AVHEC 2019
AVHEC 2019

International Keynote Speakers

Saeed Hamid – Dr. SAEED SADIQ HAMID, MBBS, FRCP, FRCPI, FACP, FACG, FAASLD. Director, Clinical Trials Unit, Professor & Consultant Gastroenterologist, Department of Medicine.

Sharon Hutchinson -Sharon Hutchinson is a Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health at Glasgow Caledonian University and holds an honorary appointment at Health Protection Scotland. She has over 20 years experience in conducting epidemiological research to inform on the design and impact of public health interventions. Authoring over 180 publications and PI/co-I on grants worth over £15 million, she leads a broad translational research programme on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) and other blood-borne viruses. Her research provided the key evidence to guide a public health response to HCV in Scotland, which culminated in Scottish Government investing significantly in their Action Plan (£100 million during 2008-15). The evidenced-based National Plan was the stimulus for WHO and the World Hepatitis Alliance staging their inaugural World Hepatitis Summit (involving governments and civil society representatives from over 80 countries) in Glasgow during 2015.

Giten Khwairakpam – Giten is currently the Community and Policy Program Manager at amfAR’s TREAT Asia program in Bangkok, Thailand.  He is a member of World Health Organization’s Global Guidelines Development Group on hepatitis B and hepatitis C and a member of the Expert Advisory group on HCV with the Medicines Patent Pool. He also has served in different technical groups on viral hepatitis in WHO WPRO and SEARO regionHe has been working on improving hepatitis C treatment access and advocating for price reductions in South and South East Asia in partnership with regional and national community networks He was also profiled as a Change Maker for hepatitis C by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2016. 

Dee Lee – Director and founder of Inno Community Development Organisation, an Nonprofit that aims at creating social impact through social innovation pursuing a dream of a healthy and just society. Inno created the largest and one of most influential Fight Hepatitis Discrimination Programme in Asia which helped 238 factories to remove the job screening of people with hepatitis. In 2009 Inno worked together with hundreds of millions of people to start the hepatitis self-support network in China. Inno is awarded by domestic and international entities in social innovation and philanthropy area.

Su Wang, MD MPH is an internal medicine physician and Medical Director of the Center for Asian Health at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey, USA.  She is living with hepatitis B and is President-Elect of the World Hepatitis Alliance, a patient led global organization whose mission is to harness the power of people living with hepatitis to achieve its elimination.  She is a leader of the NOhep Medical Visionary program and an advocate of primary-care based HBV/HCV care and innovative screening strategies to reach at-risk populations.

Local Speakers

Joanne Bryant is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Social Research in Health in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW. She is a social scientist trained in sociology and epidemiology, and has led a range of impactful research projects focusing on harm reduction, hepatitis C, substance use and sexual health. Her work focuses specifically on people who inject drugs, populations of vulnerable young people including street-involved youth and Indigenous youth. Joanne has published over seventy peer review papers and ten technical monographs. She is an investigator on competitive research grants from the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council, among others, and she has recently completed a term as Joint Editor-in-Chief of the peer-review journal Health Sociology Review.

Chris Cunningham, of the Ngati Toa and Ngati Raukawa tribes of New Zealand (NZ), is Professor of Maori Health and has been Director of the Research Centre for Maori Health & Development at Massey University’s Wellington Campus since 1996.  He has a strong background in both policy development and research. 

He is current Chair of the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand and has been co-Chair of the World Indigenous Peoples’ Conferences on Viral Hepatitis, held in Alice Springs in 2014 and Anchorage, Alaska in 2017.

Chris is Director of two major Maori research programmes and is currently supervising 5 doctoral students, having supervised 28 PhDs and 14 post-docs to completion. 

His major research interests include non-communicable diseases (especially hepatitis B/C, cancer, diabetes and insulin resistance), whanau (family) health & development, ageing, longitudinal research, school-based interventions in physical activity and nutrition, and housing & health. 

Kerry Chant, leads the Population and Public Health Division which has accountabilities for a broad portfolio of issues, including tobacco control, reduction of risk drinking and obesity, the promotion of physical activity, end of life care and organ donation.  She has a particular interest in the response to HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B and Aboriginal Health.

