New Embryo Research Licensing Committee appointed

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Summary media release information

10 September 2012
Ministerial Media Release
Contact for further information: 
Simon Crittle, Minister's Office on 0466 773 531

Minister for Health

Ethical oversight of Australian research using human embryos continues with the appointment of the new Embryo Research Licensing Committee by Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek.

Established in 2002, the Committee considers applications for licences to conduct research involving human embryos, determines whether or not to issue those licences and, if issued, whether conditions should apply.

It also monitors licensed activities to ensure that the legislative framework for the ethical use of embryos in research operates effectively and as intended by the legislation.

The new committee will be chaired by Professor Belinda Bennett of the University of Sydney, who brings expertise in a relevant area of law to the Committee.

‘I congratulate Professor Bennett on her appointment as Chair. As a previous member of the Committee, I know that she and the other returning members will provide valuable knowledge and expertise to the new members of the Committee’ said Ms Plibersek.

‘I thank all of the appointees for their willingness to participate in the Committee, and the important role that the Committee plays in ensuring the highest standards of ethics in this sensitive area’.

The new members of the Embryo Research Licensing Committee are:

  • Professor Belinda Bennett (NSW), Chair and a person with expertise in a relevant area of law
  • Professor Rob Norman (South Australia), a person with expertise in a relevant area of research
  • Associate Professor Lynn Gillam (Victoria), a person with expertise in research ethics
  • Dr Phillip Matson (Western Australia), a person with expertise in assisted reproductive technology
  • Professor Christopher O’Neill (New South Wales), a person with expertise in embryology
  • Ms Sandra Dill AM (New South Wales), a person with expertise in consumer issues relating to assisted reproductive technology
  • Ms Margaret Deane (Queensland), a person with expertise in consumer health issues relating to disability and disease
  • Ms Louise Johnson (Victoria), a person with expertise in the regulation of assisted reproductive technology, and
  • Ms Kay Oke (Victoria), a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee. 

For media inquiries, please contact Simon Crittle on 0466 773 531.

For more information, visit the NHMRC website here.