Australasian Diabetes Congress 2020 - Speakers

Speakers

Professor Sir Harry Burns

Professor Sir Harry Burns

ADS Plenary Speaker

Professor Sir Harry Burns FRSE graduated in medicine in 1974 from Glasgow University and in 1984, he was appointed Consultant Surgeon, University Department of Surgery, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. In 1990, following completion of an MSc Public Health, he was appointed Medical Director of the Royal Infirmary. Many of his patients lived in the east end of Glasgow and it was this insight to the complex inter-relationships between social and economic status, illness and recovery that began his lifelong focus: to reduce health inequalities.

In 1994, he was appointed Director of Public Health for Greater Glasgow Health Board and in 2005 he became Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. He was Knighted in 2011 and in 2014, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, presented him with a lifetime achievement award for public service from the Scottish Government.

In April 2014 he became Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University. In addition to research publication and supervision of doctoral students, Sir Harry leads on a number of major, multi-agency projects and is Chair of the University’s Centre for Health Policy. He is a regular invited keynote speaker to local, national and international events and to academic programmes. Among many appointments, he is a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors; a member of Diabetes UK Board; Chair of the Wheatley Foundation; a member of Johnson & Johnson’s Impact Investment Advisory Committee and a member of the Health Foundation’s Sciana Programme for international health leaders.

Professor Timo Otonkoski

Professor Timo Otonkoski

ADS Plenary Speaker

Timo Otonkoski, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medical Stem Cell Research and director of the Stem Cells and Metabolism Research Program at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki. After completing his medical training in 1981 he specialized in pediatrics and obtained his doctoral degree in 1989. He did his Post-doctoral Fellowship in the laboratory of Prof. Alberto Hayek at the Whittier Institute, University of California, San Diego, in 1991-94. He has a specialist degree in Pediatric Endocrinology and a clinical position at the Children’s Hospital of the Helsinki University Central Hospital.

His main clinical specialities are childhood diabetes and hypoglycemia. His research has focused on the growth and development of the pancreatic islets. He has also made important contributions in the field of congenital hyperinsulinism and neonatal diabetes. Lately, he has shifted his main area of interest into the use of human pluripotent stem cells and genome editing to study beta-cell pathophysiology.

Dr. Michelle Litchman

Dr. Michelle Litchman

ADEA Plenary Speaker

Dr. Michelle Litchman is an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah College of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner at the Utah Diabetes and Endocrinology Center, and Medical Director of the Intensive Diabetes Education and Support Program. Her NIH NIDDK, NINR and foundation-funded research is focused on 1) the social context of chronic disease management as it relates to online and family environments, 2) the impact of clinical interventions on diabetes management, and 3) how technology can augment health outcomes.

Her work has been highlighted across national media outlets, such as NPR Science Friday and CNN, and has influenced both policy and practice. Her recent research focused on the underground exchange of diabetes medication and supplies due to high cost influenced the passing of Utah HB207, the strongest legislation in the nation to date focused on improving insulin access. Her research focused on online peer support that has influenced national recommendations in diabetes care. Dr. Litchman received her research doctorate and Master’s degree from the University of Utah College of Nursing. She is a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP), Research Committee Chair for the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists, and member of the American Diabetes Association Therapeutic Inertia Research Committee.

Professor Helen Colhoun

Professor Helen Colhoun

ADS Plenary Speaker

Professor Helen Colhoun holds the prestigious AXA personal Chair in Medical Informatics & Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and is a Consultant in Public Health in the National Health Service. She previously held tenured professorial posts at the University of Dundee, University College London and University College Dublin. Professor Colhoun’s current research programme uses large scale population-based approaches using e-health records, genetic and non-genetic biomarkers to further understanding of the pathogenesis and means of prevention of diabetes complications.

She has contributed to the design and conduct of several major trials including REWIND, ODYSSEY 3a, SELECT, LENS, REMOVAL, CARDS and CANTOS. Professor Colhoun’s epidemiological research and clinical trials research have impacted on and been cited in clinical guidelines internationally and in national policy for diabetes. Professor Colhoun leads the large Scottish Diabetes Research Network Type 1 Bioresource research collaboration and the databasing and provisioning of national e-health record diabetes data to the Scottish Diabetes Research Network. During the COVID-19 epidemic she has Co-Chaired the COVID-19 Modelling & Research cell at Public Health Scotland. She has been a member of the Wellcome Trust Science Strategy Advisory Board, the JDRF Strategic Advisory Board and the Diabetes UK Clinical Studies Advisory Group.

Professor Katalin Susztak

Professor Katalin Susztak

ADS Plenary Speaker

Dr. Katalin Susztak is a physician-scientist at the University of Pennsylvania. Her laboratory is interested in understanding the pathomechanism of chronic kidney disease development. Susztak has made discoveries fundamental towards defining critical genes, cell types and mechanisms of chronic kidney disease. She was instrumental in defining genetic, epigenetic transcriptional changes in diseased human kidneys. She identified novel kidney disease genes and demonstrated the contribution of Notch signaling and metabolic dysregulation in kidney disease development.

