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Collaborative leaders

Meet the leaders of the Lambert Initiative’s collaborative projects

We draw upon the expertise and knowledge of a number of research leaders and their teams to deliver a range of collaborative projects. These partners are influential in their respective fields and are committed to supporting our research priorities.

Professor Paul Amminger

Professor G. Paul Amminger

Professor G. Paul Amminger, MD PhD FRANZCP, has pioneered the use of omega-3 fatty acids for the indicated prevention of psychosis. His work had a significant influence on the field of early psychosis, changing clinical practice and leading to replication trials in Australia, Europe and the US. In 2014, he was appointed as Professorial Fellow for Neurobiology and Neuroprotection in Emerging Mental Disorders at Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne. In this role, he leads research on novel biotherapies for youth with mental health problems. Paul also works as a psychiatrist at Headspace Glenroy.

Learn more about Professor Amminger's work in cannabidiol for adolescent anxiety.


Dr Nathan Absalom

Dr Nathan Absalom

Dr Nathan Absalom was awarded his PhD degree by the University of New South Wales in 2004, where he studied the activation mechanisms of ligand-gated ion channels. He was awarded a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship to work at the University of Oxford and the MRC Harwell before taking a post-doctoral position researching the pharmacology of ion channels at the University of Sydney in 2009.

Learn more about Dr Absalom's work in novel targets for cannanbinoids.


Mary Collins

Professor Mary Collins

Professor Mary Collins (Chebib) was awarded her PhD from Griffith University in 1994. After a six-year postdoctoral position at the Department of Pharmacology, she was appointed as Lecturer at the University of Sydney. She is now Professor of Pharmaceutical Neuroscience and Associate Dean Research (Pharmacy). Her research interests are focused on Cys-loop receptors as drug targets specifically GABA-A and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

Learn more about Professor Collins' work in novel targets for cannanbinoids.


Emily Colvin

Dr Emily Colvin

Dr Emily Colvin completed a Bachelor of Medical Science with First Class Honours in Physiology in 2005. In 2006, she was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award and commenced her PhD at the Garvan Institute. As a PhD student, Emily received an Australian Postgraduate Award, a Faculty of Medicine UNSW Rising Star Award and a Cancer Institute NSW Research Scholar Award. In 2009 she received the Cancer Institute NSW Premier's Award for Outstanding Cancer Research. In 2011, having completed her PhD, Emily commenced her first postdoctoral position in the Hormones and Cancer Division of the Kolling Institute, University of Sydney. Her work on cancer has previously attracted funding from Cancer Australia, Cure Cancer Australia Foundation and Cancer Institute NSW. Emily is currently investigating the anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids in mesothelioma with funding from the Lambert Initiative.

Learn more about Dr Colvin's work in novel cannabinoids for cancer.


Mark Connor

Professor Mark Connor

Professor Mark Connor is Professor of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University.  He has worked in labs in Australia, England and the United States. His lab studies how opioid and cannabinoid drugs interact with human G protein coupled receptors and ion channels.  The aim of our work is to better define the pharmacological basis of the therapeutic and unwanted effects of these drugs by understanding the signalling pathways and regulatory mechanisms recruited following GPCR activation, and how modulation of ion channels can potentially contribute to the actions of all classes of cannabinoid - phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids and illict synthetic cannabinoid drugs of abuse.  The lab uses fluorescence-based and electrophysiological techniques to measure drug action, and we have a particular interest in how natural genetic variants of human receptors and ion channels may contribute to individual variation in drug response.

Learn more about Professor Connor's work on the entourage effect


Jennifer Cornish

Associate Professor Jennifer Cornish

Associate Professor Jennifer Cornish obtained her PhD in Neuropharmacology from Monash University in 1997. After several postdoctoral positions in the USA and at the University of Sydney, she commenced a lectureship position in the Department of Psychology, Macquarie University in 2005. In this role she convenes and lectures on four courses relating to bio psychology, actively supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students and managed Higher Degree Research for the Department (2007-2014). Associate Professor Cornish's research is in the area of drug abuse and addiction, and associated mental health disorders (psychosis, anxiety, depression). She has recently incorporated investigations into the effect of high sugar diets on resilience and mental health into her research profile. Her work has discovered neurotransmitter systems and brain circuits that mediatemal adaptive behaviours.