Ed Gane is Professor of Medicine at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, Hepatologist and Deputy Director of the New Zealand Liver Unit at Auckland City Hospital. Dr. Gane trained in hepatology at the Institute of Liver Studies, King’s College School of Medicine, London, where he completed his MD on the pathogenesis of hepatitis C-related liver injury. 

In 1998, Dr. Gane was appointed as Chief Physician for the first New Zealand Liver Unit at Auckland City Hospital. Since 2000, Prof. Gane has been the Ministry of Health Clinical Advisor for the National Hepatitis B Screening and Follow-up Program. In 2012, he was appointed as Hepatitis C Champion for the Ministry of Health and now chairs the Government HepC Elimination Implementation Committee which is preparing the first New Zealand National HepC Action Plan.

Prof. Gane is the principal investigator for many international clinical trials, with particular interest in early phase development of new direct-acting antiviral therapies against chronic HCV and HBV. Prof. Gane has published more than 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals, including The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine. He is an Associate Editor for Journal of Hepatology.

Dr Gane is a member of APASL and AASLD and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. In 2011, Dr. Gane was awarded Member of the Order of New Zealand for Services to Medicine and in 2017, was the New Zealand Innovator of the Year for his work towards HCV elimination in New Zealand.

Prof Margaret Hellard AM, is a Deputy Director at the Burnet Institute, Head of Hepatitis Services in the Infectious Diseases Unit at The Alfred Hospital and an Adjunct Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology at Monash University and University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia.

She was recently awarded an Order of Australia. Margaret’s principal research interests are in preventing the transmission and improving the management of blood borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections, with the ultimate aim to end the AIDS epidemic and eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat.  She has considerable experience in undertaking multidisciplinary community based research involving people who inject drugs (PWID), gay and bisexual men (GBM) and other vulnerable populations. 

Margaret is a member of numerous advisory committees and working groups on viral hepatitis and HIV within Australia and globally, including Co-Chairing the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on HIV and Viral Hepatitis and Chairing the World Innovation Health Summit Viral Hepatitis Forum (20198).. She has over 400 peer reviewed publications and received over $80 million in competitive grants and tenders.

Stuart Loveday is the CEO of Hepatitis NSW, Australia’s first community based organisation and health promotion charity working for and on behalf of people with viral hepatitis. He is a former President and was a founding Board of Hepatitis Australia. Having worked in the hepatitis sector for almost 25 years, Stuart will be stepping down from his role in October 2019.

Avik Majumdar is a staff specialist transplant hepatologist at the AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre and Australian National Liver Transplant Unit, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and senior clinical lecturer at the University of Sydney. After completing his gastroenterology training at the Alfred and Austin hospitals in Melbourne, he went on to the Royal Free Hospital, London initially as a senior clinical fellow and then as a locum consultant in hepatology and liver transplantation.  His PhD investigated predictors of clinical outcomes in cirrhosis and portal hypertension.  He has research and clinical interests in advanced chronic liver disease, portal hypertension, hepatocellular carcinoma, viral hepatitis, liver transplantation and the non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis. Avik currently sits on the Young GESA executive, the NSW Transplant Advisory Committee and has been elected to the Australian Liver Association executive (2019-2021).

Alisa Pedrana is public health practitioner and senior research fellow at Burnet Institute. Her research career has focused on Blood-borne virus/Sexually Transmitted Infections epidemiology and surveillance to inform prevention practice and policy. With a strong emphasis on research translation, her current work on Hepatitis C elimination is focused on implementation science to strengthen health systems, enhance health service delivery and develop sustainable models of care.

Jacqui Richmond has worked in the viral hepatitis sector in a variety of roles in nursing, education, research and policy development. She currently works at the Burnet Institute as the Workforce Development and Health Service Delivery Project Manager for the EC Australia partnership. 

Natali Smud is an overseas-trained Medical Doctor with a great interest in heath equity and an evidence-based, integrated approach to medicine. Her experience in Australia and overseas encompasses work in clinical practice, health promotion, community education and research.

As the Senior Health Promotion Officer at the Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS), Natali leads the development of health promotion programs and strategies tailored for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities living in NSW.

Alex Thompson, Director, Department of Gastroenterology, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. Alex Thompson is Professor-Director of Gastroenterology at St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne (University of Melbourne) Director of State-wide Hepatitis Program in Victorian prisons.