

Under the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Act 1992, the Advisory Committee for Debilitating Symptom Complexes Attributed to Ticks, reporting to NHMRC's Chief Executive Officer, will:

  1. Identify unmet need or significant research knowledge gaps and emerging issues in Debilitating Symptom Complexes Attributed to Ticks research, both in Australia and internationally.
  2. Contribute to development of a specifically defined targeted call for research based on consideration of relevant TCR proposals and knowledge gaps.
  3. Contribute to the development of call-specific information including detailed background to the call, scope, aims and objectives and desired outcomes.
  4. Perform other duties as directed by the NHMRC's Chief Executive Officer.