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.



Robert Lindeman - bw

Professor Robert Lindeman

Executive Director Clinical Operations

Robert is the Executive Director Clinical Operations of NSW Health Pathology and is also a haematologist at the Department of Haematology at 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 and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. 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.


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Amanda Koegelenberg

Research 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, PhD

Research Program Lead

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.  

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Associate Professor Andrea Rita Horvath

Clinical Director, Chemistry – Prince of Wales Hospital

Internationally renowned chemical pathologist with international collaborations and major achievements. Rita has been Clinical Director at the chemical pathology laboratory at POWH since 2009. She is Conjoint Professor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales and Visiting Fellow at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation of Macquarie University. She holds Honorary Professorship at the School of Public Health of Sydney University.

Rita spent eight years doing chemical pathology and research in the UK and 11 years leading the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Hungary’s University of Szeged before her arrival in Australia. Key research interests are evidence-based diagnosis and monitoring, guideline development, evaluation of new biomarkers and overdiagnosis.

She was president of the Hungarian Society of Laboratory Medicine from 2005 to 2008, and of the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) from 2009 to 2011. She has also served on the Executive Board of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC), chaired the Committee on Evidence-based Laboratory Medicine of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) for 6 years and acted as secretary of the European Communities Confederation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. She was one of the 3 senior editors of the 6th edition of the Tietz Textbook and the 8th edition of the Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. Rita has developed a strategy and has been leading a team of scientists towards a state-wide clinical mass spectrometry service that integrates all mass spectrometry labs in NSW Health Pathology and collaborates with clinicians, researchers and the IVD industry.


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Associate Professor Bernard Hudson

Staff specialist, Microbiology – Royal North Shore Hospital

Dr Hudson is a Clinical Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases Physician. He holds specialist qualifications in pathology (microbiology), internal medicine (infectious diseases) and public health. He also holds positions of Clinical Senior Lecturer in Infectious Diseases at Sydney University and Associate Professor at James Cook University Townsville.

He has worked as a specialist physician in Papua New Guinea 1984-88. He has participated in a number of AusAID funded development projects in Pacific Island Countries. His research interests include appropriate diagnostics for developing countries, next generation sequencing, vectorborne diseases and veterinary microbiology. 

Catherine Hitchcock - bw

Dr Catherine Hitchcock

Senior Scientist and Research Coordinator

Forensic and Analytical Science Service (FASS) - Lidcombe

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). 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. 

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.


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.


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.


James bw

Professor James Kench

Clinical Director, Anatomical Pathology – Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

James graduated in medicine at the University of Sydney and commenced training in anatomical pathology at Westmead Hospital, before completing his training at Prince of Wales Hospital. He has been leading the Tissue Pathology and Diagnostic Oncology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital since 2009. James holds a position as Professor at the University of Sydney and visiting scientist at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre.

He is nationally and internationally recognised expert in prostatic pancreatic, hepatic and gastrointestinal pathology and his major research interest in prostate cancer is focussed on diagnosis and prognostic biomarkers. James is a Board member of the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting.

James has published extensively in peer reviewed journal articles, including journals such as Nature, JNCI, Cancer Cell, J Clin Oncol and many more, written several books and book chapters. He has a longstanding research collaboration with the Prostate Cancer Group at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and is an Executive Member of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre - NSW.

Jennifer Byrne BW 1

Professor Jennifer Byrne

Director of Biobanking, NSW Health Statewide Biobank

Professor Byrne is Director of Biobanking with NSW Health Pathology and Professor of Molecular Oncology in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. She has extensive experience in biobanking, from both the perspective of a researcher who has employed biospecimens throughout her research career, and through establishing, overseeing and networking cancer biobanks. Professor Byrne was the founding Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Children's Haematology/Oncology Group network of tumour banks, and she chairs the NSW Health Statewide Biobank Scientific Advisory Group. She is a member of the Steering Committee of Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia, and the Victoria Cancer Biobank Scientific Advisory Board. She has led several Cancer Institute NSW-funded projects across all cancer biobanks in NSW, including a collaboration to adapt and implement the first biobank certification program to be introduced to Australia. Her current research interests include the analysis of biobank research outputs and the identification of predictors of biobank success, and the detection and analysis of incorrectly reported nucleotide sequence reagents in the biomedical research literature. Professor Byrne was named as one of the journal Nature’s "10 people who mattered in 2017", for identifying and reporting numerous flawed cancer research papers.

