Dr. Sian Henson

Senior Lecturer in Immunology
Queen Mary University of London

Dr Henson is an immunologist interested in the mechanisms that drive T cell senescence. In particular, how changes to T cell metabolism during human ageing maintain an inflammatory deleterious state.  
She has been involved in the field of immunological ageing for the past 18 years, first as a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College, London and then through a fellowship at University College London. Here she uncovered that both exhaustion and senescence are not passive end-stage processes but are controlled by active signalling pathways. During her fellowship, she has become interested in the metabolic requirements of primary human senescent T cells. She was the first to show mitochondrial impairment and alterations in CD8+ T cells metabolism during senescence, together with the appearance of a T cell senescence associated secretory phenotype. On establishing her own group at Queen Mary University of London her team has played a key role in highlighting the different metabolic requirements between CD4+ and CD8+ senescent T cells and have uncovered a novel role for the transcription factor GATA3 in the control of mitochondrial biogenesis. More recently, she has started to become interested in premature senescence phenotypes and their contribution to age-related disease.

Assoc. Prof. Jessica Mar

Associate Professor, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland.

Associate Professor Jessica Mar is a Group Leader at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. She leads a computational biology group that investigates how variability in the genome contributes to the regulation of diseases like cancer, or phenotypes like pluripotency in stem cells. A/Prof Mar received her PhD in Biostatistics from Harvard University in 2008. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston (2008-11), and an Assistant Professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York (2011-2018).
Having relocated back to Australia as an ARC Future Fellow in July 2018, her research program has a dual focus that concentrates on modelling the aging process using single cell bioinformatics and understanding cancer genomics through novel statistical methods. A/Prof Mar has received several awards, including a Fulbright scholarship (2003), the Metcalf Prize for Stem Cell Research from the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia (2017), and the LaDonne H. Shulman Award for Teaching Excellence at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (2017).

Dr. Connie Wong

Research Fellow, Centre for Inflammatory Disease Monash Health

The focus of Dr. Connie Wong's research is investigating the pathophysiology of stroke and the subsequent host inflammatory response. After completing her PhD at Monash University, Connie was trained in the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases at the University of Calgary in Canada and returned to Monash University in 2013, before heading her own lab in 2015. Connie has published >50 journal articles, including first/senior author in Science, Nature Immunology and Nature Medicine. Connie was awarded "The Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize" in 2013 and Victorian Tall Poppy award in 2017. Her research is funded by NHMRC, National Heart Foundation and she is a current recipient of the CSL Centenary Fellowship.

Matiu Bush

Deputy Director Health Transformation Lab, RMIT University

Matiu is a hybrid - a clinician and a designer who founded One Good Street, a social impact platform to encourage neighbour initiated care for older residents at risk of social isolation and loneliness. Matiu is the Deputy Director of the Health Transformation Lab at RMIT, designing towards cultures of innovation and creativity in healthcare. Matiu has a Master's degree in Public Health and broad clinical and managerial nursing experience, including working in Tijuana, Mexico with Nobel Prize Laureate Mother Teresa in international border aid, and as an emergency, oncology, intensive care nurse and is a sexual health Nurse Practitioner. Matiu contributes to health system innovation through involvement with Better Care Victoria as a board member and the Emerging Leaders Clinical Advisory Committee. Matiu is a Rotarian and a member of the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) and mentors the next generation of undergraduate and postgraduate science students through the Pinnacle Foundation and the Melbourne School of Population Health.

Dr. Joanne Ryan

NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Fellow and Head of the Biological Neuropsychiatry & Dementia Unit in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University

Joanne Ryan is an NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Fellow and Head of the Biological Neuropsychiatry & Dementia Unit in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. She has higher degree qualifications in molecular biology, biostatistics and neuropsychiatric epidemiology. Her research is focused on preventative interventions, risk prediction and biomarker identification (particular epigenetics) for dementia, and stress-related disorders, including depression. She also has a strong interest in healthy ageing, longevity and factors which drive resistance and resilience to cognitive decline. Her long-term vision is to extend the healthy lifespan of older individuals.
Joanne joined Monash in 2017 to play a lead role in the ASPREE clinical trial and is a coinvestigator on the recently funded ASPREE-XT extension cohort study. She also co-leads the ESPRIT-VIE study of the biological underpinnings of later-life neuropsychiatric disorders. She has published >110 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and has received >$60M in grant/fellowship funding.

