Prof Charles Abraham, BA, DPhil
Charles Abraham is an applied social and health psychologist specialising in translational health research. He is Professor of Social and Health Psychology at the University of Exeter Medical School and holds honorary chairs at the Universities of Maastricht, Nottingham, Sussex and Curtin. His research focuses on the design, evaluation and implementation of interventions to change behaviour patterns, especially those with the potential to improve public health and health care effectiveness. He has led, and collaborated on, many multidisciplinary, cross-institutional and international research projects and his research has had practice and policy impact. He has held scientific advisor positions with the UK Department of Health, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the UK House of Lords. He was one of 7 psychologists included in a list of the leading 100 practising scientists in the UK (produced by the UK Science Council in 2014). He is a practising, health psychologist (registered by the UK Health and Care Professionals Council).
Dr Elise Bialylew
Elise Bialylew is author of bestselling book, The Happiness Plan and founder of Mindful in May, the world’s largest online global mindfulness fundraising campaign that teaches thousands of people each year to meditate, while raising funds to build clean water projects in the developing world. A doctor trained in psychiatry, turned social entrepreneur and mindfulness expert, she’s passionate about supporting individuals and organisations to develop inner tools for greater wellbeing and flourishing, and offers workshops and training at The Mind Life Project. Her work has featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times, and on Australian Television.
A/Prof Renee Bittoun
Renee Bittoun has over 30 years experience within the smoking cessation field. Renee has been invited to be a keynote speaker at many international conferences and also to conduct ‘Master-classes’ in Smoking Cessation around the world. She was awarded the prestigious Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand President’s Award in 2009 for her contribution to tobacco control.
Renee is the author of numerous books on smoking and quitting both for the public and for practitioners, and has published many research articles on tobacco dependence and cessation. She has conducted clinical trials of many treatments for tobacco dependence, including both pharmacotherapies and behavioural interventions.
Renee’s initiatives include starting one of the world’s first Smokers’ Clinics at St. Vincent’s Hospital (Sydney), founding the Journal of Smoking Cessation (where she is the Editor-in-Chief) and establishing the first Australian University course on Nicotine Addiction and Smoking Cessation at the University of Sydney. She is Director of the Smokers’ Clinics in the SW Sydney Area Health Service, President of the Australian Association of Smoking Cessation Professionals, Adjunct Associate Professor at Notre Dame University and an inaugural member of the international Society for Research in Nicotine and Tobacco.
Prof Thomas J Borody, MB, BS, BSc(Med), MD, PhD, DSc, FRACP,FACP,FACG, AGAF,FRSN
Tom Borody was born in Krakow. His family emigrated from Poland in 1960, and settled in Sydney where the three children Edith, Ian and Tom completed Medicine at the UNSW and pursued General Practice, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Gastroenterology respectively.
Dr Thomas Borody completed his BSc(Med) and later MB BS graduating in 1974. He gained experience in parasitology, treatment of TB and leprosy in the Solomon Islands, completed his MD at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science, then spent 3y in clinical research at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Later he gained his PhD at the University of Newcastle and his DSc at UTS in Sydney. Dr Borody’s clinical interests focus on the development of novel treatments including those involving the human gut microbiome using Faecal Microbiota Transplantation(FMT) to treat Clostridium difficile infection(CDI), colitis, irritable bowel syndrome as well as neurologic and autoimmune disorders. His first FMT in 1988 on a patient with colitis cleared up her condition for over 25 years. To date Dr Borody’s Clinic has been has completed close to 14,000 FMT treatments.
In Krakow, 1889 Walery Jaworski described Vibrio rugola, later renamed Helicobacter pylori. In 1985 Borody pioneered the first effective triple antibiotic therapy for Helicobacter pylori, which cured hundreds of patients of their ulcers, prevented a calculated 18,655 premature deaths, and saved $10.03Billion in health costs in Australia alone. It was later marketed in the US as Helidac. An improvement, called quad therapy in now marketed as Pylera, and the next generation treatment for resistant Helicobacter pylori, Talicia, licensed to Redhill Biopharma has completed Phase III trials. Borody also developed a Crohn’s disease anti-Mycobacterium treatment which completed pivotal trials, and also colonoscopy bowel prep products Glycoprep, Glycoprep C, Moviprep and a capsule prep licensed to Salix, currently in clinical development. His FMT ‘crapsule’ is in multicentre CDI trials across the US, where he works closely with the Finch Therapeutic Group.
In 1984 Borody established the Centre for Digestive Diseases (CDD) in Sydney, Australia and has overseen its growth into an active clinical research institute with 72 employees. He has published more than 280 papers and filed 163 patents.
Professor Susanne Bügel
Susanne Bügel is a professor in human nutrition, deputy-head of Department and Head of Studies at Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at University of Copenhagen.
Susanne Bügel has a year-long experience in research using randomised controlled dietary human intervention trials. Her research experience ranges from measurements of optimal dietary intake, absorption and status to health effects. The research focus on micronutrients, but covers the influence of primary food production (Organic, low input, conventional), processing (e.g heat treatment), food composition and interactions with other food components. Susanne Bügel is president of the Danish Nutrition Society www.sfe.dk and a board member of the European Nutrition Society (FENS) and Food Quality and Health (FQH) http://www.fqhresearch.org.
