Meet the ADS Executive National Council - 2016 to 2018


Sophia Zoungas - President

Professor Sophia Zoungas (MBBS FRACP PhD) is an academic endocrinologist with a national and international reputation as a clinical researcher in the fields of diabetes and cardiovascular health. She holds the Chair of Diabetes, Vascular Health and Ageing,Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. Professor Zoungas isa senior staff specialist in Endocrinology and Diabetes at Monash Health, Victoria where she provides inpatient and outpatient services. She is the current President of the Australian Diabetes Society and Clinical Director of the National Association of Diabetes Centres. In this capacity she directs and supports projects and teaching on diabetes, cardiovascular health, kidney health and health care delivery, as well as advises on clinical epidemiological methods and trial design/conduct/reporting. (Director Disclosures - PDF)

 

 

Glynis Ross - President Elect & Vice President

Associate Professor Glynis Rossis a Visiting Endocrinologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, and part-time Senior Staff Specialist at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, Sydney.Her major clinical and research interests are in Diabetes in Pregnancy, Type 1 Diabetes, Insulin Pump Therapy and In-patient Diabetes Management. A/Prof Ross serves on a number of State and National Working Parties in these areas.She has been in charge of the Diabetes in Pregnancy Service at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for over twenty five years.A/Prof Ross was President of ADIPS from 2008-2010 and indeedwas on the Council of the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society (ADIPS) from 1991-98 and 2002-10. She is involved in the teaching programmes of trainees of the Australasian Colleges of Anaesthetics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Physicians, as well as continuing education programmes for Midwives and General Practitioners and lectures for Medical Undergraduates. A/Professor Ross has been on the Council of the Australian Diabetes Society since 2012, and was Secretary from 2014-16. She is now Vice-President and President-Elect of the ADS. (Director Disclosures - PDF)


Deborah Jane Holmes-Walker
- Honorary Secretary


Associate Professor Jane Holmes-Walker
was appointed as a Staff Specialist to Westmead Hospital in 1998 and Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney in 2008.  She completed her PhD in 1999 in mitochondrial DNA mutations and diabetes. She developed a clinical model to improve the process of transition for young people with diabetes and a significant part of her clinical research aims to improve health outcomes for young people with chronic disease.  She has been actively involved in the National islet Transplant Program and promoting its benefits for type I diabetes complicated by severe hypoglycemia and contributed to the application for NFC status for islet transplantation, achieved in 2012. She has been involved at a National level developing guidelines for insulin pump therapy working with experts across Australia. She has contributed to JDRF expert advisory panel for directions in type I diabetes research and was on the local organising committee of the ADS Scientific Program from 2009-2011.

 

 

Ross Laybutt - Honorary Treasurer & POC Co-Chair

Associate Professor Ross Laybutt is head of the Islet Biology Group within the Diabetes and Obesity Research Program at the GarvanInstitute of Medical Research in Sydney. His research investigates the mechanisms of pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction and death using animal models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. His work has identified Id1 as a novel inhibitor of insulin secretion and beta-cell differentiation. Other work has identified a key role of endoplasmic reticulum stress in beta-cell death. Dr Laybutt received his PhD from the Garvan Institute and he undertook postdoctoral studies at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston. He has received research funding from JDRF, DART and NHMRC. He has served on NHMRC Grant Review Panels (Project Grant, Career Development Award and Early Career Training Fellowships) and the JDRF Islet Transplantation Program Advisory Committee. He serves on the Australian Islet Study Group (AISG) Committee and was Convenor of the inaugural AISG meeting in 2008. (Director Disclosures - PDF)

 

 

Louise Maple-Brown - POC Co-Chair

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)

Stephen Stranks - Council Representative

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)

 

 

 

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)

Anthony Russell - Council Representative

Associate Professor Anthony Russell (MBBS PhD FRACP) is Director of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane.  He has a conjoint appointment as A/Professor of Medicine with the University of Queensland. A/Prof Russell has completed a 4 year term as Co-Chair of the Qld Statewide Diabetes Clinical Network and in this role has provided advice and implemented strategies to assist in the management of patients with diabetes. A/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. He has initiated a Telehealth service, delivering diabetes services to rural and remote indigenous and non-indigenous communities across Qld. A/Prof Russell has been on the advisory group for the “IDEAS” project which has increased rates of retinal screening and treatment of retinopathy in indigenous people with diabetes across QLD. A/Professor Russell is a Chief Investigator on two NHMRC research projects. He has been Chair of the Diabetes Australia Research Trust grant review panel and is currently Sub-editor (Endocrinology) for the Internal Medicine Journal. A/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: Endocrinology versions 4 and 5. (Director Disclosures - PDF)

Jonathan Shaw - Council Representative

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 - Council Representative

Dr Spiros Fourlanos is a Consultant Endocrinologist and General Medical Unit Head at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH). Spiros received his PhD from the University of Melbourne for his research entitled ‘Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA): New Clinical, Immunogenetic and Metabolic Perspectives’ completed at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute. For his post doctoral research he conducted a randomised clinical trial on nasal insulin in adults with autoimmune diabetes. In conjunction with Professor Peter Colman he developed the BioGrid Diabetes Database which is now being used in multiple NADC member institutes in Australia. He established the RMH Bariatric Medicine Clinic and continues to have a keen interest in the clinical management of obesity. Spiros has served on multiple program organising committees for the Australian Diabetes Society Annual Scientific Meeting and also on DART grant review panels. His clinical research interests include investigating adult-onset autoimmune diabetes, obesity and new models of care for hospital diabetes inpatients.

 


Sof Andrikopoulos - Chief Executive Officer

Dr Sof Andrikopoulos is a NH&MRC Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Islet Biology and Metabolism Research Group at the University of Melbourne; Department of Medicine (Austin Health) which investigates 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. Dr Andrikopoulos has had grant support from the NH&MRC since 2000, is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Endocrinology/Journal of Molecular Endocrinology, 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. Dr Andrikopoulos is the Immediate Past President of the Australian Diabetes Society. Dr Andrikopoulos was awarded a NH&MRC Award for Research Excellence in 2008 and a Diabetes Australia Research Trust Millennium Award in 2010.

 

Meet the ADS Administrative Support Staff

Linda Valenzisi - Business & Events Manager

Ms Linda Valenzisi is the Business & Events Manager for the Australian Diabetes Society and the National Association of Diabetes Centres. Linda has provided administrative support to the ADS for over 10 years and is one of the organisations greatest assets. Linda’s background is in travel and tourism, business administration and corporate event management. She supports many aspects of the busy secretariat including memberships, finance, website, newsletters, event management and support to the executive.

 

 

 

 


Natalie Wischer - NADC Chief Executive Officer

Ms Natalie Wischer is the Chief Executive Officer for the National Association of Diabetes Centre’s (NADC). She also works in both management and clinical roles across Acute, Aged Care and Community Health settings. She is also a former ADEA Board Member and NADC Steering Committee Representative. Having worked in the area of diabetes for over 20 years, her passion has grown to include a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities and benefits of available technologies including telehealth and social media in self-management, education and support of people living with diabetes. She shares her in-depth knowledge of these areas through regular articles in the Diabetes Management Journal & Australian Diabetes Educator and various other publications. She has also facilitated a joint technology project between the Joslin Diabetes Centre and the NADC to pilot the use of an app for the detection and treatment of hypoglycaemic unawareness.

 

 

Leanne Mullan - MESAC Officer & ADS Project Officer

Nikki Wallis - NADC Project Officer/ADS Project & Communications Officer

 

Past ADS Council Members


View past ADS council members.