2023 ASCEPT Board
Professor Kevin Pfleger
Director Biomedical and Health Innovation, The University of Western Australia
Professor Kevin Pfleger is Director Biomedical and Health Innovation at The University of Western Australia (UWA) and the WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub, as well as Head of Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. He is also Chief Scientific Advisor of ASX-listed Dimerix Limited and Scientific Co-Founder of RAGE Biotech, as well as being a member of the International Advisory Group of the British Pharmacological Society, of which he is a Fellow.
President Elect & AMD Representative (RACP)
Dr Bridin Murnion
Central Coast Local Health District
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.
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.
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.
Director and SAC Chair
Associate Professor Nicola J. Smith
Head, Orphan Receptor Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Sydney
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 a teaching and research academic. 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 election to the ASCEPT Board of Directors, Nicola has been Prize Co-ordinator (2020-2021), Chair of the Student Forum (2020-2021) and Acting SAC Chair for the ASCEPT Virtual ASM 2021, as well as being active in matters of equity, diversity and inclusion. In her latest role as SAC Chair-elect, she has been actively engaging Special Interest Group chairs/co-chairs to ensure that all ASCEPT members are active in the Society. Outside her work with ASCEPT, Nicola has been an inaugural member of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance Emerging Leaders Committee and is a current member of their Basic Sciences Advisory Committee. At UNSW Sydney, she is a member of the Athena SWAN self-assessment team and is a project lead for the UNSW Faculty of Medicine & Health Health25 strategy implementation.
Director and Education Forum Chair
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 and Chair NZ Forum
Dr Katie Burns
Senior Research Fellow, School of Medical Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ.
Katie graduated with a PhD in Biomedical Science from the University of Auckland in 2015. Her research is centred around understanding the molecular basis of drug disposition and its impact on the clinical effectiveness and safety of medicines. She has a particular focus on the regulation and activity of drug transporters and metabolic enzymes, and their role in treatment outcomes. Katie has previously served as treasurer of the ASCEPT NZ Forum (2019-2022), and conference convenor for the 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting of that forum.
Director and ATC Representative
Professor Arduino Mangoni
Arduino A Mangoni is Strategic Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Flinders University, Senior Consultant in Clinical Pharmacology and General Medicine and Head of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at Flinders Medical Centre, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, Adelaide, Australia. His academic career has focused on investigating the effects of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions on the cardiovascular system, the identification of new age-related disease biomarkers and drugs targeting arginine metabolic pathways, and the safety and quality use of drugs in older patients. His clinical career has been dedicated to the management of patients with hypertension and cardiovascular risk and the implementation of deprescribing and medication management strategies in older patients.
Director and ASCEPT IUPHAR ECR Representative
Dr Elizabeth Johnstone
School of Biomedical Sciences and Centre for Medical Research, The University of Western Australia
Liz Johnstone obtained her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Western Australia (UWA) in 2016. Since then she has been working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research/UWA Centre for Medical Research where she studies the molecular pharmacology of receptors. In 2017, she spent a year working part time as Senior Project Officer for Accelerating Australia, a consortium dedicated to promoting biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2021 she was appointed as a Pharmacology Lecturer in the UWA School of Biomedical Sciences, while she continues her research at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. Liz has been a member of ASCEPT since 2011, and has been actively involved in the Drug Discovery SIG throughout that time. Liz is also currently a member of the International Union of Pharmacology Early Career Committee and a Council Member of the Endocrine Society of Australia.
Associate Professor Kellie Charles
Sydney School of Pharmacy, University of Sydney
Kellie Charles is an Associate Professor and Head of the Pharmacology Discipline 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. Following her translational PhD in drug metabolism, she completed a pharmaceutical industry-sponsored post-doctoral research role testing cytokine monoclonal antibodies in clinical trials in the UK (2004-2008).
Kellie has been an ASCEPT member since 2000 and recipient of the ASCEPT Best PhD oral presentation (2004), Dennis Wade New Investigator Award (2009), Cancer Institute NSW Career Development Fellowship (2010) and ASCEPT Teaching Excellence Award (2020). Kellie is also the Academic Lead for the Therapeutics Theme in the Doctor of Medicine Program where she is a passionate educator of the basic pharmacology principles and the quality use of medicines.
Associate Professor Daniel Wright
School of Pharmacy, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ.
Member of ASCEPT since 2005.
Associate Professor Wright graduated with a BSc(Pharm) from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada in 1986. He holds an MSc in clinical pharmacology (2007), and a PhD in pharmacometrics (2013) from the University of Otago. Dan is the Past President of the New Zealand Forum of ASCEPT (2013-2015) and served as the SAC chair in 2021 and 2022. He co-chaired the ASCEPT ASM for 3 years from 2020-2022. Dan’s research aims to enhance the quantitative understanding of how drug treatments impact human biology and vice versa. The goal is to optimise the safe and effective use of medicines in the clinical setting and improve patient outcomes. His research focuses primarily on dose optimisation, therapeutic drug monitoring, renal drug dosing, and medication adherence.