Furthermore, Susanne Bügel is part of the steering committee for the newly established Organic Food systems Program (OFSP) https://organicfoodsystem.net/.
Prof Jane Burns
Jane Burns is Founder of InnoWell, a joint venture between PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the University of Sydney and Professor of Innovation and Industry at the University of Sydney in the Faculty of Health Science. She was the founder and CEO of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre.
In recognition for her achievements in entrepreneurship she won the category of Social Enterprise for 2015’s Australian Financial Review and Westpac Group 100 Women of Influence, and was a Victorian Finalist in the 2017 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. She was a Rex Lipman Fellow at Saint Peters College in 2015 and the Thinker in Resident for the Western Australian Commission for Children and Young People in 2016/17.
Jane is an International speaker, speaking at conferences, schools, universities and workplaces. Her topics are broad including; women in leadership, vision, values and workplace culture, wellbeing and mental health, living with disability, digital health solutions, suicide prevention and digital resilience. Jane is well respected as a workshop facilitator with a focus on co-design and co-creation to create digital health solutions for mental health and wellbeing.
Jane is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is Chair of the National Advisory Council for the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service and Chair of STREAT, offering young people aged 16-25 a supported pathway from the street to a sustainable livelihood. She is a strategic advisor to the government, university and social enterprise sector and has served on numerous government advisory boards across Health, Communications and Veterans Affairs. Previous Directorships include the Cooperative Research Centres Association.
Jane led the youth agenda for beyondblue from 2000-2004, was a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, and was Director of International Partnerships for Reachout.com at the Inspire Foundation. Jane held both a VicHealth and an NHMRC fellowship and an NHMRC scholarship. She has a PhD in Medicine from the University of Adelaide.
Prof Clare Collins
Professor Clare Collins is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Research Fellow, Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics and Director of Research for the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine and Deputy Director, Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
In 2017 Professor Collins was awarded the Hunter Medical Research Institute’s researcher of the Year. Professor Collins has published over 300 manuscripts and supervised 25 Higher Degree Research candidates to completion. She leads the largest team of dietitian researchers internationally, in assessing dietary intake and evaluating the impact of food and nutrition on eating patterns and diet-related health across key life stages and chronic disease conditions. Her team’s research focusses on using smart technologies to achieve this.
Professor Collins is a Fellow of the Dietitians Association of Australian (DAA) and represented DAA in an international Practice Based Evidence in Nutrition collaboration with Dietitians of Canada and the British Dietetic Association. Professor Collins was a team leader on the evidence reviews conducted by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) that informed the revision of the 2013 NHMRC Australian Dietary Guidelines. She served on the Australia and New Zealand (ANZOS) council for 6 years, with 2 years as Vice President (2007-08). Professor Collins chaired development of DAA’s Best Practice Dietetic Guidelines for the Management of Adult Overweight and Obesity and led the University of Newcastle and DAA reference group in the 2011 update. She is currently a member of the Food and Nutrition Advisory Committee for the Heart Foundation Australia and led the review that inform their position paper on dietary patterns for heart health. She is a member of the Commonwealth Department of Health’s, Healthy Food Partnership Working Party developing an engagement strategy to improve Australian dietary habits by raising awareness of better food choices and making healthier food choices more accessible.
Professor Collins was a clinical paediatric dietitian at John Hunter Children’s Hospital, NSW for over 20 years. She is passionate about nutrition communication and has conducted over 1800 media interviews. She has been a DAA media spokesperson for 18 years and wrote for the Newcastle Herald for over 25 years. As a sought after nutrition commentator she has demystified nutrition and health science across the media from Dr Karl and Triple J, to TV including Sunrise, and The Circle; to magazines and newspapers internationally. She has contributed over 50 nutrition articles for The Conversation, with over 5 million readers.
A/Prof David Colquhoun, MBBS, FRACP
Associate Professor David Colquhoun is a cardiologist in clinical practice and is actively involved in research.
He is the President of the Queensland branch of the National Heart Foundation of Australia (NHFA); a member of the Scientific Committee of the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM); a member of the Scientific Committee of the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation; and Co-President of the Clinical and Preventive Cardiology Council of the Cardiac Society of Australian and New Zealand (CSANZ).
He was chief author of the 2008 NHFA Statement on omega-3 fatty acids and heart disease. This was updated in 2015.
Shivaun Conn, BSc(Nutr)Hons, APD, AN
Shivaun is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Accredited Nutritionist (AN) Health Coach, Certified Trainer & Assessor, Director of Discovery Health Coaching and Vice President of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine. Shivaun has worked for over 15 years as a dietitian, health coach and presenter. She currently coaches individuals in nutrition and lifestyle, and delivers training for medical and allied health practitioners in health behaviour change, motivational interviewing, and health coaching. Shivaun has co-authored the ‘ASLM Eating Plan for People and Planet’, the Australian Institute of Fitness’ course ‘Nutrition Coach’ and regularly presents at health conferences around Australia.
