University of Arizona
Patrick W Mantyh (Ph.D., J.D.) is a Professor of Pharmacology in the Arizona Cancer Centre at the University of Arizona, USA, he has been in this role since 2007. His interest is to understand the mechanisms that drive skeletal pain and develop new therapies that reduce pain and increase skeletal health.
He received his Ph. D. in neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco in 1981 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology at the University of Cambridge in 1983.
Dr Mantyh's lab first developed a model of bone cancer pain in 1999 and then a model of bone fracture pain in 2007. These models are now used by labs around the world. More recently, his focus has been to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate musculoskeletal pain and bone remodelling, and to use these findings in the development of novel therapies that reduce skeletal pain and promote skeletal health and successful ageing.
Imperial College London
Andrew S.C. Rice is a clinical academic active in clinical practice and translational research elucidating neuropathic pain. He is Professor of Pain Research at Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant in Pain Medicine at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London. Andrew’s research on neuropathic pain and covers both laboratory and clinical research spanning animal models, through deep profiling of patients with a view to personalised medicine, to clinical trials and evidence synthesis by meta-analysis. The emphasis is on neuropathic pain in the context of infectious diseases (HIV, Herpes Zoster, HTLV-1 and leprosy), diabetic neuropathy and peripheral nerve trauma, especially in a military context. He has published over 200 peer reviewed papers and has a citation (H) index of 55.
University of Alabama
Beverly E. Thorn, PhD, ABPP, is Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Alabama, where she was on the faculty for 30 years, including serving as Director of the Clinical Psychology PhD program for 15 years and Department Chair for 5 years. She is the recipient of the 2018 Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award from the American Pain Society and the 2020 Ronald D. Melzack Lecture Award from The International Association for the Study of Pain. She is a Fellow of the Society for Health Psychology (Division 38 of the American Psychological Association (APA)), the Society of Clinical Psychology (Division 12 of the APA), and the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Thorn has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, including Health Psychology, Pain, Journal of Pain, and European Journal of Pain. Her research has focused on investigating the important components of CBT for chronic painful conditions. Since retiring in 2016, she has remained actively involved in dissemination and implementation of CBT for chronic pain with low-income, multiply disadvantaged populations. She also consults in health care settings to help train behavioral health providers to implement CBT for pain management.
Queensland Children's Hospital
Dr Mark Alcock is a Specialist Pain Medicine Physician and Anaesthetist who works at the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, Australia. He has been the clinical lead of the Queensland Interdisciplinary Paediatric Persistent Pain Service since 2016, overseeing a period of great change and growth in this tertiary level state-wide service since it secured recurrent funding.
Mark is a born and bred Tasmanian, and after completing university studies and anaesthetic training there he undertook fellowships at the Pain Management Unit at Barwon Health, Geelong, and the Children’s Pain Management Service at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.
He is the immediate past chair of the Pain in Childhood Special Interest Group of the Australian Pain Society, an editor of the most recent edition of Acute Pain Management: Scientific Evidence (5th edition), an examiner for the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, and is an integral member of the first Project ECHO series dedicated to paediatric chronic pain, which is run through Children’s Health Queensland.
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.
North Queensland Persistent Pain Management 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.
University of Newcastle
Brett Graham is an Associate Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy at the University of Newcastle, NSW.
Brett graduated with his PhD in 2006 and after a short postdoctoral period started his research laboratory, now the Spinal Cord Connections Group, in 2008. The primary theme of his research is spinal sensory coding, a topic he has been focused on since completing Honours year studying inhibitory synaptic transmission between spinal dorsal horn neurons in 2001.
University of Adelaide
Professor Mark Hutchinson is the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and a Professor within the Adelaide Medical School at the University of Adelaide. Mark is also President-elect to Science and Technology Australia, the peak body in Australia that represents 88,000 scientists. From Nov 2021 he will begin his 2-year term as President of STA.
Professor Hutchinson’s research explores the “other brain” or the other 90% of cells in the brain and spinal cord. These immune-like cells are termed glia. Mark’s research has implicated the brain immune-like cells in the action of drugs of dependence and the negative side effects of pain treatments. He has pioneered research that has led to the discovery of novel drug activity at innate immune receptors. His work has enabled the translation of compounds at the lab bench to clinical agents used at the bedside.
