Strategic Advisory Council

The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics is ultimately overseen by the Board of the Garvan Institute, but it seeks direction and advice from a diverse group of experts on its Strategic Advisory Council.

Dr Vivien Bonazzi

Vivien BonazziDr Vivien Bonazzi has a strong background and deep interest in understanding the applications of data science technologies to biomedical data and how these efforts can help improve our understanding, use and sustainability of biomedical data. She leads the Data Sustainability efforts within the Office for the Associate Director for Data Science, National Institutes of Health.

Dr Bonazzi came to the ADDS office from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) where she served as a Program Director for the computational biology and bioinformatics program and oversaw the portfolio of computational biology research and genomic data and analysis resource grants. 

She was also part of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) a trans-NIH Common Fund Initiative whose aims were to characterise the microbial communities found at several different sites on the human body and to analyse the role of these microbes in human health and disease. She was responsible for the bioinformatics and computational aspect of the project as well as managing several of the computational tools awards.

Prior to joining NHGRI, Dr Bonazzi was a Senior Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton managing several genome and protein bioinformatics projects. She has also held the positions of R&D Director for Bioinformatics at Invitrogen and Director of Gene Discovery at Celera Genomics where she was part of the team that sequenced and annotated the Human, Mouse and Drosophila genomes.  She currently serves on the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) executive committee and is Co-Chair of Group 2: Software methods and systems.


Dr Hugh Durrant-Whyte FAA


Hugh Durrant-Whyte is a Professor, ARC Federation Fellow and Director of the Centre for Translational Data Science at the University of Sydney. From 2010-2014, he was CEO of National ICT Australia (NICTA), and from 1995-2010 Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems and of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR).

He has published over 350 research papers and founded four successful start-up companies. He has won numerous awards and prizes for his work, including being named the 2010 NSW Scientist of the Year. He is an honorary fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia (HonFIEAus), a fellow of the IEEE (FIEEE), of the Academy of Technological Sciences (FTSE), of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA), and of the Royal Society of London (FRS). 

Dr Cathy Foley FTSE

SAB memberDr Foley is Chief at CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering (CMSE) Division. Dr Foley's career at CSIRO has been broad, influential and widely cited. Her research expertise covers solid state physics, such as devices, semiconductors, magnetics, superconductivity and nanotechnology.

Highlights of Dr Foley’s long career include leading the High Temperature Superconductivity (HTS) group in 1995,  developing the fabrication technology which is the basis of CSIRO’s successful HTS devices used in award-winning applications such as LANDTEM™ mineral exploration systems and THz imaging and other HTS superconducting electronics.

She has won 22 national and international awards and has a passion to support women in science, public awareness of science and the translation of research from the laboratory to create impact for society.  She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.


Professor Richard Gibbs AC, FRCPA (Hon)

Richard Gibbs

Professor Gibbs currently holds the rank and title of the Wofford Cain Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics and Director of the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center (HGSC) in Houston, Texas.

Professor Gibbs was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in 1986.  He moved to the USA where he performed key work on the molecular characterization of human genetic disease and the development of methods for mutation detection.   He provided an early leadership role for the Human Genome Project (HGP) and in 1997 founded the HGSC. Under his leadership the HGSC was one of five main groups to complete the HGP, and since has completed the genomes of many other species.

The HGSC has both contributed to major international large-scale genetics projects and focused upon the analysis of individual personal human genomes. It has been a major data producer for the national cancer genome programs, and in 2011 the HGSC collaborated with the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics at BCM to create the first Genetics Diagnostics Laboratory based on whole gene sequencing.

Professor Gibbs has served on the Advisory Council of the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute and has been the recipient of several awards and prizes. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2011, named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2011 and recognized as one of the 400 most influential biomedical scientists in the world in 2013.


Mr Mike Ralston FIBMS, FAIMS, FRCPA (Hon), FFSc (RCPA)

SABMr Ralston is one of the three RCPA nominees to the National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) and, as chair of the NPAAC Advisory and Planning Committee (APC), is one of the three executive office bearers of NPAAC. He has been heavily involved in establishing standards and guidelines for in-house  in vitro diagnostic medical devices, molecular testing for human genetic disease, national guidelines for direct to consumer genetic testing, and medical laboratory supervision.

Mr Ralston is also a member of the Standards Australia HE-029Clinical Laboratory Testing and In Vitro Diagnostic Test Systems Committee which maintains responsibility for the major Australian standard for clinical laboratory testing  AS-ISO 15189. He is a Board Member of the RCPA QAP Pty Ltd, the premier provider of  quality assurance programs for clinical laboratories in Australia, New Zealand and south east Asia.

Mr Ralston has been an active member of the RCPA Genetics Advisory Committee for the last eight years, and he was also a longstanding member of the DoHA Pathology Services Table Committee (PSTC) until the committee was disbanded in 2009, and was chair of the PSTC Genetics Subcommittee and has been on several MSAC supporting committees in the past evaluating proposed new genetic items. He was also one of the contributing authors of the NHMRC publication “Medical genetic testing – Information for health professionals” (published in 2010).


Professor Deborah Schofield

SABProfessor Schofield is Chair of Health Economics at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.  Her career has spanned the Australian Government public service, academia and clinical practice and she has a national and international reputation for her work in economic modelling of the health system.

Professor Schofield established the health micro simulation modelling program at the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, and placed Australia as the international leader in the application of micro simulation to health.  She was also a key developer of STINMOD, a model of income, government benefits and taxation used by the Federal government in every election and budget in the last decade.

Professor Schofield went on to hold senior positions in several Australian Government Departments including Director of Health Policy at The Treasury and Director, Acute Care, where she was responsible for management of $42 billion in public hospital funding under the Australian Health Care Agreements. She is now an international authority on the productivity impacts of illness and measurement of the cost effectiveness of interventions which impact across several government portfolios within clinical trials.


Professor David Weisbrot AM

Professor Weisbrot AM is Emeritus Professor of Law and Honorary Professorial Fellow in Medicine at Sydney University, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. David was President of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) from 1999-2009, where he led 15 major national inquiries, including those on the protection of human genetic information (Essentially Yours), gene patenting and human health, and privacy. David was a two-term Member of the Human Genetics Advisory Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and in 2010 received the NHMRC’s biennial award for The Most Outstanding Contribution to Health and Medical Research.

Professor Weisbrot was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 for ‘service to the law, in the areas of law reform, education and access to legal services, and through contributions to research, analysis and policy development on a range of matters of public interest’.


Professor Ingrid Winship

Professor Ingrid WinshipProfessor Ingrid Winship is the inaugural Chair of Adult Clinical Genetics at the University of Melbourne and the Executive Director of Research for Melbourne Health.

Professor Winship completed her medical training and postgraduate training in genetics and dermatology at the University of Cape Town, followed by a combined academic and clinical position there. In 1994, she joined the University of Auckland where she later became Professor of Clinical Genetics, Clinical Director of the Northern Regional Genetic Service and Chair of New Zealand's Genetic Technology Advisory Council.

Professor Winship has a wide range of clinical and research interests in inherited disorders, particularly those with adult onset, including familial cancer, and where foreknowledge of genotype may influence clinical or lifestyle measures to create positive patient outcomes. She has experience in gene discovery and in the translation of discovery into clinical practice. She has also highlighted the societal implications with research into the ethical, legal, cultural and psychosocial domains of genetic technology

Professor Winship is currently a member of the Victorian Cancer Agency, the Board of the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute and the Peter Doherty Institute Council. She is also a member of the NHMRC Human Genetic Advisory Committee.