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Dianne Nicol

Project Leader

Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics, The University of Tasmania

Dianne Nicol is the Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics at the University of Tasmania. She is leading two Australian Research Council-funded projects which examine the legal, research and social issues associated with genomic data sharing and the regulation of innovative health technologies including somatic cell genome editing. Dianne’s expertise offers a unique combination of her PhD research in the field of biology and her legal specialisation on patenting of biotechnology inventions. She is a member of the Australian Academy of Law and holds the title of Distinguished Professor.

Dianne’s primary roles in the project involve framing the citizen deliberations with the broader ethical, legal, and social context of genome editing, and articulating the outcomes of the deliberations in various forums.

Facilitators

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Kath Fisher

Professional Facilitator, Southern Cross University

Dr Kath Fisher is a professional facilitator, academic and trainer and has been an academic at Southern Cross University (SCU) since 1995, where she is currently Adjunct Fellow in Community Engagement. Kath has become a specialist in community engagement using deliberative democratic processes and is one of Australia’s most experienced facilitators and process designers in this field. She has facilitated and co-designed a number of citizens’ juries with Dr Simon Niemeyer since 2005, including juries on the social uptake of energy technologies for CSIRO (2005-2006), biobanking with the Office of Population Health Genomics in Perth, Western Australia (2008), climate change and the public sphere at ANU (2010) and climate adaptation planning for the City of Sydney council (2014). 

For more information please visit this link.

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Rachel Ankeny

Professor School of Humanities, University of Adelaide

Professor Rachel A. Ankeny is an interdisciplinary teacher and scholar whose areas of expertise cross three fields: food studies, history/philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences, and bioethics and science policy. She is Deputy Dean Research in the Faculty of Arts and Professor in the School of Humanities where she leads the Food Values Research Group and the Public Engagement in Science and Technology Adelaide (PESTA), all at the University of Adelaide. She has overseen a number of research projects associated with use of participatory techniques to elicit community values about emerging technologies particularly in medicine and agriculture. 

For more information please visit this link.

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Gareth Baynam

Head of the Western Australian Register of Developmental Anomalies

Gareth Baynam is a practicing clinical geneticist, genomic policy advisor, clinician scientist and intrapraneur. He equitably translates innovations for public health, including through public-private and multi-stakeholder partnerships and with a line of sight to patient need. He has led the clinical implementation of genomic and phenomic (objective phenotyping) digital health technologies and rare diseases policy. He led the creation of the Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases Diagnostic Service at Genetic Services of Western Australia (GSWA), He Directs the Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP)-WA, its clinical service and associated research; is a founding member of the International Board of Directors of the Undiagnosed Diseases Network International (UDNI). He is the Chair of the Diagnostics Scientific Committee of the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC), and Chair of the “Standards of Practice Workstream” of the Global Commission to End the Diagnostic Odyssey for Children with Rare Diseases

For more information please visit this link.

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Merlin Crossley

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic & Student  University of New South Wales

Professor Merlin Crossley is Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic & Student Life at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney. He has also served as Dean of Science at UNSW and enjoys both teaching and research in molecular biology. His lab works on CRISPR gene editing to treat inherited blood diseases. Crossley completed a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Melbourne, then was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to carry out his doctorate in Oxford. He moved to a research position at Harvard, before returning to a lectureship at Sydney, and joined UNSW in 2010. Crossley is also an enthusiastic science communicator, Chair of Editorial Board of The Conversation, of UNSW Press, Deputy Director of the Australian Science Media Centre, a member of the Editorial Board of BioEssays, and a member of the Australian Museum Council of Governors.

For more information please visit this link.