Dr Samantha Coulson, PhD (Medicine), GradCertResComm, BHlthSc, AdvDipNut, AdvDipHerbMed
Samantha has been researching and education practitioners and students about the human microbiome and end-organ function in states of health and disease for the last 9 years and has been in the field of integrative medicine for 13 years. She received her PhD from the University of Queensland, School of Medicine, investigating the role of the gastrointestinal microbiota in the pathophysiology and symptomology of osteoarthritis with a focus on the ‘prebiotic’ type effect of green-lipped mussel and glucosamine. This has led to her interest in exploring the more accurate mechanisms of action for nutraceutical ingredients by incorporating the metabolic potential of the gastrointestinal microbiome and resultant metabolites that may explain the true therapeutic effects observed. With the observed lack of gut microbial diversity within Western populations and a potential correlation to the increasing incidence of chronic disease and autoimmune conditions, Samantha has a strong research focus on the potential therapeutic effects of probiotics, diet and fermented foods and their ability to increase gut microbial diversity. She is currently Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the University of the Sunshine Coast, the University of Sydney and Endeavour College of Natural Health, undertaking research projects and supervising Honours, Masters and PhD students.
A/Prof Barbora de Courten, MD, PhD, FRACP, MPH
A/prof Barbora de Courten is a general physician and National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow with extensive experience in clinical research, epidemiology and public health in the area of non-communicable chronic diseases.
Barbora’s vision is to establish new strategies for the prevention and management of chronic diseases, in particular obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Her goal is that her research findings translate into treatment guidelines, reduced diabetes and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and reduced health-care costs. She is passionate about research of holistic approaches to prevent chronic diseases by promoting health. She believes this will impact not only the health of individuals but also be beneficial to our society and environment we live in.
Barbora’s research started initially with focus on chronic low-grade inflammation and advanced glycation endproducts as predictors of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. She described more than 20 predictors of obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes, elucidated pathways by which chronic low-grade inflammation caused diabetes in humans and investigated a role of anti-inflammatory drugs salicylates for prevention for type 2 diabetes. Recently, she focused her research on low-cost easily scalable interventions such as diets and food supplements (diets low in advanced glycation end-products, vitamin D and carnosine) for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. These interventions have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-AGE effects.
During her career, Barbora demonstrated research accomplishments in a variety of environments (USA, Fiji, Australia, Denmark). She has 114 publications which are cited >6000 citations, h-index 31, and has heald 24 grants including 5 NHMRC projects grants.
A/Prof (Adj) Pamela Douglas, MBBS, FRACGP, IBCLC PhD
Dr Pamela Douglas is a general practitioner and researcher with a special interest in early life care. She is an Associate Professor (Adjunct) with the Maternity Newborn and Families Research Centre MHIQ, Griffith University, and Senior Lecturer at the Discipline of General Practice, The University of Queensland. Pam is Founder and Medical Director of the Possums Clinic in Highgate Hill, Brisbane; and Medical Director of Possums Education, a charitable organisation which educates parents and health professionals in Community-based Neuroprotective Developmental Care (NDC or ‘The Possums Programs’). NDC is an innovative, integrated approach to problems of breastfeeding, crying, sleep and mood in the first year of life, with an accreditation pathway newly available for health professionals. She and her colleagues have been developing and publishing the NDC evidence base in the medical literature over the past 12 years.
Pam speaks regularly at conferences, and appears in the media calling for a paradigm shift in the way we address the common problems with which families present post-birth. Currently parents receive a great deal of confused and conflicting advice, which may impact on the settings of the stress response, and of the gastrointestinal, immune and metabolic systems life-long.
Pam is author of The discontented little baby book: all you need to know about feeds, sleep and crying.
Prof Garry Egger AM, PhD, MPH, MAPS
Prof Garry Egger is known around the world as one of the pioneers of Lifestyle Medicine. He is a Professor of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University and an Advisor to the World Health Organisation and several Government and corporate bodies in chronic disease prevention. He has qualifications in behavioural biology and epidemiology. He has worked in public, corporate and clinical health for over 4 decades. He is the author of 30 books (including five texts) over 160 peer-reviewed scientific and research articles and numerous popular media articles on health and fitness.
In the 1990s Dr Egger initiated the GutBusters, men’s waist loss program, the first of its kind in the world. He started training programs for Fitness Leaders in Australia in 1982, was one of the initiators of the Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association (ALMA) in 2008 and runs training programs in Lifestyle Medicine for doctors and allied health professionals around Australia and the Pacific. He recently received an Australia Medal for his services to medical education and health promotion. His recent interests and publications concern the link between obesity, climate change and economic growth.
Prof Michael Fenech, PhD
Michael Fenech is recognised internationally for his research in nutritional genomics and genetic toxicology and for developing the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay which is a standard method used internationally to measure DNA damage in human cells. The CBMN assay has been endorsed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the OECD for in vivo radiation biodosimetry and in vitro testing of genotoxins respectively.
His key goal is to determine the nutritional and environmental requirements for DNA damage prevention. In 2003 Dr Fenech proposed a novel ageing and disease prevention strategy based on personalised diagnosis and prevention of DNA damage by appropriate diet/life-style intervention, which has led to the Genome Health Clinic concept which is now being translated into practice internationally.
