Our Advisory Committee

The NSW Health Pathology Research and Innovation Advisory Committee is responsible for championing researchers and ensuring the implementation of the Research and Innovation Framework.

The RIAC provides:

  • Research leadership: by monitoring the Research and Innovation Framework implementation plan, identifying gaps in activity and reporting back to the Strategic Leadership Team
  • Research advocacy: by facilitating research collaboration, promoting partnering opportunities and advocating for the use of NSW Health Pathology research policies and procedures
  • Research culture: by encouraging a culture of sharing research activity
  • Research advisory: by providing advice on issues that may impact NSW Health Pathology researchers
  • Research support: through grant application, business cases and implementation of new innovations
  • Research promotion: by gathering research material required for an annual research activity report.



Roger Wilson - bw

Professor Roger Wilson

Chief Pathologist and Executive Director, Clinical Governance and Quality

The NSW Health Pathology Research and Innovation program and the NSW Health Statewide Biobank and their teams sit within Roger’s portfolio, which also hosts the Research and Innovation Advisory Committee (RIAC).

Roger is a medical graduate of Otago University and rotated through training in all disciplines of pathology at Dunedin Hospital before moving to Australia to complete training in clinical microbiology at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney. Prior to his current role he has held positions as a Clinical Microbiologist and Pathology Network Director in various locations over 25 years.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) and the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) and is a Conjoint Professor at the School of Medical Sciences at the University of NSW (UNSW) and Visiting Fellow at Macquarie University.


Michael Symonds - bw

Michael Symonds

Executive Director, Forensic and Analytic Science Service

Prior to his appointment in late 2017, Michael held the roles of Director, Hunter New England Imaging, a service that encompasses radiology, nuclear medicine and medical physics, as well as being Director of BreastScreen NSW Hunter New England. He was previously General Manager of the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, NSW for a period of two years.

With a background in medical radiation science, Michael has extensive clinical and leadership experience spanning more than 30 years in the acute health care sector. Michael’s experience has an emphasis on medical imaging, patient care, the introduction of digital technology and organisational change.

Michael has attained Master of Health Science Education from the University of Sydney, is a Conjoint Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, operates as a technical co-operation expert for the International Atomic Energy Agency and is engaged in research with colleagues from Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI). Michael is a member of the Australia New Zealand Forensic Executive Committee (ANZFEC) and the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS).


Vanessa Thomson

Vanessa Thomson

Executive Director, Scientific and Technical

Vanessa has more than 30 years of experience in pathology. She gained her Fellowship through the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science (NZIMLS) and later a Masters of Management from Massey University, New Zealand.

Vanessa specialised in haematology and spent about 20 years working primarily in the public sector in New Zealand, as well as in the developing world. She has lived in Australia since 2008 working largely in the private sector in various operational management positions.

Vanessa was appointed to her current role with NSW Health Pathology in October 2018. She has a keen interest in scientific and technical workforce issues, including for researchers.


Robert Lindeman - bw

Professor Robert Lindeman

Executive Director, Clinical Operations

In addition to his Executive Director role, Robert is also a haematologist at the Department of Haematology, Randwick Campus and the Local Pathology Director for that site.

Robert earned his medical degree and PhD from the University of Sydney and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA).

He is also the Medical Director of the Sydney Cord Blood Bank and is a conjoint professor in the School of Medicine at the University of New South Wales.


Stephen Braye - bw

Dr Stephen Braye

Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) and Executive Director, Clinical Services

Stephen has worked as a Staff Specialist in Anatomical Pathology since 1987 at Prince of Wales Hospital, the Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, and the former Hunter Area Pathology Service (HAPS). 

Stephen graduated from the University of NSW (UNSW) in 1976 with the degree of MBBS, BSc (Hons). He was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPA) in 1985 and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (FRCPA) in 1986. 

