Speakers

Dr Vanessa Beavis

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Dr Vanessa Beavis joined the ANZCA Council in 2012 and became ANZCA president in May 2020.

She has held positions including chair of the Training Accreditation Committee, chair of the Perioperative Medicine Steering Committee, ANZCA Council representative on the FPM Board, founding chair of the Anaesthetists and Leadership Special Interest Group, and was an examiner for the final exams.

Originally from South Africa, where she completed her training, Vanessa emigrated to New Zealand in 1993. Vanessa has said that, at the time, she could not have imagined all the professional opportunities, friendships and deep satisfaction that have come from her increasing involvement in ANZCA. Seeing the level at which her colleagues practiced anaesthesia as a result of their training education and skills she immediately decided to stay, and contribute as best she could.

Today, Vanessa is a specialist anaesthetist working in Auckland where her main area of clinical interest is liver transplantation, and when she is not doing that - the establishment  of Perioperative medicine into clinical Anaesthetic practice.

Professor Suzanne Chambers AO

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Professor Suzanne Chambers AO is a health psychologist who has been working as a practitioner-researcher in psycho-oncology for over 30 years. She was awarded her PhD in 2004 within the School of Psychology at Griffith University and has over 300 peer reviewed publications and numerous books, book chapters and monographs.  She is currently the Executive Dean of Health Sciences at the Australian Catholic University and over her career has held senior executive roles at University Technology Sydney, Griffith University and the Menzies Health Institute of Queensland, and Cancer Council Queensland.  Her research has focussed on developing models to predict help seeking and adjustment after cancer: designing remote access and low intensity psychological interventions for people affected by cancer; integrating peer support into controlled design methodologies; integrating distress screening into interventions to target high distress cancer patient groups. She is the author of Facing the Tiger A Survivorship Guide for Men with Prostate cancer and their Partners and The Health Professionals Guide to Delivering Psychological Care for Men with Prostate Cancer. Suzanne was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) 2018 for distinguished service to medical research particularly in the area of psycho-oncology and to community health through patient care strategies to assist men with prostate cancer.  She is the founder and President of Open Eyes Global an incorporated association registered with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission that raises funds to provide customised eye prostheses to disadvantaged children in Nepal with retinoblastoma. 

Dr Rebecca Auer

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Dr Rebecca Auer is the Scientific Director for the Cancer Therapeutics Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.  She is a Surgical Oncologist specializing in Colorectal Cancer Surgery and Retroperitoneal Sarcomas at The Ottawa Hospital and a Professor in the Department of Surgery and the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa.

 

Dr Auer holds a Tier 1 Clinical Research Chair in Perioperative Cancer Therapeutics and leads a translational research program focused on understanding the promotion of metastatic disease in the perioperative period, following surgical stress. She had defined a mediating role for Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells and effector Natural Killer and T cells in the cancer recurrence and the development of postoperative metastases. Using surgically relevant preclinical animal models, Dr. Auer has identified candidate immunotherapies capable of counteracting the effects of surgery. Dr. Auer has led four translational clinical trials of perioperative cancer therapies based on this preclinical research. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and received over $8 million dollars in peer-reviewed funding to support her work.

Professor Andrew Somogyi

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Professor Andrew Somogyi graduated in Pharmacy from Tasmania and at the University of Sydney completed a PhD in 1978. He then undertook postdoctoral clinical pharmacology training in Bonn (Germany), and for the past 35 years has been at the University of Adelaide. He has an active research programme examining interindividual variation in drug response through clinical pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and outcomes studies underpinned by pharmacogenomics in the fields of cancer pain and acute postoperative pain, transplantation and infectious diseases. He has a specific interest in the clinical pharmacology of opioid drugs. He is an honorary fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of ANZCA  and is a member of the FPM Research and Scientific Meetings committees.

Dr Mark Nolan

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Dr Mark Nolan is a non-invasive cardiologist working at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Western Health in Melbourne and is a Post-Doctoral researcher at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. He completed his PhD in use of cardiac imaging in cancer patients at University of Tasmania. He has completed fellowships in echocardiography, cardiac CT, cardiac MRI and cardio-oncology.

