Dr Christine Chambers (PhD RPsych FRSC FCAHS) is the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Children’s Pain, a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience and Pediatrics at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a clinical psychologist. Her research lab is based at the IWK Health Centre. She is also the Scientific Director of Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP), a national knowledge mobilization network whose mission is to improve children's pain management by mobilizing evidence-based solutions through coordination and collaboration. She also serves as the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH).
Medical College of Wisconsin
Professor Cheryl Stucky is the Marvin Wagner Endowed Chair at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) where she is also Director of the Pain Division of the Neuroscience Research Center. Dr Stucky earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota. She then moved to Germany to pursue postdoctoral research first at the University of Würzburg in Würzburg, Germany, and next at the Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany.
Dr Stucky's lab studies the molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms of sensation, particularly how we sense touch and pain. The central theme of Dr Stucky's lab is to study the molecular and physiological mechanisms that underlie somatosensory mechanotransduction in the normal, healthy state and in conditions of tissue injury or disease. She approaches questions with a top-down focus on pain and somatosensory mechanisms, from whole organism behavior down to single cell responses and the ion channels underlying the responses. She uses injury models associated with persistent pain, including neuropathic, postsurgical, inflammatory pain and migraine headache as well as disease models that spontaneously develop pain including sickle cell disease and Fabry disease to dissect molecular and physiological causes of pain.
For the past 23 years, she has had a robust record of continuous independent NIH funding, including currently being the Principal Investigator on an NIH R01 grant funded by NINDS, and a Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award (R37) from NINDS. She has published over 113 original research articles, reviews and book chapters (h-index 44 in Scopus; NIH Relative Citation Ratio (RCR) = 275). She has received a number of awards including The John C. Liebeskind Early Career Scholar Award for 2002 from the American Pain Society, the Woman Pioneers in Research Award at the Medical College of Wisconsin for 2014, and the Medical College of Wisconsin Outstanding Educator award for Medical and Graduate students numerous years.
Dr Stucky is passionate about training graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and technicians, as well as supporting junior faculty. She loves training mentees to write independent grants, papers and give talks and to be confident in becoming our next generation of scientists. Dr Stucky currently serves Chair of the Neurobiology of Pain and Itch Study Section for the Center for Scientific Review, USA.
The Mercy Hospital for Women | Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne | Austin Hospital
Dr Charlotte Elder is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with a special interest in Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology and Transgender Health. She completed her MBBS (Hons) and BMedSci at The University of Melbourne in 2006 and, after an internship and residency year at the Alfred Hospital, moved on to undertake FRANZCOG training whilst working at Monash Health, The Mercy Hospital for Women and Box Hill Hospital.
Charlotte completed a Fellowship in Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology at The Royal Children’s Hospital and through this, joined their Gender Team. In 2016, Charlotte became the equal first Australian to achieve the international IFEPAG fellowship in Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology. Charlotte is passionate about young people’s health and helping everyone to achieve their potential.
In 2019, she co-convened the World Congress in Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology which drew over 500 delegates from 48 countries. Currently Charlotte has public appointments at The Royal Children’s Hospital, The Mercy Hospital for Women and Austin Health. Charlotte is also part of a group who were successful in achieving $1.9 million in grant funding to research pelvic pain in adolescents.
University of New South Wales
Professor James McAuley is a leading researcher in the field of chronic pain, specifically low back pain. He is a psychologist and NHMRC Investigator Fellow at UNSW Sydney, where he is a Professor in the School of Health Sciences. He is also a Senior Research Scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and Director of the Centre for Pain IMPACT, a multidisciplinary team of researchers, educators, and clinicians.
Professor McAuley has published >250 articles including 18 randomised controlled trials and holds over $30M in research funding from NHMRC and MRFF. He has a seat on the SPHERE Maridulu Budyari Gumal Governing Council, is a founding member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Australia New Zealand Musculoskeletal Clinical Trials Network, and executive member of the NHMRC Low Back Pain Centre for Research Excellence. In 2015, he founded the NSW network for pain ECRs (SPRiNG).