Her lab was the first to map the kidney epigenome and catalogue genotype-driven gene-expression variation (eQTL) in human kidneys. Integration of GWAS, eQTL and epigenome data has been essential to prioritize disease-causing genes and variants.

Dr. Susztak generated the first unbiased, comprehensive kidney cell-type atlas using single cell transcriptomics. She identified that specific renal endophenotypes are linked and likely caused by the dysfunction of specific cell types.

In follow-up animal model studies, she conclusively demonstrated that MANBA, DAB2, DACH1 and APOL1 are new kidney disease risk genes. Her work established the role of proximal tubule cells, endolysosomal trafficking, metabolic and developmental pathways in kidney disease development.

Susztak's discoveries span genetics, genomics, epigenetics, molecular biology, physiology and nephrology, and have enormous translational relevance and considerable therapeutic potential.

Dr. Susztak has been the recipient of the 2011 Young Investigator Award of the American Society of Nephrology and American Heart Association; one of the most prestigious award given to researchers under the age of 41 in the field of nephrology. Her laboratory is supported by the National Institute of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and private sources.

“I think this is a really exciting time in science. New technologies are emerging, which will really accelerate research progress, and I think we have fantastic new discoveries ahead of us in biology.”

Professor Minoti Apte

Professor Minoti Apte

ADS Symposium Speaker

Professor Apte is internationally recognised as a leading researcher in the field of pancreatic pathophysiology and is particularly recognised for her pioneering work in pancreatic fibrogenesis, having been the first in the world to develop a method to isolate and culture pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs). Her Group was the first to establish the critical role of these cells in chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Both these diseases are associated with diabetes and are the cause of significant morbidity and mortality.

Over her career, Professor Apte has served in several senior leadership positions at Faculty, University and Discipline levels, including as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Pancreatology. Professor Apte’s contribution to medical research, tertiary education and the community have been recognised by several major awards in recent years including the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2014, the 2015 NSW Premier's Award for Woman of the Year, the Gastroenterological Society of Australia’s Distinguished Researcher Prize (a prestigious recognition by the peak national body for the Discipline of Gastroenterology) in 2018, and being elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2019.

Professor Dianna Magliano

Professor Dianna Magliano

ADS Symposium Speaker

Professor Dianna Magliano has a BAppSci (Hons), PhD, and a Master of Public Health. Professor Magliano has worked for over fifteen years in epidemiology, the majority in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity research. Her more recent work involved examining the association between diabetes and cancer using large datasets.

With NHMRC project grant funding, she established the ANZ Diabetes and Cancer Collaboration (ANZDCC) dataset which is a collaboration of 18 Australian cohort studies with the aim to examine the relationship between diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and hypertension. Her more recent work involves exploring the trends in diabetes incidence and mortality across the globe and heads a consortium of 23 collaborators to do this work.

As a part of this broader area, she also works on the other large datasets such as the National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS) linked to administrative data. Work on the NDSS has led to international status attested by invitations to the Diabetes and Cancer consortium, editor roles at Diabetes Research and Clinical practice and Atherosclerosis, the presidency of the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group in 2015-2017 and to co -chair the current edition (10th) of the Diabetes Atlas for the International Diabetes Federation.

Professor Magliano has strong epidemiological and biostatistical skills. Fifteen years of teaching of epidemiology for Monash University has meant that her conceptual skills in epidemiology are current. Furthermore, as the senior epidemiologist of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab) for over 15 years, she has acquired real life epidemiological training by working directly in the field, conducting epidemiological analyses. In 2017 she was awarded a NHMRC Senior research fellowship and the Australian Jeff flack data award from the Australian Diabetes Council.

Professor John Eden

Professor John Eden

ADS Symposium Speaker

Dr John Eden (MB BS, MD, FRANZCOG, FRCOG, CREI) graduated from the University of NSW in 1979 and became a fellow of the RANZCOG in 1988. He was amongst the first group of specialists to be accredited as a reproductive endocrinologist. Professor John Eden is a certificated reproductive endocrinologist and gynaecologist. He is a Conjoint Associate Professor at The University of New South Wales in Sydney.

He is a visiting medical officer at the Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney, Australia where he is Director of the Sydney Menopause Centre and the Barbara Gross Research Unit. Until recently he worked at the Moree Aboriginal Health Service. John is a Director of the Women’s Health and Research Institute of Australia (WHRIA). This is a private clinic located in Bathurst St, Sydney which has a large multidisciplinary group of health practitioners offering clinical and research services. He is a member of the Breast Cancer MDT at Prince of Wales Hospital Randwick.

His research and clinical interests include managing menopause after breast cancer, infertility, early menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), amenorrhoea, osteoporosis, PMDD, biofilms, hormone replacement therapy as well as herbal medicine.

Associate Professor Melkam Kebede

Associate Professor Melkam Kebede

ADS Symposium Speaker

Melkam Kebede was awarded her Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Melbourne, under the supervision of Professor Joseph Proietto and A/Prof Sof Andrikopoulos. During this period, she studied the metabolic consequences of β-cell specific overexpression of fructose- 1,6-bisphosphatase in transgenic mice.

