Invited Speakers

 Pre-Meeting Workshop (Ms Anne McKenzie AM)

 Anne McKenzie Head shot Aug 2015 copy

The interactive pre-meeting workshop on how to engage consumers in clinical trials will be conducted by Ms Anne McKenzie AM. Anne has worked as the Consumer Advocate at The University of Western Australia, School of Population Health and the Telethon Kids Institute since 2004. Anne manages the joint Consumer and Community Involvement Program at both organisations to support and facilitate active consumer and community involvement in research. The Consumer and Community Involvement Program receives national and international recognition as a good practice model for including the community voice in health research.

Since 2007, Anne has facilitated 58 training workshops for researchers, clinicians and consumers on consumer and community involvement. Anne is senior consumer representative for Consumers Health Forum of Australia and former Chair of the Health Consumers Council of WA. She currently serves on key national and state health committees including the National Health and Medical Research Council, NPS, Medicines Australia and the Department of Health.  In January 2015, Anne was appointed to the Order of Australia for 20 years of service in the area of health consumer advocacy.


Annual Scientific Meeting


Vlado Perkovic of The George Institute for Global Health.

Professor Vlado Perkovic, Executive Director George Institute Australia and George Clinical

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 a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Committee on Research Translation; is Chair of the International Society of Nephrology Action for Clinical Trials (ISN-ACT) group; and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and of the American Society of Nephrology.


Jonathan Craig

Professor Jonathan Craig, Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Medicine and Course Director of the Clinical Epidemiology, University of Sydney

Jonathan holds a Personal Chair in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Sydney, and is a Senior Staff Specialist at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. He is internationally recognised clinician-scientist, with more than 550 publications focussed on improving the health of well being of people with chronic kidney disease, especially children and Indigenous people. His awards include International Distinguished Medal of the National (US) Kidney Foundation (2010), TJ Neale Award for Outstanding Contribution to Nephrological Science, and Honorary Membership of the Italian Society of Nephrology (2004). He is a past Chair of the Steering Group of the Cochrane Collaboration, is a member of NHMRC Expert Advisory Group: Structural review of NHMRC funding, and NHMRC Advisory Group on the Synthesis and Translation of Research Evidence, a member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, and Medicare Services Advisory Committee.


Plenary – Ins and outs of conducting large multi-centre clinical trials in 2016


Professor John Myburgh AO, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at St George Clinical School, University of New South Wales and Director of Critical Care at the George Institute, Sydney.

Professor Myburgh AO has extensive experience in all aspects of adult critical care and trauma over 30 years beginning in South Africa and in Australia since 1986. Over the last 25 years, he has established an international research profile in catecholamine physiology, traumatic brain injury, fluid resuscitation and has conducted over 35 clinical trials in Intensive Care Medicine.

He has received cumulative funding of over $61M since 1998 and published over 190 papers and 25 chapters. In addition, he has received 5 major research awards including 2 NHMRC Practitioner Fellowships. He has delivered over 350 presentations since 1994, including over 50 plenary presentations at major scientific congresses. He is a Foundation Member and Past-Chairman of the ANZICS Society Clinical Trials Group, and was listed on the ANZICS Honour Roll in 2013.

He is a council member of the World Federation of Intensive Care Medicine and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. He has delivered extended service to education in Critical Care Medicine over 25 years at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He was instrumental in establishing the College of Intensive Care Medicine in 2010 and served as President from 2010-2012.
In 2014, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to medicine as an intensive care practitioner, educator and researcher, and as an international innovator in patient management.


Laurent Billot

Associate Professor Laurent Billot, Principal Research Fellow at the University of Sydney and Director of the Statistics Division at the George Institute for Global Health

Associate Professor Billot is a senior biostatistician with more than 15 years of experience in medical research. His research focuses on biostatistics and their application to clinical research with particular expertise in the design and analysis of large-scale trials in critical care, cardiovascular, neurological and musculoskeletal diseases. In ten years at the George Institute, he has contributed to more than 100 research studies including around 50 NHMRC funded projects as well as a number of clinical trials sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.


Amanda Jubb_jpg

Ms Amanda Jubb, Director, Project Operations at George Clinical

Amanda Jubb is Director, Project Operations at George Clinical and responsible for project management and clinical operations teams globally.  In this role, Amanda is responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction through efficient and high quality project delivery; and for recruiting, developing and retaining staff members within the organization.  George Clinical is an Asia Pacific CRO, with a growing reach in EU and US; delivering clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical and device companies, as well as those run by The George Institute.  Amanda has 23 years’ experience implementing clinical trials across the Asia Pacific region, and has been a member of the George Clinical management team for 6 years. Amanda’s previous roles span CROs, global pharma and as a self-employed consultant.


Early Career Breakfast Meeting

Chris Williams

Dr Chris Williams, Clinical Research Fellowship and program lead of the Musculoskeletal Health Program, Hunter New England Local Health District

Dr Chris Williams is a physiotherapist and NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow. He also holds a Clinical Research Fellowship with the Hunter New England Local Health District and is the program lead of the Musculoskeletal Health Program, a program conducted within a practice-research partnership at the Population Health Research Group, Hunter New England Local Health District. He completed his PhD in 2013 at The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney Medical School. He has authored 45 papers and received approximately $2.2million in research funding. Dr Williams work relates to the management of musculoskeletal conditions, and their interaction with chronic disease and associated health risk behaviours (e.g. weight gain, inactivity, poor diet, alcohol misuse and smoking). This involves pragmatic research designs, imbedded with routine health services, as well as testing setting-based implementation strategies, which aim to improve evidence-based health care.


Christine Lin

Associate Professor Christine Lin, Senior Research Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, Associate Professor at Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney

Christine Lin is a Senior Research Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, Associate Professor at Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney and NHMRC Career Development Fellow. She has published >90 scientific publications and gained >$3.5M in competitive research funding. She worked as a clinical physiotherapist before gaining her PhD in 2008. She has recently returned to work from maternity leave and is learning to balance her role as a mum, wife and researcher.


Nicola Garrett

Nicola Garrett (the limbic)

Nicola Garrett is the Editorial Director of the limbic, an independent online news site for clinicians and researchers. Nicola has also written for the ABC, NatureNew Scientist and Australian Doctor. You can follow her on twitter @nicola_garrett and contact her by email at


Saraid crop

Dr Saraid Billiards, Director of Research Grants, NHMRC

In her role as Director of Research Grants at that NHMRC, Saraid is responsible for managing and delivering several funding schemes including Project Grants, Development Grants, Targeted Calls for Research and International Collaborations with an annual budget of approximately $500 million.  In addition to this role, Saraid is responsible for NHMRC’s Women in Health Science Committee – established to identify barriers and enablers to the progression and retention of women in health and medical research.

Saraid has a PhD in neurophysiology from Monash University.  After completing her PhD in 2003, Saraid worked for five years in the Department of Neuropathology at Harvard Medical School focusing on the underlying neuropathology of perinatal brain injury with particular focus on cerebral palsy and stillbirth.  Upon her return to Australia, Saraid continued her research at Melbourne University before taking up a position at NHMRC.