Board and Committees

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2021 ASCEPT Board

President
Associate Professor Danijela Gnjidic
School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney

Associate Professor Danijela Gnjidic is an NHMRC Dementia Leadership Fellow at the School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney. Her research expertise is in clinical and geriatric pharmacology, deprescribing, pharmacoepidemiology, and the quality use of medicines.

President Elect 
Professor Kevin Pfleger
Head of Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University of Western Australia

Professor Kevin Pfleger is Director Biomedical Innovation at The University of Western Australia (UWA) and MTPConnect WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub, as well as Head of Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology at UWA’s Centre for Medical Research (Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research). He is also Chief Scientific Advisor of ASX-listed Dimerix Limited and is a member of the International Advisory Group of the British Pharmacological Society.

Treasurer
Professor Ross Vlahos
School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, RMIT University

Professor Ross Vlahos is Associate Dean of Biomedical Sciences and Head of the Respiratory Research Group in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University. His research aims to identify novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and its co-morbidities including skeletal muscle wasting, cardiovascular disease, cognitive dysfunction and metabolic syndrome.

Board/Company Secretary
Professor Carl Kirkpatrick
Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University

Carl Kirkpatrick is a Professor of Pharmacy Practice, at the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University. His research expertise is in the area of Pharmacometrics and Model Informed Drug Development and Discovery. He has applied these approaches intensively across the anti-infective area and a number of other therapeutic areas.

Director and Education Forum Chair
Angela Finch
Senior Lecturer, Head of Teaching for the Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Sydney

I have been a member of ASCEPT for over 20 years attending my first meeting in 1993 as an Honours student. I have served as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and a member of the board (2015-2016). As part of this role, I also co-chair of Annual Scientific Meeting organising committee from 2014 to 2016. Prior to these roles I was a member of the SAC and served as secretary and chair of the Drug Discovery special interest group. I have contributed to the Education Forum for many years as either the education representative for the Drug Discovery SIG or a general member. I am passionate about helping the students develop their understanding of all aspects of pharmacology, but especially in the areas of molecular pharmacology and drug discovery which are the areas of my own research. I have gained so much help and advice from the strong pharmacology education community fostered by ASCEPT and I hope to contribute to the continued development and strengthening of this important forum of ASCEPT.

 

Director and Chair NZ Forum
Associate Professor Dr Hesham Al-Sallami
University of Otago

I am an Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the School of Pharmacy, University of Otago, New Zealand. I hold a master’s degree in clinical pharmacy and a PhD in clinical pharmacology/pharmacometrics. I am currently a member of the British Pharmacological Society International Advisory Group and an associate editor of the BMC journal Pharmacology and Toxicology.

 

Director and STC Representative
Dr PK Loh

Dr PK Loh is a physician in geriatric medicine and clinical pharmacologist. After being a senior lecturer at UWA he moved to RPH and Bentley Health Service. His interest includes imaging, nutrition and exercise in dementia. He completed a PhD in geriatric medicine after 9 years of study.

 

Director and ASCEPT AMD Representative (RACP)
Dr Bridin Murnion
Central Coast Local Health District
Wyong Hospital

Associate Professor Murnion studied Pharmacology and Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She holds 3 fellowships: FRACP in Clinical Pharmacology, FFPMANZCA and FAChAM.

She is currently Medical Director of Drug and Alcohol Services Central Coast Local Health District and a Conjoint Associate Professor, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle. Her current research interests focus on basic and clinical Opioid pharmacology and exercise in Substance Use Disorder.

 

Director and Chair SAC
Dr Dan Wright
School of Pharmacy, University of Otago

Senior Lecturer, Otago Pharmacometrics Group, School of Pharmacy, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ. Member of ASCEPT since 2005.

Qualifications;
Dr Wright graduated with a BSc(Pharm) from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada in 1986. He holds an MA from the University of Bristol (1997), an MSc in clinical pharmacology (2007), and a PhD in pharmacometrics (2013) from the University of Otago.

Society activities;
Past president of the New Zealand chapter of ASCEPT (2013-2015). Chaired the organising committee for the ASCEPT New Zealand meeting 2014 and 2015. Scientific organising committee of the Population Approach Group in Australia and New Zealand (PAGANZ) 2017-present. Member of the British Pharmacological Society and Executive Editor for British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Steering committee for the International Society for Pharmacometrics (ISoP), Clinical Pharmacometrics Special Interest Group. 2017-present.

Research interests;
My research aims to enhance the quantitative understanding of how drug treatments impact human biology and vice versa. The goal is to improve outcomes for patients through individualised dosing. My research focuses primarily on drug dosing in renal disease, rheumatology, and anticoagulant therapy. I have a growing interest in toxicokinetics and antidote dosing regimens.

 

Director
Dr Betty Exintaris
Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University

I have a general interest in urogenital physiology and pharmacology, as well as the teaching of physiology and pharmacology to undergraduate students. Since 2013. I have been the co-chair of the National Urogenital & Gut Interest Group as part of ASCEPT. In this role, I have been on the local organising committee for the annual national symposium involving clinicians, scientists and students (~40 delegates every year). A key feature of this symposium is to mentor students, to encourage them to present their work and to provide students with networking opportunities with scientists from around Australia. I have fulfilled the role of board (2013-2014, 2017-2018), or company secretary (2015-2016) for ASCEPT.

 

Director
Associate Professor Tina Hinton
Sydney School of Pharmacy, University of Sydney

Tina Hinton (BSc Hons, PhD, Grad Dip Sci Psych) is an Associate Professor of Pharmacology at The University of Sydney. She teaches pharmacology to Medical Science, Science, Pharmacy and Medicine students and is involved in biomedical sciences learning and teaching leadership and governance. Tina’s primary research area is neuropharmacology. More recently she has also published on pharmacology curriculum, pharmacology learning activities, and influence of learning space on learner activity.