In 2007 Melkam moved to Canada for postdoctoral training at Montreal Diabetes Research Centre where she worked to characterize the regulation and role of the fatty acid receptor, GPR40 in β-cells in Professor Vincent Poitout’s laboratory. In 2012 Melkam joined Professor Alan Attie’s laboratory at the University of Wisconsin for her second post-doctoral fellowship. In the Attie laboratory Melkam studied the involvement of Sorcs1 in the formation and stability of insulin secretory granules. In 2015, Melkam returned to Australia to establish her independent career at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney. Her lab aims to understand the mechanisms behind insulin secretory granules biogenesis, maturation, stability and secretion.

Professor Mathis Grossmann

Professor Mathis Grossmann

ADS Symposium Speaker

Mathis Grossmann is a physician-scientist trained in both basic biology and in clinical endocrinology. He is Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne and Consultant Endocrinologist at Austin Health, running Endocrine Men’s Health and Breast Cancer Clinics. He graduated as MD from Heidelberg University Medical School, followed by 4 years in basic research at the National Institutes of Health, a PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and clinical training leading to FRACP.

His group studies i) men with low testosterone, ii) patients with hormone sensitive cancer to understand how reproductive hormones regulate musculoskeletal health and glucose homeostasis.

He has >150 publications and book chapters with >7,000 citations.

Editorial board memberships: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, Journal of the Endocrine Society, Clinical Endocrinology; Associate Editorship, Asian Journal of Andrology.

Committee memberships: US Endocrine Society Endocrine Self-Assessment Program (ESAP); Endocrine Society of Australia Council.

Dr. Magdalene Montgomery

Dr. Magdalene Montgomery

ADS Symposium Speaker

Dr. Magda Montgomery is a NHMRC Career Development Fellow and Head of the Metabolic Crosstalk Laboratory in the Department of Physiology at the University of Melbourne. Dr Montgomery received her PhD at the University of Wollongong in 2011, and her postdoctoral training in the area of obesity, insulin resistance, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) at the Garvan Institute in Sydney (2011 – 2013), at the University of New South Wales (2013 – 2016), and at Monash University (2016 – 2018).

In 2018, Dr Montgomery moved to the University of Melbourne, where she is currently investigating links between perturbations in liver homeostasis and the development of type 2 diabetes, with a special focus on liver-secreted proteins and their effects on glycaemic control.

Associate Professor Sumaira Hasnain

Associate Professor Sumaira Hasnain

ADS Symposium Speaker

Sumaira Hasnain graduated with her PhD in December 2010 from The University of Manchester. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Mater Research Institute-University of Queensland with a team of 9 researchers. A/Prof Hasnain was the first globally to demonstrate that immunity can modulate protein production in secretory cells in infection and chronic diseases.

Her long-term vision has been to characterise these novel immune factors and manipulate them therapeutically using pre-clinical models of immune-driven pathologies. She holds a patent for targeted immunotherapy in metabolic disease which has led to the formation of a spin-off company, Jetra Therapeutics and venture capitalist funding to progress this in Fatty Liver Disease. She has a rapid upward trajectory in research, evident by extensive body of high-quality publications including in Nature Medicine, Oncogene and Gastroenterology. She has been awarded more than $4 million in competitive funding and has won 21 awards to date, including an award from the Children’s Health Foundation in 2019 and the QLD Tall Poppy Award 2020. She is an associate editor for the Clinical and Translational Immunology Journal (impact factor 7.2). She is a well-recognised emerging leader in the field as evidenced by a recent invitation to chair at the Immunology 2020 conference by American Association of Immunology.

Dr. Adriana Ventura

Dr. Adriana Ventura

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Dr. Adriana Ventura is a nationally registered psychologist under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). She holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and a Doctorate of Psychology (Health) from Deakin University.

For six years, she worked as a researcher at the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD), studying the psychological, social and behavioural aspects of living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Her special interest and knowledge in diabetes and health psychology helped establish her private psychology practice. Adriana currently consults at OPTIMIND, a multidisciplinary mental health private practice on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, and she also offers telehealth services to people with diabetes from around the country.

Dr. Caroline Bonner

Dr. Caroline Bonner

ADS Symposium

Dr. Caroline Bonner completed her Ph.D. studies in 2009 from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, which focused on the differentiation and regeneration of pancreatic beta cells using genetic models of Maturity onset-diabetes of the young (MODY). She pursued a post-doctoral fellow in translational studies in the same laboratory (2009-2011), focusing on the discovery and validation of serum biomarkers (microRNAs and secreted proteins) in MODY patients as well as in type 1 diabetic and type 2 diabetic subjects.

In 2012, she joined Inserm unit 1190 - Translational Research for Diabetes, at The University of Lille, on a post-doctoral fellowship to pursue an independent research project on insulin-independent regulation of glucagon secretion with and without current drug therapies using human islets ex-vivo and mouse models of diabetes. She is currently a group leader at Institut Pasteur de Lille continuing in deciphering the mechanisms by which antihyperglycemic drugs regulate glucose homeostasis and normalize pancreatic hormone secretion in diabetes.

