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 Data Governance, Ethics and Risk sub-committee of the Expert Committee, provides specific advice on matters related to data management, privacy, ethical considerations and risk associated with research.
Expert Committee Members
Adjunct Professor Peter Reilly AO
Chair of Committee
Adjunct Professor Peter Reilly AOChair of Committee
Adjunct Professor of Neurosurgery, School of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide
Head Department of Neurosurgery Royal Adelaide Hospital retired in 2004.
President of the International Neurotrauma Society 2004 to 2006.
Past Chairman of the Neurotrauma Committee of the Asian Australasian Society of Neurological Surgery convening annual or biannual workshops on TBI to 2019.
Member of the WFNS Mass Casualty Committee.
Chairman Expert Review Committee Connectivity TBI Australia
Published particularly in field of brain injury: co-editor and co-author of several neurotrauma texts.
Dr Gary Mitchell
Dr Gary MitchellCommittee Member
Dr Gary Mitchell, MB BaO FACEM is a 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 Elizabeth Kendall
Prof Elizabeth KendallCommittee Member
Professor Elizabeth Kendall is a Professor of Disability and Rehabilitation at the Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffiths University, and is the Executive Director of The Hopkins Centre – Research for Rehabilitation and Resilience.
Since completing her PhD on Adjustment following Traumatic Injury in 1997, Prof Kendall has built a research agenda in rehabilitation and service systems for people who are managing the consequences of serious injuries, disabilities or chronic conditions.
As a part of her work, Prof Kendall has amassed over $50 million in research grants and consultancies; and has had over 200 publications in high quality journals including Social Science and Medicine, the American Journal of Public Health, Rehabilitation Psychology, and Disability and Rehabilitation. Prof Kendall has additionally designed and directed complex community evaluations, and randomised controlled trials of major health reform projects.
James Cooper AO
James Cooper AOCommittee Member
Professor D James (Jamie) Cooper AO BMBS MD FRACP FCICM FAHMS is Director of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre (ANZIC-RC), Head of the Acute and Critical Care Division in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM), all at Monash University; and Senior Specialist in Intensive Care at The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne.
In 2017, he was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to intensive care medicine in the field of traumatic brain injury as a clinician, and to medical education as an academic, researcher and author. He is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellow, full Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at Monash University and Hon. Professorial Fellow in the Critical Care and Trauma Division at The George Institute, University of Sydney. He has published >360 journal papers including 18 in New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Lancet, and Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
He has been a Principal or Co-investigator on peer reviewed research grants exceeding $75M including 38 NHMRC/MRFF grants. Research foci include randomised clinical trials in traumatic brain injury (TBI), sepsis, acute lung injury, resuscitation fluids, and blood transfusion. He has published three landmark trials including the DECRA trial (CIA NHMRC#314502), which demonstrated unexpectedly inferior long-term outcomes for an increasingly popular neurosurgical intervention (early decompressive craniectomy) that was opposite to apparent short-term benefits, and has initiated international TBI practice review. The trial results were fast tracked for NEJM publication (Cooper DJ, et al. 2011) and were editorialised in the Lancet as “one of the most important clinical trials of a therapy for severe TBI ever conducted”. The trial results have been a watershed in changing current practice and have proved invaluable from both an individual patient and community perspective. This was the first Level I evidence in this area and has been incorporated into the international Brain Trauma Foundation practice guidelines. Using alternative therapies will improve TBI patient outcomes and substantially reduce health care spending on lifetime care of severe disability survivors. DECRA was included in Yale University’s 50 most important papers of all time “that shaped the current clinical practice of neurology” and was also included in the “50 of the most important studies in Critical Care Medicine” by Harvard University and Oxford University Press.
Jennie PonsfordCommittee Member
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 KingCommittee Member
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.
Mark WalterfangCommittee Member
Mark Walterfang MBBS Hons PhD FRANZCP is a consultant psychiatrist and neuropsychiatrist, and deputy director of Neuropsychiatry, Royal Melbourne Hospital and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne.
He is a specialist in neuropsychiatry, in particular psychiatric aspects of brain injury, neurometabolic disorders, movement disorders, and young onset dementias. After completing his specialist psychiatric training in Brisbane and Melbourne, he completed his PhD in computational neuroimaging at the University of Melbourne, and is completing a second doctorate in neurometabolic disorders.
He runs the Huntington’s Disease outpatient clinic at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the longest-running clinic of its type in the world, in addition to having been a visiting psychiatrist to the ABI Unit at Epworth Richmond for almost 15 years. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed original papers in psychiatric, neurological, neuroimaging and metabolic medical journals.
Tamara OwnsworthCommittee Member
Prof Tamara 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.
Terry O’BrienCommittee Member
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 Principal 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).
Vicki AndersonCommittee Member
Dr Vicki Anderson BA (Hons), MA (Clin Neuropsych), PhD, FAPS, FASSA, FAAHMS, FASSBI is a paediatric clinical neuropsychologist and clinician researcher. She is currently Head, Psychology, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Professorial Fellow, Paediatrics & Psychology, University of Melbourne, and Director, Clinical Sciences Research, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
She is a past NHMRC Senior Practitioner Fellow (2009-2019). Her research and clinical interests are in disorders of childhood that impact on the brain, including both developmental and acquired disorders. Her recent work has focussed on translating her early career findings into clinical practice to optimise child outcomes from brain injury. Major translational achievements include: i) publication of the Test of Everyday Attention for Children, used by psychologists across the world; ii) development of easily accessed, low burden, e-health approaches to parent-focused psychosocial treatments as a means of maximising child outcomes; iii) development of a novel iPad delivered tool for assessing social cognition (PEERS).
Dr Anderson has authored over 500 peer-reviewed publications and 6 books, and her research has attracted $45M in competitive grant funding. She is an Associate Editor for Neuropsychology (APA) and the J Neuropsychology (BPS, UK). She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia, the Aust Psychological Society and the Aust Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and past president of the International Neuropsychological Society.
Zsolt BaloghCommittee Member
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.