Keynote Speakers


International Speakers

Sam Eldabe

Professor Sam Eldabe

Professor Sam Eldabe is a Clinical Professor of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at Durham University and consultant Anaesthetist at the James Cook University Hospital Middlesbrough, UK. He has practiced as a pain consultant for the last 18 years. Professor Eldabe's interests include the use neuromodulation for the treatment of neuropathic pain particularly Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, medication management with particular reference to opioids, he is also interested in cancer pain relief and collaboration with the local palliative care team.

Professor Eldabe has published more than 50 articles on the subjects of pain relief and cost effectiveness of various pain procedures and he is currently Chief Investigator of 8 research projects investigating. Professor Eldabe is the Chair of the British Pain Society ‘s Science and Research Committee, an academic editor to the Public Library of Science online Journal PLoS One, the Deputy Director of the Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria, Past President of the Neuromodulation Society, UK and Ireland and President Elect of the International Neuromodulation Specialist Interest Group.

Lawrence Poree

Dr Lawrence Poree

Dr. Poree holds the  position of Clinical Professor in the Department of Anesthesia at the University of California, San Francisco where he serves as the director of the Neuromodulation service.  He earned a PhD from UC Berkeley where he investigated the analgesic properties of endogenous compounds.  He continued his studies in spinal cord stimulation and neural processing during his postdoctoral training in the department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins.

He continued his research of autonomic involvement in neuropathic pain at  Stanford University where he earned his medical degree and completed his residency in anesthesia.  He then completed his interventional pain fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).   He worked in private practice for 15 years before returning to UCSF to direct the neuromodulation program.

He currently serves as the treasurer for the North American Neuromodulation Society.  He also serves on the board of directors for the NANS research foundation and on the research committee for the International Neuromodulation Society.

Recent research activities includes his role as a principal investigator for the DRG stimulation Accurate Study.

He lectures extensively on the topic of neuromodulation as well as chronic pain management.

Michael Stanton-Hicks

Dr Michael Stanton-Hicks

Now retired and working as a consultant at Cleveland Clinic, Dr Stanton-Hicks continues to pursue his interests in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Innovations related to neuromodulation. He is Principal Investigator in 2 projects related to the Mechanism of Sympathetic Pain and High Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation. With over 170 published articles in peer-reviewed papers and textbooks, Dr Stanton-Hicks is on a number of editorial boards and is a reviewer of scientific articles for publication in many scientific journals. As a scientific advisor to industry involved in the development and manufacture of medical devices for neuromodulation he is sought after for his clinical experience and interest in their development. Dr Stanton-Hicks is the recipient of many awards for his service to professional societies. He maintains a busy clinical and surgical practice 2 days a week and is advisor to the Industrial Commission and Agency for Health Technology.

Simon Thomson

Dr Simon Thomson

Dr Simon Thomson has been involved in pain medicine and neuromodulation since 1992. He is the clinical lead of multidisciplinary pain service including community, specialist and specialised pain services and is active in clinical research receiving grants from National Institute of Health Research and commercial grants. Dr Thomson's research has included pragmatic randomised comparator and longitudinal cohort designs and mechanism of action studies of spinal cord stimulation.  He is the adviser to NICE and NHS England, is the immediate Past President of INS serving from 2009 to 2015 and provides Educational events by lecture, cadaver and live surgery workshops. 



National Speakers

Charles Brooker

Dr Charles Brooker

Dr Charles Brooker is an Anaesthetist and Pain Medicine Specialist with over 17 years experience practicing in pain medicine. He is involved in acute and chronic pain medicine and related clinical research. Dr Brooker is currently Director of the Chronic and Cancer Pain Service and Head of the Department of Pain Medicine at the Royal North Shore Hospital.


Nick  Christelis

Dr Nick Christelis

Nick is a Director and co-founder of Victoria Pain Specialists, a specialist pain management group and is a visiting pain specialist in a number of Melbourne hospitals. He is the current secretary of NSANZ and an adjunct senior lecturer for Monash University.
Vic Pain is a specialist pain clinic that works effectively and efficiently in providing pain sufferers with effective pain relief. The clinic encompasses a truly caring team that focuses on holistic complete multidisciplinary medical care but also uses advanced and cutting edge pain reduction techniques and technology where appropriate. Nick is a husband and father of two.