In 2003-2009 his laboratory further developed the CBMN assay into a ‘cytome’ assay consisting of six complementary biomarkers of DNA damage and cytotoxicity which is now published in Nature Protocols.
His research is currently also focused on (i) the impact of nutrition, lifestyle and psychological stress on chromosomal instability and telomere integrity, (ii) personalised nutrition for diabetes and dementia prevention and cancer growth control and (iii) biomarkers of healthy ageing in tissues that can be collected non-invasively such as saliva and buccal cells.
He co-founded the HUMN project on micronuclei in human populations (www.humn.org) and is a member of the coordinating group and co-founder of the Micronutrients Genomics Project which he has been leading since July 2011.
In 2014 he was elected Founding President of the Asia-Pacific Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics Organisation (APNNO). In 2016 he was elected Inaugural DSM Scholar-in-Residence in Micronutrient Deficiency Prevention and Control at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore,USA.
David Ferriss, MD, MPH, FACPM
David Ferriss is the Chief Medical Director of Lifestyle Medicine Institute. He received his B.A. degree with special distinction in general liberal arts from Mississippi State University. The recipient of a Hawthorne Scholarship, he received his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed his residency and served as a faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Ferriss completed a Master of Public Health at UCLA as part of his preventive medicine training and later completed a two-year fellowship in health services research at the Bloomberg School of Public Health of the Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Ferriss has over thirty years of experience as a practicing primary care physician and as a senior medical executive for Cigna HealthCare, Prudential Healthcare, Quorum Health Resources, and Healthways. During his tenure with Cigna, he provided physician leadership for Cigna’s clinical programs and served as Cigna’s Medical Director for Lifestyle Medicine, working with individuals to make significant lifestyle changes that both prevent and treat chronic disease.
Dr. Ferriss is board-certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is a fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and the American College of Preventive Medicine and was previously served on the ACLM Board of Directors Executive Committee as Treasurer.
Dr Denise Furness, PhD BSc(Hons) RNutr CPT
Dr Denise Furness is a molecular geneticist, registered nutritionist and fitness professional. She conducted her PhD at CSIRO Human Nutrition and postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Adelaide investigating folate nutrigenomics, methylation and DNA damage in relation to pregnancy outcomes. She has won numerous awards for her research and published her work in peer reviewed medical and nutrition journals. In 2012 Denise shifted from an academic research position to a consulting role, founding “Your Genes and Nutrition” helping practitioners and patients understand the role of nutrigenomics and genetic testing in relation to various health outcomes. In clinic her focus is on the diagnosis and treatment of underlying triggers such as inflammation, oxidative stress and methylation. Denise regularly conducts educational seminars and workshops discussing gene – environment interactions and how these impact on our health throughout all the stages of the life cycle.
A/Prof Gillian Gould, PhD, MBChB, MA (Arts Therapy), Dip Drama
Associate Professor Gould’s focus to improve tobacco smoking risks for Indigenous Australians. She co-developed, over a decade, strategies to tackle smoking with Aboriginal communities, and led a regional Indigenous Tobacco Control Initiative (2010-12). Gould is an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow and a Cancer Institute NSW ECR Fellow, at University of Newcastle (UON). The fellowships will improve strategies for pregnant Indigenous smokers. Gould is co-founder of the Coffs Harbour Refugee Clinic, a practising GP and a Tobacco Treatment Specialist, with a wealth of clinical experience assisting smokers to quit. She was an academic at University of New South Wales Faculty of Medicine 2002-11, including Head of Campus of Rural Clinical School (2 yrs) and senior research fellow (2 yrs). She has an MBChB (University of Leeds) and MA (Arts Therapy). Gould was awarded a career total of $6M in funding ($5M in last 2 years since at UON), and has 55 publications (majority since 2012). Her contribution to Indigenous research is recognised by a National Lead Clinicians Excellence Award for Indigenous Cultural Competence, RACGP Indigenous Health Awards (2008, 2014) and a Faculty of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health ‘Standing Strong Together Award’ (2009), Alan Chancellor Award (2016) and a Hunter Children’s Research Foundation Excellence Award (2016). She was awarded an International Visiting Research Fellowship to visit the Mayo Clinic in 2017. Gould is on two working parties for the Global Alliance for Chronic Disease. Gould supervises five high-caliber PhD students at UON, and leads a multi-disciplinary team for the SISTAQUIT (Supporting Indigenous Smokers To Assist Quitting) research project.
A/Prof Ross Grant, BEd (Sc), MAppSc , PhD
Dr Grant is a Biochemical Pharmacologist in the School of Medical Sciences UNSW, Clinical Associate Professor at the Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School, University of Sydney and Head of the Australasian Research Institute.