Prof. Ashley Bush

NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, is the Director of the Melbourne Dementia Research Centre

Ashley Bush (MBBS, DPM, FRANZCP, PhD, FAHMS, FAPA), NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, is the Director of the Melbourne Dementia Research Centre- a partnership between The Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health and The University of Melbourne. He is a clinician-scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the neuroscience field, most notably his discovery of the importance of metal biology in neurodegenerative brain diseases.  The impact of his work has moved the field of neurodegeneration towards an appreciation for an underlying disturbance in brain metal homeostasis, and has provided insights into the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as well as other brain diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.  His leadership has led to the development of new predictive tests for AD and innovative, potentially disease-modifying strategies based on his research.  He is Co-Director of Biomarker Development for The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of Ageing (AIBL). He is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, and holds courtesy staff appointments in Psychiatry and Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, USA. He is founding scientist of Prana Biotechnology Ltd, Cogstate Ltd, and Chief Scientific Officer for Collaborative Medicinal Development P/L. Prof Bush has published more than 430 publications (>40,000 citations, h-factor 99) and 28 patents, and has delivered over 300 invited lectures (including over 300 international and 25 Plenary). Prof Bush is among the most highly cited neuroscientists in Australia, is rated in the top 1% of neuroscience researchers worldwide for high impact citations (Highly Cited 2015-16, 18), and is listed among The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds (Clarivates).

Prof. Gordon S. Lynch

Director of the Centre for Muscle Research in the Department of Physiology at The University of Melbourne

Professor Lynch is Director of the Centre for Muscle Research in the Department of Physiology at The University of Melbourne. The Centre is a basic science discovery hub for muscle with translational links across biomedicine, engineering, and agriculture.  His research on muscle adaptation, injury and regeneration investigates causes and treatments for muscle wasting and weakness in ageing, cancer, and the muscular dystrophies.
He completed his Ph.D. in Physiology from The University of Melbourne (1992) and a multidisciplinary traineeship in gerontology at the Institute of Gerontology at The University of Michigan (1995-1997) while a NHMRC C.J. Martin Research Fellow.  He was awarded the A.K. McIntyre Medal (1995) from the Australian Physiological Society, an ARC Research Fellowship (1998) and NHMRC R.D. Wright Research Fellowship (1998), before being appointed Lecturer in Physiology at The University of Melbourne (1999).  He was promoted to full Professor (2008) and served as Head of the Department of Physiology (2011-2016).  He has published >215 papers and reviews (Nature, Cell, Physiological Reviews, Science Translational Medicine, Cell Metabolism) and a textbook on Sarcopenia – age-related muscle wasting and weakness.  His inspirational mentoring and leadership have been recognised through multiple national and university awards.
Professor Lynch co-Founded Fitness2live (2000-2009), one of the world’s first online health companies, later sold to Medibank.  As Research Manager at Medibank Health Solutions (2009-2015), he authored over 1000 health monographs with many featuring in newspapers, magazines and websites.  His weekly national broadcast media work on ABC Radio since 2002 has seen him interviewed on more than 900 occasions and featured in television news/lifestyle programs and on Twitter (@GordonSLynch).  He won a National Journalism Award (Asthma Council, 2002) and Research Australia’s Advocacy Award (2019) and was a Finalist for Australia’s Eureka Prizes for Promoting Understanding of Science (2006) and Scientific Research (2013).  In 2013, he received the Australian Physiological Society Medal and in 2015 he was awarded the Woodward Medal in Science and Technology – the most prestigious award for research excellence at The University of Melbourne.  He is currently President of the Australian Physiological Society and Scientific Director of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research.


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