His other qualifications include BSc(med) in Pharmacology UNSW 1973, MRCPath (UK) 1985 and Member International Academy of Cytology 1992. He also has affiliations with the Royal College of Pathologists Great Britain, the Australian Society of Cytology, the Dermatopathological Society of Australasia, the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland and the International Academy of Pathology (Australian Division) to name a few.

Stephen has a passionate interest in cytology, particularly breast and thyroid cytology, and is the accredited pathologist for Breast Screen NSW in Newcastle and a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle.


Thomas Karagiannis - bw

Thomas Karagiannis

Acting Chief Operating Officer, NSW Health Statewide Biobank

Tom brings a wealth of pathology, molecular biology and lab management knowledge to the NSW Health Statewide Biobank. He has more than 30 years’ experience, including his most recent role as Operations Manager and Microbiology Laboratory Manager at Prince of Wales Hospital. Tom has a Master, Research Thesis from the University of NSW (UNSW) and recently completed the Clinical Excellence Commission’s Executive Clinical Leadership Program.

Tom is a current member of the NSW Health Pathology Microbiology Clinical Stream and has been a NATA medical testing assessor since 2002. For Tom, the NSW Health Statewide Biobank is an exciting place to work, as it creates a centre for researchers to access all the important samples they need to accelerate their research.


Dominic Dwyer - bw

Professor Dominic Dwyer

Network Director, Local Pathology at Western Sydney LHD & Director of Public Health Pathology

Dominic is a microbiologist who also manages statewide pathology services in public health. This includes running a World Health Organisation National Influenza Centre at Westmead.

He trained in microbiology (virology and infectious diseases) at Westmead Hospital’s Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR) in 1986 and became a medical microbiologist in 1997. In 2009, Dominic was appointed Director and Senior Medical Virologist for ICPMR’s Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Laboratory Services.

An important part of Dominic’s role is assisting state and national governments in planning for pandemic influenza and emerging infections. The laboratory at Westmead is actively involved in disease outbreak investigations. He strongly supports research and encourages innovation because he believes they underpin good pathology practice and good clinical medicine.

He is currently a Clinical Professor at the University of Sydney’s Western Clinical School and has spent 12 months as a visiting academic in the Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales at the Hospital Saint-Louis, a public teaching hospital in Paris.


Sue McLennan bw

Associate Professor Susan McLennan

Operations Director, East

In addition to her Operations Director role, Susan is also a Principal Research Fellow and Associate Professor, Medicine, Central Clinical School at the University of Sydney. She is a well-respected scientist, with many years laboratory experience.

Susan has successfully supervised laboratory-based PhD, Master's and Honours students and has many publications in respected diabetes journals, as well as national in international collaborations.

Susan has actively researched diabetic complications since 1980. Her principal area of expertise is the role of the MMP/TIMP system in diabetes micro-vascular complications. She has more than 40 publications in refereed international journals, including the highest impact journals in the diabetes field.


William Rawlinson - bw

Professor William Rawlinson AM FAHMS

Director of Virology, South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra

William is a clinician scientist recognised internationally for translational research into viral and emerging diseases. He works with NSW Health Pathology at the Randwick site, as well as with the University of NSW (UNSW) as a conjoint Professor.

He is Director of the NSW Health Pathology Randwick Serology and Virology Division (SAViD), Director of the Statewide Organ and Tissue Donor screening laboratory, Director of the NSW State Reference Laboratory for HIV, Chair Biosecurity Quality Assurance Program (RCPAQAP), Deputy Chair Serology Quality Assurance Program (RCPAQAP), and Chair National Verification Committee for Elimination of Measles and Rubella.

He believes in using research to further understand the pathogenetic processes by which viruses cause disease in humans and translating these findings into better health interventions. He holds degrees in science (PhD Cambridge University, BSc(Med)), medicine (Sydney University MBBS), management (UNSW GCM), and fellowships of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (FRCPA, FFSc), Royal Australian College of Physicians (FRACP), and Australian Society for Microbiology (FASM).

