The Team

We have enthusiastic commitment from all member organisations of the Australian Stroke Alliance. This is a game changing collaboration.

Board

Professor Stephen Davis AM

Professor Stephen Davis AM

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Professor Stephen Davis AM

Professor Stephen Davis AM

Stephen is a professor of Translational Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne, Director of the Melbourne Brain Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and a Past-President of the World Stroke Organization. He co-chairs the Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit program. His research is focussed on acute therapy for both ischemic stroke and intracerebral haemorrhage, particularly the use of advanced imaging in selection of therapy. He is the co-lead of the Frontiers MRFF grant on Pre-Hospital Stroke Care.

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Professor Geoffrey Donnan AO

Professor Geoffrey Donnan AO

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Professor Geoffrey Donnan AO

Professor Geoffrey Donnan AO

Geoffrey is a professor of Neurology at The University of Melbourne and former Director of The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. His research interest is clinical stroke management.  He was co-founder, with Professor Stephen Davis, of the Australian Stroke Trials Network.  He is the co-chair of the EXTEND group of trials, including the recently published EXTEND IA trial of thrombectomy in acute ischaemic stroke.  He was Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Stroke and is Past President of the World Stroke Organization.

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Sharon McGowan

Sharon McGowan

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Sharon McGowan

Sharon McGowan

Sharon is the chief executive officer at the Stroke Foundation. Sharon has worked in Australia and the UK with a range of government statutory authorities and not-for-profit organisations focused on community engagement, culture transformation, and health promotion. She is a board member of the World Stroke Organization, Co-Chair of the WSO Stroke Support Organisation Committee, Co-Chair of the Australian Stroke Coalition, and Chair of the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance.

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Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor

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Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor

Kate is The University of Melbourne Chancellery’s director of Research Strategy, and will serve on the board of the Australian Stroke Alliance. Kate develops a whole-of-university research strategy and policy. She has over 20 years’ experience in research management and policy across government, industry, public research and higher education. She has a MSc from Imperial College, London and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Dr Henry De Aizpurua

Dr Henry De Aizpurua

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Dr Henry De Aizpurua

Dr Henry De Aizpurua

Henry was deputy director and head of Business Development and Operations at the Florey Institute and is a board member of the Australian Stroke Alliance. He led the spin-out of five Institute-based start-up companies and was pivotal in the creation of Neurosciences Victoria. Henry served on the Governing Boards of the National Imaging Facility, the Australian Stem Cells Centre and Stem Cells Australia.

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Peter Francis

Peter Francis

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Peter Francis

Peter Francis

Peter is highly sought for his business acumen, strategic insights and lateral thinking in complex transactions. He is one of Australia’s pre-eminent lawyers on technology commercialisation.  He is considered to be an expert, regularly advising Commonwealth and State Government departments and agencies, healthcare institutions, and funded research bodies.

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David Waters

David Waters

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David Waters

David Waters

David is the chief executive of the Council of Ambulance Authorities, the president of Aeromedical Society of Australasia, and the chief executive of Ambulance New Zealand. He has a deep understanding of governance practice and its application, a strong commitment to workplace training and vocational education in the health sector, and an interest in quality systems, HR and risk management knowledge and application.

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Dr Damien Easton

Dr Damien Easton

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Dr Damien Easton

Dr Damien Easton

Damien is the director of Strategy and Operations at the Melbourne Brain Centre Royal, Melbourne Hospital and interim CEO of the Australian Stroke Alliance. He led MRFF Frontier Stage 1 activities and Australia’s first mobile stroke unit (MSU). He leads the centre’s strategic and operational planning across more than 30 active projects involving national and international partnerships and close engagement with State and Federal health agencies.

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Peter Davis

Peter Davis

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Peter Davis

Peter Davis

Peter is the executive officer of The Royal Melbourne Hospital Neuroscience Foundation, and is the interim Company Secretary for the Australian Stroke Alliance. He is an Associate Member of CPA Australia, and a Committee Member of the Australian Pregnancy Register for Women on Anti-Epileptic Medication, based at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. He has held a number of senior finance roles in the health sector.

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The Alliance Leads (Alphabetical order)

Professor Cees Bil

Professor Cees Bil

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Professor Cees Bil

Professor Cees Bil

Cees Bil is a professor in aerospace engineering and aviation at RMIT University and a Lead with our Air Mobile Stroke Unit research. His main field of expertise is complex systems design, optimisation, and autonomous systems. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), AIAA Region VII Director and Deputy-Director of the Sir Lawrence Wackett Centre at RMIT University.

