Stephen Stranks - President

Associate Professor Stephen Stranks is Director of Southern Adelaide Diabetes and Endocrine Services and Associate Professor at Flinders University of South Australia. His clinical role involves delivery of services in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Bone Disease at Flinders Medical Centre, Repatriation General Hospital and Noarlunga Hospital and public outreach services in community settings in the region. His major personal interests are in postgraduate training and clinical trials in diabetes management in outpatient and inpatient settings. He leads a clinical research team based at RGH and provides diabetes and metabolic input to Flinders Cardiac Research and the Flinders Clinical Trial Centre. He has been an ADS representative on the Endocrinology Specialist Advisory Committee for the past 4 years. (Director Disclosures - PDF)

Anthony Russell - President Elect/Vice President

Professor Anthony Russell(MBBS PhD FRACP) has been Director of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Alfred Health, Melbourne and Professor of Medicine with the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University since Jan 2022. Prof Russell was previously the Director of Diabetes and Endocrinology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane from 2005 to 2021. In Queensland, Prof Russell  completed a 4 year term as Co-Chair of the Qld Statewide Diabetes Clinical Network and in this role provided advice and implemented strategies to assist in the management of patients with diabetes. Professor Russell has lead innovative projects to provide new models of care for people with diabetes. He has implemented the “Beacon” practice model, providing integrated care for patients with complex Type 2 diabetes in the community with up-skilled GPs and performed a proof-of-concept of eConsultations. He has initiated a Telehealth service, delivering diabetes services to rural and remote indigenous and non-indigenous communities across Qld. Prof Russell has been on the advisory group for the “IDEAS” project which increased rates of retinal screening and treatment of retinopathy in indigenous people with diabetes across Qld. Professor Russell has been  a Chief Investigator on two NHMRC research projects and more recently CIB on a MRFF grant.  He has been Chair of the Diabetes Australia Research Trust grant review panel and previously a  Sub-editor (Endocrinology) for the Internal Medicine Journal. Prof Russell was on the expert advisory group for the NHMRC guidelines on the Management of Type 1 diabetes and a member of the Expert Group for Therapeutic Guidelines. He sits on the steering committees for Diabetes Feet Australia and the National Association of Diabetes Centres. (Director Disclosures - PDF)

Jonathan Shaw- Honorary Secretary

Professor Jonathan Shaw underwent his clinical and research training in the UK. At Melbourne’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, he runs a large research section focussing on epidemiology and clinical research in diabetes, and is also a consultant physician in the diabetes services. He has authored over 350 peer-reviewed scientific papers and 35 book chapters. He is the Chair of the National Diabetes Data Working Group, Past-President of the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group, was awarded the global Novartis Diabetes Award (for research) in 2006, and in 2011 was awarded the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group Peter Bennett award. In 2014, he was included in the Thomson Reuters The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds, which lists the 1% most highly cited scientists in the world since 2002. In 2015, he was awarded the Australian Diabetes Society's Jeff Flack Diabetes Data Award.

Spiros Fourlanos - Honorary Treasurer

A/Prof Spiros Fourlanos is Director of the Royal Melbourne Hospital Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology. He obtained his medical and PhD degrees at the University of Melbourne. His doctoral thesis was on ‘Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA): New Clinical, Immunogenetic and Metabolic Perspectives’ and performed at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, supervised by Professors Len Harrison and Colman. In conjunction with Professor Peter Colman he developed the BioGrid Diabetes Database which is now being used in multiple institutes in Australia for clinical care and benchmarking. In conjunction with Dr Mervyn Kyi he conducted the RAPIDS trial, the largest cluster randomised clinical trial of a diabetes intervention in non-critical care. More recently, he oversaw the Royal Melbourne Hospital becoming the first Australian hospital to have a complete automated networked blood glucose monitoring system. His clinical research interests include managing diabetes in the hospital, adult-onset autoimmune diabetes, medical device technologies for diabetes and obesity. Spiros is currently a member of the Australian Diabetes Society Council.