Dr Grant’s research focusses on characterising, at the molecular level, how lifestyle and environment (eg emotional stress, diet and exercise) produce changes in the body’s biochemistry that lead toward either health or disease; including oxidative stress, inflammation and changes in metabolism. A practical goal of this research is identification of early subclinical disease (often linked to accelerated aging) enabling effective intervention before irreparable damage to tissue occurs. More
George E. Guthrie MD, MPH, CDE (President ACLM)
Dr. George Guthrie received his MD degree from Loma Linda University in 1981. After completing his Family Practice Residency at Hinsdale Hospital near Chicago he joined a multi-specialty medical group on the island of Guam. The high incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in his patients led to a growing interest in the effective lifestyle treatment of the disease.
After obtaining a MPH in nutrition Dr Guthrie returned to clinical practice in the foothills of the California Sierra Nevada Mountains where he continued to apply his community lifestyle medicine focus from a traditional allopathic medical clinic. He and his wife, Dena, piloted and ran month-long, community based CHIP programs. He later spent the better part of 5 years as medical director of the Lifestyle Center of America near Ardmore, Oklahoma, USA.
For the last 11+ years Dr Guthrie has been teaching the principles of Lifestyle Medicine to residents of the allopathic Family Medicine Residency at Florida Hospital in the Orlando, Florida area. Over the years Dr. Guthrie has had the privilege of being involved in the development several lifestyle change programs including The Wellspring Diabetes Program, and the CREATION Health program. This has led to the opportunity to speak on lifestyle medicine around the United States and other English speaking countries for a variety of audiences. He is the current president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
A/Prof Genevieve Healy, PhD, MPH, BSc(Hons), BAppSci
A/Prof Genevieve Healy is a NHMRC Career Development Fellow at the Cancer Prevention Research Centre in the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland, and an honorary research fellow at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, and Curtin University. Her PhD research reported some of the first evidence regarding the importance of regularly interrupting sedentary time for heart health. Her current research builds on this work to examine population-level variations in prolonged sedentary time as well as the feasibility and acceptability of reducing this behaviour in key settings, such as the workplace. More
Prof Catherine Itsiopoulos, BSc, BSc (Hons), Grad Dip Diet, MPH, PhD, APD, AN
Prof Catherine Itsiopoulos is the Head of School, School of Allied Health at LaTrobe University. With more than 25 years of clinical, academic and project management experience, Catherine has a strong research interest in dietetic training, dietetic competency evaluation and implementation, and international benchmarking of dietetic examination systems. In her role at the Dietitians Association of Australia Catherine led projects in international benchmarking of dietetic systems and was instrumental in establishing the formal mutual recognition agreement with the New Zealand Dietitians Board. In this role, she also championed the review of the examination systems for dietetic skills recognition and credentialing and led the development of an enhanced model of examination utilising an on-line multiple choice questionnaire format.
Catherine’s major research interests include randomised controlled clinical intervention studies in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and the metabolic syndrome utilising the Mediterranean diet as a model of intervention. Catherine is also investigating the positive health and mortality profile of Greek born migrants to Australia who have retained their positive CVD mortality profile despite more than 50 years since migration.
Prof Felice Jacka, BA, PostGrad DipMedSc, PhD
Professor Felice Jacka is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow at Deakin University where she is director of the new Food & Mood Centre. She is founder and president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) and immediate past president of the Australian Alliance for the Prevention of Mental Disorders (APMD). Professor Jacka has pioneered and led a highly innovative program of research that examines how individuals’ diets, and other lifestyle behaviours, interact with the risk for mental health problems. Her current work focuses closely on the links between diet, gut health and mental and brain health. This research is being carried out with the ultimate goal of developing new, evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies for mental disorders.
Dr Lillian Kent, PhD, M.Appl.Epi, MPH, RPHNutr, FASLM
Dr Lillian Kent is a senior researcher in the Lifestyle Research Centre at Avondale College of Higher Education. She also lectures in Postgraduate studies in Lifestyle Medicine at Avondale and supervises several doctoral students. Lillian has presented at various academic and community events around the world.
Lillian is a Fellow of ASLM and a Registered Public Health Nutritionist with the Australian Society of Nutrition. She has more than 25 publications in scientific peer review journals. Since joining Avondale her research has focused on outcomes following the CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) program. More recently, her research interests have centred on delivering CHIP messages to illiterate, rural communities in third world countries using a community development and empowerment methodology (REFLECT). In addition, her research has diversified to using Positive Psychology for improving emotional health and wellbeing.
Prof Vaughan Macefield, BSc (Hons I), PhD, DSc
Prof Vaughan Macefield joined The Baker Institute in January 2018 from Western Sydney University, where he was Foundation Chair in Integrative Physiology in the School of Medicine from 2006-2016, and Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine & Health Sciences in Dubai, where he served as Foundation Chair of Physiology from 2016-2017. He holds a conjoint Professorship in the School of Medical Sciences at UNSW, and a conjoint Senior Principal Research Fellowship at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), where he was based as an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow from 1994-2006. After completing his PhD in animal neurophysiology in 1986, he undertook advanced training in human neurophysiology in Sydney, Sweden and the US, before establishing his own laboratories in 1994. Since 1984 he has published over 200 papers and reviews and written 15 invited book chapters. He has received $11.8 million in research funding, and was awarded his DSc in 2017 for his work on the human sympathetic nervous system.
