NSW Health Pathology Research Forum

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Collaboration for the Future: Pathology Research Towards 2025

Join us to learn about current pathology and forensic-related research and how it is contributing to the State and National Health agenda.

Meet and hear from international speakers, research leaders and colleagues about current and upcoming projects, participate in discussions and workshops that will guide future directions of pathology research and gather valuable insights into discipline specific focus areas.

When:  10 – 11 November 2021, over two half days  

Where:  Online event, register now via Eventbrite   

Who:    Open to anyone that wants to attend

Cost:    Free

Whether you are a NSWHP or NSWHP FASS staff member, one of our external partners or collaborators or one of our valued customers, we can't wait for you to join us in November for this exciting research event!


Draft Program Overview

Future Pandemic Responses


Research Impact on Service Outcomes

Day 1

10 November 2021, 12:00-17:15

Day 2

11 November 2021, 08:30-14:00

Opening and Welcome to Country

Opening and Importance of Aboriginal Health Research

Plenary Speaker (infection expert)

Professor Ian Lipkin, Columbia University

Plenary Speakers 

Forensic and Analytical Science Service

Drug Surveillance testing at music festivals



Future directions of pathology research

Enabling Session

Statewide Services Research Contributions


Concurrent Sessions

Discipline specific (selected from abstracts)

Concurrent Sessions

Discipline specific (selected from abstracts)


Rapid fire presentations

Students/ECR Showcase (selected from abstracts)

Plenary Speaker (clinical epidemiology)

Professor Patrick Bossuyt, University of Amsterdam

Panel Discussion

Future directions of pathology research

Closing remarks

Closing remarks

Introducing our International Plenary Speakers

Professor Ian Lipkin, Columbia University

Professor Lipkin is internationally recognised for his contributions to global public health through the innovative methods he developed for infectious diseases diagnosis, surveillance, and discovery.

Director of Center for Solutions for ME/CFS, John Snow Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Director, Center of Infection and Immunity, Mailman School of Public Health




Lipkin Headshot small


Professor Patrick Bossuyt, University of Amsterdam

Patrick M. Bossuyt is the professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, where he leads the Biomarker and Test Evaluation research program.  The BiTE program aims to appraise and develop methods for evaluating medical tests and biomarkers, and to apply these methods in relevant clinical studies. 

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Dept. Epidemiology & Data Science, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, University of Amsterdam




Patrick Bossuyt Headshot 


Introducing our Plenary Speaker topic 'Dancing to Death' and Speakers

ABC NEWS wrote a story about a teenager that died after suspected drug overdose at a music festival in Sydney’s inner west on 09 December 2018. Read the full article here.

Music festival

NSW Health Pathology’s Forensic & Analytical Science Service (NSWHP FASS) witness first-hand the tragic impact of drug misadventure at dance festivals and noted the increase in drug related harm, with the death of six young people at music festivals in NSW over a 13-month period (December 2017 – January 2019). These deaths were investigated at NSWHP FASS, Forensic Medicine, where the forensic pathologists conducted post mortem examinations and relied upon the subsequent toxicology results to provide an opinion pertaining to the cause of death.

With the intent of reducing harm, Forensic & Analytical Science Service (FASS) partnered with the Centre for Alcohol and Other Drugs, NSW Ministry of Health, NSW Police Force and NSW Poisons Information Centre to support the NSW Drug Surveillance Strategy.  Check out this drug warning poster (PDF 787.1KB) if you want more information.

NSWHP FASS have developed their expertise to underpin this strategy, empowering an innovative interagency multidisciplinary collaboration.  The Forensic Toxicology and Illicit Drug Analysis Laboratories are primarily involved in analysis for coronial and criminal matters, but have diversified to engage in drug surveillance programs, applying expanded toxicological testing of patient samples and street level drugs. The outcomes of this translational research have bridged a gap between NSWHP FASS forensic knowledge and clinical emergency medicine, enabling public drug alerts as a proactive approach to reduce the potential for drug toxicity, harm and death in the community.         


Catherine McDonald, Forensic Toxicology, Forensic & Analytical Science Service (FASS), NSW Health Pathology

Catherine is the acting Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Manager.

She received First Class Honours in BSc (Forensic Science) from Western Sydney University and has a background in method development and validation in forensic chemistry. Catherine has 10 years’ experience working in pharmaceutical Forensic Toxicology laboratories in Sydney and Canberra. She is a NSWHP 2021 Emerging Leader who specialises in post-mortem toxicology and development of high resolution mass spectrometry methodology. Catherine is an associate investigator in the newly formed Emerging Drug Network of Australia (EDNA) research group and is a program advisory committee member of the Prescription, Recreation, and Illicit Substances Evaluation (PRISE) program in NSW.



Lorraine du Toit-Prinsloo, Forensic Medicine, Forensic & Analytical Science Service (FASS), NSW Health Pathology

Lorraine is a Senior Staff Specialist and Clinical Training Coordinator.

Lorraine is a specialist forensic pathologist, with several years of experience in the field. She trained at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and is a fellow of the Forensic Pathologists of the College of Medicine of South Africa and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. She has extensive experience across her career in the management of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, as a senior lecturer, course coordinator, examiner and trainee supervisor at a number of educational and forensic institutions in Australia and abroad.



Una Cullinan, Illicit Drug Analysis Unit, Forensic & Analytical Science Service (FASS), NSW Health Pathology

Una is the Acting Manager Illicit Drug Analysis Unit. 

With extensive experience with analysis of illicit drugs she leads a team of 36 scientists in comprehensive testing, reporting and expert testimony on all aspects of illicit drug analysis. She manages method development in response to emerging substances and stakeholder requirements. Una is the FASS delegate on the Australian-New Zealand Drug Specialist Advisory Group. She is also involved in the Combined Surveillance and Monitoring of Seized Substances (CoSMoSS) project. She provides intel information on new emerging substances to NSW Police and Ministry of Health.