Local Academic Staff

Cross-Appointed Academic Staff

Local Academic Staff

Professor Warwick Anderson
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Warwick, ARC Laureate Fellow, holds an appointment as Professorial Research Fellow at the Department of History and the VELiM, both University of Sydney. He is affiliated with the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science at Sydney and is a Professorial Fellow of the Centre for Health and Society at the University of Melbourne, of which he was also the founding director. As a historian of biology, medicine and public health, focusing on Australasia, the Pacific, Southeast Asia and the United States, Warwick is especially interested in ideas about race, human difference and citizenship in the 19th and 20th centuries. Occasionally he writes programmatically on postcolonial science studies and, more generally, on science and globalization.

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Professor Angus Dawson, Director
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Before joining the VELiM as its Director, Angus was at the University of Birmingham, UK. His background is in philosophy, but he has specialised in teaching ethics to health care professionals and medical students for over fifteen years. His main research interests are in public health ethics, research ethics and the relationship between empirical evidence and moral arguments. He was joint founder and is joint Editor-in-Chief of the journal Public Health Ethics and a member of a number of other journal advisory boards including those of Bioethics, the Journal of Applied Philosophy and the Monash Bioethics Review. He has been involved in ethics and policy work for the World Health Organization, the UK's Department of Health, the US's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Médecins Sans Frontières and the GAVI Alliance. He has been editor or co-editor of five collections of original papers mainly on topics in public health ethics, including (with Marcel Verweij) Prevention, Ethics, & Public Health, Oxford University Press (2007) and Dawson, A. (ed.) Public Health Ethics: Key Concepts and Issues in Policy and Practice, Cambridge University Press (2011).

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Associate Professor Stacy Carter, Deputy Director
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Stacy is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow. Her research focuses on the ethics of public health. She is currently working on: normative dimensions of screening, especially cancer screening; overdiagnosis and too much medicine; de-prescribing in older people; relational conceptions of paternalism; normative dimensions of health promotion; methodology for empirical bioethics; and deliberative methods. Stacy is a qualitative researcher, and supervises a range of empirical public health ethics projects; she has a particular interest and expertise in grounded theory.

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Dr Christopher Degeling
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Chris is a Research Fellow at the VELiM. He returned to Australia after completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Population Health Intervention Research Centre at the University of Calgary, having previously been in veterinary practice in Australia and the UK. Chris is interested in human-animal relations and the history and philosophy of biomedicine. He has conducted research on comparative medicine, animal modelling and the history of knowledge translation between orthopaedic surgery and veterinary practice. Chris is a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and a practicing veterinarian.

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Dr Claire Hooker
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Claire, Senior Lecturer in Health and Medical Humanities and leader of the Politics and Ethics in Infection research node at the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases, coordinates a network of scholars and practitioners interested in humanities and arts perspectives on health and medicine. Practitioners and students with new ideas can find support for their work in areas as diverse as narrative medicine, whole patient care, practices of empathy and dignity in health, social justice and art, museums and bodies on display, spaces of healing, elegy and ethics. Claire leads research programs in: patient-doctor communication and interaction; responses to health risks, especially infectious disease risks; risk and ethics in health; arts, health and ethics; the history of health and medicine; and public health ethics.

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Associate Professor Christopher Jordens
headshot Chris Jordens

Chris's research interests span bioethics, sociology of health and illness, and the philosophy of medicine and public health. He has been involved in studies relating to clinical ethics; media reporting of health issues; umbilical cord blood banking; saviour siblings; direct-to-consumer advertising; consent; religion, and HIV prevention. His research in health and illness focuses on the experience of people diagnosed with cancer, and includes studies relating to colorectal cancer, haematological malignancies, ovarian cancer, cancer in adolescents and young adults, and communication and trust between health experts and lay people.

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Associate Professor Ian Kerridge
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Ian is Associate Professor in Bioethics and Staff Haematologist/Bone Marrow Transplant Physician at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney. He was Director of the VELiM from 2003 to June 2015. Ian’s research focuses on the philosophical, moral and socio-cultural concepts and issues that underpin health, health policy and biomedicine and explores such topics as public health, stem cells, end-of-life care, the experience of illness and survival, synthetic genomics, organ transplantation, cord blood and tissue donation, research, drug policy and the pharmaceutical industry.

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Dr Wendy Lipworth
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Wendy is a medically trained bioethicist and qualitative social researcher, supported by a NH&MRC Career Development Fellowship. Her program of research focuses on the ethics of biomedical innovation, with a particular focus on the ethics of drug development, regulation, funding and prescribing; the ethics of biobanking and the ethics of biomedical publication. Methodologically, Wendy's work is best described as empirical bioethics in which empirical research is used in conjunction with theoretical analysis to address real-world problems. Wendy is particularly interested in issues to do with the ethics of social institutions, such as conflict of interest, corruption and transparency.