Prof Macefield specializes in recording from single nerve fibres via microelectrodes inserted into the peripheral nerves of awake human subjects (microneurography), and is best known for developing the methodology for recording the firing properties of single, type-identified, sympathetic neurones supplying muscle and skin and, most recently, for developing the methodology for recording muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) at the same time as performing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain. Using MSNA-coupled fMRI he has identified cortical and subcortical structures in the brain responsible for generating spontaneous bursts of MSNA in young and old healthy subjects, and for generating the increase in MSNA and blood pressure in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. His current NHMRC-supported work uses MSNA-coupled fMRI to examine the central substrates responsible for the high MSNA and blood pressure in renovascular hypertension, while another aims to identify the neural substrates responsible for the increases in MSNA and blood pressure during long-lasting muscle pain.
Dr Kate Marsh, PhD, MNutrDiet, BSc, GC(Diab Edn & Mgt)
Kate is an Advanced Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Credentialled Diabetes Educator working in private practice in Sydney and has a particular interest in vegetarian nutrition and plant-based diets, and the dietary and lifestyle management of diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. She was awarded the inaugural Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE) of the Year in 2015.
Kate is the convenor of the DAA National Vegetarian and PCOS Discussion Groups, chair of the ADEA Editorial Advisory Group, a member of the Diabetes Australia Medical Education Scientific Advisory Committee, on the editorial board for Diabetes Management Journal, and a board member for the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine.
She is the editor of the Australian Diabetes Educator, and a regular contributor to Diabetic Living Magazine. Kate has published articles in a number of nutrition and medical journals on the topics of PCOS, insulin resistance, glycemic index, diabetes, and vegetarian diets. She is also co-author of The Low GI Guide to Managing PCOS, The Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook, Low GI Gluten-Free Living, and The Bump to Baby Diet, and has authored a number of textbook chapters on PCOS, pregnancy and vegetarian nutrition.
Kate is passionate about the role of plant-based diets in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.
Dr Cheryl Martin, MBChB, BSc Med Sci (Sports Medicine)
Dr Cheryl Martin is a Fellow of the Australian College of Emergency Physicians and Yoga teacher. She has spent over a decade working in emergency, trauma and critical care settings. Her other professional interests include sports and exercise medicine and lifestyle and holistic approaches to promote health and well-being.
A long-term yoga practitioner, she is encouraged by increasingly robust research supporting the potential role of this mind-body contemplative practice as a preventative tool for health and adjunctive therapy in disease.
As a yoga teacher she works with groups and individuals including beginners, office workers and athletes using movement, breathing and relaxation exercises to promote physical, mental and emotional well-being. Cheryl is undertaking further training in yoga therapy with an international group of physician yoga teachers.
Outside of work she is an avid trail runner and enjoys exploring the mountain and beach trails of Victoria and beyond. Like yoga asana practice, she describes running in natural settings as her moving meditation.
Dr Chris Masters MBChB, Dip Obst (Otago) FRNZCGP
Dr Chris Masters is a general practitioner, in practice since 1997. He is the clinical director or Primary and Integrated Care at Hutt Valley District Health Board and partner at Ropata Medical Centre in Lower Hutt New Zealand. Chris’ clinical interests focusing on prevention and screening in his Primary Health care setting, and working on quality improvement and clinical governance, as well as using new technologies to integrate health systems. Since 2012 he has been the Medical Director of Melon Health, a company that develops programmes to support prevention and self-management of chronic health conditions.
Simon Matthews, MHlthSci, MAPS, FASLM
Simon has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals of living healthier, more purposeful lives and has assisted government, banking, retail, education, not-for-profit and charitable organisations to help their staff to understand the value of healthy lifestyle and to practice the principles of living well.
He seeks to help all his clients problem solve and has developed a trademarked approach to combining mental health treatment in the context of physical activity and a model of personal change that gets results.
As part of his commitment to seeing individuals make health-behaviour change and organisations encourage change, Simon has authored lifestyle health and mental health content, appeared as a content expert on in-house mental-health training, presented at industry conferences, written for industry publications on aspects of Lifestyle Medicine and authored a paper on innovative approaches in healthcare.
Simon is a Registered Psychologist, Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist with over three decades experience as a motivator of health behaviour change. He is a recently certified Diplomate of the IBLM.
When not working with clients, Simon also loves talking about his other passions as a Pilot, Barista and self-taught cook.
Dr Cameron McDonald, BSc, MNutrDiet, PhD
Dr Cam McDonald is a Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist, PhD Scholar and a Leader in Personalised Health. He has a specific focus on creating a culture where the health choice is easy and obvious. He has a working knowledge of how individuals can move to a state of optimal health, and a keen interest in maximising human performance throughout the community. Combining the world’s sciences throughout time, he is driven to help you find what makes you thrive in your life.
He has spent the last decade furthering his knowledge and skills so as to promote health in a way that makes it easy and obvious for clients. Dr Cam blends his background as a dietitian, exercise physiologist, with his long-standing personal interest in health, and his passion for understanding the latest research in genetics and environmental influence on health.