His major research interest is cytomegalovirus and other infectious causes of congenital malformation, and viral diseases of immunosuppressed patients.


Denis Wakefield - bw

Professor Denis Wakefield AO

Director of Sutherland Centre of Immunology (SCI)

Denis has dual specialist qualifications in internal medicine (FRACP) and pathology (FRCPA - Immunology). He has been Head of Immunology for more than 20 years and was head of the School of Pathology before becoming foundation professor of the School of Medical Sciences at the University of NSW (UNSW). He is also the Director of South-Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Health Research.

Denis has a broad range of interests in pathology, immunology, ophthalmology and internal medicine. He has initiated and/or been involved in research projects in all major facets of immunology, including: autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiency, infectious diseases, immunosuppression and oncology. The Sutherland Centre of Immunology has established research and development programs with close links with the School of Pathology and Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

His major research interests are immune-pathogenesis of inflammation and inflammatory eye disease and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.

Denis’ research experience is extensive, with more than 400 peer reviewed publications, serving on several editorial boards and a longstanding immunology editor of the Australia New Zealand Journal of Medicine. In 2005 he won the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2007 was awarded a DSc for his pioneering research into the immunology of eye disease. In 2015 he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contributions to medicine.


Rodney Scott - bw

Laureate Professor Rodney Scott

Director of Molecular Medicine, North & Hunter New England

Rodney is an internationally recognised expert in genomics. His research is helping unlock the mysteries of genetic disease and improving patient care - an important part of NSW Health Pathology’s statewide genomics service. He was the first to initiate testing for familial breast and colon cancer in the Hunter New England region to ensure early risk detection for patients and their families that could lead to preventative strategies and better.

When he first started his research career in the 1980s, he realised very early on this was a profession that was always going to change and would not become mundane. The research he has been involved in first focused on the identification of genes associated with inherited forms of colorectal cancer and breast cancer. Rodney’s expertise is extensive, with more than 600 peer reviewed scientific publications in genetics research spanning the fields of cancer, asthma, stroke, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, macular degeneration, lung disease and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Rodney was awarded the prestigious title of Laureate Professor by the University of Newcastle in 2017 for his research efforts and outstanding contributions in the field of medical genetics and he is the newly appointed Director of the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance. He has served on numerous state and national committees involved in ensuring the delivery of genetic services to the community, as well as ethics committees and a variety of other administrative committees.


James Patterson - bw

James Patterson

Chief Information Officer

James has held the role of Chief Information Officer since early 2014 and he is responsible for the development and implementation of Information Technology strategies for NSW Health Pathology. He works closely with our Chief Pathologist, Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist and expert staff across the networks to maximise the potential of our IT systems and enhance connectivity for the benefit of our staff, customers and patients.

James has spent much of his career in the financial sector, most recently as the Chief Technology Officer for BT Global Banking and Financial Markets – a division of the British Telecommunications Group. He has a strong track record of harnessing information technology to create a competitive advantage and deliver on organisational priorities.  He also brings strong computer engineering and product development skills to the table as well a clear commitment to collaboration and continual improvement.

He has had a long and successful track record in applying and even creating new technologies to build effective sustainable services with layered value-adding features and capabilities.


Stephen Adelstein - bw

Associate Professor Stephen Adelstein

Facility Head of Department, Immunology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Stephen has a MB, BCh, PhD and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and a Fellow of Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (FRCPA). In addition, he is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney.  

He is the Chair of the NSW Board of the Medical Board of Australia and a practitioner member of the National Medical Board of Australia. He has been involved in medical regulation since 2008, initially as a member of the former NSW Medical Board, and a past member of the Medical Council of NSW.

Stephen oversees both undergraduate and postgraduate research and is currently the Principal Examiner for the Faculty of Science in the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA). His research interest is around infection and immunological conditions with emphasis on autoimmunity, immune system disease and immunology.