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Dr Lara Bishop

Dr Lara Bishop

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Dr Lara Bishop

Dr Lara Bishop

Lara is Director Research and Projects for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the senior project rep for all our aeromedical plans with the Service. Lara is a critical member of the Strategic Research Advisory Council and sits on a number of Board committees. Lara is an authority on health disparities impacting remote and rural Australians. Lara is an Honorary Associate Professor at the Australian National University.

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Associate Professor Andrew Bivard

Associate Professor Andrew Bivard

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Associate Professor Andrew Bivard

Associate Professor Andrew Bivard

Andrew Bivard is head of the neuroimaging group at the Melbourne Brain Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is the technology lead for our telestroke platform. His work in acute ischaemic stroke imaging focusses on patient selection for reperfusion therapies to maximise benefits and limit potential harms. Andrew has built a strong partnership with Siemens Healthineers to co-develop and implement CTP imaging capabilities.

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Professor Christopher Bladin

Professor Christopher Bladin

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Professor Christopher Bladin

Professor Christopher Bladin

Chris Bladin is a stroke neurologist and our clinical telestroke lead. He is the head of the Victorian Telestroke Network, working closely with Ambulance Victoria to enable treatment of patients with acute stroke in regional hospitals. Chris has over 230 journal publications and book chapters, is a panel member of the NHMRC and has received NHMRC funding as a chief investigator.

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Professor Alex Brown

Professor Alex Brown

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Professor Alex Brown

Professor Alex Brown

Alex is the Aboriginal Health Equity Theme Leader at SAHMRI, and Professor of Medicine at the University of Adelaide. He is a senior member of our Indigenous Leadership Council, co-chaired by A/Professor Luke Burchill and Dr Angela Dos Santos. He is an expert in the interface of geographical isolation, complex cultural context, severe socioeconomic disadvantage, inequitable access to and receipt of care, and profound health disparities.

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Professor Ken Butcher

Professor Ken Butcher

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Professor Ken Butcher

Professor Ken Butcher

Ken is the Director of Clinical Neurosciences at the Prince of Wales Clinical School (UNSW), Medical Director of the NSW State-wide Telestroke Service and represents NSW within our State and Territory Champion Network. Prior to 2019, he was a Professor of Neurology at the University of Alberta. He has an extensive track record in acute stroke care and CT perfusion studies aimed at extending the time window for stroke thrombolysis.

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Associate Professor Luke Burchill

Associate Professor Luke Burchill

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Associate Professor Luke Burchill

Associate Professor Luke Burchill

Luke is Australia’s first Aboriginal cardiologist. He is a proud member of the Yorta Yorta / Dja Wurrung nations and is the lead for our Education platform and co-chair of our Indigenous Leadership Council. His leadership in adult congenital heart disease and heart failure is recognised internationally.  In 2018 he established the Cardiovascular Health Disparities Research Group at the University of Melbourne.

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Professor Dominique Cadilhac

Professor Dominique Cadilhac

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Professor Dominique Cadilhac

Professor Dominique Cadilhac

Dominique is an expert in health services research, particularly in stroke, and is our Evaluation Platform lead. She is the data custodian for the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry and heads the Translational Public Health and Evaluation Research Division in Stroke and Ageing Research in the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University. She is the Head of Public Health for stroke at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

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Dr Helen Castley

Dr Helen Castley

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Dr Helen Castley

Dr Helen Castley

Helen is a neurologist and clinical lead of acute stroke services at the Royal Hobart Hospital and represents Tasmania as part of our Champion Network. She is the chair of the Tasmanian Stroke Network and leads the implementation of a Tasmanian wide acute stroke and thrombolysis pathway, including the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine program.  She focuses on data collection through the Australia Stroke Clinical Registry with a particular interest in rural communities.

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Dr Alvaro Cervera

Dr Alvaro Cervera

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Dr Alvaro Cervera

Dr Alvaro Cervera

Alvaro is a neurologist at the Royal Darwin Hospital and represents the Northern Territory within our Champion Network. Having practised in the UK and Spain, Alvaro is experienced in acute management and secondary prevention of stroke including stroke unit management, stroke outpatient clinics, administration of thrombolysis, and multimodal imaging assessment to extend the therapeutic window or to use thrombectomy. His research interests also address these key areas of stroke treatment.

