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.



Professor Emily Banks is a public health physician and epidemiologist with interest and expertise in large scale cohort studies, pharmacoepidemiology, women’s health, Aboriginal health and healthy ageing.

Emily is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, the Scientific Director of the 45 and Up Study and Head of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University.



Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite is Founding Director of the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Director of the Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, and Professor of Health Systems Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. He has appointments at six other universities internationally including; visiting or adjunct Professor at Newcastle University and University of Birmingham, in the UK; University of Southern Denmark; University of Stavanger, Norway; UNSW; and he is Honorary Senior International Research Fellow in the Canon Institute for Global Studies in Tokyo, Japan. He is a board member and President Elect of the International Society for Quality in Health Care and consultant to the World Health Organization.

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite is a leading health services and systems researcher with an international reputation for his work investigating and contributing to systems improvement. He has expertise in health care as a complex adaptive system and applying complexity science to health care problems. His research examines the changing nature of health systems, attracting funding of more than AUD$111 million. He is the recipient of 43 awards, including the Health Services Research Award by Research Australia in 2015 and multiple Editor’s Choice awards for papers published in International Journal for Quality in Health Care.

Professor Braithwaite has contributed over 450 refereed publications, and has presented at international and national conferences on more than 900 occasions, including 90 keynote addresses. His research appears in journals such as The BMJ, JAMA, The Lancet, Social Science & Medicine, BMJ Quality and Safety, and the International Journal for Quality in Health Care. Most recently he has contributed eight edited books with international colleagues including the Resilient Health Care series and the Global Health Reform series.



Associate Professor James Bourne is currently a Group Leader at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute and a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, and is a member of the NHMRC Research Committee. James completed his undergraduate training in Biochemistry (Hons) at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London. Following this, he pursued a PhD in the field of Neuropharmacology. In 2003, James was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2007, James started up his own group and in 2008 received an NHMRC R.D. Wright fellowship, for which he received an NHMRC Achievement Award for the top application. In 2009, James accepted a position at the newly founded Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, where he now leads a group of 13, including Postdoctoral fellows and students. In 2014 James received a prestigious NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship. In 2018, James received the NHMRC Marshall and Warren Award for the most innovative and likely transformative Project Grant application, and has continuous funding from the NHMRC, CSIRO, ARC, ERC and other national and international granting bodies. James has published more than 70 original papers and is on the editorial board of Early Human Development, Nature Scientific Reports, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy and the Journal of Molecular Signaling.


Consumer Representative, Ms

Ms Christine Gunson has over 30 plus years professional experience as an HR adviser at senior levels across the mining, manufacturing and higher education sectors. Since 2000, Ms Gunson has been in the role of Manager of Strategic HR for Edith Cowan University with a focus on workforce planning, workforce metrics and performance measurement reporting and development.

Since 2009, Christine has worked on a select number of health sector strategic consultancy projects with Dr Norman Swan which has provided insight into the sector and its challenges as it responded to state and Commonwealth reform agendas. Subsequently she was approached to be involved in consumer representation related in particular to government initiatives around hospital performance measurement, reporting and accountability. This involved two years with the National Hospital Performance Authority (NHPA) on two consecutive advisory groups.

Ms Gunson is registered with Consumer Health Forum (CHF), and her interests relate to effective deployment of the health workforce in the interests of consumers, research workforce engagement with consumer voices in research processes, overall diversity and renewal of the research workforce which as recent published studies have shown lacks gender and other diversity.  In 2016-17 Ms Gunson was the consumer representative on the NHMRC Structural Review Expert Advisory Committee


Hilton AO

Professor Doug Hilton is the 6th Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Head of the Department of Medical Biology in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne, and the immediate past President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI). He is best known for his discoveries in the area of cytokine signalling, his advocacy for health & medical research and for gender equity in science. The Hilton lab aims to understand which of the 30,000 genes are important in the production and function of blood cells, and how this information can be used to better prevent, diagnose and treat blood cell diseases such as leukaemia, arthritis and asthma. Professor Hilton has been awarded numerous prizes for his research into how blood cells communicate and has led major collaborations with industry to translate his discoveries from the bench to the bedside. He is an inventor of more than 20 patent families, most of which have been licensed, and is a co-founder of the biotechnology company MuriGen. He is an Officer of the Order of Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and of Health and Medical Sciences. Professor Hilton is the inaugural recipient of The Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Chair in Medical Biology.