Dr. Virginia Hagger

Dr. Virginia Hagger

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Dr Virginia Hagger is a registered nurse and credentialed diabetes educator with postgraduate qualifications in education and a Master of Public Health. She was awarded her PhD (Psychology) from Deakin University in 2019. Virginia is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing and Course Director of the Graduate Certificate of Diabetes Education at Deakin University.

She has previously held positions as Manager of Diabetes Education at Diabetes Victoria and Director of Education at the International Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, and Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes and Monash University in the NHMRC CRE in Patient Safety and Department of Health Science. Virginia’s research interests include diabetes self-management and structured education, diabetes distress and psychological wellbeing, particularly among adolescents with type 1 diabetes. She has 17 peer-reviewed publications related to these areas of research.

Dr. Amira Howari

Dr. Amira Howari

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Dr. Amira Howari B.optom (Hons) GradCertOcTher, M.Optom (UNSW) is a Senior Clinical Optometrist, Healthcare Industry and Motivational Keynote Speaker; Diabetes Australia Ambassador, KeepSight Ambassador and former Optometry Australia Councillor (NSW/ACT). Dr. Howari has worked in corporate, independent, ophthalmology and pharmaceutical settings; and at The University of New South Wales as a guest lecturer and clinical supervisor.

She currently also serves as a member of the Diabetes and Endocrine Network- Agency of Clinical Innovation (NSW Health) and was the founder of the PEACE conference. Dr. Howari speaks nationally & internationally on public and health industry platforms and is a freelance writer for health publications. Having lived with type one diabetes for over 27 years she incorporates a unique medical and personal perspective in her proactive educational roles with various institutions and public health sectors. As a media commentator, Dr. Howari has also been interviewed in health magazines, print media, radio, on screen and social media.

Professor Robert Eckel

Professor Robert Eckel

ADS Symposium Speaker

Robert H. Eckel, MD, is the former Charles A. Boettcher Endowed Chair in Atherosclerosis in the Department of Medicine at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO. Dr. Eckel is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Cincinnati, OH. He performed a Medical Residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals in Madison, WI, and a Senior Fellowship in Metabolism and Endocrinology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, WA.

Dr. Eckel is past president of the American Heart Association, the Obesity Society and the Association of Patient Oriented Research and is currently president of Medicine and Science of the American Diabetes Association. He Co-Chaired the 2013 ACC/AHA Lifestyle Guideline for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and was a member of the 2013 ACC/AHA Cholesterol Guideline Committee. Dr. Eckel has published nearly 400 articles in peer-reviewed journals and his translational research has used populations, human subjects in the General Clinical Research Center and Clinical Translational Research Center, genetically-modified mice, molecular techniques and tissue culture to pursue mechanistic pathophysiological relationships between metabolic disorders such as obesity/metabolic syndrome/diabetes and CVD.

Ms Irene Kopp

Ms Irene Kopp

ADEA Masterclass Speaker

Irene is a Diabetes Nurse Practitioner at the Nepean Diabetes Service, she has been a Credentialled Diabetes Educator since 2004 and an Endorsed Nurse Practitioner since 2011. Irene coordinates the diabetes-inpatient-service where she provides comprehensive assessments and management of inpatients and outpatients and offers clinical leadership and support to nursing, medical and allied health staff to the hospitals and community health services in the NBMLHD.

She reviews new procedures and technology in relation to best diabetes practice implementing state-of-the-art equipment to our hospitals. Irene lectures at the University of Sydney and UTS in both undergraduate and post graduate courses for medical and nursing students. She was the course coordinator at UTS for the Master of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner and The Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education and Management 2012-2014. Irene is also co-chair of the ACI Diabetes and Endocrine Network.

Associate Professor Kyle Hoehn

Associate Professor Kyle Hoehn

ADS Symposium Speaker

A/Prof Kyle Hoehn is a metabolic biochemist and physiologist. He received his PhD in Biochemistry from Colorado State University in 2005 in the laboratory of Prof. Scott Summers. From 2005-2009 he trained as a postdoc with Prof David James at the Garvan Institute. Kyle established his independent laboratory at the University of Virginia in 2009 and then moved his lab to the University of New South Wales in 2014.

He co-founded the Australian start-up biotech company Continuum Biosciences in 2017. His laboratory investigates the pathophysiology and treatment of obesity-related disorders including fatty liver disease and obesity-related cancers.

Marian Brennan

Marian Brennan

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Marian is a credentialled diabetes educator and accredited exercise physiologist at Diabetes WA. She has worked across sectors including federal government, private practice, and not-for-profit. Marian completed her Master of Science in Diabetes in 2017 where she piloted a self-management, group education program to address barriers to physical activity in people living with type 1 diabetes.

