University of Bath
Janet Bultitude is a Senior Lecturer at the Psychology Department and Centre for Pain Research at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. Her research interests are in pain, attention, sensorimotor interaction, and neurorehabilitation.
Drawing from her background in stroke research, her most recent work has focussed on “neglect-like” changes and other sensory symptoms in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and how these could be targeted to bring about pain relief.
An Australian, she moved to the United Kingdom after her undergraduate degree at the Australian National University and completed a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Bangor University in Wales.
Following this, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Space and Action laboratory at the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM) in Lyon, France, and a Junior Research Fellow at Oxford University in England. She has published in leading neuroscience journals and given invited presentations and conference talks around the world.
University College Cork
John F. Cryan is Professor & Chair, Dept. of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork, Ireland and is also a Principal Investigator at APC Microbiome Ireland.
Professor Cryan's current research is focused on understanding the interaction between brain, gut & microbiome and how it applies to stress, psychiatric and immune-related disorders at key time-windows across the lifespan.
He has published over 450 articles and is co-author of the bestselling “The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection” from National Geographic Press.
He has received numerous awards including UCC Researcher of the Year in 2012; UCC Research Communicator of the Year 2017, the University of Utrecht Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research in 2013 and being named on the Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher list in 2014, 2017 & 2018.
Professor Cryan was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2017. He also received a Research Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterology Association and the Tom Connor Distinguished Scientist Award from Neuroscience Ireland in 2017 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Antwerp, Belgium in 2018. He was a TEDMED speaker in 2014 and is currently President of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society.
University of Minnesota
Erin E. Krebs, MD, MPH is an internal medicine physician and health services researcher at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Care Delivery and Outcomes Research and University of Minnesota Medical School.
Her research addresses clinical questions related to chronic pain and opioid analgesics, informed by her practice as a primary care physician. She was principal investigator of the landmark Strategies for Prescribing Analgesics Comparative Effectiveness (SPACE) trial that compared long-term pain, function, and quality of life outcomes of opioid therapy versus non-opioid medicaiton therapy for chronic back or osteoarthritis pain.
Her current research focuses on opioid tapering outcomes and care of patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain. Dr Krebs completed medical school and internal medicine residency at the University of Minnesota and received her MPH from the University of North Carolina, where she was a Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation Clinical Scholar.
Dr Christine Barry is a Senior Lecturer in Anatomy and Histology at Flinders University in Adelaide. She is a registered physiotherapist with 20 years clinical experience, including 10 as a Titled Member of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia, before completing her PhD in 2011 at the University of Adelaide.
Her current research focuses on plasticity of sensory neurons, especially in the female reproductive tract. She was awarded a 2019 Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation Project Grant to investigate sensory neuron activity and neuron-immune cell interactions relevant to vulvodynia.
University of Sydney
Fiona Blyth is Professor of Public Health and Pain Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, at the University of Sydney. She is a public health physician and pain epidemiologist. In January 2018 Prof Blyth was made a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for “significant service to medical research and education in the field of public health, pain management and ageing, and to health policy reform”.
Nth QLD Persistent Pain Mgmt Service
Dr Matthew Bryant (FANZCA, FFPMANZCA, FRACGP, FACRRM, Grad Dip Rural GP, MBBS) is Director of the North Queensland Persistent Pain Management Service. His team of 35 people (25 full time equivalent staff) provide multidisciplinary care to a population of 800 000 people, across five Hospital and Health Services, and an area of 770 000 km2. Prior to obtaining his Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia Fellowships, Matt worked as a rural GP in a number of locations across North Queensland and the Northern Territory. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at James Cook University, and a member of the Townsville Hospital Foundation Board and the ANZCA Faculty of Pain Medicine Queensland Regional Committee. His clinical and research interests include telehealth and pain management for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Persistent Pain Network
After Anaesthesia Fellowship, Dr. Cooke completed her pain medicine training at the Multidisciplinary Pain Management Unit, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital under the mentorship of Professor Tess Cramond. Further studies in paediatric anaesthesia and pain medicine were completed at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, USA before returning to Brisbane. She practices paediatric anaesthesia both publicly and privately.
Dr. Cooke practices as a Pain Medicine Specialist at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Brisbane and has a special interest in paediatric, adolescent and young adult pain medicine. She is a Director and Co-founder of SKIP, Support kids in Pain, a not for profit organisation providing community based multidisciplinary pain management programs to support children suffering chronic pain and their families. She is currently the Co-chair of the Statewide Persistent pain Management Network, Queensland.