Terry Coyne

Dr Terry Coyne

Dr Terry Coyne is a neurosurgeon with specialist skills in brain and spinal surgery. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Queensland in 1983 and finished training as a specialist neurosurgeon in 1991, having worked at the Townsville, Royal Brisbane and Princess Alexandra Hospitals. Dr Coyne continued his neurosurgical training, spending two years completing a post-graduate Fellowship at the University of Toronto, Canada. He returned to Brisbane in 1994 to commence an appointment as a Visiting Medical Officer (Neurosurgeon) at the Royal Brisbane and Royal Children’s Hospitals. He also commenced in private practice at that time. After 11 years of combined public hospital and private practice, Dr Coyne is now in full-time private practice with BrizBrain & Spine.

Jane Elvy

Ms Jane Elvy

Jane Elvy commenced as a Pain Management Nurse at Hunter Pain Clinic in 2011.





Emma  Farrugia

Emma Farrugia

Emma graduated as an Occupational Therapist from Curtin University WA in 2000. She has had over 15 years experience working as an OT both in adult mental health, and in neurological and physical rehabilitation.
Emma has worked in both hospital and community settings in Perth and in London. She is a registered Occupational Therapist with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia and is a member of Occupational Therapy
Australia. She has also tutored at an undergraduate level at the School of Occupational Therapy at Edith Cowan University. Emma has special interest in the areas of chronic pain, mental health,and neurology, and has had
significant experience in individual and group interventions, particularly in regards to self-management of the aboveareas. She is also experienced in individual case management of clients with complex needs.

Philip Finch

Dr Philip Finch

Dr Philip Finch is currently the Medical Director of the Perth Pain Management Centre in Western Australia. He completed his medical education at the University of Western Australia. Philip has worked in the field of pain medicine since 1978 and only in this field since 1987. His particular interests are those of intervention using nerve blocks and radiofrequency lesioning in a number of spinal and other structures. In particular, he is interested in the intervertebral disc as a possible origin for spinal pain and methods for treating this condition. He has been instrumental in developing equipment for radiofrequency lesioning including curved radiofrequency electrodes and the discTRODE. More recently, he has studied the association between implanted intrathecal opioid pumps and the development of hypogonadism in male patients, with related loss of bone density and onset of osteoporosis. He has also been interested in the field of neuropathic pain, specifically Complex Regional Pain. With Professor Peter Drummond, he has studied the importance of alpha-1 adrenoceptors both in humans and animal models of neuropathic pain, producing a number of publications over the years.

Peter Georgius

Dr Peter Georgius

Dr Peter Georgius holds a double Fellowship in both Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Australian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, the Royal Australian College of Physicians, and a Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. He has been in Private practice on the Sunshine Coast for four years and has extensive experience in all aspects of musculo-skeletal and neurological rehabilitation. His scope of practice includes pain management and the rehabilitation of patients with complex conditions. He has expertise in advanced pain management procedures including diagnostic blocks, radiofrequency neurotomies, dorsal column stimulators and peripheral nerve stimulators.

Marc Russo

Dr Marc Russo

Dr Marc Russo is the Director of the Hunter Pain Clinic, Hamilton Day Surgery, Hunter Clinical Research and Co-Director of the Innervate Pain Management Program in Newcastle NSW Australia.  He founded the Hunter Pain Clinic in 1999, Hamilton Day Surgery in 2001, Hunter Specialist Medical Centre 2003, Hunter Clinical Research in 2005.  He also founded NAPS (Newcastle Anaesthetic Peri-operative Services).

Dr Russo is the founding member and a past President of the Australian Chapter of the International Neuromodulation Society. He was the 2013-14 Secretary of the International Chapter of Neuromodulation Society and resides on advisory boards, scientific advisory boards and committees nationally and internationally. Dr Russo has a special interest and expertise in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.  At present he is Principal Investigator supervising a clinical trial 2012-03-699 into the treatment of CRPS.