This exploratory work has informed Marian’s current PhD research project at Curtin University. Marian was the recipient of the 2018 Australian Diabetes Research Foundation, Research Fellowship. Her current research interests are facilitating physical activity in the type 1 diabetes population, using structured group education.

Associate Professor Sonia Saad

Associate Professor Sonia Saad

ADS Symposium Speaker

A/Prof Saad's research interest is in progressive renal disease. She has been studying the mechanisms of chronic kidney disease (CKD) development and progression for 20 years. Her research program employs different strategies to investigate the origin of CKD, the mechanisms of its development and novel preventative measures/therapies for CKD. She has expertise in renal fibrosis, maternal programming and diabetic kidney disease.

She was amongst the first in the world to study the role of fetal programming of early onset metabolic disorders and CKD progression. Her current work examines the effect of maternal influences including obesity, smoking and particulate matters on offspring predisposition to CKD and epigenetic regulation in disease development. She is also developing a novel tool for early diagnosis and examining the effect of novel natural and pharmaceutical therapies for glycaemic control, and renal fibrosis

Dr. Tim Crowe

Dr. Tim Crowe

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Tim is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian who has spent most of his career in the world of university nutrition teaching and research. He now works chiefly as a freelance health and medical writer, science communicator and scientific consultant. He has an active media profile and a large social media following through his Thinking Nutrition blog, Facebook page and podcast which he uses to communicate important nutrition messages to the public in plain and simple language.

Sian Graham

Sian Graham

ADEA Symposium Speaker

My name is Sian Graham and I am of Noongar and Bardi -Jawi decent from two different areas in Western Australia, the Balladong Wheatbelt region and One Arm Point in the Kimberley. I have strong connections throughout the Northern Territory and Western Australian. I have learnt from and been guided by so many of the strong leaders in my family and my communities, I am always reflecting on my old people’s journeys to remind myself of why I need to work towards better outcomes and positive change not only for myself but for the next generations who follow and so on.

I have had a number of opportunities to undertake research in both urban and remote communities across the Northern Territory and the Kimberley. I have worked at Menzies School of Health Research for over 11 years across several divisions, including Child Health, Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Disease, and Tropical and Emerging diseases. During this time, I have been able to connect with participants and build strong relationships based on trust and respect, as well as build on my capacity as a researcher.

In 2016, I had the opportunity to do some qualitative work conducting in-depth interviews with women who had diabetes in pregnancy. This was a lightbulb moment for me where I realized that this is what I am meant to be doing – creating a space that enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples voices to be heard within research. This has been my newfound passion within research.

I believe as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers we are accountable not only to our institutions but to our people and our communities. It is our role to be the link between community and institutions. It is our role as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers to empower our people and give a voice back to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

I am dedicated and committed to working towards improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I believe that it is my responsibility as an Indigenous researcher to advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their rights. I believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must play an imperative role in research, and we need to work together collaboratively to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have an opportunity to provide input into the direction of our research.

Professor Alexander Thompson

Professor Alexander Thompson

ADS Symposium Speaker

Alex Thompson is Professor-Director of the Department of Gastroenterology at St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne, Australia, NHMRC Practitioner Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor of the Department of Gastroenterology, Duke University Medical Center. Professor Thompson is the Program Director for the Victorian Statewide Hepatitis Service, Australia, contracted to the Victorian Government’s Department of Justice and Regulation, and the current President of the Australian Liver Association.

His research focusses on improving outcomes for people living with viral hepatitis. He was involved in the discovery of IL28B polymorphism as a predictor of treatment outcome in HCV, and is an active clinical investigator for trials evaluating the efficacy of novel antiviral DAA regimens. With the development of DAA therapy for HCV, he has more recently been actively pursuing the development and evaluation of new models of care for people with HCV, with a focus on prisoners and treatment as prevention to eliminate transmission and reduce prevalence of HCV in Australia. He has published widely in journals including Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Gut and Journal of Hepatology.

Dr. Benoit Smeuninx

Dr. Benoit Smeuninx

ADS Symposium Speaker

Dr. Benoit Smeuninx is an early career researcher who is trained as an exercise scientist. After having completed a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in exercise sciences, he received his Ph.D. in 2017 from the University of Birmingham investigating the mechanisms underpinning age-related muscle loss. He then pursued a postdoctoral research position looking at the potential protective effects of prehabilitation on skeletal muscle mass maintenance during an in-hospital stay.

In 2020, Benoit joined Prof. Mark Febbraio’s laboratory at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences as a postdoctoral researcher where he will submerge himself in the NAFLD field with a focus on NASH-induced hepatocellular carcinoma.

Dr. Carmel Smart

Dr. Carmel Smart

ADS Symposium Speaker

Dr Carmel Smart is an international authority on nutrition and Type 1 Diabetes who works as a Senior Specialist Diabetes Dietitian at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Newcastle, NSW, Australia. She is an active clinician researcher and a recipient of the inaugural Hunter New England Health Clinical Research Fellowship. Carmel is the elected Allied health and nursing representative on APEG Council and an invited member of the National Diabetes Guideline Development Group and the Australasian Diabetes Database Network.