 

He has published 10 first author papers, including in Journal of American College of Cardiology: Imaging, American Cardiology journal and International Journal of Cardiology.  He had a strong passion in improving cardiovascular health of Australian cancer survivors

Professor Christobel Saunders AO

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Professor Christobel Saunders AO, MB BS, FRCS, FRACS, FAAHMS is the James Stewart Chair of Surgery, the Head of the Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne (Royal Melbourne Hospital precinct) and consultant surgeon in the Department of General Surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute. She is internationally recognised as one of Australia’s most prominent research-orientated cancer surgeons. She has substantially contributed to breast cancer research including clinical trials of new treatments, psychosocial, translational and health services research.

In recognition of her sustained career excellence and innovation, Christobel has been publicly acknowledged through numerous awards and honours including Order of Australia 2018, the Uccio Querci della Rovere Award (2018), WA Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee (2018),  WA Scientist of the Year (2017) and Cancer Council WA career Achievement Award (2021). She has performed research for >30 years evaluating the efficacy and utility of therapy for early breast cancer.

In the past five years, Christobel has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles (two in The Lancet), six letters to the editor/editorials, two research reports, two book chapters and one book. She sits on the boards of a number of health and research organisations including as Vice-President for All.can International and on the boards of All.can Australia, Breast Cancer Trials, the Australian Centre for Value Based Health Care and PathWest. Christobel is closely involved in strategic planning and management of health and cancer services in Australia including being on the Medicare Review Advisory Committee, past President of the Cancer Council WA and Breast Surgical Society of ANZ, and past Advisory Council member of Cancer Australia. She was Inaugural Chair of the state Health Service Provider, PathWest Laboratory Medicine.

Dr Elliot Wollner

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Dr Elliot Wollner is an anaesthetist at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. He completed his training in anaesthesia in Melbourne, completed a Masters of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City, and then undertook a global health equity fellowship at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where he later became faculty. His main areas of interest include increasing access to safe anaesthesia and perioperative care in low- and middle-income countries through research, education, and collaborative partnerships. He lectures surgical and anaesthesia trainees on health inequities, health disparities, and the social determinants of health at The University of Melbourne and UCSF, and he is exploring how these forces affect perioperative outcomes.  

Dr Meg Allen

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Dr Meg Allen is an anaesthetist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, and previously worked at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. He clinical interests include anaesthesia for neurosurgery and trauma patients. She is undertaking her PhD through the University of Melbourne on the evaluation of perioperative opioid stewardship programs.

Dr Louise Ellard

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Dr Louise Ellard is the Deputy Director of Anaesthesia, Department of Anaesthesia, Austin Hospital and an Honorary Clinical Senior Fellow, Department of Critical Care, Melbourne Medical School

 

Dr Ellard attended The University of Melbourne medical school and completed her Anaesthesia training at Austin Health and Canberra Hospital. She was awarded the Cecil Gray prize for the FANZCA Part 2 Anaesthesia examination in 2009.

 

She was chief fellow at Toronto General Hospital in 2011 – 2012 and during this time completed fellowships in difficult airway, liver transplantation and cardiac anaesthesia, as well as obtaining accreditation with the National Board of Echocardiography for the advanced peri-operative Trans-oesophageal echocardiography examination.
 

Dr Ellard’s clinical interests include Cardiac surgery, Liver transplantation and major hepatobiliary surgery. She maintains a strong interest in difficult airway management and has published several book chapters and review articles on airway management topics. She completed a Masters of Clinical Leadership (Hons) in 2019.

Dr Katrina Pirie

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Katrina Pirie is a fulltime staff specialist at The Alfred Hospital. Following completion of her training in anaesthesiology at The Alfred Hospital, Katrina undertook an additional fellowship in onco-anaesthesia at The Royal Marsden in the UK, with a particular focus on upper gastro-intestinal surgery. Her research interest is in optimising postoperative outcomes for patients undergoing open and minimally invasive major abdominal surgery.

Dr Hilmy Ismail

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Dr Hilmy Ismail is a Specialist Anaesthetist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

He is currently a Fellow of the Centre for Digital Transformation of Health, University of Melbourne and is developing a protocol for the utilization of Machine Learning and AI technologies  to predict and direct optimization strategies prior to major cancer surgery.

Research interests include Perioperative Medicine, Risk Stratification and Optimization  prior to Major Cancer Surgery, Health Informatics, Health Education.