Louise Maple-Brown - Council Representative

Associate Professor Louise Maple-Brown is Head of Department of Endocrinology, Royal Darwin Hospital and a Principal Research Fellow within the Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Diseases Division at Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin. Louise leads the clinical research program within that division of Menzies, with a focus on diabetes and related conditions in Indigenous Australians. Louise’s major clinical and research interests are in Indigenous health, rural and remote health, diabetes in pregnancy, type 2 diabetes in youth, renal and cardiovascular complications of diabetes. Currently Louise is the lead investigator on 2 large NHMRC-funded projects: The eGFR study (Accurate assessment and progression of kidney damage in Indigenous Australians) and the Northern Territory Diabetes in Pregnancy Partnership Project. After completing the majority of her physician and endocrinology training at St Vincents Hospital Sydney, Louise moved to Darwin in 2002 to pursue her passion for improving the health of Indigenous Australians. Louise has been on the Council of the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society (ADIPS) since 2012 and is actively involved in peer review of research, including as a member of NHMRC grant review panel and Diabetes Australia Research Trust Research Advisory Panel. Louise is involved in teaching, training and mentoring trainees and students across career stages and disciplines, including Aboriginal Health Practitioners, diabetes nurse educators and practitioners, registrars in general practice, public health, internal medicine, endocrinology and obstetrics and gynaecology. (Director Disclosures - PDF)

Josephine Forbes - Council Representative

Professor Josephine Forbes is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Head of the Glycation and Diabetes Group and Cardiometabolic Programs at Mater Research Institute – The University of Queensland.  Josephine conducts both basic and clinical research where her special interests lie in diabetes complications including nephropathy and in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. Her research has attracted awards such as the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research and an NHMRC Achievement Award.   She has a strong commitment to the development of young researchers and in bridging the gaps between clinical and basic research by bringing together multidisciplinary teams.  Josephine is also an advocate of community based programs providing education and opportunities to be involved in health research to the general public including to school aged participants.  She completed her PhD in Melbourne at the Royal Children’s Hospital in 2000 followed by post-doctoral studies at the Austin Hospital (Dept of Medicine, University of Melbourne) and then the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne.   Josephine sits on a number of panels including the JDRF Australia Professional Advisory Panel and serves on grant review panels both within Australia (eg NHMRC, DART) and internationally (eg JDRF, DVA, MRC). (Director Disclosures - PDF)

Christopher Nolan - Council Representative

Professor Christopher (Chris) Nolan is a clinician/scientist/teacher/policy advisor in diabetes. He completed his training in Medicine at the University of Melbourne (BMedSc and MBBS-1983) and Endocrinology at The Royal Melbourne Hospital (FRACP-1991). He received his doctoral degree from the University of Melbourne on glucose metabolism and insulin action in pregnancy under the supervision of Prof Joe Proietto (1998). He received further training in islet beta-cell research at the University of Montreal under supervision of Prof Marc Prentki (2002-4). He moved to Canberra to join the Endocrinology Department at The Canberra Hospital and the ANU Medical School in 2005. He is currently Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Endocrinology for the ANU Medical School, Chair of the ANU College of Health and Medicine Research Committee, and a Senior Staff Specialist in Endocrinology at Canberra Health Services. In 2018 he stepped down as Director of Diabetes Services (2011-2018) and Director of Endocrinology (2016-2018) at the Canberra Hospital. Under his leadership, the ACT Health Diabetes Service was recognised as a National Centre of Excellence by the National Association of Diabetes Centres. Prof Nolan is currently a Board Member of the Australian Diabetes Society and Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Diabetes Australia Research Program. He has previously been President of the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society and Council Member of the International Association of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Groups. He is an Advisory Board Member for Diabetologia (2020-) and an International Review Panel Member for the Danish Diabetes Academy Committee for Talent Development (2018-). He directs an active diabetes research laboratory at the John Curtin School of Medical Research focusing on islet beta-cell failure in type 1 and 2 diabetes and the role of insulin hypersecretion in metabolic syndrome and related conditions. He is involved in multicentre diabetes clinical studies including the NHMRC funded Treatment of Booking Gestational Diabetes (TOBOGM) study. He is a lead investigator for the ANU Grand Challenge project, Our Health in Our Hands, which includes research into improving the care of people with type 1 diabetes using a personalised medicine approach.