Emmanuel Favaloro - bw

Dr Emmanuel J Favaloro

Principal Hospital Scientist, Haematology, ICPMR, Westmead Hospital

Emmanuel works in the field of laboratory diagnostics to help diagnose disease or disorders in blood clotting, such as haemophilia and von Willebrand disease. His professional qualifications include a science degree with honours and a PhD, both from the University of Sydney, as well as a Fellowship from the Faculty of Science of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA).

Emmanuel believes that laboratory diagnostics is a key aspect of accurate clinical diagnosis, which then facilitates appropriate clinical treatment for patients.

He has published more than 500 papers in medical and scientific literature, and is the Editor in Chief of the international journal Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis, one of the premiere journals in this field. He is also on the editorial board of several other international laboratory and medical journals.


Murray Killingsworth - bw

Associate Professor Murray Killingsworth

Principal Hospital Scientist, NSW Health Pathology, South

Murray is a principal scientist at NSW Health Pathology’s Electron Microscopy Laboratory of in Liverpool. He was awarded his PhD in 1989 and a Founding Fellowship of the Faculty of Science (FFSc) in the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) in 2010.

He is a Conjoint Associate Professor of the South Western Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales (UNSW) and a Conjoint Associate Professor of the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University (WSU). Murray is also currently Clinical Sciences Stream Leader and Head of the new Correlative Microscopy Facility at the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research. He uses a variety of light and electron microscopy imaging tolls to study mechanisms of pathogenesis in retinal disease, renal disease, ischaemic stroke and cancer.

Murray was awarded the Lady Mary Fairfax Distinguished Researcher Award in 2018 and is currently serving as a Researcher Member of the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) of South Western Sydney Local Health District. He is also a Co-Director of the NSW Brain Clot Bank initiative.


Mahtab Farzin - bw

Dr Mahtab Farzin

Anatomical Pathologist, Pathology Central West

Mahtab is a Staff Specialist at Orange teaching Hospital in Central West NSW. She has experience in pulmonary pathology, uropathology, endocrine and gastrointestinal pathology. Prior to joining Central West Pathology, she finished her anatomical pathology training at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) and obtained her fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (FRCPA); while being a member of the translational cancer research centre based at RNSH.

Among some of her achievements are the Jeanette Philips Award and publishing research-based manuscripts. Mahtab’s aim is to take research from the laboratory bench into daily practice to improve patient outcomes.


Paul Bonnitcha

Dr Paul Bonnitcha

Chemical Pathology Registrar, Clinical Chemistry, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Paul is a chemist, biomedical researcher and doctor interested in diagnosing, imaging and treating cancer and cardiovascular disease. He is currently a chemical pathology registrar at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney.

He completed his medical degree at the University of Sydney before undertaking an internship and residency at Royal North Shore Hospital. Prior to this, he completed a PhD at Oxford University where he developed imaging agents for hypoxia. His earlier Master and Honour Projects in the Chemistry Faculty at the University of Sydney were also focused on molecular mechanisms of targeting hypoxia.

His current projects include: novel disease biomarkers in serum, prodrug design, PET imaging agents for hypoxia and redox active MRI contrast agents.


Catherine Hitchcock - bw

Dr Catherine Hitchcock

Senior Scientist and Research Coordinator, Forensic and Analytical Science Service (FASS)

Catherine is the Senior Research, Development and Innovation Scientist for the Forensic DNA unit at NSW Health Pathology’s Forensic and Analytical Science Service (FASS) in Lidcombe. Catherine has worked in the Forensic DNA unit at FASS for more than 10 years.

Catherine attended Western Sydney University where she gained a Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences and Honours degrees. This was followed by a PhD in molecular biology studying the genetic population structure of an Australian ectomycorrhizal fungus.

Catherine was instrumental in the development of automation of the DNA analytical processes in 2014 and she has contributed significantly to the recognition of FASS as a leader in automated, high throughput forensic DNA analysis in the Australasian region.