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Professor Leonid Churilov

Professor Leonid Churilov

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Professor Leonid Churilov

Professor Leonid Churilov

Leonid is a professor of Biostatistics at Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne and our Optimisation lead, based at the Melbourne Brain Centre Royal Melbourne Hospital. Leonid contributes biostatistical, health analytics, and decision modelling expertise to several large international clinical trials and to a number of smaller pre-clinical, clinical, imaging, and service evaluation studies.

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Dr David Cook

Dr David Cook

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Dr David Cook

Dr David Cook

David is a biochemist and rural clinician, with experience as a flying surgeon. He has worked in medical donation and transplantation with the Australian Organ Donation Authority. He represents QLD on our Champion Network. He has a PhD in IT and electrical engineering which serve him well as a clinical academic within the University of QLD Clinical School and in statistics and data science at QUT.

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Skye Coote

Skye Coote

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Skye Coote

Skye Coote

Skye is a nurse practitioner and the Nursing Team lead for the Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit at the Melbourne Brain Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital. She has won international nursing awards for clinical excellence and leadership in stroke and is the only Board Certified Advanced Neurovascular Practitioner in Australia. Skye plays a critical role developing stroke road ambulances and telehealth.

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Dr Angela Dos Santos

Dr Angela Dos Santos

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Dr Angela Dos Santos

Dr Angela Dos Santos

Angela is Australia’s first Indigenous neurologist based at the Melbourne Brain Centre at Royal Melbourne Hospital, where she also works on the Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit. Angela will be a key clinical expert for our aeromedical plans and is co-chair of our Indigenous Leadership Council. Her doctoral research is focussed on stroke in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

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Associate Professor Kate Fox

Associate Professor Kate Fox

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Associate Professor Kate Fox

Associate Professor Kate Fox

Kate is a biomedical engineer, working at the interface between engineering and medicine. She is our Materials Engineering lead, bringing critical expertise in 3D printing to develop novel materials for biomedical manufacturing. Kate has a background in IP law and will play a critical role on our Industry Engagement Council and Commercialisation Planning Committee. She is a Superstar of STEM, Victorian Tall Poppy and was Australia’s Most Innovative Engineer in 2019.

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Dr Fergus Gardiner

Dr Fergus Gardiner

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Dr Fergus Gardiner

Dr Fergus Gardiner

Fergus is a public health expert and epidemiologist. He will play a key role in the Air-MSU research, particularly in development of workflows and clinical protocols. His research focus is in emergency and military medicine, and in public health. He has published on rural and remote aeromedical retrievals, and is a visiting academic at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health and The Australian National University Medical School.

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Dr Yash Gawarikar

Dr Yash Gawarikar

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Dr Yash Gawarikar

Dr Yash Gawarikar

Yash is director of Neurology and Stroke at Calvary Public Hospital and represents ACT within our Champion Network. Yash was involved in restructuring the acute stroke services in ACT, currently chairs the ACT Stroke Working Group, and lectures in neurology at the Australian National University. He plays a key role in the development of clinical educational strategies within our Education Platform.

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Professor Graeme J. Hankey

Professor Graeme J. Hankey

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Professor Graeme J. Hankey

Professor Graeme J. Hankey

Graeme is a professor of Neurology at The University of Western Australia, and represents WA within our Champion Network. He is a chief investigator on the award-winning national stroke program, Saving Brain and Changing Practice. He is an associate editor of Circulation, editorial consultant for The Lancet Neurology, and a consulting editor of the International Journal of Stroke.

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Dr Anna Holwell

Dr Anna Holwell

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Dr Anna Holwell

Dr Anna Holwell

Anna is a specialist physician in general and acute care medicine at Alice Springs Hospital, and represents the Northern Territory within our Champion Network. Anna has lived and worked in Alice Spring for six years and, as a rural physician practices true general medicine. She has a broad range of clinical interests – in particular stroke medicine and heart failure. Anna is also involved in a number of clinical research projects.

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Associate Professor Jim Jannes

Associate Professor Jim Jannes

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Associate Professor Jim Jannes

Associate Professor Jim Jannes

Jim is a vascular neurologist, a clinical associate professor at the University of Adelaide and head of Neurology, Central Adelaide Local Health Network (encompassing The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Royal Adelaide Hospitals, Adelaide). He represents SA within our Champion Network. He was the inaugural chair of the South Australian Stroke Clinical Network helped set up dedicated stroke units and TIA rapid assessment clinics within metro and rural South Australia.

