The Expert Committee
The Expert Committee membership is nationally representative, geographically diverse, gender-equitable and includes people with lived experience of TBI.
The Committee provides expertise in each of the areas of TBI Improvement Activities as defined in our Constitution, and makes recommendations regarding Connectivity’s activities, funding of research programs and the content of this website.
A Date Governance, Ethics and Risk sub-committee of the Expert Committee, will provide specific advice on matters related to data management, privacy, ethical considerations and risk associated with research.
Expert Committee Members
Terence J. O’Brien, MB, BS, MD, FRACP, FRCPE, FAHMS, FAES, is Chair of Medicine (Neurology) and Head, Central Clinical School, Monash University and Program Director, Alfred Brain and Deputy Director of Research, Alfred Health. He was formally The University of Melbourne’s James Stewart Chair of Medicine and Head, The Department of Medicine, The Royal Melbourne Hospitals (2008-17) and Van Cleef Roet Chair of Neuroscience at Monash University and Director of Neurology at Alfred Health (2017-20). He is a specialist in neurology and clinical pharmacology, with particular expertise in epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases, pre-clinical and clinical trials, and in-vivo imaging in animal models and humans. He did his clinical and research training at St. Vincent’s and Royal Melbourne Hospitals in Melbourne, and then the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA (1995-1998). He leads a large translational research team undertaking both basic studies and clinical studies focused on developing improved treatments for people with epilepsy and related brain diseases, including traumatic brain injury, dementias and brain tumours. He has been involved as a Principle Investigator in more than 100 commercially sponsored and investigator initiated trials of new treatments for epilepsy, dementias, headache, movement disorders, and new PET radiotracers. He has published >515 peer-reviewed original papers in leading scientific and medical journals which have been cited >20,300 times. He is currently the President of the Epilepsy Society of Australia (since 2018).
Professor Zsolt J. Balogh is a trauma surgeon, the Director of Trauma at the John Hunter Hospital and the Professor of Surgery and Traumatology at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
Dr Gary Mitchell
MB BaO FACEM
Staff Specialist - Emergency and Trauma Unit- Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital , Senior Lecturer- University of Queensland, Co-Chair- Jamieson Trauma Institute Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, Match Day/ Team Doctor – Australian Rugby Union, Queensland Rugby Union, Brothers Rugby Club.
Research interests in concussion assessment, management and interventions specifically biomarkers and objective measures of TBI. Working to improve pitch-side assessments of concussion, emergency department pathways and follow up procedures for acute injuries. Have formed multidisciplinary collaborations with medical specialities, universities and private industry with a hope to innovate and provide clinical direction to concussion research.
Prof Ownsworth is a clinical neuropsychologist (BA(Hons), PhD) with extensive experience in cognitive and psychosocial intervention research for people with acquired brain injury, including traumatic brain injury, brain tumour and stroke. Post PhD she was awarded a NHMRC Public Health Post-Doctoral fellowship (2002-2006). She is a Professor in the School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University and leads the Neuroscience Ageing and Dementia group of the Menzies Health Institute of Queensland. She has over 150 publications and has been a CI on grants totalling approximately $15.5 million, including clinical trials funded by the NHMRC, CONROD, Cancer Council Queensland and Medical Research Future Fund. Her research focuses on improving access to rehabilitation for individuals and families impacted by neurological disorders.
Jennie Ponsford, AO, BA (Hons), MA (Clin Neuropsych), PhD, MAPsS, is a Professor of Neuropsychology and Director of Clinical Programs in the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University and Director of the Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre at Epworth Hospital in Melbourne. She has spent 40 years engaged in clinical work and research with individuals with mild, moderate and severe traumatic brain injury, investigating outcomes and the efficacy of rehabilitative interventions, and publishing 2 books and over 370 journal articles and book chapters. She is Past-President of the International Neuropsychological Society, the International Association for the Study of Traumatic Brain Injury and the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment, and serves on the Executive of the International Brain Injury Association and Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment ASSBI. In 2013 she was awarded the Robert L. Moody prize for Distinguished Initiatives in Brain Injury and Rehabilitation, in 2015 the International Neuropsychological Society’s Paul Satz Career Mentoring Award and in 2017 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for her distinguished contributions to neuropsychology and seminal advances in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with traumatic brain injury.
Kate King is a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Trauma at John Hunter and John Hunter Children's Hospital in Newcastle NSW and a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle. Kate is a front-line worker looking after people who suffer Traumatic Brain Injuries in the acute phase of their care and across the whole spectrum from Concussion through to severe TBI. She is passionate about research that will improve the outcomes for everyone that is affected by TBI including patients, relatives, friends and workers. Kate is excited to be involved with Connectivity Traumatic Brain Injury.