For the past four years, Catherine has been working in the research and development role evaluating emerging technologies applicable to forensic DNA analysis that have the potential to revolutionise the way forensic DNA analysis will be undertaken in the future. Catherine believes her role (which involves researching, developing, validating and implementing the latest methods for the Forensic DNA unit) is important to assist FASS to provide the highest quality and most informative DNA analysis for the NSW Police Force and the criminal justice system.


Amanda Koegelenberg bw

Amanda Koegelenberg

Research and Innovation Program Director

Amanda has a BSc (Biotechnology) from the University of Newcastle (2003) and a Masters Biotechnology with Masters Business (Commerce) from Macquarie University (Sydney 2006). Amanda is a committed, passionate person with an enthusiasm to continuously grow within an organisation. She has an excellent ability to analyse organisational objectives and lead teams to drive process improvement.

Since starting with NSW Health Pathology she has implemented 32 activities from our Research and Innovation Framework, including setting up and managing the Research Governance Office, standardising services for non-NSW Health Pathology research and coordinating the Research Coordinator Community of Practice (CoP). She has also managed the innovation portal and developed a framework for innovation across NSW Health Pathology. She has developed policies, the research and innovation framework, and the acknowledgment and affiliation policy. She is also our Intellectual Property coordinator.

Before joining us, Amanda worked as an eHealth Project Officer (Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network), Team Leader for Biobanking and Clinical Research, Senior Project Officer (Hunter Cancer Research Alliance), HNEE CCRN Project Officer (Calvary Mater Hospital), Business Development Associate (Novotech Pty Ltd), Clinical Trials Assistant (The George Institute for Intl. Health) and Scientific Officer (SDS Pathology, North Ryde).


Andrew Harre -bw

Andrew Harre

Research Governance Officer

Andrew is a qualified medical scientist with a background in Cytology. Andrew graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSc) from Massey University, New Zealand with a major in Haematology and Cytology and final year lab placement at Diagnostic Medlab, Auckland, New Zealand and St Vincent’s Pathology, Melbourne, Victoria.

In December 2019, Andrew graduated with a Master of Science (Research) through the University of NSW (UNSW) and is currently in his final year of an Anatomical Pathology Fellowship trainee in the Faculty of Science (RCPA).

Andrew holds the professional qualifications of the Australian Society of Cytology (ASC) and the International Academy of Cytology (IAC), and is a member of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) Quality Assurance Program (QAP) Cytopathology Advisory Committee.

Before moving into the role of Research Governance Officer Andrew first trained in the private pathology sector, 2005-2009 (Melbourne Pathology, Victoria) but has worked predominantly in NSW public pathology for more 10 years, since 2009 (NSW Health Pathology, South West Sydney and East laboratories). Andrew’s research project during his post graduate degree investigated the use of cytology smears for molecular genetic testing of EGFR mutation in cases of non-small cell lung carcinoma. 


Bente Talseth-Palmer -bw

Bente Talseth-Palmer, PhD

Research Support Project Officer

Before taking up the position as Research Support Project Officer for NSW Health Pathology in August 2019, Bente spent the last 15 years as a cancer researcher. She completed her B Med Lab Tech degree in Norway in 1999, a Masters in Genetic Counselling in 2004 and PhD in Medical Genetics in 2007, both at the University of Newcastle. She also has tertiary education in administration and management from Norway.

After completing her PhD, Bente held several post-doctoral fellowships from the University of Newcastle, NHMRC and Cancer Institute NSW and a three-year research fellowship at the University of Science and Technology, Norway. She is now appointed as a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle.

Bente’s main research topics during her Masters, PhD and post-doctoral positions have been cancer genetics and genomics, more specifically searching for modifier genes and novel causative genes for the most common form of inherited colorectal cancer called Lynch Syndrome. Prior to this, she worked as a research assistant in research groups both in Norway and Iceland, working on genetics in coeliac disease and diabetes. She has published more than 40 peer reviewed journal articles.