Dr Betty Exintaris
Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University
Dr Exintaris is a senior lecturer and Deputy Pharmacy course director, at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Betty’s discipline research area is urogenital / reproductive physiology and pharmacology. Betty’s education research areas include easing transition burden in 1st year students, building resilience in national and international student cohorts and designing curriculum to enhance teamwork practice.
Betty has bee an ASCEPT member since 2000 and recipient of the Dennis Wade New Investigator Award (2007), Gillian Shenfield Early Education Award (2017) and ASCEPT Elizabeth Davis Teaching Excellence Award (2022). From 2013-2022, Betty has been the co-chair of the ASCEPT Gastro-urogenital Special Interest Group. She has also previously served on the ASCEPT Board as secretary/company secretary from 2013 to 2018.
Dr Luke Grundy
Flinders University and South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
Luke Grundy (BSc Hons, PhD) is a Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Pharmacology, and Head of the NeuroUrology research group at Flinders University. His research focusses on understanding the mechanisms of, and identifying novel therapeutic targets for chronic pelvic pain disorders. He is Chair of the ASCEPT Neuropharmacology special interest group, and organised the inaugural ASCEPT Neuropharmacology satellite meeting in 2018. Luke has been actively involved in the ASCEPT ASM as a poster judge since 2016, symposium chair and speaker (2018), and as a member of the ASM organising committee in 2019. He received the CERTARA Young Investigator Award in 2021 for his research identifying novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of chronic pelvic pain.
Professor Roselyn Rose’Meyer
School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Griffith University
Roselyn is an experimental pharmacologist with research expertise in the areas of cardiovascular and genitourinary systems and over 30 years experience teaching pharmacology to graduate and post graduate students in tertiary institutions across Queensland and Victoria. Within these roles at the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, she has overseen the restructuring of programs and courses using evidence-based models to modify the curriculum to create pedagogically sound resources for teaching.
Associate Professor Andrew Rowland
College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University
Andrew is a Cancer Council Beat Cancer Mid-Career Research Fellow. He leads a dynamic team of scientists at the forefront of advancing extracellular vesicle isolation and analysis platforms for use with biospecimens. Andrew’s team is world leading in the isolation and characterisation of tissue specific EVs from blood and works closely with industry and clinicians to apply this technology to improve patient outcomes by enhancing drug efficacy and minimising harms.
Toxicology Representative (Ex Officio)
Slade Matthews (BmedSc(Hons), DipEd, GradCertEd(HigherEd), PhD) is a senior lecturer in pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Sydney Pharmacy School. He coordinates toxicology within the USYD Pharmacology major and trains his students to use data analysis techniques to learn from toxicological data. His research focuses on computational molecular representation of chemicals including python-based cheminformatic techniques and quantum molecular calculations for developing machine learning models of pharmacological and toxicological structure-activity relationships.
ASCEPT Executive Officer
Simone has over twenty-five years of management experience and holds a post-graduate Certificate in Business Administration and will complete her MBA in 2023. Her impressive work history has seen her work for Ansett, Qantas and Tourism Holdings Ltd in a range of management, board and strategic advisory roles.
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 – Dr Melissa Reichelt & Anida Velagic (Co-Chairs)
- Clinical Pharmacology – Assoc Professor Jonathan Brett (Chair) & Dr Nicholas Farinola (Deputy Chair)
- Drug Discovery – Assoc Professor Michelle Halls (Chair) & Dr Carl White (Deputy Chair)
- Drug Disposition and Response – Dr Cornelia Landersdorfer & Dr Robyn Meech (Co-Chairs)
- Education Forum – Assoc Professor Tina Hinton (Chair) & Assoc Professor Lynette Fernandes (Immediate Past Chair)
- Gastrointestinal-urogenital – Professor Russ Chess-Williams & Dr Sab Ventura (Co-Chairs)
- Innovation and Industry – Professor Kevin Pfleger & Professor Daniel Hoyer (Co-Chairs)
- Neuropharmacology – Dr Luke Grundy Assoc Professor Wendy Imlach (Co-Chairs)
- New Zealand Forum – Dr Katie Burns (Chair)
- Pharmacoepidemiology – Dr Edwin Tan (Chair) & Dr Mouna Sawan (Deputy Chair)
- Pharmacogenomics – Dr Nuala Helsby (Chair) & Professor Andrew Somogyi (Immediate Past Chair)
- Respiratory and Inflammation – Dr Simone De Luca (Chair) & Dr Chantal Donovan (Deputy Chair)
- Student Forum – Saba Naghipour (Chair) & Sadia Alvi (Deputy Chair)
- Toxicology – Dr Ian Musgrave (Chair) & Professor Garth Maker (Deputy Chair)