 

Director
Professor Emilio Badoer
School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, RMIT

Professor Badoer is currently a research and teaching academic in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University. He has held numerous administrative and leadership roles.  He teaches pharmacology and physiology and has received various awards in recognition for his teaching, including the ASCEPT Teaching Excellence Award. His research has made substantial contributions in the understanding of the central nervous system in sympathetic nerve regulation and dysfunction in conditions including diabetes, obesity and heart failure. He strongly supports ASCEPT and has been treasurer of ASCEPT for seven years.

 

Director
Prof Danny Hoyer, PhD, DSc, HonFBPhS
University of Melbourne

I am Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Melbourne; Honorary Professorial Fellow, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health; Adjunct Professor, the Scripps Research Institute (laJolla, CA) and a member of the National Academy of Pharmacy (France). Main interests in Neuropeptides, Serotonin and Translational Research. I worked 30+ years with Sandoz/Novartis in Basel, I am a highly cited researcher (HCR) in Pharmacology and Toxicology (ISI/Web of Knowledge), first listed as an HCR in 2002 with > 380 publications, > 34,500 Citations, H factor = 88 (Google Scholar) and 6 patents. I am/was Director of the British Pharmacological Society (2001-2003), President of the Serotonin Club (International Society for Serotonin Research, 2003-2004), Chair of the European Neuropeptide Club (2003-2007), Member of various IUPHAR committees, Society for Neuroscience USA and ASN, German and British Pharmacological Societies, and Australasian Sleep Society. According to the Australian (2020), I was Top Cited Researcher in Pharmacology and Pharmacy in Australia for the last 5 years.

 

Director
Professor Rebecca Ritchie
Theme Leader of Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Rebecca Ritchie is the Theme Leader of the Drug Discovery Biology Theme in the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), in addition to leading the Heart Failure Pharmacology laboratory within the Theme. She also serves as Co-Director of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance (ACvA) Drug Discovery and Translation Flagship. Rebecca is internationally-recognised for her contributions to cardiac pharmacology. Her translationally-focused research objective is the identification of new treatment strategies for arresting the progression of heart failure, particularly in the context of diabetes, myocardial infarction and other inflammatory disorders. The research achievements of Professor Ritchie to date include 113 career publications (spanning both preclinical models of disease and patient studies), continuous peer-reviewed funding since 1999 (comprising project grant and Fellowship support from NHMRC, Diabetes Australia, the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia and the Heart Foundation). Her international profile in her chosen field has been further recognised by numerous prestigious speaking invitations, including multiple World Congresses, including Cardiology, Diabetes, Pharmacology, and the International Society for Heart Research, as well as the American Heart Association and the British Pharmacology Society. These contributions to cardiac pharmacology have been recognised by the prestigious 2019 ASCEPT visitor to the British Pharmacology Society, the 2012 ASCEPT Achievement Award, the 2013 Diabetes Australia Millenium Award, and election as a Fellow of the American Heart Association in 2013. Rebecca currently serves an executive role on the International Society of Heart Research (as Membership Secretary of the Australasian section, 2016-2022), in addition to her board membership of ASCEPT.

 

Director
Kellie Charles
Sydney School of Pharmacy, University of Sydney.

Kellie Charles is an Associate Professor in Pharmacology at the Sydney School of Pharmacy, University of Sydney. Her research areas include drug development and translation of research to clinical trial with the cancer and immunological fields. Kellie is also the Academic Lead for the Therapeutics Theme in the Doctor of Medicine Program where she is passionate educator of the basic pharmacology principles and the quality use of medicines.

 

Director and Prize Co-ordinator
Dr Nicola J. Smith
Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology, University of New South Wales

Nicola is a National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow with a longstanding passion for molecular pharmacology and G protein-coupled receptors. She obtained her PhD from the University of Melbourne (pharmacology) for studies conducted at the Baker Heart Research Institute before undertaking a CJ Martin/NHF post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Glasgow and Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. At the end of 2019, Nicola relocated her laboratory to UNSW Sydney where she is also a senior lecturer in pharmacology. Nicola has been an ASCEPT member since 2002, was an ASCEPT Denis Wade New Investigator, has represented ASCEPT at Science Meets Parliament, and has been the NSW representative on both the Drug Discovery and Cardiovascular SIGs since returning to Australia. She is an inaugural member of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance Emerging Leaders Committee and has previously served as a committee member for ASMR and the Australian Science Communicators. Her contribution to the public understanding of science has been recognised by a NSW Tall Poppy award in 2012.

ASCEPT Executive Officer
Katie Roberson

Special Interest Groups (SIGS) each Special Interest Group elects a Chair and/or Co-Chair, who may be contacted through the ASCEPT Executive Officer

Cardiovascular – Chrishan Samuel and Helena Qin
Clinical Pharmacology – Catherine Lucas
Drug Discovery – Denise Wootten
Drug Disposition and Response – Cornelia Landersdorfer and Robyn Meech
Education – Angela Finch
Gastro-urogenital – Betty Exintaris and Russ Chess-Williams
Pharmacogenomics –Andrew Somogyi and Nuala Helsby
Toxicology – Ian Musgrave
Neuropharmacology – Wendy Imlach
Pharmacoepidemiology –  Gillian Caughey and Sujita Narayan
Respiratory and Inflammation – Ross Vlahos and Stavros Selemidis
Student Forum – David Nash