Co-Clinical Lead for the Pre-Assessment Clinic, Fit4Surgery Prehabilitation Service and CPET services at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Professor Laurence Weinberg

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Professor Laurence Weinberg (BSc, MBBCh, MRCP, DipEcho, MD, PhD FANZCA) is the Director of Anaesthesia at Austin Health. He is a fulltime academic anaesthetist with clinical and research interests in complex cardiac, thoracics and major hepatobiliary-pancreatic-abdominal surgery, including liver and kidney transplantation. He serves as the Chairperson of the Human Research Ethics Committee at Austin Health and sits on several leadership, safety and governance committees. He has been the principal investigator for over 40 RCTs and is Chief Investigator for the BEST Fluid Study and the CLIP II trial, which has been awarded >Au$ 3M in NHMRC funding. He has >200 PubMed listed peer-reviewed publications with primary research interests in health costs and outcomes after major surgery, perioperative fluid therapy, and advanced haemodynamic and cerebral monitoring. Over the last 10 years Dr Weinberg has presented his research and conducted haemodynamic workshops at more than 100 international and national meetings and conferences. His lecture will provide a contemporary overview of pragmatic strategies to protect the endothelial glycocalyx in the perioperative setting. Current research being conducted at Austin Health in this area will be overviewed.   

Professor Bernhard Riedel

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Bernhard is an academic anaesthetist with a primary research interest that focuses on improving surgical outcomes, especially following major cancer surgery. Bernhard also serves as the current Director of the Department of Cancer Anesthesia, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and holds an academic appointment at the University of Melbourne.

Professor Ismail Gögenur

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Ismail Gögenur is the founder and leader of Center for Surgical Science, a multidisciplinary research unit involved in translational research, clinical research and Big Data methodologies. His research focus is within the development and implementation of new surgical treatments along with surgical pathophysiology. In 2020, he established a “patient near” translational research laboratory at Zealand University Hospital with the aim of utilizing patient database and biobanks to predict treatment outcomes in-vitro and integrating these research outcomes in clinical trials to create an accelerated “bench to bedside” framework. Ismail Gögenur acts as chairman of the Scientific Committee in Danish Colorectal Cancer Group, and is member of several national and international research groups performing studies within surgical oncology.

Dr Nick Christelis

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Dr Nick Christelis is medical director and co-founder of Pain Specialists Australia, a multidisciplinary, college accredited, pain training unit, that was founded on the single belief that no one should suffer from pain. 

 

He holds pain fellowship qualifications in both Australia and the UK. He completed his specialist training in pain medicine and anaesthesia at London’s Imperial School of Anaesthesia and worked as a pain consultant at The Chelsea & Westminster Hospital before moving to Melbourne to take up a staff specialist role and head of acute pain services at The Alfred Hospital. 

 

Nick now practices 100% within the field of pain medicine.

Associate Professor Lachlan Miles

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A/Prof Lachlan Miles is a Staff Specialist and Deputy Head of Research in the Department of Anaesthesia at Austin Health, and an Honorary Principal Fellow of the Department of Critical Care at the University of Melbourne. His subspecialty clinical practice involves cardiothoracic and major hepatobiliary anaesthesia (including liver transplant) and peri-operative medicine.

Lachlan completed clinical fellowships at the Austin Health and at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom before commencing as a Consultant Anaesthetist in 2016. He holds certification status in advanced peri-operative transoeseophageal echocardiography from the National Board of Echocardiography in the United States.

Lachlan balances his clinical interests with a substantial research portfolio. He completed his PhD at University of Melbourne examining the identification and management of non-anaemic iron deficiency in patients undergoing cardiac and colorectal surgery. He has published > 30 original manuscripts in high-impact anaesthesia and general medicine journals in the last 5 years and is the principal chief investigator of the IDOCS and NATO studies, the latter of which is endorsed by the ANZCA Clinical Trials Network. He is a previous winner of the Douglas Renton Medal for the Primary Fellowship Examination, awarded by ANZCA in 2010, the Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Emerging Researcher Award in 2019, and the Gilbert Brown Prize, awarded by ANZCA for the best free paper at the Annual Scientific Meeting in 2020. He is an Editor of the journal Anaesthesia Reports.