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Dr Hannah Johns

Dr Hannah Johns

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Dr Hannah Johns

Dr Hannah Johns

Hannah is a biostatistician researching the application of statistics, data visualisation and machine learning techniques in the analysis of health and clinical data. She will play a key role in our Optimisation activities, working with Professor Leonid Churilov. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hannah completed time-sensitive simulation modelling to assist the Royal Flying Doctor Service in planning for an influx of patients.

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Dr Joosup Kim

Dr Joosup Kim

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Dr Joosup Kim

Dr Joosup Kim

Joosup is a research fellow with over 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts related to stroke and will play a key role in our Evaluation activities. He was the first author on the publication demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of the Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit. During his doctoral work, he analysed the association between risk factors for stroke and long-term outcomes using data collected for the largest stroke incidence study conducted in Australia.

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Dr Tim Kleinig

Dr Tim Kleinig

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Dr Tim Kleinig

Dr Tim Kleinig

Tim is head of South Australia’s sole Comprehensive Stroke Centre and Telestroke Clinical lead for SA Health. He represents SA within our Champion Network. Tim helped set up the Telestroke service in SA, reaching out to the NT (Alice Springs) and rural NSW (Broken Hill), and the acute stroke protocols at country centres including Alice Springs, improving care in remote and Indigenous communities.

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Francesca Langenberg

Francesca Langenberg

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Francesca Langenberg

Francesca Langenberg

Francesca is the CT team lead for the Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit. She plays a critical role as the our CT expert across all research streams. Francesca sits on the board of the PRESTO International Stroke Ambulance Society. As CT lead, Francesca has developed a unique training program for MSU radiographers with Ambulance Victoria.

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Professor Sarah Larkins

Professor Sarah Larkins

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Professor Sarah Larkins

Professor Sarah Larkins

Sarah is a professor of Health Systems Strengthening at James Cook University and is a practising general practitioner. She leads collaborative research focused on improving health equity for rural, remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, and training an appropriate health workforce for this purpose. She sits on our Rural and Remote Health Advisory Council.

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Dr Matthew Lee-Archer

Dr Matthew Lee-Archer

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Dr Matthew Lee-Archer

Dr Matthew Lee-Archer

Matthew is a neurologist working in Northern Tasmania and is a member of our Champion Network.

From Launceston, Matthew and has been instrumental in establishing a collaboration between the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine Service and the Launceston General and North West Regional Hospitals.  This collaboration enabled improved assessment, diagnosis and treatment for acute stroke patients in regional Tasmania. Matthew has been actively involved in stroke research since 2014.

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Prof Chris Levi

Prof Chris Levi

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Prof Chris Levi

Prof Chris Levi

Prof Chris Levi is a stroke neurologist and head of Clinical Research and Translation for the Hunter New England Local Health District. He also directs the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE). He is the chair of our Rural and Remote Health Advisory Council. His research is focussed on clinical trials in acute stroke, stroke genetics, advanced acute imaging, and on the implementation of evidence-based stroke care.

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Professor Christian Lueck

Professor Christian Lueck

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Professor Christian Lueck

Professor Christian Lueck

Christian is director of Neurology at Canberra Hospital and a professor at the Australian National University Medical School. He led the development of the stroke unit at the Canberra Hospital. He represents ACT within our Champion Network along with Dr Yash Gawarikar. He is passionate about clinical education and will work closely with Prof Luke Burchill and the project lead within the Alliance’s Education Platform.

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Associate Professor Mark Mackay

Associate Professor Mark Mackay

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Associate Professor Mark Mackay

Associate Professor Mark Mackay

Mark is a paediatric neurologist and director of the Paediatric Stroke Program at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. He leads the childhood stroke research group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and has worked develop early modelling for stroke care in the pediatric setting. His research focuses on understanding the causes of and consequences of childhood stroke and improving accuracy and timeliness of stroke diagnosis.

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Professor Jonathan Newbury

Professor Jonathan Newbury

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Professor Jonathan Newbury

Professor Jonathan Newbury

Jonathan has worked in rural settings for his whole career, currently in a general practice and hospital in Port Lincoln, SA. He serves on our Rural and Remote Health Advisory Council, working closely with experts from across Australia. Recent clinical work and teaching has included recognition of stroke presentation, rapid assessment and thrombolysis in Port Lincoln hospital and urgent retrieval for endovascular clot extraction.

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Dr Gabrielle O’Kane

Dr Gabrielle O’Kane

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Dr Gabrielle O’Kane

Dr Gabrielle O’Kane

Gabrielle has been immersed in rural communities for over 30 years, working as a rural allied health academic and practitioner, before moving to her current role as CEO of the National Rural Health Alliance. She serves on our Rural and Remote Health Advisory Council, bringing her extensive experience in the private and public health sector. More recently, she has been forming partnerships with several universities to advance rural health research.