He takes this passion to both the general community, however he has a large focus on improving the education of health professionals in the space of personalised health. He currently spends the majority of his time educating Medical practitioners through to Massage therapists in the application of personalisation, and how it can be readily used to dramatically improve outcomes for their clients.
Prof Margaret Morris, BSc, Phd
Professor Margaret Morris is chair and Head of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, University of NSW. She uses neuropharmacological approaches to explore underlying brain mechanisms in epilepsy, obesity, diabetes, and the link between obesity and high blood pressure.
She has developed models of voluntary high fat feeding in rat and mice. The impact of parental obesity and early childhood events has been a key focus of research. Her lab has worked extensively on the impact of maternal obesity on offspring metabolic and cardiovascular risk, and is currently exploring options for intervention. Recent work investigating the role of paternal obesity on the health of offspring demonstrated that when rat fathers were fed a high fat diet to induce obesity and glucose intolerance, the resulting female offspring exhibited impaired glucose tolerance and insulin secretion as young adults (Nature, 2010).
Other major research questions Professor Morris explores is how does provision of a varied, energy rich diet override the regulatory control mechanisms that should maintain body weight? The Morris lab showed that palatable high fat diet can ameliorate the behavioral effects of early life stress; notably voluntary exercise had similar benefits (Psychoneuroendocrinology 2010). More
Prof Cliona Ni Mhurchu
Cliona is Professor of Population Nutrition at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and a Professorial Fellow at the George Institute for Global Health, Australia. She directs a programme of research in public health nutrition, diet interventions, and food policies, and is internationally recognised for her expertise in population nutrition interventions.
Her key areas of interest are food pricing (health-related food and beverage taxes), nutrition labelling, nutrient profiling, and technologies to support dietary change. Her studies have used a range of innovative technologies to deliver or evaluate interventions, such as smartphone apps, a virtual supermarket, scanner sales data, and automated wearable cameras.
Cliona is Director of the “Dietary Interventions: Evidence & Translation” (DIET) 5-year research programme, and is Deputy Director of the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge. More
A/Prof Joel Porter, BS, MA, PsyD
Dr Joel Porter is a Clinical Psychologist and an internationally sought after trainer in Motivational Interviewing (MI). Dr Porter is the Program Director of Gunnebah, a private residential addiction centre in Murrwillumbah, NSW. Joel is an Adjunct Associate Professor with University of Canberra, Centre for Applied Psychology and expert consultant to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Dr Porter is a long standing member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and has provided MI training throughout Australia and New Zealand, as well as South East Asia, China, Europe and North America. Dr Porter has held various academic and professional positions including Associate Clinical Director of Lives Lived Well, Principal Advisor of Programmes & Interventions, New Zealand Department of Corrections and Director of Centre for Gambling Studies, University of Auckland.
Joel is an engaging and inspiring trainer well known for providing MI workshops that translate in to daily practice in a safe relaxed environment.
Dr Simon Rosenbuam, PhD, BSc (Health and Exercise) hons
Dr Simon Rosenbaum is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney and the Black Dog Institute. He currently holds an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship and is also an inaugural UNSW Scientia Fellow. As an exercise physiologist, Simon conducted the first clinical trial of exercise for inpatients with post-traumatic stress disorder and has published over 120 peer-reviewed publications, including multiple book chapters on the role of exercise in the treatment of mental illness, Simon has worked with a variety of groups, including emergency service workers, contemporary veterans and Syrian refugees living with PTSD. Simon serves as an elected national director of Exercise and Sports Science Australia and is a passionate advocate for the integration of exercise as a component of treatment for people living with mental illness.
Prof Zoltan Sarnyai
Dr. Sarnyai is Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Psychiatric Neuroscience at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. He was previously University Lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge where he served as Director of Studies for Medicine. He trained at the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and at The Rockefeller University. He currently conducts research on major psychiatric disorders, such as depression and schizophrenia and studies the contribution of systemic factor such as stress, metabolic changes, gut microbiota and immune activation to brain health. He published close to a hundred original scientific papers, review articles and book chapters in the field of psychiatric neuroscience (H index 31).
Sarnyai was awarded the Curt P. Richter Prize by the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology for his work on stress neuropeptides and brain function; the DuPont-Warren Award by the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; and the Brain Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD) Young Investigator Award to study the link between stress and mental health. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research and he is the Secretary of Biological Psychiatry Australia and on the editorial board of the journals Stress and Nutritional Neuroscience.
Prof Jonathan Shaw, MD, FRCP(UK), FRACP, FAAHMS
Professor Jonathan Shaw underwent his clinical and research training in the UK. He is Deputy Director (Clinical and Population Health) at Melbourne’s Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, where his research focuses on epidemiology and clinical research in diabetes, and he is also a consultant physician in the diabetes services.
He has authored over 400 peer-reviewed scientific papers and 35 book chapters. He is the Chair of the Diabetes Advisory Group to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Council member of the Australian Diabetes Society, and a Past-President of the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group.
His awards include the global Novartis Diabetes Award (for research) (2006), the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group Peter Bennett award (2011), and the Australian Diabetes Society’s Jeff Flack Diabetes Data award (2015). In 2014, he was included in the Thomson Reuters The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds, which listed the 1% most highly cited scientists in the world since 2002. In 2017, he was included in the Clarivate list of the world’s most Highly Cited Researchers.