In his role as Director of the CNBP he is responsible for the research program of the ARC Centre of Excellence with $50M of funding headquartered at The University of Adelaide, with nodes at Macquarie University and UNSW, Sydney, the RMIT, Melbourne and Griffith University Qld. The CNBP is partnered with universities and companies in Europe, the US and China, as well as other Australian institutions. Prof Hutchinson’s work with the CNBP is to "Discover new approaches to measure nano-scale dynamic phenomena in living systems” and allow the first minimally invasive realtime visualisations of the “other brain”.
University of Sydney
Steve Kamper is Professor of Allied Health at University of Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District. This role involves supporting clinicians in the public system to conduct research as part of their day-to-day practice. He has ongoing roles with the Pain Revolution, the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health, the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy and PEDro (the Physiotherapy Evidence Database).
Steve’s research career has been supported by continuous fellowship funding from NHMRC from 2008 to 2025. His research interest is in musculoskeletal pain (especially back and neck pain) in adults and adolescents and more recently in understanding how chronic pain fits into health more broadly. Steve writes the ‘Evidence in Practice’ series JOSPT which is used in training and fellowship programs globally to help clinicians incorporate research into their practice.
Monash Addiction Research Centre
Associate Professor Suzanne Nielsen (BPharm, BPharmSc[Hons] PhD MPS) is the Deputy Director of the Monash Addiction Research Centre in Melbourne, and is a current NHMRC Career Development Fellow. She has published over 135 peer-reviewed publications, and been awarded more than AUD$10M in research funding. Her work has led to a greater understanding of prescription and over-the-counter drug-related problems, opioid dependence in people with chronic non-cancer pain, and the impact of policy change on opioid-related harms. She has been a registered pharmacist for over 20 years, with clinical experience in the treatment of substance use disorders includes in specialist drug treatment and community-based alcohol and drug treatment settings in Australia and the United Kingdom.
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.
University of Sydney
Iain McGregor is Professor of Psychopharmacology and Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics in the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia.
Iain's research is focused on the discovery and development of new medications for the treatment of disease and spans medicinal chemistry, in silico pharmacology, cellular and preclinical animal models of disease, human psychopharmacology and clinical trials. His inventions around the use of oxytocin-like molecules to treat addiction and social withdrawal led to the successful spinoff company Kinoxis Therapeutics. Iain has more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, multiple patents, and an h-Index of 74.
Iain has a strong research interest in the repurposing of natural products for therapeutic purposes. He is currently Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics which was formed in 2015 with a gift of unprecedented generosity from the Lambert family to the University of Sydney. The Lambert Initiative has a strong international reputation for leading research into the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids in epilepsy, pain, cancer, addictions and mental health conditions. It has also developed a large library of proprietary small molecules.
The Lambert Initiative is also engaged at a social and political level to improve community and professional education around medicinal cannabis and to bring about evidence-based regulatory change and improved patient access. His team has recently published educational articles around medicinal cannabis for health professionals in Australian Prescriber, MJA Insight and the Australian Journal of General Practice.
Recently Iain and his team have diversified into psychedelic research and are currently developing plans for a research program around psychedelic drug discovery and a clinical trial of psilocybin in the treatment of eating disorders.
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). They provided information specific to her needs and access to a warm water program.
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 weekly session for others with musculo-skeletal conditions. She volunteers as a Community Speaker and with Infoline - a service that provides information and support to all Tasmanians with musculo-skeletal conditions.
Ms Park is a consumer representative on the Board of AOT and a member of Arthritis Australia’s Consumer Arthritis Panel.
Pain Matrix Pty Ltd
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.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Sam is a senior consultant rheumatologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia, a senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide and an adjunct senior research fellow at Monash University. His clinical interests include fibromyalgia and spondyloarthritis. He is currently an ANZMUSC Practitioner Fellow, researching living evidence, and has led the development of the Australian Living Guideline for the Pharmacological Management of Inflammatory Arthritis (www.mskguidelines.org).
He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Australia & New Zealand Musculoskeletal Clinical Trials Network (ANZMUSC), a member of the Cochrane Musculoskeletal editorial board and sits on the Steering Committee of the South Australian Statewide Chronic Pain Clinical Network. He has recently completed a term as a Board member of the Australian Rheumatology Association and President of the South Australian branch of the ARA.