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Dr Andrew Evans is a neurologist with more than 15 years specialist experience. He has developed a large team as Director of the Movement Disorder Service, Royal Melbourne Hospital.
He specializes in management and treatment of Parkinson’s patients and other movement disorder patients, offering a range of device-aided therapies to patients with Parkinson’s disease. As a consultant neurologist at the Melbourne Psychiatric Centre, Dr Evans is working within a quaternary referral service providing diagnosis and management of complex patients with a range of neurodegenerative syndromes including application and management of post-operative psychosurgery patients.
Dr Evans’ early research brought to light a range of impulsive and compulsive behaviors in Parkinson’s disease and highlighted the mechanisms underlying these providing critical insight into other behavioral symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease and disorders of addictions. He has published widely on this and other areas with currently over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals. He has written 5 books. His current research interests include investigator driven studies for Parkinson’s disease with specific emphasis on identification and management of nonmotor symptoms including pain. He has been active in a number of Phase I studies of putative novel neuroprotective agent’s in Parkinson’s.
University of South Australia
Dr Cobus Gerber is a senior chemist and heads the Population Health Chemistry research group at the University of South Australia. His research focus is the development of drug recovery from biofluid and wastewater media and mass spectrometry-based detection methods. He collaborates internationally in the emerging field of Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE). He has published several scientific papers and reports for government agencies on the application of WBE to show the scale of use of substances with abuse potential , as well as spatial and temporal changes in drug use in Australia.
University of Newcastle
Professor Jennifer Martin is a leading clinical pharmacologist. She is the Chair of the discipline of Clinical Pharmacology in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle and a senior staff specialist in internal medicine at the John Hunter Hospital.
Professor Martin is also Director of the NHMRC-funded Australia Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE), Australia's first federally-funded research centre in medicinal cannabinoids to ensure quality and safety in the implementation of medicinal cannabis use in the community.
She is also lead chief investigator on a $1.96 million Cancer Council NSW pathways grant to develop a personalised chemotherapy dosing system for cancer patients, and more than $3m in funding for medicinal cannabis research as part of NSW Government’s Clinical Cannabis Medicines Program. In addition, Professor Martin is part of Australia's first medical cannabis trial to produce world-class pharmacokinetic analysis and sophisticated modelling to inform drug dosage and frequency of administration.
Based at the Hunter Medical Research Institute, the former Rhodes Scholar leads a team of pharmacy and medicine experts together with pharmacoepidemiologists and pharmacoeconomists.
University of Queensland
Dr Samuel Robinson is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University Of Queensland. He is the 2020 Australian Pain Society Rising Star Award Winner.
His research expertise is in the discovery of new plant and animal toxins and investigation of their structure, function and potential for biomedical applications. Sam is an expert on plants and animals that sting, and the biology, chemistry, pharmacology and pathophysiology underlying those stings.
His research is providing new understanding on the mechanisms of chemical defense and predation used by animals and plants. The new toxins he has discovered are being used as tools for improving our understanding of the human body and designing new and better treatments for certain diseases.
University of Queensland
Michele Sterling is Professor in the Recover Injury Research Centre, Program Lead of the Designing Better Therapies research program and Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Road Traffic Injury Recovery. She is a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and a Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists. She is internationally recognised for her research on whiplash-associated disorders. Michele’s research focusses on the mechanisms underlying the development of chronic pain after injury, predictive algorithms for outcomes and developing effective interventions for musculoskeletal injury and pain. She has received over $13M in research funding from the NHMRC, ARC and industry partners, including 7 NHMRC project grants, 2 CRE's - the most recent as CIA. She has editorial roles with several leading journals and textbooks, and is a widely published author. She has received numerous awards for her research including the University of Queensland Foundation Research Excellence Award in 2005. Michele is an elected member of the leadership Council of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).
Associate Professor David Caldicott is an Emergency Consultant at the Emergency Department of the Calvary Hospital in Canberra and a Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the Australian National University.
He is a spokesperson for the Australian Science Media Centre on issues of illicit drug use and the medical response to terrorism and disasters.
Dr Caldicott designed and piloted the Welsh Emergency Department Investigation of Novel Substances (WEDINOS) project in the UK, a unique program using regional emergency departments as sentinel monitoring hubs for the emergence and spread of novel illicit products associated with harm. He has replicated this work in Australia with the ACT Investigation of Novel Substances (ACTINOS) Group.