Dr Dan Johnstone is a teaching/research academic who leads the Neurodegeneration and Neuroprotection Team within the Discipline of Physiology at the University of Sydney.

He is a past President of the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) and has previously served the NHMRC as a member of the Track Record Working Group and as GRP Chair.

Dan’s commitment to these and other service and leadership roles stems from his strong belief that a diverse, inclusive, collaborative and sustainable health and medical research sector is essential for health advancement in Australia. 



Professor Maria Kavallaris is Head of the Tumour Biology and Targeting Program at the Children’s Cancer Institute and Director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at the University of New South Wales. Her research contributions in cancer biology and therapeutics are internationally recognised. She leads a multidisciplinary research program that investigates how tumours form, grow and spread and she applies this knowledge to develop effective and less toxic cancer therapies using nanotechnology.

Professor Kavallaris has served on numerous committees including the Program Committee for the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research and NHMRC Assigners Academy. She is Chair of the Board of the Australian Institute for Policy and Science and has played a major role in advocating for medical research through public outreach and served as President of the Australian Society for Medical Research. Professor Kavallaris was recognised by the NHMRC as part of its rollcall of Australian ‘high achievers’ in health and medical research (past and present) in 2014.  Her leadership in innovation is reflected in a number of awards and prizes including an Australian Museum Eureka Award, AFR/Westpac 100 Women of Influence and NSW Premier’s Science and Engineering Prize for Leadership in Innovation.  Professor Kavallaris is a fellow of the Australian Academy of health and Medical Sciences.



Jayashri KULKARNI commenced her appointment as Professor of Psychiatry, The Alfred and Monash University in 2002. She directs a large psychiatric research group, the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc), with approximately 150 staff and students. The Centre is dedicated to discovering new treatments, new understanding and new services for people with a range of mental illnesses.

Jayashri Kulkarni completed her MBBS degree in 1981 at Monash University and worked mainly in Emergency Medicine before deciding to specialise in Psychiatry. She became a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 1989 and was awarded a PhD from Monash University in 1997 for her thesis “Women and Psychosis”. Jayashri has pioneered the novel use of estrogen as a treatment for schizophrenia and is internationally acknowledged as a leader in the field of reproductive hormones and their impact on mental health. An expert in Women’s Mental Health, Jayashri was elected the President of the International Association of Women’s Mental Health, a role she commenced in 2017.



Professor Peter Leedman is the Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (‘Perkins’) in Perth and Professor of Medicine (endocrinologist) at the University of Western Australia (UWA). He completed medicine at UWA, endocrinology at Royal Melbourne Hospital, his PhD at WEHI and a post-Doc at Harvard Medical School. Upon returning to Perth, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Perkins (formerly the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research) and the development of its two new state-of-the-art research buildings.

Leedman’s research is focused on devising novel RNA-based therapeutic approaches to abrogate the growth of poor prognostic hormone-dependent cancers, melanoma, head and neck and liver cancer. Leedman co-founded miReven, a spin out company established to bring microRNA replacement therapy for liver cancer to the bedside.

Leedman has served on numerous NHMRC Committees, including Research Committee in the last triennium, and is currently Chairman of the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Foundation Medical Advisory Committee and of Linear Clinical Research Ltd., the Perkins 32 bed phase 1 clinical trials facility.


McCluskey AO

James McCluskey AO, FAA, FAHMS B Med Sci, MBBS, FRACP, FRCPA, MD is Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor in Microbiology and Immunology at The University of Melbourne.

He trained in Perth as a physician, then carried out immunology research at the National Institutes of Health (USA). He has held senior positions at Monash University, Flinders University and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in Adelaide, South Australia. He established the SA unrelated bone marrow donor registry.

He has published more than 320 scientific articles on how genes control immunity.

