Our people

From our International Scientific Advisory Board to world-leading allergy researchers, each member of our team is committed to helping transform the lives of Australians living with allergic disease.

Professor Kirsten Perrett, Director

Professor Kirsten Perrett is Director of the National Allergy Centre of Excellence (NACE) and the Centre for Food & Allergy Research (CFAR), hosted at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI). She is also Group Leader of the MCRI Population Allergy Group; a Paediatric Allergist and Vaccinologist at The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne and an Honorary Principal Fellow at The University of Melbourne. Prof Perrett has received more than $47 million in competitive, government, philanthropic and industry research funding and has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. Her research has helped shape world-wide changes to food allergy prevention, diagnosis and management. 

Executive Committee

An appointed Executive Committee includes the NACE Director and four Pillar Leads. The Executive Committee is responsible to the Federal Government for delivering the NACE activities. The NACE International Scientific Advisory Board and Management Office support the Executive Committee. 

Leadership Group

The NACE Leadership Group includes the Executive Committee and elected Co-chairs of the four research Stream Advisory Groups.

Pillar Project Experts

  • Tanya O'Farrell, Allergy Research Pillar, Senior Project Officer
  • Danielle West, Allergy Research Pillar, Study Coordinator
  • Sweety Mathew, Repository and Discovery Pillar, Project Manager
  • Julius Agbeve, BioRepository and Discovery Data Manager
  • Dr Catherine Hornung, Evidence and Translation Pillar, Research Manager
  • Professor Adrian Lowe, Evidence and Translation Pillar, Advisor
  • Associate Professor Emily Karahalios, Evidence and Translation Pillar, Statistician
  • Rani Scott Farmer, Evidence and Translation Pillar, Research Assistant

NACE Streams

Streams for each allergy discipline – drug, food, insect and respiratory – act as a sustainable framework for collaboration and communication among allergy researchers across Australia, and contribute to the activities of the NACE related to each Stream of research. Stream membership is free and open to anyone to join with cross-discipline membership encouraged. An elected Stream Advisory Group leads each Stream. Become a NACE member

NACE org chart

Stream Advisory Groups

The groups comprise of voluntary representatives from a range of expertise, including clinical trials, laboratory science, epidemiology and more. Each group elected two co-Chairs in 2022, who also form part of the Leadership Group. Stream Advisory Groups meet quarterly and provide advice and input into the NACE Pillar activities on behalf of the wider Stream each represents.

Drug allergy

  • Co-chairs: Professor Michaela Lucas and Associate Professor Jason Trubiano 
  • Group members: Dr Sara Barnes, Professor Andrew Carr, Professor Suran Fernando, Dr Jason Fok, Dr Alka Garg, Dr Pravin Hissaria, Dr Jamma Li, Associate Professor Katrina Randall, Dr James Yun

Food allergy

  • Co-chairs: Associate Professor Debbie Palmer and Dr Michael O'Sullivan 
  • Group members: Dr Sarah Ashley, Professor Dianne Campbell, Dr Lara Ford, Dr Peter Hsu, Associate Professor Jennifer Koplin, Associate Professor Alice Lee, Dr Melanie Lloyd, Dr Paxton Loke, Professor Andreas Lopata, Dr Vicki McWilliam, Dr Merryn Netting, Dr Michael O'Sullivan, Professor Kirsten Perrett, Associate Professor Rachel Peters, Professor Tri Phan, Ms Sigrid Pitkin, Associate Professor Kristina Rueter, Dr Thimo Ruethers, Professor Richard Saffery, Dr Winnie Tong, Professor Valerie Verhasselt

Insect allergy

  • Co-chairs: Professor Sheryl van Nunen and Dr Troy Wanandy 
  • Group members: Dr Matthew Krummenacher, Dr Wun YJ Lau, Dr Adriana Le, Dr Emily Mulcahy, Dr Raymond Mullins, Dr Kymble Spriggs, Dr Chino Yuson, Dr Celia Zubrinich

Respiratory allergy

  • Co-chairs: Professor Janet Davies and Dr Joy Lee 
  • Group members: Associate Professor Raewyn Campbell Professor Jo Douglass, Professor Connie Katelaris, Dr Frank Kette, Professor Adrian Lowe, Professor Frank Thien 

International Scientific Advisory Board

Our International Scientific Advisory Board members generously volunteer their time and expertise to help the NACE deliver our vision of dramatically accelerating allergy research in Australia. The Board provides governance and strategic direction, including risk management, and supports the work of our Executive Committee.

  • Professor Hugh Sampson (Chair), Emeritus Director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York
  • Professor Elizabeth Phillips, drug allergy expert, Vanderbilt University
  • Professor Tony Basten, insect allergy expert , University of New South Wales
  • Dr Robert Boyle, food allergy expert, Imperial College London
  • Professor Stephen Durham, respiratory allergy expert, Royal Brompton Hospital London
  • Professor Mika Makela, Biobanks expert, Helsinki University Hospital
  • Associate Professor Britta Jeppesen, living evidence expert, Monash University

Consumer Advisory Group

The NACE Consumer Advisory Group provides essential lived-experience to help ensure the work of the NACE has a real-life impact for consumers, health professionals and the community.

  • Co-chair Kylie Gwynne, NSW, academic, lives with respiratory allergy 
  • Co-chair Lisa Gamble, SA, lawyer and consultant, lives with respiratory and drug allergy 
  • Janelle Williams, NSW, marketing consultant, lives with tick allergy and Mammalian Meat Allergy
  • Eleanor Jenkin, VIC, senior policy consultant, lives with a child who has food allergies
  • Wendy Lo, WA, school operations offer, lives with respiratory and food allergies 
  • Dr Andrew Fong, NSW, paediatric registrar, lives with respiratory and food allergies
  • Phillippa Hamilton, WA, paramedic and student, lives with a child who has food allergies
  • Debbie Sevels, VIC, clinical trials project manager, lives with a child who has food allergies
  • Candace Guile, WA, practice manager, lives with two children who have respiratory and food allergies
  • Micaela Diaz, QLD, lawyer, lives with respiratory and food allergies

Management Office

The appointed NACE Management Office supports the Executive Committee and oversees the NACE operations, partnerships, business management and communications.

  • Tenaya Jamieson, Program Manager
  • Dr Angela Young, Projects and Partnerships Manager
  • Harriet Edmund, Communications Manager
  • Thilanka Morawakage, Project Officer
  • Mark Farrell, Business and Operations Officer

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Proudly in partnership with the National Allergy Council and allergy organisations