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Emeritus Professor Miles Little, VELiM Founding Director
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Miles was the Founding Director of the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (1996-2003). He was also the Foundation Professor of Surgery at Westmead Hospital in 1978 and a Co-Founder of the World Association of Hepatic, Pancreatic and Biliary Surgeons (1987). Since 1996, Miles is an Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the Sydney Medical School. At the VELiM, he continues to teach and is directing the Cancer Survivorship Project. Miles interests include Medical Sociology and Biomedical Ethics. He is also a published poet.
In June 2014, Miles received the Officer (AO) in the General Division Queen's Birthday Honours Award for distinguished service to medicine through the development and promotion of public policy on medical values, ethics and law.

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Professor Paul Macneill
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Paul, Honorary Associate Professor (VELiM) and Co-ordinator of the Arts Bioethics Network, International Association of Bioethics, has taught ethics in three different medical schools: at the University of NSW, the University of Sydney, and National University of Singapore where he also worked on developing professionalism in the School of Medicine. He was President of the Australasian Bioethics Association and President and organiser of the 2004 World Congress of Bioethics (Sydney). He is the Co-ordinator of the Arts and Bioethics Network within the International Association of Bioethics. Paul's long-standing interest in the arts is reflected in a number of publications including his edited book Ethics and the Arts which includes explorations of all the arts in relation to ethics.        ☎ +61 2 9036 3405

Dr Julie Mooney-Somers
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Julie’s research focus is the provision of health services for stigmatized conditions (primarily infectious diseases related to sexual practice and drug use) and marginalised populations (particularly young people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people). Julie is a non-executive director of ACON Health, New South Wales’ leading health promotion organisation specialising in HIV and LGBTI health. In partnership with ACON, she runs a biennial survey of lesbian and bisexual women’s health. Julie is the Director of the Sydney Qualitative Health Research postgraduate coursework program.

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Dr Ainsley Newson
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Ainsley works in the area of theoretical bioethics. Her research interests include ethical aspects of clinical and reproductive decision-making in genetics (especially prenatal diagnosis and family communication), genetics and public health, mechanisms of clinical ethics support and ethical issues in emerging technologies such as synthetic biology. She has degree qualifications in science, law and bioethics and adopts an interdisciplinary, practically-oriented approach to her work. Ainsley combines her research with teaching, including leading the Sydney Bioethics Program. Ainsley is also active in public engagement and media work on bioethics-related issues.

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Clinical Associate Professor Michael Robertson
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Michael is a Clinical Associate Professor in psychiatric ethics and the Chief Medical Officer for the Recovre group, where he works in occupational psychiatry. His clinical work has focused upon psychological trauma and chronic mental illness. His research examines areas including empirical ethics in mental health care, involuntary psychiatric treatment, meta-ethical aspects of the social and professional context of psychiatry, mental health in popular culture, human rights abuses by psychiatrists in the Third Reich and social justice in relation to mental health. He is currently leading a research program examining the contemporary relevance of the Aktion T4 and wilde Euthanasie programs in Nazi Germany. He coordinates the Ethics and Mental Health Unit of Study in the Sydney Bioethics Program and teaches in the Sydney Medical Program, the Health & Medical Humanities Program and the Holocaust studies program at the School of Languages and Humanities.

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Cross-Appointed Academic Staff

Dr Lilon Bandler
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Lilon has broad teaching experience, across the spectrum of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education, and has a special interest in teaching communication skills. As Senior Lecturer in the Indigenous Health Education Unit (University of Sydney), she is responsible for the development, integration and implementation of a comprehensive Indigenous health curriculum for the Sydney Medical Program, as well as providing personal and academic support to Indigenous medical students.
Lilon has worked in general practice for 20 years, and continues to provide women’s health clinic services for the Royal Flying Doctor Rural Women’s GP Service.

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Professor Lisa Bero
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Lisa is Chair of Medicines Use and Health Outcomes at the Charles Perkins Centre and the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney. From 1991 to 2014 she was Professor at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy and Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California. Lisa is a pharmacologist who studies how science is translated into clinical practice and health policy. She has developed and validated methods for assessing bias in the design, conduct and reporting of research on pharmaceuticals, tobacco and chemicals. Lisa has served on several committees related to evidence and decisions, such as the WHO Essential Medicines Committee and the National Academy of Science Committee to review the Environmental Protection Agency Integrated Risk Information System Process. She was an elected member of the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group for 12 years and was appointed Co-Chair in 2013.

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Dr Sascha Callaghan
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Sascha is a lawyer and lecturer in health law and ethics at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney. She has published widely in the area of health care decision-making and mental health, and has spoken at local and international conferences on mental health law, end of life decision-making and law and reproductive health. She is a member of the Ethics of Clinical Practice Committee for Sydney Local Health District and a member of various research collaboration networks including the Sydney Health Policy Network and the Network for Bodies Organs and Tissues. She is currently a lead researcher in the Sydney Neuroscience Network on intersections between neuroscience, law and ethics, and regularly writes for the general media on healthcare law and ethics.