Learn more about Associate Professor Cornish's work on novel cannabinoids for addiction.


Viive Howell

Dr Viive Howell

Dr Viive Howell is the Research Director of Bill Walsh Translational Cancer Research Laboratory, Kolling Institute, University of Sydney at Royal North Shore Hospital. She was awarded her PhD in Molecular Medicine (University of Sydney) in 2005, undertook post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan in the Department of Human Genetics and held three consecutive fellowships from the NHMRC and Cancer Institute of New South Wales prior to her current appointment. Dr Howell has extensive expertise in molecular genetics and in vivo disease modeling. She works closely with clinical and surgical colleagues and her laboratory is focused on improving treatment and outcomes for cancer patients, overcoming chemoresistance and the identification of prognostic and predictive biomarkers. 

Learn more about Dr Howell's work in novel cannabinoids for cancer.


Amanda Hudson

Dr Amanda Hudson

Dr Amanda Hudson completed her PhD in Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology at the University of Technology, Sydney in 2010 after being awarded an industry scholarship. In 2011, she become a postdoctoral scientist at the Bill Walsh Translational Cancer where she set up a model system for mesothelioma research. In late 2014 she became a Sydney Neuro-Oncology fellow working on improving treatments for patients with brain cancer. She has a career total of 17 publications and has attracted over $260,000 in funding. Her most recent funding is from the Lambert Initiative to investigate the anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids in mesothelioma. 

Learn more about Dr Hudson's work in novel cannabinoids for cancer.


Nicholas Lintzeris

Associate Professor Nicholas Lintzeris

Associate Professor Nicholas Lintzeris is an Addiction Medicine specialist who has been involved for over two decades in clinical service delivery, research, professional education and policy activities in the field. He is internationally recognised as an expert in the treatment of opioid dependence, and has clinical and research interests in benzodiazepine, cannabis and psychostimulant use.

Learn more about Associate Professor Lintzeris' work in driving in cannabis users, the CAMS study and the PELICAN study


Patrick McGorry

Professor Patrick McGorry, AO

Professor Patrick McGorry is an Irish-born Australian psychiatrist known world-wide for his development of the early intervention services for youth. He is Executive Director of Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, and founding editor of Early Intervention in Psychiatry. In addition to his role as Executive Director, he is Professor of Youth Mental Health at The University of Melbourne.

Professor McGorry also led the advocacy, which resulted in the establishment by the Australian government in 2005 of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, which in 2006 became Headspace, and he remains a Founding Board Member of that organisation. Professor McGorry has published over 500 peer reviewed articles in the major international journals and has raised over $150 million for mental health research during the last decade. He has been played a key advocacy and advisory role to government and health system reform in many parts of the world. In 2016 he became the first psychiatrist to be elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor McGorry is a member of our External Advisory Group. Learn more about his work in cannabidiol for adolescent anxiety.


Chris Vaughan

Professor Chris Vaughan

Professor Chris Vaughan is a neuroscientist/neuropharmacologist who examines cellular, synaptic and behavioural mechanisms of novel analgesic drugs. Over the past 15 years his work has been on the cellular mechanisms by which analgesic and addictive drugs produce their effects. Since leaving the Department of Pharmacology in 2001, he set up the Cellular Physiology of Pain group within the Pain Management Research Institute at Royal North Shore Hospital. Since then his work has shifted focus to pain and analgesics – particularly, the mechanisms of neuropathic pain and of novel analgesics, such as endogenous cannabinoids. He has published more than 50 Journal articles including work published in Nature and leading discipline-based Journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Neuron, Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Physiology (London), Molecular Pharmacology, British Journal of Pharmacology.

Learn more about Professor Vaughan's work in novel cannabinoids for pain.