Dr. Dexter Shurney, MD, MBA, MPH
Dr. Shurney is the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs for Zipongo, the San Francisco-based based digital health and wellness company that focuses on enabling healthy eating -“Healthy Eating, Made Simple”. Dr. Shurney is the former Chief Medical Director / Executive Director for Global Health Benefits and Corporate Wellness for Cummins, Inc. He has an extensive background in health care management and policy. He has distinguished himself as a recognized leader in his profession in numerous ways. Prior to Cummins, Dr. Shurney was the Chief Medical Director of the Employee Health Plan for Vanderbilt University and Medical Center. During his tenure at Vanderbilt he also held joint faculty appointments as Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Internal Medicine and Public Health, and Adjunct Faculty, Owens Graduate School of Management. Other positions that Dr. Shurney has held include Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Healthways, Senior Health Policy Strategist in the Division of Government Affairs for the biotechnology company Amgen Inc., Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of medical affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and Editor of the Journal of Managed Care Physicians.
Dr. Shurney serves on numerous boards including: The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) where he is President-elect, the Global Business Group on Health, and the National Association of Managed Care Physicians. From 2007-2009, he served as the Chair of the Tennessee Diabetes Prevention and Health Improvement Board, appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen. He was also the most recent Chair of the Business Strategies Committee for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). For 12 years he served as the American College of Medical Quality’s (ACMQ) elected delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA).
Dr. Shurney is co-author of the book “Integrating Wellness into Your Disease Management Programs” which is a “how- to” strategic guide for employers that wish to innovate their approach to chronic condition management.
Dr. Shurney is board-certified in general preventive medicine and public health. He is a fellow in the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM
Rosemary Stanton is a nutritionist with a science degree in biochemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry, post-graduate qualifications in nutrition and dietetics, a graduate diploma in administration and a PhD for her work in public health. She has also been awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her services to community health through education in nutrition and dietetics.
She is an independent nutritionist, lecturer, author, currently interested in sustainable food for the future. Author of many scientific papers, over 3500 articles on nutrition and 33 books, including nutrition textbooks and several books that have analysed and rated popular diets. Member of NHMRCs Dietary Guidelines Working Committee.
A/Prof John Stevens, BA, RN, PhD, FACN
John Stevens is a health scientist and Associate Professor (Adj.) with Southern Cross University’s School of Health and Human Sciences in Australia. He is also the Director of a number of companies engaged in the Health Education and Research.
In the past John has been Head of the School of Nursing and Health Practices (SCU), the Director of Post Graduate studies (which included convening and teaching the first ever Master’s Award in Lifestyle Medicine – and which he continues to teach) and Director of Professional Development and Enterprise.
He has over 60 peer reviewed publications including books on dementia and obesity management. In 2008 John co-founded the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and remains an executive member of the Board.
Prof Boyd Swinburn, MBChB, MD, FRACP, FNZCPHM
Boyd Swinburn is Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health at the University of Auckland and Alfred Deakin Professor with the Global Obesity Centre, Deakin University, Melbourne. He is also Co-Chair of World Obesity Policy & Prevention section (formerly International Obesity Task Force).
He trained as an endocrinologist and has conducted research in metabolic, clinical and public health aspects of obesity. His major research interests are centred on community and policy actions to prevent childhood and adolescent obesity, and reduce, what he has coined, ‘obesogenic’ environments. He is currently leading an initiative (www.informas.org) to monitor and benchmark food environments internationally.
He has over 350 publications related to obesity, established WHO’s first Collaborating Centre on Obesity Prevention at Deakin University in 2003, led two Lancet Series on Obesity and co-chairs the Lancet Commission on Obesity. He has been an advisor on many government committees, WHO Consultations, and large scientific studies internationally. More
Dr Nicholas Wright, MbChB
Dr Nick Wright was raised on a farm just outside of Auckland and studied at University of Otago Medical School. Here he explored his entrepreneurial streak and founded a textbook company to help health science students without a strong academic background. Since starting medicine he has read avidly around lifestyle changes, and decided to travel to California and learn from Dr McDougall, and at TrueNorth Health Centre Drs Goldhamer, Lisle and Klaper. These clinics achieved transformational results regularly, and this left a strong impression. Also as part of medical school he chose to spend a year in rural Balclutha with Dr Sijnja in which he saw the importance of good medical care to small communities.
In 2013 he began volunteering on research to see how to apply a plant-based diet in the community setting. He was lead author on the BROAD study, published in 2017 and is working with colleagues on the “End Diabetes Gisborne East coast” (EDGE) trial. In 2017 he was honoured with a Kiwibank Local Hero Medal for his contributions to charity. Dr Wright is now a final year registrar in General Practice. In 2018 he helped set up the first plant-based conference in Gisborne, NZ, where he currently lives. Gisborne is well known for it’s excellent waves and soil, which is perfect as he is a keen amateur surfer and gardener.
He and partner Morgen also run an online clinic with a video programme for those transitioning to a plant-based diet at plantbasedvideos.com.