URL: http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/people/academics/profiles/jennifer.byrne.php

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Dr Leonardo Pasalic

Laboratory and Clinical Haematologist – Westmead Hospital

Leo is a staff specialist in laboratory and clinical haematology and transfusion medicine and gets to cover the medical supervising responsibilities at the Blood Bank at Westmead Hospital.

He has spent his medical career at Westmead Hospital, starting as an intern in 2005 and currently works as a staff specialist in laboratory and clinical haematology. He thinks it is very important to add a human touch to interaction with patients and enjoy the intellectual thrill of reaching a correct diagnosis and applying the latest research in the care for his patients. 

Leo is undertaking/finished a PhD? in ‘Pathogenesis of Thromboembolism in Cancer: Neutrophils, Tissue Factor and Microparticles’ and his overall aim was to elucidate the links between the coagulation system and malignancy. He wants to understand the biology of cancer-related thrombosis and to discover biomarkers that might predict thrombotic risk in cancer patients. 

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). 

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. 

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Professor Soon Lee

Clinical Director, Anatomical Pathology – Liverpool Hospital

Soon is a certified pathologist for genomics testing and the Foundation Professor and Chair of Pathology at Western Sydney University. He is also Clinical Professor at University of Sydney, Conjoint Professor at University of New South Wales, and Senior Pathologist at Liverpool Hospital and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He also heads the Cancer Pathology and Cell Biology Laboratory, Ingham Institute.

His research interests include genomics and biomarkers of colorectal, lung and head and neck cancers. His research efforts have made significant contributions that have influenced and led to changes in the clinical practice of pathology including the detection of EGFR and HPV in head and neck cancers, detection of the human herpes virus 8 in the diagnosis of early stage Kaposi’s sarcoma, and the use of the EWS/FLI1 fusion transcript in the diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma. He has published over 220 original scientific articles with more than 9,300 citations, and has an H-index of 55.

Soon was the recipient of the 2017 Lady Mary Fairfax Distinguished Researcher Award and the 2018 Distinguished Pathologist Award of the International Academy of Pathology. He was previous Editor of the journal, Pathology (2000-2009) and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Pathology and Editorial Board Member of the British Medical Journal (2010-2016). He holds international appointments as the Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Medical School, Duke University-National University of Singapore (since 2015) and Visiting Professor and International Advisor at Sunway University in Malaysia (since 2017). Other significant contributions to the profession include President of the International Academy of Pathology (Australasian Division) (2014-2015), Examiner in Anatomical Pathology for the RCPA (since 1998), International Reviewer of the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, University of Oxford and Director of the Biobank, Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation (2013-2021).


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Dr Stephanie Hales

Director Integration Science, Forensic and Analytic Science Service – Lidcombe

Stephanie Hales, PhD, is the Director of Integrations Science at NSW Health Pathology Forensic & Analytical Science Service, ensuring interdisciplinary operations and stakeholder requirements are highly integrated. Her portfolio includes coordinating research across FASS and fostering research partnerships. She has 20 years of experience in practice and research in forensic science, having worked in both scientific and senior leadership roles at NSW Police and FASS.

Stephanie attended the University of Technology, Sydney and completed a Bachelor of Science in Applied Chemistry with Honours in Forensic Science. She has carried out Honours research in illicit drugs packaging analysis and doctoral research in the field of gunshot residue and explosives. She has frequently given lectures on forensic testing and has provided extensive expert testimony in Courts in NSW. Stephanie is a NATA technical assessor of Forensic Laboratories. She has acted as industry supervisor for numerous Honours and PhD research projects and, throughout her career, she has published several refereed papers, a book chapter and a large number of conference presentations. Stephanie is a member of several advisory and working groups. 

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. 

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Associate Professor Susan McLennan

Operations Director – NSWHP 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.