Dialog Box

Scientific Advisory Committee

The Maddie’s Vision Scientific Advisory Committee, comprised of Australia’s preeminent adult and paediatric haematologists/oncologists, immunologists and scientific researchers, reviews and awards funding to research projects that are criteria specific and scientific merit based via a competitive and transparent twice-yearly granting round.


Professor David Ritchie

Chair

Professor David Ritchie is a Haematologist and Bone Marrow transplant specialist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He undertook his medical training and PhD in Immunology at the University of Otago before moving to Melbourne 10 years ago.

He is head of the Bone Marrow Transplant Service of Royal Melbourne Hospital. He runs two research laboratories and is involved in all aspects of research into blood and bone marrow conditions. He is the immediate past president of the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand and is heavily involved in training young haematologists and medical researchers.

Professor David Haylock

Professor David Haylock brings considerable expertise in the isolation, characterization and ex vivo manipulation of human haemopoietic stem and progenitor cells to this initiative. Specifically, Professor Haylock has developed serum-free cytokine dependent culture systems for ex vivo expansion of haemopoietic stem cells (HSC) that enable analysis of the effect of purified recombinant cytokines on the proliferation and differentiation of HSC. Furthermore, he has significant skills in flow cytometric methods for multiparameter immunophenotypic analysis and fluorescent activated sorting of rare cell subsets.

Recently, in collaboration with Professors Elefanty and Stanley (Monash University), this has involved detailed immunophenotypic characterisation of putative haemopoietic stem cells derived from differentiated hESC cultures. In addition, through his direction of the CRC-Polymers biomaterials project Prof Haylock has developed knowledge and expertise on biomaterials and bioreactor based systems for expansion of haemopoietic stem and progenitor cells.

This includes the development of modified polymer surfaces that facilitate immobilisation of biological ligands for cell expansion. These skills and expertise will be utilised in development of novel systems for propagating megakaryocytes and producing platelets from hESC derived precursors.

Associate Professor Rachel Conyers

Associate Professor Rachel Conyers is a paediatric, adolescent and young adult malignant haematologist/oncologist. Rachel completed her medical degree at Monash University in 2003. Completing fellowships in Paediatric Oncology at The Royal Children’s Hospital (Melbourne), Bone Marrow Transplantation (Great Ormond Street Hospital, London) and Adolescent Young Adult Sarcoma (University College Hospital, London).

Returning to Australia in 2010, Rachel began an Adult and Adolescent fellowship in Haematology at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre whilst completing her PhD in sarcoma pharmacogenomics and genetics. In 2016 she was awarded a Clinician Scientist Fellowship at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (2016-2019). This research fellowship will allow her to continue her research into the genetic predisposition to chemotherapy side effects (mainly anthracycline cardiomyopathy).

In 2016 Rachel also co-founded Treat Unique, an Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology and Haematology service in the private sector. Currently Rachel works as a Bone Marrow Transplant Physician at The Royal Children’s Hospital and in Adult and Young Adult Haematology at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Parkville.

Associate Professor Steven Lane

Steven Lane is a clinical haematologist and translational researcher, based out of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. His clinical work covers all aspects of benign and malignant haematology, with a specific focus on myeloid blood cancers such as AML, MDS and myeloproliferative neoplasm. He is the Director of Clinical Research in Cancer Care at RBWH, and a principal investigator on a number of national cooperative trials.

Steven is the Head of the Cancer Program at QIMR Berghofer, and lab head of the Gordon and Jessie Gilmour Leukaemia Research Lab. His lab researches myeloid blood cancers such as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and the myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). These are very aggressive and rapidly fatal blood cancers that are among the most common types of cancer affecting Australians.

His efforts are concentrated on understanding how leukaemia stem cells in AML and MPN are able to regenerate leukaemia (or cause relapse in patients), even after cytotoxic chemotherapy. To achieve this, research has focused on generating robust models of leukaemia and dissecting the pathways of self-renewal in leukaemia stem cells and normal blood stem cells.

Steven has been fortunate to be awarded a CSL Centenary Fellowship (2017-21) and has previously received a Fulbright Scholarship and NHMRC Career Development Fellowship. His lab has also received support from NHMRC (continuous 2011-current), Cancer Australia, the Leukaemia Foundation and philanthropic donations. Steven is the Queensland Councillor and Treasurer for the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Associate Professor Ingrid Winkler

Associate Professor Ingrid Winkler is a Senior Research Fellow of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and head of the Stem Cells and Cancer Research Group at Mater Research - University of Queensland in Brisbane. Dr Winkler's basic research program was recognised as among 'Ten of the best research projects in Australia' by NHMRC (2013) and seeks to understand how normal and malignant Haematopoietic Stem Cells are regulated by their local microenvironments (niches) in the bone marrow.

Dr Winkler's innovative research has led to the discovery of novel strategies to protect Haematopoietic Stem Cells from acquired bone marrow failure following chemotherapy or radiation damage, as well as strategies to improve the success of leukaemia therapy by blocking access to protective niches in the bone marrow and are the basis for current clinical trials in progress.

Dr Winkler brings to this position expertise in facilitating the interactions between strong basic research, research funding success and clinical trials. Dr Winkler is also passionate about training the next generation of leaders and has initiated a highly successful mentorship program.

Dr Duncan Purtill

Dr Duncan Purtill is a clinical and laboratory haematologist at Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA. He trained at Royal Perth Hospital and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and undertook fellowships at Hôpital Saint Louis, Paris, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York.

His interests are in stem cell transplantation and cellular therapies, and in promoting the use and application of clinical trials and patient registries in haematological malignancies.

He is Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Fiona Stanley Hospital, a member of the eviQ BMT Reference Committee, and vice-president of Australia and New Zealand Transplantation and Cellular Therapies.

Dr Pasquale Barbaro

Dr Pasquale (Paddy) Barbaro is currently a Paediatric Haematologist at the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane Australia. Pasquale undertook his Haematology training at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and has worked as a locum Haematologist at both the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne before taking up the position at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. He leads the Haemoglobinopathy service at the QCH and has overseen the development of the Haemoglobinopathy unit in QLD including clinical guidelines, transition clinics and formalised surveillance protocols for children with Haemoglobinopathies. He has an interest in the diagnosis and management of Haemoglobinopathies in children and is a member of the Sickle Cell Australia working group developing national guidelines for the management of patients with Sickle Cell Disease. His other areas of work include inherited bone marrow failure syndromes and he has completed a PhD through the University of Sydney, on Telomere biology and the effect of telomere length on outcome in paediatric cancer. Pasquale has been associated with publication on short telomere disorders, genetic diagnosis of inherited bone marrow failure syndromes as well as other non-malignant paediatric haematology.

Professor Kanta Subbarao

Professor Kanta Subbarao is the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza and Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Melbourne at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. She is a virologist and a physician with specialty training in paediatrics and paediatric infectious diseases. Prior to her arrival in Melbourne, she was a senior scientist at the US National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the years, Professor Subbarao’ s research has focused on newly emerging viral diseases of global importance including seasonal and pandemic influenza, SARS, MERS and now, SARS-CoV-2. Her current research efforts are directed at understanding the biology and immune responses to influenza viruses and vaccines and SARS-CoV-2. She is an internationally recognised leader in the field of emerging respiratory viruses. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been invited to serve on several international panels on animal models and vaccines.


 


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