He has published widely in the peer-reviewed literature, and presents nationally and internationally on the subject of the use of the emergency department as an observatory for the surveillance of novel psychotropic substances as they evolve, as well as their effects in acute overdose. He remains a staunch advocate for harm reduction, maintaining that drugs policy is an issue of public health, and not political morality.
Independent Member for Murchison
Hon Ruth Forrest MLC is the Independent Member for Murchison.
Ruth was born and educated in North Western Tasmania. She completed her General Nurse training in 1982, an Intensive Care Course in 1983 and Midwifery in 1984, working as a nurse and midwife since 1982, primarily as a midwife a caseload model of care that she and a colleague established in Tasmania in 1989.
Ruth has been a member of the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) since 1989, holding executive positions including Tasmanian Branch President and National Delegate. Ruth was awarded Fellowship of the ACM in 2001. She has also served on a number of midwifery/health related committees and councils.
Ruth worked for Family Planning Tasmania as a Clinical Nurse Educator and delivered antenatal education programs to pregnant teenagers and conducted sex education to primary and high school students from 1993 – 2005.
In May 2005, Ruth was elected to the Tasmanian Parliament in the Legislative Council as an Independent Member, representing the rural and remote electorate of Murchison. She was re-elected unopposed in May 2011 and re-elected in 2017. In 2018 Ruth was elected Deputy President and Chair of Committees in the Legislative Council. Ruth is currently a member of a number of Parliamentary committees, holding the position of Chair for many including an Inquiry into the legalization of Medicinal Cannabis in Tasmania.
Ruth has a strong commitment to lifelong learning. She completed a Master of Midwifery Degree (Flinders University, Adelaide) in 2010, the Tasmanian Leaders Program in 2011, the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course in 2012, a Graduate Certificate in Business (University of Tasmania) in 2013, the Australian Futures Project Parliamentary Leaders Program in 2017 and has participated in the Interdisciplinary WD Joske Colloquium since 2010.
In 2019, Ruth was named as one of the AFR’s 100 Women of Influence, and a finalist in the public policy category. She maintains a strong interest in health policy and service delivery, especially with regard to sexual and reproductive health services. She advocates strongly for social justice and the rights of women, girls, marginalized groups and vulnerable or disadvantaged communities. She comments regularly in the media on a broad range of issues including health, education, tax reform, long term strategic infrastructure planning, the State economy and women’s issues. Her speeches and media comments are available at www.ruthforrest.com.au.
Arthritis and Osteoporosis Tasmania
Alison Park spent over 32 years as a Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife and lastly as Director of Nursing for Women’s and Children’s Services at the Royal Hobart Hospital. She really enjoyed her work and was devastated when due to ill health was forced to retire early.
In the year 2000, Ms Park developed an acute onset of rheumatoid arthritis that over the next seven years took a substantial toll on her health, body and capacity/ability to continue to work. Due to this impact, she had to retire at the age of 50 and spend the next few years recovering and healing.
She investigated what community-based supports were available and luckily, found Arthritis and Osteoporosis Tasmania (AOT) who ran a warm water program. This program was of great assistance and support to Ms Park.
Since that time, she has become an active member of AOT. Ms Park is a qualified volunteer leader of a smoother mover’s program and runs a session weekly for others with musculo-skeletal conditions. She attend the office weekly and assists on the Infoline providing information and support to all of Tasmania. She is also a Community Speaker and currently holds a position on the Board of AOT as their community rep. She is a member of Arthritis Australia’s National Arthritis Consumer Representative Group.
A/Professor Michael Vagg, ia a consultant in rehabilitation and pain medicine. He graduated from Monash University in 1994 and spent several years as a uniformed Medical Officer in the RAAF before undertaking vocational training. Michael completed a Fellowship of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) in 2004 and gained Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists in 2006. Michael is also a Director of Pain Matrix and Pain Matrix Eastern.
He holds an appointment as Conjoint Clinical Associate Professor at Deakin University School of Medicine. For the Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM), he has been a Board member since 2013 and is currently the Vice Dean. Michael is a regular contributor to the media discussing various medical-related topics.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Dr Sam Whittle is a senior consultant rheumatologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia, and a senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide. He helped to establish the Australia & New Zealand Musculoskeletal Clinical Trials Network (ANZMUSC). He is also an ANZMUSC Practitioner Fellow, researching ‘living’ evidence in musculoskeletal disease. His other academic interests include fibromyalgia and spondyloarthritis. He is a member of the Board of the Australian Rheumatology Association (ARA) and is currently President of the SA Branch of the ARA.