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Jozef Gécz

Senior Principal Research Fellow, University of Adelaide

Jozef Gécz, PhD is National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Principal Research Fellow and Channel 7 Inaugural Chair for the Prevention of Childhood Disability at the University of Adelaide and South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, Australia. Professor Gécz career spans 35 years of competitive research in genomics and molecular biology of childhood onset neurological disorders across Europe and Australia.  Professor Gécz discovered or contributed to the discovery of >250 disease genes.  His pioneering research into the genetics of non-syndromic intellectual disabilities and X-chromosome linked forms in particular later expanded into childhood onset epilepsies, autisms and more recently cerebral palsies. His achievements have been recognised, among others, also by his election to the Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science, Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Science of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.   Professor Gécz’ research is patient centric and focuses on the application of genomics for precision diagnosis of childhood onset neurodevelopmental disabilities to empower early and personalised intervention, management and treatment. 

For more information please visit this link.

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Jackie Leach Scully

Professor of Bioethics, University of New South Wales

Jackie Leach Scully is Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Disability Innovation Institute at UNSW. With a background in molecular oncology and neuroscience, she has specialised in ethical issues in biomedicine and the life sciences, and particularly their relevance to people with disability, including prenatal selection, assistive technologies, and global health emergencies. She is currently leading teams looking at the impact of artificial intelligence on disability, and the ethics of genetic testing for people with intellectual disability. She is also writing on the patient experience in organ transplantation. Jackie’s work has been recognised through her election as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, of the Royal Society of Arts, of the Royal Society of New South Wales, and of the Hastings Center, and in 2020 she was named as one of Australia’s Outstanding 50 LGBTI+ Leaders.

For more information please visit this link.

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Megan Munsie

Deputy Director, Centre for Stem Cell Systems in the School of Biomedical Sciences ,  University of Melbourne

Professor Megan Munsie is a stem cell and developmental biologist who leads a research program into the ethical, legal and social implications of stem cell research at the University of Melbourne. Over the last 15 years, she has led public education and policy activities for a series of major Australian Government funded programs in stem cell science and currently heads Stem Cells Australia, an online education initiative that aims to provide clear and reliable information to Australians curious about stem cells and their role in medicine. She serves on advisory committees to peak national and international bodies and in 2018 was awarded the prestigious Public Service Award from the International Society for Stem Cell Research in recognition of her contribution to the field.

For more information please visit this link.

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Dianne Nicol

Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics, The University of Tasmania

Dianne Nicol is the Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics at the University of Tasmania. In addition to leading this project, she is also leading two Australian Research Council-funded projects which examine the legal, research and social issues associated with genomic data sharing and the regulation of innovative health technologies including somatic cell genome editing. Dianne brings a combination of PhD-level research in the field of biology and legal specialisation on the regulation of genomics and related technologies. She is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and holds the title of Distinguished Professor.​

For more information please visit this link.

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Sonya Pemberton

Creative Director, Genepool Productions

Sonya Pemberton is one of Australia’s leading factual television producers and she specialises in science. 2012 Emmy Award-winner and record-breaking five-time winner of the prestigious Eureka Award for Science Journalism, her passion is quality science programming. Previously Head of Specialist Factual at ABC Television, she commissioned and managed over three hundred hours of factual television; her understanding of audiences’ desire for smart, accessible television saw ratings rise across the genres. Sonya has written, directed and produced over 60 hours of documentary, her films winning over 70 international awards. She also executive-produced many award-winning factual programs, including Crude-the incredible journey of oil and Uranium: Twisting The Dragon’s Tail.

For more information please visit this link.

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Julian Savulescu

Co-director Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities

Professor Julian Savulescu is an award-winning ethicist and moral philosopher, recognised internationally for his world-leading research into the ethics of future technologies. Trained in neuroscience, medicine, and philosophy, he has held the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford since 2002.  In 2003, he founded the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, ranked as one of the world’s top research centres in Practical Ethics with 25 researchers working on the ethics of AI and big data, genetic technologies, and neuroethics. He also co-directs the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, and the Oxford Martin Programme for Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease. He is also a Distinguished Professorial Fellow at Murdoch Children’s Research institute and Melbourne Law School in Australia, where he spends part of the year and directs the Biomedical Ethics Research Group, with a focus on genomics. 

For more information please visit this link.