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Professor Lyn Gilbert
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Lyn, Clinical Professor Medicine (Immunology & Infectious Diseases), is an infectious diseases physician and clinical microbiologist, with expertise in infections of public health importance, including vaccine preventable diseases and healthcare-associated infections. She is Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Westmead Hospital, and a senior investigator with the Marie Bashir Institute for Emerging Infections and Biosecurity at the University of Sydney. In October 2014, the Federal Government appointed Lyn to advise hospital based clinicians and infectious disease experts on how best to prevent and control the spread of the deadly Ebola virus if it reaches Australia.

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Professor David Isaacs
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David is a paediatric infectious disease specialist who is a current member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (since 2006) and of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). In 2002, he obtained a post-graduate diploma in bioethics from Monash University. In the last 10 years David has supervised medical students in bioethics honours projects and published 70 peer-reviewed articles on bioethics. His special interests in bioethics include clinical paediatrics and issues relating to immunisations and funding of orphan drugs.

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Associate Professor Henry Kilham
Henry Kilham headshot 2015

Henry is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Central Clinical School and at the Children’s Hospital Westmead Clinical School. His work involved general paediatrics and paediatric respiratory medicine. He was the first director of intensive care at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children Camperdown, the first head of its pain unit, the first physician-in-charge of the NSW Poisons Centre and a long-term General Medicine team head and Drug Committee chairman at RAHC. Henry has been the co-convenor of clinical ethics activities at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead since 2000, and now works part-time with the primary aim of developing clinical ethics at that Hospital.

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Associate Professor Paul Lancaster
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Paul trained as a paediatrician and was Staff Paediatrician and Director of Newborn Services at the Royal Hospital for Women. In 1979 he became founding director of the National Perinatal Statistics Unit at the University of Sydney. His main research interests are in reproductive and perinatal epidemiology and birth defects. As a President of the Australian Birth Defects Society, Paul organized national meetings on the history of reproductive and perinatal research and health care in Australia and New Zealand. He continues as an active member of the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technology, which he initiated in 1990. Paul founded the Masters course in Health Sciences and Human Genetics at the University of Sydney (1994) and holds an academic appointment as Honorary Associate Professor with the Menzies Centre of Health Policy at the University's School of Public Health.

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Associate Professor Julie Leask
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Julie is a social scientist and Associate Professor at the School of Public Health and is affiliated with the National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance. Julie leads a program of research on public and professionals’ beliefs, attitudes and practices regarding immunisation and infectious diseases. She has a particular interest in health communication, policy and the ethical issues raised by immunisation. She co-ordinates the Health and Risk Communication elective with Dr Claire Hooker (VELIM) and Professor Phyllis Butow (Psychology). In the Sydney Medical School, Julie is currently sub-dean for early career researchers in public health.

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Dr Christopher Ryan
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Primarily a working psychiatrist, Chris’ research interests have covered areas such as mental health legislation, human rights, advance directives, physician-assisted dying and euthanasia, delirium, body integrity identity disorder, deliberate self-harm, risk categorisation and patient-therapist sexual contact. Chris has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and another 60 letters, book chapters and non-peer reviewed papers. He is frequently called upon to present expert evidence, to advise government or to provide comment in the media.

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Professor Cameron Stewart
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Cameron is Pro Dean at Sydney Law School and Professor of Health, Law and Ethics, University of Sydney. He has worked in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and practiced commercial law at Phillips Fox Lawyers. He was Director of the Centre for Health Governance, Law and Ethics for 4 years (2009-12), Acting president of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Health Law and Ethics (2008-10) and Vice-President of the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law (2010-13). His research interests include health law, ethics, property and equity, guardianship law, end-of-life decision-making and human tissue regulation. Cameron is the co-editor of the Ethics and Health Law news service and the Clinical Ethics Resource. He also runs a website on Discovering Australian Guardianship Law.

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Professor Garry Walter AM
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Garry, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, is Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Sydney; Clinical Director, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Northern Sydney Local Health District; and Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax. His work in the ethics field has encompassed studies of the Holocaust and other genocides, severe trauma, publishing ethics, use and abuse of media, electroconvulsive therapy in young people, and ethical processes that inform decision-making in clinical and professional practice. Formerly long-standing Editor of Australasian Psychiatry, he is International Editor-at-Large of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In 2012, Garry was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to medicine.

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Professor Merrilyn Walton
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Merrilyn, an internationally leading patient-safety academic, has assisted hospitals and universities in Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Timor Leste and China to build capacity in patient safety and curriculum development. She was Associated Dean International (2012-14) and is a statutory member of the National Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA). Prior to her academic role Merrilyn was the first Health Care Complaints Commissioner in NSW (1993-2000). Her current grants include developing a death certification system for hospitals in Vietnam; investigating the experience of patients who have experienced an adverse event in hospitals; and examining how hospitals implement health commission recommendations.

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