Thomas Smith

Dr Thomas Smith

Dr Tom Smith (MBBS(Hons) MD FRCA FFPMRCA) joined the MetroPain Group in Melbourne – a leading centre in neuromodulation last year and also has a public appointment at Monash Health. Prior to this, he was a Consultant at the Neuromodulation and Pain Management Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals Trust in London, a leading European implant centre. His background is Anaesthesia and he has also trained and worked in Germany and the USA. Tom has been implanting since 2009, and been an investigator and author in published clinical trials of new neuromodulation technologies since then. 

Richard Sullivan

Dr Richard Sullivan

Dr Richard Sullivan (MBChB, FANZCA, FFPMANZCA) is an anaesthetist and pain specialist with Precision Brain, Spine and Pain in Melbourne, Victoria. There he helps coordinate a multidisciplinary team (MDT) focused around the contemporary, integrative and holistic care of patients with pain. He is the medical director of the Ascend Pain Management Program with MDT programs around Melbourne and in Tasmania.  He is also an interventional pain physician with an avid interest in neuromodulation techniques. His research interests are in MDT program outcomes for injured workers and novel neuromodulation techniques and outcomes.  Originally from Dunedin, New Zealand, he has worked and trained in anaesthesia and pain medicine in Victoria, New Zealand, New South Wales and Northern Territory. He is the current President of the Neuromodulation Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Peter Teddy

Professor Peter Teddy

Professor Peter Teddy (DPhil, FRACS, FFPMANZCA) has public appointments as a Neurosurgeon at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Western Hospital, and Northern Hospital. He also consults and operates at Linacre Private Hospital. He is Professorial Fellow in Neurosurgery in the Department of Surgery at Melbourne University. Professor Teddy is a world-authority on the neurosurgical treatment of pain, including: Facial pain and headaches, spinal problems and neuropathic pain.

Michael Vagg

Dr Michael Vagg

Michael Vagg is a consultant in rehabilitation and pain medicine. He graduated fro Monash University in 1994 and spend several years as a uniformed Medical Officer in the RAAF before undertaking vocational training. Dr.Vagg completed a Fellowship of the Australian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) in 2004. He subsequently gained Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists in 2006. Dr.Vagg is also a Director of Pain matrix. He Holds an appointment as Clinical Senior Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Medicine at Deakin University School of Medicine. For the Faculty of Pain medicine (FPM), he is Chair of the Continuing Professional Development Committee and Board member representing the Australian Faculty of Rehabilitation medicine (AFRM). He is also and executive member of the AFRM Special Interest Group

(SIG) in musculoskeletal, pain and occupational rehabilitation. Dr Vagg is a regular contributor to the media. he writes regularly for the Converstation website ( as a Health and Medicine Columist. He has appeared in ABC local radio around the country and occasionally on TV discussing various medical-related topics. His area of clinical interest include soft tissue pain, post-amputation pain and interventional pain treatments. 

Paul Verrills

Dr Paul Verrills

Dr Paul Verrills (MBBS FAFMM GDMM(Hons) MPainMed FIPP) practices full time interventional pain management and is a Director of Metro Spinal Clinic in Melbourne, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Musculoskeletal Medicine and completed a Masters in Pain Medicine under Professor Bogduk at the University of Newcastle. He has also been awarded his International Fellowship in Interventional Pain Practice. He spent nearly a decade on the Research Committee of the International Spine Intervention Society and continues to lead a dedicated team undertaking cutting-edge research and data collection. He regularly presents in Australasia and the United States on interventional techniques and his special interest is Neuromodulation. He is an Editorial Reviewer for Neuromodulation and Pain Medicine Journals. He is a past Faculty member for the International Neuromodulation Society (INS), and is the Past President of the Neuromodulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, a chapter of the INS . He is also an active member of the International Spine Intervention Society, World Institute of Pain, The International Association for the Study of Pain, and the Spine Society of Australia.

Eric Visser

Professor Eric Visser

Eric Visser is the Inaugural Churack Chair of Chronic Pain Education and Research at the University of Notre Dame Australia in Fremantle, and a specialist pain medicine physician and anaesthesiologist at Joondalup Health Campus and St John of God Hospital Subiaco. He is also clinical senior lecturer in the School of Pharmacology and Anesthesiology at the University of Western Australia.

Eric has wide-ranging interests including pain education, acute pain service applications, spinal pain, headaches, CRPS and pharmacological pain management. He has a particular interest in peripheral neural blockade for chronic pain.


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