She is an elected member of the Australian Dietetic Council. In 2019 she was awarded the Michelle Beets award for outstanding achievement in advancement of children’s health and the Hunter Children’s Research Foundation Researcher of the Year.

Associate Professor Renea Taylor

Associate Professor Renea Taylor

Associate Professor Renea Taylor is an EJ Whitten Research Fellow in the Department of Physiology, Monash University where she leads a Prostate Cancer Research Group and Deputy Head of the Cancer Program in the Biomedicine Discovery Institute. Renea graduated with a PhD in Reproductive Endocrinology in 2003 at Monash University and completed her postdoctoral training at the National Stem Cell Centre. She pursued her research interest in hormone-dependent cancer, specialising in prostate cancer.

Her work focuses on dissecting appropriate cellular targets in cancer and identifying novel therapeutic strategies to treat prostate cancer. Her team is internationally-recognised for expertise in patient-derived xenografts (PDXs), which in collaboration with her urology, pathology and oncology colleagues, provides a strong translational approach to address clinically relevant questions. More recently, her team has focused on elucidating the endocrine and metabolic changes that contribute to prostate cancer disease progression including fatty acid metabolism.

Cheryl Steele

Cheryl Steele

ADS Symposium Speaker

Cheryl is a Registered Nurse with post graduate qualifications in Midwifery, Health Counselling and Diabetes Education. She is the manager of Diabetes Education Services at Western Health. Her primary interests in diabetes education are insulin pumps, Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems and Diabetes in Pregnancy. Cheryl has co-authored papers in peer reviewed journals on Type 1 diabetes and Gestational Diabetes.

As well as her clinical role Cheryl has a strong focus on Health Professional education for nurses, allied health, medical practitioners and students. Cheryl is a member of the clinical advisory committee for Diabetes Victoria, a member of the Medical, Education and Scientific Advisory Board for Diabetes Australia. Cheryl lives with Type 1 diabetes which she manages with a DYI closed loop pump.

Dr. Evangeline Mantzioris

Dr. Evangeline Mantzioris

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Dr. Evangeline Mantzioris is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Sports Dietitian and has had extensive experience in clinical dietetics and clinical teaching at major Adelaide teaching hospitals and in private practice. Evangeline is the Program Director of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Degree at the University of South Australia. She is an Associate Editor with the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Evangeline is passionate about communicating nutritional and food science to the public either as an invited speaker at public events or on radio or television, she is also an author and contributor to The Conversation with over 1.1 million reads. Evangeline's research interests include omega-3 fatty acids, the Mediterranean Dietary pattern for chronic diseases, Sports Nutrition and the Environment-Food nexus.

Dr. Helen Barrett

Dr. Helen Barrett

ADS Symposium Speaker

Dr. Helen Barrett is an Obstetric Physician and Endocrinologist and is Director of Endocrinology at the Mater Hospital, Brisbane. She is also a Senior Research Fellow with Mater Research and holds an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellowship. Dr Barrett has a strong interest in improving the outcomes of complicated pregnancy, with a particular focus on maternal obesity, diabetes and hypertension in pregnancy.

Her current research continues to explore maternal metabolism, with emphasis on the role of the microbiome.

Heather Anderson

Heather Anderson

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Heather is a registered nurse, registered midwife and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who has worked across all areas of maternity services in public and private hospitals. She is an experienced pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding educator and has developed antenatal and breastfeeding education programs for Epworth Geelong.

Heather has worked across several research studies, including the ENDIA study, as a research midwife at the Child Health Research Unit at Barwon Health up until 2016. In addition to her role as a hospital midwife, Heather is the director of Hearten Breastfeeding and Parenting Support – a private IBCLC and childbirth education service in Geelong, Victoria. Heather is also currently completing a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Melbourne.

Professor Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka

Professor Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka

ADS Symposium Speaker

Professor Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka commenced as the Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Melbourne (UoM) in August 2020. Jennifer was previously Head, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience (UoM; 2019-2020), Acting Head, Department of Immunology and Associate Dean Research (Central Clinical School, Monash University) and a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow.

At UoM, Jennifer’s PhD evaluated the role of the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system in kidney disease, and as a post-doc she moved into the field of diabetic complications and established the Diabetic Retinopathy Laboratory. Interested in inflammation and diabetes, she moved to Monash University to interrogate the contribution of the adaptive immune system and particularly regulatory T cells to neovascular retinopathies including diabetic retinopathy. Jennifer’s research is supported by the NHMRC, JDRF, Diabetes Australia and the CASS Foundation. Jennifer has a long history of working with national and international pharmaceutical companies with the view to clinical translation.

Professor Liz Davis

Professor Liz Davis

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Professor Liz Davis MBBS, FRACP, PhD is an Australian clinical researcher in paediatric diabetes. She received paediatric endocrinology training in Perth and University of Pennsylvania, and received her PhD from UWA. Professor Davis is the Head of the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Perth Children’s Hospital, a State-wide service responsible for the care of all children with diabetes and endocrine disorders in Western Australia.