University of Technology Sydney
Professor Toby Newton-John is the Head of the Graduate School of Health at the University of Technology Sydney. He leads an academic and professional staff team responsible for the post-graduate training of over 750 students in a range of allied health professions including clinical psychology, physiotherapy, pharmacy, speech pathology, genetic counselling and orthoptics. He has published over 90 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has co-edited 2 major textbooks, predominantly in the area of the psychology of chronic physical illness. He is a Chief Investigator on research grants totalling more than $7 million since 2020, and is on the Editorial boards of the Canadian Journal of Pain and the Australian Psychologist.
He is also a Senior Clinical Psychologist, having worked in a variety of mental health settings (public and private hospitals, inpatient and outpatient services) for over 20 years prior to entering academia. He continues to work at the Northern Pain Centre in Sydney on a very part time basis.
University of Sydney
Professor Louise Sharpe is a clinical psychologist by training who worked in clinical roles in the National Health Service in the UK before completing her PhD at The University of London in health psychology.
She is currently a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Associate Dean for Research Education at the University of Sydney. She researches the interface between clinical and health psychology, focused on the development of clinically significant psychological problems in people with a range of chronic health conditions, including pain, cancer and multi-morbidity.
She has published more than 250 peer-reviewed publications. She has received awards from the Australian Psychological Society and The Australian Association for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT) for her contribution to clinical psychology and cognitive behavior therapy. She is a Fellow of both the AACBT and the Association for Social Science in Australia.
Helen Slater is a Professor in the Curtin School of Allied Health, and enAble institute, Curtin University. She is a senior clinician-researcher co-leading a research program focused on system-wide reform in musculoskeletal pain with Prof Andrew Briggs. Her work programs are focused on improving the lives of people living with chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) pain and minimising the burden of pain on individuals and the community.
Her team’s strategic consumer and health workforce capacity building initiatives reach across jurisdictions (nationally and internationally), sectors (health systems and policy, health industry and educational) and cross-disciplines to achieve this aim. The enabling role for digital technologies in supporting sustainable musculoskeletal Models of Care is a key focus.
Helen is a Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists (FACP), and continues to consult in the capacity of a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist.
University of South Australia
A/Professor Tasha Stanton is the co-Director for IIMPACT in Health at The University of South Australia and leads the Persistent Pain Research Group at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Adelaide. A clinical pain neuroscientist, with original training as a physiotherapist, Tasha has a specific interest in understanding sensory and cognitive contributors to pain to underpin development of new treatments for chronic pain. Her research expertise includes pain education, osteoarthritis, body perception, somatosensation, and virtual and mediated reality technologies. She has received >$7.8m in competitive research funding, has published >110 peer-reviewed journal articles, has authored a book on Pain Science Education for Osteoarthritis (EPIPHAKnee) and she has been a keynote/invited speaker at >110 national and international conferences. Her research has won both national and international awards, including the World Congress of Pain Ronald Dubner research award, the Australian Pain Society Rising Star Award and the Australian Physiotherapy Association Best New Investigator Award. She has been recognised by the field for her scientific communication including ABC RN’s Top 5 under 40 scientific communicators and AIPS Young Tall Poppy of the Year (SA).
Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr Nik Veldhuis is an ARC Future Fellow and group leader in the Drug Discovery Biology Theme at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS). He obtained his PhD in 2009 from the Department of Genetics at The University of Melbourne, and subsequently trained in neuropharmacology and analgesic drug discovery before becoming a group leader in 2016. For >10 years his multi-disciplinary program has utilised molecular pharmacology, microscopy and multi-omics to reveal how TRP ion channels and GPCRs contribute to pain and neuroinflammation; and applied medicinal and polymer chemistry to control these events with novel nanomedicines and drug conjugates. More recently, he initiated a dermatology drug discovery program focussed on characterising a novel mouse pain model for a rare childhood skin fragility disorder known as Epidermolysis Bullosa.
He has >53 peer-reviewed publications (including Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Chem Biol, Nature Communications, PNAS x 5, Neuron and Biomaterials), >$10M in funding as a group leader (ARC, MRFF, NHMRC, charity), sustained industry partnerships since 2015, 1 patent on novel analgesic nanoparticles that was licensed to a USA-based start-up, and his research has been highlighted by multiple media outlets (Channel 7 Sunrise, Channel 9 News, SBS, Herald Sun and ABC Radio).