He led the development, funding and establishment of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and is a founding member of Australian Friends of ASHA Slums (the Australian branch of Asha India.  He led a team that won a USD$50M grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies to help to establish a new Fellowship program focused on leadership to effect social change.



Professor Anushka Patel is Chief Scientist at The George Institute for Global Health, Professor of Medicine at UNSW Sydney, and Cardiologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia. Professor Patel’s research focuses on understanding and improving cardiovascular disease management in global populations. She currently leads research projects focusing on developing innovative solutions for delivering affordable and effective cardiovascular care in the community and in acute care hospital settings in a number of countries including Australia, China, Indonesia and India. Professor Patel undertook her medical training at the University of Queensland, with subsequent postgraduate research degrees from Harvard University and the University of Sydney. She is supported by a Principal Research Fellowship from the NHMRC.


Associate Professor

Associate Professor Yvette Roe is Njikena Jawuru woman from the West Kimberley region, Western Australia who has more than 20 years’ experience working in the Indigenous health sector.  As an Aboriginal scholar, her research and priority has been to identify opportunities to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by delivering and evaluating services that are patient, family and community focused. Dr Roe has diverse interests across a number of disciplines such as public health, sociology and research methodology.

As an early career Aboriginal scholar, the areas of expertise she aims to develop are: critical Indigenous mix methodology that focuses on health system reform (effectiveness & efficiencies, coverage, effort); Indigenous realism, continuity of care (primary, acute and secondary-prevention); innovative models of health care; clinical response to social complexity, patient engagement, health service advocacy, quality of care and quality of life epidemiology and biostatistics.

Associate Professor Roe is a Senior Research Fellow, Midwifery Research Unit, Mater Research South Brisbane. Associate Professor Roe is the Indigenous lead on two NHMRC grants focused on undertaking high quality research to improve Indigenous birthing by redesigning health systems that will ensure a healthier start to life for Indigenous babies and their families.


Laureate Professor
Talley AC

Laureate Professor Nick Talley is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor, Global Research at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He is an expert clinician, educator and researcher, with extensive experience as a leader in the medical and University sectors.

Professor Talley is a neurogastroenterologist, has published over 1000 papers in the peer-reviewed literature, and is considered one of the world’s most influential clinician-researchers (H index 130, Scopus 2018). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia (since 2015). He is also a leading medical educator and the author of the highly regarded textbooks Clinical Examination and Examination Medicine. Professor Talley is a Senior Staff Specialist and gastroenterologist at John Hunter Hospital and attends clinic and lists on a weekly basis. He currently holds adjunct research appointments as Professor at Mayo Clinic (and Supplemental Consultant), University of North Carolina and the Karolinska Institute. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (and Past President 2014-2016), the Royal College of Physicians (both London and Edinburgh), the American College of Physicians, the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterological Association.



Professor Rosalie Viney is Professor of Health Economics and Director of the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation at the University of Technology Sydney. She has extensive experience in health economics, health services and health policy research. Her research interests include health technology assessment and priority setting, measurement and valuation of quality of life and health outcomes, consumer preferences for health and health care, evaluation of health policy, and the impact of funding arrangements on utilisation and outcomes of health care. Rosalie has undertaken a broad range of commissioned projects for State/Territory Health authorities, and for the Australian Government Department of Health. Rosalie has also had longstanding involvement in the development of the fields of health economics and health services research in Australia, through the Australian Health Economics Society and the Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand. She has also had extensive experience of involvement in reimbursement decision making in Australia.



Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates, PhD, RN, FACN, FAAN is jointly appointed as Head, School of Nursing at Queensland University of Technology, Lead Researcher for the Cancer Nursing Professorial Precinct at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Director for Queensland Health’s statewide Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education (CPCRE).  She leads a range of research and service improvement programs focused on developing workforce capacity in cancer and palliative care, advancing the management of cancer related symptoms and treatment side effects, and strengthening the nexus between research, policy and practice in cancer care.   She is the immediate Past-President of Palliative Care Australia and is President of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care. 

Patsy is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and has been inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.