She also co-directs the Children’s Diabetes Centre at Telethon Kids Institute, an integrated Clinical and Research centre, which has exercise as one if its key research themes. She is a past president of the professional society, Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group.

Nicole Dynan

Nicole Dynan

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Nicole is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Sports Dietitian. She specialises in gut health and food intolerance and is one of a handful of dietitians in Australia with qualifications in dietetics and psychology. Nicole is known as ‘The Gut Health Dietitian’ and owns and runs a network of private practice clinics in Sydney for ‘The Good Nutrition Company’.

Nicole also runs a corporate nutrition service for Australia’s largest EAP Provider, Benestar, established in 2014, which specialises in assisting employees with weight management and chronic diseases such as diabetes. Nicole is a guest lecturer for The University of Sydney & University of New South Wales and is a media spokesperson for Dietitian’s Australia. Prior to becoming a dietitian, Nicole worked as a senior manager in the chronic disease management division for Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) pharmaceuticals.

Associate Professor Shilpa Jesudason

Associate Professor Shilpa Jesudason

ADEA Symposium Speaker

A/Prof Jesudason (MBBS, PhD, FRACP) is a Staff Specialist Nephrologist and Chair of the Clinical Research Group at the Royal Adelaide Hospital’s Central Northern Adelaide Renal and Transplant Service (CNARTS), the Clinical Director of Kidney Health Australia and Associate Professor, University of Adelaide. She trained at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Flinders Medical Centre and St Mary's Hospital Transplant Unit in London before returning in 2004 to undertake PhD studies in transplantation immunology at the Basil Hetzel Institute, Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Her current clinical and research interests include pregnancy-related issues in women with renal disease, including all stages of CKD, dialysis and transplant patients, living kidney donors and women with hypertension. She also chairs the CNARTS Clinical Research Group which leads a range of studies addressing patient-centred outcomes in CKD and dialysis patients. Dr Jesudason has been the Clinical Director at Kidney Health Australia since June 2017.

Achamma Joseph

Achamma Joseph

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Achamma is a CDE and an APD based in Townsville, Queensland. She has worked in the public and private sector for the last 35 years. She started her career as a research assistant in a Diabetes Research Centre and her passion to improve management for people with Diabetes continues on. On a daily basis she works with the aged and elderly who have several comorbidities including dementia. This led her to complete a diploma in Dementia Care recently to gain an insight into this cohort's mind.

She has been actively involved in various committees both for the ADEA and Dietitians Australia and is a trained DESMOND & SMARTs educator for Diabetes Australia. Her passion for education and training community health workers, nurses and other health care professionals has seen her involvement in a number of diabetes-related international projects including the World Diabetes Foundation project in Papua New Guinea, Diabetes Training and Awareness Project in Kiribati, Pacific Islands and Aus-Aid funded Diabetes training project in India. Her research interests and projects have been presented at state, national and international conferences.

Dr. Alexia Pena Vargas

Dr. Alexia Pena Vargas

ADS Symposium Speaker

Dr Peña is a Senior Lecturer at The University of Adelaide–Robinson Research Institute and a Paediatric Endocrinologist at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide. She has been actively involved in the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS) as Council member and Secretary (2009-2013); and in the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group (APEG) as Council member and secretary (2009-2017).

Her two main areas of research include improving the care of children with diabetes and adolescent girls with polycystic ovary syndrome. Dr Peña initiated and led a multidisciplinary evidence based guidelines development group that developed and published the first Australasian Guidelines for assessment and management of children with Type 2 diabetes.

Professor Bernard Tuch

Professor Bernard Tuch

ADS Symposium Speaker

Bernie Tuch is a practising endocrinologist with a long term passion of developing a cell therapy for type 1 diabetes. He was one of the first to conduct a clinical trial with human fetal pancreas, and subsequently transplanted islets from human donors into recipients without using immunosuppression. He is a Director of a company that implanted neonatal pig islets into diabetic humans also without immunosuppression.

He is currently trying to return to the clinic with human beta cells differentiated from pluripotent stem cells that are seeded into an immunoisolatory bioengineered device and implanted subcutaneously. Dr Tuch spends his non-clinic time in academia (he is a Professor at the University of Sydney and Monash University), the not-for-profit sector (Australia Foundation for Diabetes Research, and NSW Stem Cell Network) and the commercial arena (Living Cell Technologies Ltd).

Dr. Renae Kirkham

Dr. Renae Kirkham

ADS Symposium Speaker

Doctor Renae is a social scientist with an interest in the social determinants of health and complex health interventions. Renae works for the DIABETES across the LIFECOURSE – Northern Australia Partnership. She is co-leading a program of work with Professor Louise Maple-Brown that aims to enhance models of care across Northern Australia for youth with type 2 diabetes; and heavily involved in evaluating models of care for diabetes in pregnancy across the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland.

Renae chairs the Menzies-wide youth working group and in 2019 initiated and led the Northern Territory Youth Health Summit. Renae is also jointly teaching the Qualitative Research Methodology Unit for Menzies’ Master of Public Health.

