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Scientific Reference Panel

The Foundation’s remarkable strength is found in the calibre of the members of this Panel .

The task of the Scientific Reference Panel is to review and assess each application and to make recommendations to the BGRF directors, who take substantial guidance from the Panel.

The Scientific Reference Panel process ensures that the successful projects have scientific merit, and are appropriately designed and undertaken by researchers with impressive track records.


Prof Colin L. Masters
BMedSc(Hons), MBBS, MD,
Hon.DLitt, W.Aust., FRCPath, FRCPA, FFSc, FAA, FTSE, FAHMS, AO.

Relevant Background and Expertise
Colin Masters has focused his career on research in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. His work over the last 40 years is widely acknowledged as having had a major influence on Alzheimer’s disease research world-wide, particularly the collaborative studies conducted with Konrad Beyreuther in which they discovered the proteolytic neuronal origin of the Aß amyloid protein which causes Alzheimer’s disease. This work has led to the continued development of diagnostics and therapeutic strategies. More recently, his focus has been on describing the natural history of Alzheimer’s disease as a necessary preparatory step for therapeutic disease modification. Professor Masters is currently a Professor at the Florey Institute, the University of Melbourne. He is also a consultant at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. His achievements have been recognised by the receipt of many international awards.

Dr Jennifer Philip
VCCC Chair of Palliative Medicine, University of Melbourne, St Vincent’s Hospital and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. Jennifer is a palliative care clinician, researcher and teacher whose particular areas of interest include improving the ways supportive and palliative care are delivered, ensuring care is underpinned by high quality evidence and that it is delivered by well trained professionals and carers.

Professor Dominic Thyagarajan
Professor of Neuroscience and Director of Neurology at Monash Medical Centre; Instrumental in setting up the first interated stroke unit at Flinders Medical Centre and then the first comprehensive Deep Brain Stimulation program for movement disorders in South Australia.

Professor Linda Kristjanson
Vice-Chancellor of Swinburne University and champion of palliative care. During her academic career she has received more than $30m in competitive research funding from national bodies in Canada, USA and Australia and has published more than 200 refereed publications. She has developed a number of instruments to measure health care indicators, some of which have been translated into other languages. Professor Kristjanson was the lead researcher to produce the evidence-based National Guidelines for Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care, approved by NHMRC (2004).

Professor Patsy Yates
Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates, PhD, RN, FACN, FAAN is jointly appointed as Head, School of Nursing at Queensland University of Technology, Lead Researcher for the Cancer Nursing Professorial Precinct at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Director for Queensland Health’s statewide Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education (CPCRE). She has extensive experience in research, education and clinical practice in cancer and palliative care. She is the immediate Past-President of Palliative Care Australia and is President of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care

A/Professor Mark Slee
Mark Slee is a senior consultant neurologist and associate professor at Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre. His main clinical and academic interests are in neuroinflammatory diseases. He is clinical lead, Flinders Multiple Sclerosis service and Vice-Chair of the national MS research management council (MSRA).

Dr Fiona Runacres
Fiona Runacres ia a palliative care specialist with Calvary Health Care Bethlehem, and Monash Health in Melbourne, Victoria. She has a clinical interest in palliative care provision for patients with non-malignant disease, including providing neuro-palliative care for the Bethlehem-based State-wide Progressive Neurological Disease Service. Fiona has adjunct academic appointments with Monash University and The University of Notre Dame and is an early career researcher.

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