Board and Committees

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2020 ASCEPT Board

Dr Danijela Gnjidic
School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney

Dr Danijela Gnjidic (BSc Hons I PhD MPH) is an NHMRC Dementia Leadership Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the Sydney Pharmacy School, 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. Danijela’s academic track records includes 115 publications, 3-book chapters, and $4M in research funding.

Immediate past President
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 a Principal Research Fellow 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
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 and Chair NZ Forum
Dr Hesh Al-Sallami
University of Otago

I am is a Senior Lecturer 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 Chair SAC
Dr Wendy Imlach
Monash University

Wendy Imlach is an NHMRC career development fellow and head of the Pain Mechanisms lab at Monash University, in the Department of Physiology and Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute. Her research is focused on spinal circuits that are activated in chronic pain, in an effort to identify new therapeutic targets. Wendy serves on the ASCEPT board as a Director and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee and is the Chair of the Neuropharmacology special interest group.

Director and Chair Education Forum
Associate Professor Elizabeth Davis
Monash University

Liz Davis is an enthusiastic and committed pharmacology educator. By her involvement with both the ASCEPT Education Forum and the IUPHAR Education Section, Liz has played an active role in the organisation of symposia and workshops to facilitate networking amongst pharmacology educators from various institutions and teaching into many different degree programs.

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-Elect 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.

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.

Professor Dom Geraghty
Office of the Provost, University of Tasmania

Professor Dom Geraghty is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Launceston), at the University of Tasmania. He has been a member of ASCEPT for over 35 years, Board Director since 2011, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee (2013-14), President and Chair of ASCEPT Board (2016-17), and member of the successful bid team for the Melbourne WCP 2026.

He holds a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology from the National University of Ireland and PhD from Deakin University (1988). His primary research interest is the basic and clinical pharmacology of vanilloids, primarily capsaicinoids.

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.

Associate Professor Tina Hinton
School of Medical Sciences, 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.

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.

Dr Carl White
Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, University of Western Australia

Dr. Carl White was awarded his PhD in Pharmacology from Monash University in 2013. He is currently an NHMRC CJ Martin early career research fellow based at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, University of Western Australia having completed the overseas portion of his fellowship at the University of Nottingham. Carl has been a member of ASCEPT since 2008 and currently also serves on the IUPAHR executive as the young investigator member and chairs the IUPHAR ECR subcommittee.

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 – Michael De Silva and Chrishan Samuel
Clinical Pharmacology – Peter Donovan
Drug Discovery – Denise Wootten
Drug Disposition and Response – Cornelia Landersdorfer and Robyn Meech
Education – Elizabeth Davis
Gastro-urogenital – Betty Exintaris and Russ Chess-Williams
Pharmacogenomics –Andrew Somogyi and Daniel Barratt
Toxicology – Ian Musgrave
Neuropharmacology – Wendy Imlach
Pharmacoepidemiology –  Gillian Caughey and Sujita Narayan
Respiratory and Inflammation – Ross Vlahos and Stavros Selemidis