Associate Professor Elif Ekinc

Associate Professor Elif Ekinc

ADS Symposium Speaker

A/Professor Elif Ekinci is an academic endocrinologist who is working to translate research into improved outcomes for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. She is the Weary Dunlop Medical Research Foundation Principal Research Fellow in Metabolic Medicine at The University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine, Austin Health.

She is also the Head of Diabetes at Austin Health, where she co-ordinates the clinical care of inpatients and outpatients with diabetes. She heads diabetes and obesity clinical trials at CREDO-Centre for Centre for Research and Education in Diabetes and Obesity and has over 135 publications in leading diabetes and endocrinology journals and has obtained a total of over $7.5 million of research funding, including a recent NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies grant.

Dr Jane Overland

Dr Jane Overland

ADS Symposium Speaker

Dr Jane Overland was Australia’s first diabetes nurse practitioner, with over 30 years’ experience in chronic disease management. She is responsible for providing clinical management and psychological support to a wide range of people with diabetes, as well as educating health care professionals in the nuances of diabetes care. She is a Clinical Associate Professor with The School of Nursing, The University of Sydney. She is also one of the co-founders of Total Diabetes Care, a boutique diabetes service.

Professor Jonathan Shaw

Professor Jonathan Shaw

ADS Symposium Speaker

Professor Jonathan Shaw is Deputy Director at Melbourne’s Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute where his research focuses on epidemiology and clinical research in diabetes, and he is also a consultant physician in the diabetes services. He is also an endocrinologist, Chair of the Diabetes Advisory Group to the AIHW, Council member of the Australian Diabetes Society, and Past-President of the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group.

His awards include the IDEG Peter Bennett award (2011), the ADS Jeff Flack Diabetes Data award (2015), and the ADS Kellion Diabetes award (2018). He has authored over 400 peer-reviewed scientific papers and 35 book chapters, was included in the Thomson Reuters The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds (2014) and the Clarivate list of the world’s most Highly Cited Researchers (2017 and 2018).

Dr Qin Wang

Dr Qin Wang

ADS Symposium Speaker

Dr Qin Wang is a postdoctoral researcher in the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford. She received her PhD in Public Health from University of Oulu in 2017. Her research interests primarily focused on integrating multi-omics data including genetics, proteomics and metabolomics data across multiple cohorts and biobanks to understand the causes of diseases and also priotise drug targets for development.

Professor Trisha Dunning

Professor Trisha Dunning

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Professor Dunning is an internationally recognised diabetes nurse educator. She has authored over 300 peer-reviewed and other publications 10 books, 15 book chapters and led the development of three clinical practice guidelines. She is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences. She has received many awards for her work, including being made a Member of the Order of Australia, inducted into Sigma Theta tau Researcher Hall of Fame and the Victorian Honour Roll of women.

She lives in rural Victoria, Australia with her beloved alpacas, Westie dog and husband John, where she dabbles in gardening and writes short stories.

Angela Blair

Angela Blair

ADEA Symposium Speaker

As a Credentialled Diabetes Educator for more than 40 years, my passion has been supporting people living with diabetes. I have been responsible for the development, delivery and review of many programs for children, adolescents and adults living all types of diabetes. This has included training for health professionals both face-to-face and via an eLearning format.

My professional qualifications are NSW registered nurse/midwife with a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Newcastle (1993), and a Masters in Applied Management (Health) through the University of Newcastle and a Certificate 4 in Learning and Assessment.

Trish Egan

Trish Egan

ADEA Symposium Speaker

Trish has a marketing and communications background and has worked for some of the largest global consumer-facing organisations in Australia, United Kingdom and United States. She moved across to the Not for Profit sector 15 years ago, at the time Vision Australia was formed and became the inaugural General Manager, Marketing and Fundraising. Trish has a Bachelor of Business Studies, Marketing and is a graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Virginia Hagger

Dr Virginia Hagger

ADEA Workshop Speaker

Dr Virginia Hagger is a registered nurse and credentialed diabetes educator with postgraduate qualifications in education, public health and was awarded her PhD (Psychology) from Deakin University in 2019. Virginia is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing and Course Director of the Graduate Certificate of Diabetes Education at Deakin University.

Catharine McNamara

Catharine McNamara

ADEA Workshop Speaker

Catharine McNamara is a registered nurse and CDE and has been working in the field of diabetes education for more than 20 years. Catharine works in the clinical field of women's health, particularly in diabetes and pregnancy and also in teaching, as a Unit Chair in the Graduate Certificate of Diabetes Education at Deakin University.

Professor Bodil Rasmussen

Professor Bodil Rasmussen

ADEA Workshop Speaker

Professor Bodil Rasmussen is Chair in Nursing and Director for the Centre for Nursing Research at Western Health and has developed a program of research focusing on strategies to improve the quality of care and self-management in people with diabetes and other chronic conditions. Her research program specifically focusses on empowering people to self-managing their condition by using technologies and implementation of research evidence into practice to improve patient outcomes; numerous projects involved international teams.