Professor Anne-Louise Ponsonby
Anne-Louise Ponsonby (B Med Sci, MB BS, PhD, FAFPHM) is an epidemiologist and public health physician. She commenced public health research on a large infant cohort study into sudden infant death syndrome. This work contributed to a more than 50% decline in the incidence of SIDS in Australia and other countries during the 1990’s. More recently, her research focus has been on the early life environment and immune disorders – ranging from asthma and allergy to multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. She has over 210 peer-reviewed publications. Professor Ponsonby is Head of the Environmental and Genetic Epidemiology Research Group, Population Health, Environment and Genes Theme, and Professor with the Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne and the Australian National University Medical School.
Susan Prescott, MBBS (MD), B Med Sci, PhD, FRACP, is a Winthrop Professor in the School of Paediatrics and Child Health at University of Western Australia. She is also a Paediatric Allergist and Immunologist at the Children’s Hospital in Perth. She runs a dynamic interdisciplinary clinical and laboratory research group with a particular focus on the developing immune system. Her landmark studies led to the characterisation of early immune development in allergic and nonallergic children, and her research team continues to explore the early life factors that predispose to a range of inflammatory diseases. She has a particular interest in novel multimodal strategies for the prevention of not only allergic diseases but a number of other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).
Prof Prescott is a Director on the Board of the World Allergy Organisation (WAO), the peak global organisation on allergy, comprising over 92 national and regional allergy and immunology societies. She is chair and founder of the International Inflammation ‘In-FLAME’ network targeting inflammation as a common antecedent in the pathways and prevention of NCDs as part of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Global Public Health Challenge. She also founded and leads the multidisciplinary ‘DOHaD Consortium’ (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease) in Western Australia and is leading the establishment of a DOHaD Society in Australia and New Zealand.
She is also author of the popular book The Allergy Epidemic: A Mystery of Modern Life published for an international public audience, and more recently, The Calling.
Professor Mimi Tang is a paediatric allergist immunologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital, where she was head of the department of Allergy and Immunology from 2006 to 2015. Mimi is the Group Leader of Allergy and Immune Disorders Research and Co-Director of the Allergy Translational Program at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. She has more than 20 years experience in the investigation of basic immunological mechanisms underlying allergic disease pathogenesis, and correlation of mechanistic studies with clinical outcomes. She leads a pipeline of allergy treatment and prevention RCT, and is co-investigator on multicentre RCT. She has authored more than 200 peer reviewed journal articles, invited reviews, and book chapters. Her publications have been cited 3055 times, resulting in a h-index of 30. In the past 5 years, she has received >$15M grant funding. She is committed to developing the next generation of clinician researchers. In the past 5 years, she has supervised 19 Honours students, 8 PhD students, 5 postdoctoral fellows and 16 Allergy Immunology advanced trainees, with the majority continuing in research or academia. She is a member of WAO Communications Council, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) Asia Pacific Basin Committee, Asia Pacific Immunoglobulins in Immunology Expert Group (Chair), International Union of Immunological Societies Expert Committee on Primary Immunodeficiencies and Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) committees (Primary Immune Deficiency, Anaphylaxis, Paediatric). She is actively involved with translation of research to clinical practice and policy. Key achievements include: development of national guidelines on ‘Prevention of Allergic Disease’ and ‘Infant Feeding Advice’; development of VIC Anaphylaxis Guidelines and Policy for Schools and Children’s Services; lobbying for State Legislation mandating Anaphylaxis Management in Schools and Children’s Services (bill passed 2008).
Prof Shyamali Dharmage (MBBS, MSc, MD, PhD) is based at the University of Melbourne. She has coordinated a range of undergraduate and post graduate teaching programs during her academic career. Currently, she teaches the Epidemiology in Practice subject in the Masters of Public Health and Masters of Epidemiology courses. She has extensive experience in the design, conduct and analysis of large epidemiological studies. To date she has been awarded over $25 million in research funding as a chief investigator including ~$8 million as the principal investigator. Around 70% of these funds are from the National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council. She holds an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship. Her research is widely published. To date she has 150 publications in refereed journals. She is currently the Head of the Research Program in Allergy and Respiratory Diseases in the Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic (MEGA) Epidemiology that includes two of the world’s key longitudinal studies in allergies i.e. Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (TAHS) and Melbourne Atopy Family Cohort Study (MACS). Both TAHS and MACS are currently funded by the NHMRC and the research team includes seven doctoral students and four postdoctoral fellows. In addition she is currently a chief investigator of four other NHMRC funded studies in allergies and asthma and three NHMRC funded CREs. She is also a chief investigator of two international studies of asthma and allergies i.e. European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) and 3-generation International Study of Asthma and Allergies. She is the co-chair of the Early Life Risk Factors Woking Group within the ECRHS.
A/Prof Lyle Gurrin is a biostatistician with nearly two decades experience identifying genetic and environmental modifiers for common complex diseases, and contributing to the development of statistical methods that make such discoveries possible. He has over one hundred peer-reviewed papers about one third of which deal with advances in statistical methods for medical research. He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, Accredited Statistician of the Statistical Society of Australia (Incorporated) and currently a member of the National Accreditation Committee. He is Principal Investigator of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) funded “HealthIron” study, which is the world’s largest (n = 30,000) and longest followed cohort study of environmental and genetic modifiers of hereditary haemochromatosis, an inherited disease of iron metabolism. He is a chief investigator on a portfolio of NHMRC-funded projects in asthma, allergy & immunology including the Melbourne Atopy Cohort Study, the HealthNuts food allergy study and the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study. In addition to lecturing Master of Public Health biostatistics subjects at the University of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (MSPH), he has developed and co-ordinated subjects in the Master of Biostatistics for the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia (BCA).
Professor Campbell brings 20+ years clinical experience and knowledge in the management of children with food allergy with a depth of experience in clinical and laboratory food allergy research, translation of research into policy and practice and transfer of knowledge. CI Campbell is the current Chair of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Head of Department at the Children’s Hospital Westmead, Conjoint Professor Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, and immediate past Chair of the Paediatric committee for the Australasian Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (ASCIA) and Immediate Past Head of Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health (Sydney University). Her research has centred on the role of tolerance in food allergy. CI Campbell has a significant role in the standardisation of in-hospital observed food challenges in food allergy children across Australia and is lead author of the current ASCIA food challenge protocols, and of the 2016-ASCIA infant feeding advice and primary prevention guidelines for parents and consumers. She is the current clinical lead of the NSW Anaphylaxis Education Program. She is lead clinician in the REACT program, which streamlined the provision of allergy services in Western Sydney.
Prof Campbell has had a significant role in National Asthma Council guidelines for primary prevention of allergy. She is co-chair of the clinical trials subcommittee, Inflame research group, World Universities Network. She is the CI of the Beating Egg Allergy Trial (BEAT) study, the Vitamin D in the management of Childhood Atopic Dermatitis (ADDVIT) study and the BAKE study (Egg tolerance in egg sensitised children).