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Scientific Reference Panel

The Foundation’s remarkable strength is found in the calibre of the members of this Panel .

The task of the Scientific Reference Panel is to review and assess each application received by the Foundation and to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The Trustees take substantial guidance from the Panel.

The Scientific Reference Panel process ensures that the successful projects have scientific merit, and are appropriately designed and undertaken by researchers with impressive track records.


Professor Colin Masters
Professor and Head, Department of Pathology, the University of Melbourne ;Director of Research Laboratories, Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria ; Consultant, Royal Melbourne Hospital ; Associate Dean (Research) Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne; Professor Masters is a world leader in research into Alzheimer's disease and viral infections of the brain.

Professor Robert Porter
Director, Research Development, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Molecular Sciences, James Cook University ; Planning Dean for the School of Medicine, JCU ; Former Dean of Medicine, Monash University. Professor Porter also has held positions as Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Howard Florey Professor of Medical Research and NH&MRC Chair of Medical Research Committee .

Professor Elsdon Storey
Professor of Neuroscience and Director, Van Cleef/Roet Centre for Nervous Diseases, Monash University; Head, Department of Neurology, Alfred Hospital; Council Member, Australian Association of Neurologists; Executive Member, Monash University Centre for Brain and Behaviour; Committee Member, Behavioural Neurology Subcommittee and Neurogenetics Subcommittee of AAN; Sessional Neurologist to CDAMS (Memory Clinic) Caulfield General Medical Centre; Neurologist to the Neurogenetics Clinic, St Vincent's Hospital, Royal Melbourne and Alfred. Professor Storey is also on the Council of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists as Neurology Co-Editor of their official Journal (the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience), and the Boards of the Brain Foundation, Neurosciences Victoria, and the Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation.

Professor Michael Ashby
Medical Specialist, Palliative Care, Community Health Services, Department of Health and Human Services; Past holder of joint clinical, academic and managerial positions at St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne; McCulloch House, Monash Medical Centre, Southern Health and Monash University, Clayton, Victoria; and the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Mary Potter Hospice, Calvary Hospital Adelaide; Past President of the Australia and New Zealand Society for Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM) and past Chairman of the Chapter of Palliative Medicine at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Chair of Clinical Ethics Committee and Clinical Leader, Respecting Patient choices Program, Royal Hobart Hospital

Dr Jennifer Philip
Deputy Medical Director, Palliative Care, St Vincent's Hospital and Caritas Christi Hospice
Deputy Director, Centre for Palliative Care Education and Research
Honary Fellow, University of Melbourne

Dr Michelle Gold
Appointed Director Palliative Care, Alfred Hospital ln 2003, Dr Gold is responsible for providing clinical care to patients of both the Alfred Hospital and Caulfield General Medical Centre. She has wide clinical experience in provision of palliative care to patients with both malignant and non-malignant diseases.Committee member of the Chapter of Palliative Medicine, RACP from 2003-2008 and is currently the Chair, Clinical Advisory Group, Southern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium. Other commitments include membership of the Victorian Cooperative Oncology Group, Palliative Medicine Committee and teaching commitments for medical students and allied health.

Professor Dominic Thyagarajan
Professor of Neuroscience and Director of Neurology at Monash Medical Centre; Instrumental in setting up the first interated stroke unit at Flinders Medical Centre and then the first comprehensive Deep Brain Stimulation program for movement disorders in South Australia.

Professor Linda Kristjanson
Vice-Chancellor of Swinburne University and champion of palliative care. During her academic career she has received more than $30m in competitive research funding from national bodies in Canada, USA and Australia and has published more than 200 refereed publications. She has developed a number of instruments to measure health care indicators, some of which have been translated into other languages. Professor Kristjanson was the lead researcher to produce the evidence-based National Guidelines for Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care, approved by NHMRC (2004).

Professor Pamela McCombe
Head, Royal Brisbane Clinical School, and Affiliate Professor UQ Centre for Clinical Research at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr McCombe trained as a neurologist at Prince Henry and Prince of Wales Hospitals and obtained a PhD from the University of Sydney. After a stint in neurophysiology in Cleveland, she then returned to UQ as a post-doctoral fellow and worked for some years as a research fellow in neuroimmunology and was an NHMRc SRF. Later she resumed clinical practice as a neurologist, and continued her research as an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow. She is currently Professor and Head of the Royal Brisbane Clinical school in the School of Medicine and Co-head of the Brain and Mental Health Theme at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research.

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