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Professor Mark Parsons

Professor Mark Parsons

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Professor Mark Parsons

Professor Mark Parsons

Mark is a professor of Medicine and Neurology at UNSW. He plays a critical role as a lead clinical and brain imaging expert across our research streams. He is an international leader in stroke clinical trials and brain imaging. Mark has considerable industry collaborations and he leads the International Stroke Perfusion Imaging Registry (INSPIRE), with more than 20 centres (and >4000 patients) in Australia, China, Canada, and India.

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Professor Stan Skafidas

Professor Stan Skafidas

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Professor Stan Skafidas

Professor Stan Skafidas

Stan leads the Melbourne School of Engineering’s research in nanoelectronics. He plays a critical role on our Industry Engagement Council and Commercialisation Committee. Stan has an exemplary commercial track record as a founder and inventor. He has over 300 publications in the fields of nanoelectronics, neural engineering, biosensors and wireless communications. He is listed as an inventor on 28 International patents.

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Adjunct Associate Professor Mick Stephenson

Adjunct Associate Professor Mick Stephenson

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Adjunct Associate Professor Mick Stephenson

Adjunct Associate Professor Mick Stephenson

Mick is an intensive care paramedic (MICA) and the executive director of Clinical Operations at Ambulance Victoria. He has state-wide responsibility for all road and air ambulance services including adult retrieval and the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine service. Mick’s interests in stroke include the development of the Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit and the state’s system for equitable endovascular clot retrieval.

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Dr Mark Wickham

Dr Mark Wickham

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Dr Mark Wickham

Dr Mark Wickham

Mark is a patent attorney and a Partner of Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick Intellectual Property, focussing on due diligence, protection and enforcement of intellectual property for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, health and medical device industries. After completing a PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and postdoctoral research in Canada, he returned to Australia on a CJ Martin Fellowship. He has sat on the advisory boards of a number of technology-based start-up companies.

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Professor Bernard Yan

Professor Bernard Yan

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Professor Bernard Yan

Professor Bernard Yan

Bernard is a neurologist and endovascular neurointerventionist at the Melbourne Brain Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, and a professor at the University of Melbourne. His clinical expertise is in stroke intervention and aneurysms. His track record in AI and device development will be critical for the Australian Stroke Alliance’s Telestroke and Optimisation platform. He is the president of the Stroke Society of Australasia and Treasurer of the World Stroke Organization.

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International Advisory Council

Dr James Grotta

Dr James Grotta

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Dr James Grotta

Dr James Grotta

Formerly chairman of Neurology and director of the Stroke Program, UT Medical School in Houston, James launched and personally staffs the first mobile stroke unit in the U.S. – in Houston. He plays a key role in the international exposure and impact of our program, chairing our International Advisory Council. He has devoted 40 years to preclinical and clinical research in acute stroke therapy, consistently calling for early treatment.

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Professor Alastair M Buchan

Professor Alastair M Buchan

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Professor Alastair M Buchan

Professor Alastair M Buchan

Alastair is he director of Oxford in Berlin, a professor of Stroke Medicine in the Radcliffe Department of Medicine at the John Radcliffe Hospital and a professorial fellow in Medicine at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Alastair is a key member of our International Advisory Council, chaired by Dr James Grotta. His research interests are in neuronal survival following ischemia and effective intervention using thrombolysis, thrombectomy and neuroprotection in acute stroke.

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Professor Klaus Faßbender

Professor Klaus Faßbender

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Professor Klaus Faßbender

Professor Klaus Faßbender

Klaus was the academic lead for the world’s first mobile stroke unit, launched in Saarland, Germany, in 2008. He was the inaugural president of PRESTO, the international organisation bringing together mobile stroke unit teams across the globe and will be a key member of our International Advisory Council. He is Chairman of the Department of Neurology, University of the Saarland, Germany and is president of the European Memory Clinic Association.

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Professor Silke Walter

Professor Silke Walter

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Professor Silke Walter

Professor Silke Walter

Silke is a consultant neurologist and vice-chairman of the Department of Neurology at Saarland University, Germany and is a key member of our International Advisory Council. Her major research interest lies in pre-hospital stroke management and treatment. She was involved in the implementation of the first mobile stroke unit for pre-hospital stroke care at the Melbourne Brain Centre at Royal Melbourne Hospital.

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