Jerry Greenfield - Council Representative

Professor Jerry Greenfield is an Endocrinologist and clinical diabetes researcher. He is Head, Department of Endocrinology, and Director, Diabetes Services, St Vincent's Hospital (Sydney). Under his direction, the Diabetes Service obtained a National Association of Diabetes Centres (NADC) Centre of Excellence award in 2019. He undertook his PhD at the Garvan Institute (2001-2004) and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, United Kingdom (2005-2006). His other current positions and roles include: Clinical Associate Dean, St Vincent’s Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney; Laboratory Head, Clinical Diabetes, Appetite and Metabolism, Garvan Institute of Medical Research; Editor-in-Chief, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Case Reports; and Editorial Board member, Clinical Obesity. His recent research interests focus on elucidating the molecular basis of insulin resistance by studying humans with insulin-sensitive obesity. He was awarded a Diabetes Australia Millennium Grant in 2019 to undertake a study of the effects of metformin on insulin resistance in type 1 diabetes. He is currently heading a study of antibody-negative type 1 diabetes to elucidate the aetiology of insulin deficiency in individuals with apparent non-immune type 1 diabetes. Finally, he oversees a precision medicine program aimed at determining the ‘omic’ factors that predict maximal effectiveness and safety of diabetes medications in an individual.

Melkam Kebede - Council Representative

Associate Professor Melkam Kebede is a cell biologist with a strong interest in understanding the cause of reduced glucose stimulated insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes. She heads the Islet Biology and Metabolism laboratory at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney. Melkam studies the pancreatic beta-cell with specific interests in understanding the mechanisms behind insulin secretory granule biogenesis, maturation, stability and targeting for secretion. Her laboratory uses a combination of mass spectrometry, flow cytometry, microscopy, cell and molecular biology approaches to help understand these processes in cell and animal models of type 2 diabetes. Her research has been funded by Diabetes Australia Research Program and the NHMRC project and Ideas grants.

Justine Cain - Diabetes Australia Group Chief Executive Officer

Justine Cain joined Diabetes Australia as Group Chief Executive Officer in November 2021. She has held Executive and Board appointments with listed, privately owned and profit-for-purpose organisations, including more than a decade with private health insurer Medibank. Justine brings to Diabetes Australia an extensive knowledge of the health and human services sectors. This is complemented by her track record in leading and growing large-scale organisations to deliver a range of health services. The experiences of friends, family members and colleagues living with diabetes has given Justine personal knowledge of the impact diabetes can have and the challenges of managing the condition day-to-day. She is committed to creating a stronger, more unified voice for people with diabetes, generating more support for services and securing a greater investment in Type 2 diabetes prevention. Justine holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the Australian National University.

Meet the ADS Management Staff

Sof Andrikopoulos - Chief Executive Officer

A/Professor Sof Andrikopoulos is the Chief Executive Officer and Past President of the Australian Diabetes Society. A/Professor Andrikopoulos is a NH&MRC Senior Research Fellow/Associate Professor and Head of the Islet Biology and Metabolism Research Group at the University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine (Austin Health), investigating the genetic susceptibility of islet dysfunction using animal models of diabetes. This research has led to the hypothesis that increased insulin secretory demand may be a mechanism that contributes to diabetes and that strategies that promote metabolic deceleration may be beneficial. This has clinical implications since a common class of drug used to treat patients with Type 2 diabetes causes increased insulin secretion and in fact may be detrimental in the long term. A/Professor Andrikopoulos has had grant support from the NH&MRC since 2000, is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Endocrinology/Journal of Molecular Endocrinology, and was on the editorial board of Journal of Nutrition, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology and the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, on the JDRF/Australia Islet Transplantation Program Advisory Committee, has served on NH&MRC Grant Review Panels and the NH&MRC Academy and regularly reviews manuscripts for leading journals in the field including Diabetes and Diabetologia. A/Professor Andrikopoulos is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Diabetes Society. A/Professor Andrikopoulos was awarded a NH&MRC Award for Research Excellence in 2008 and a Diabetes Australia Research Trust Millennium Award in 2010.

Linda Valenzisi - Business & Events Manager

Ms Linda Valenzisi is the Business & Events Manager for the Australian Diabetes Society (ADS). Linda also provides administrative support to the National Association of Diabetes Centres (NADC) and Diabetic Foot Australia (DFA). Linda has worked with the ADS for over 14 years and is one or the organisation's greatest assets. Linda’s background is in travel and tourism, business administration and event management. She supports many aspects of the busy secretariat including memberships, finance, website, newsletters, marketing and promotions, event management and support to the executive council.

Past ADS Council Members

View past ADS council members.