SAHMRI. Fighting for our lives.

Our board

Mr Raymond Spencer
Mr Raymond Spencer

Mr Raymond Spencer was born in Adelaide and studied at the University of Adelaide. 

Raymond has extensive business experience derived from living and working in the USA, India and Europe and brings more than thirty-five years of leadership in international business, management planning, technology, finance, organisational culture and mergers and acquisitions. 

Raymond was appointed to the SAHMRI Board as Chairman on 21 December 2009. He is also Chairman of The Global Centre for Modern Ageing (GCMA) and Chairman or board member of a number of private and public companies in Australia and the U.S.A. He is an investor in and director of a number of private companies and is a member of the investment committee in three US-based venture funds. 

Highly experienced in directing international projects, Raymond has worked in eighteen countries including the United States, Australia, India, UK, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. He has also advised corporations and not-for-profit groups on organisational, cultural, and leadership initiatives.

Mr Alan Young AM
Deputy Chair
Mr Alan Young AM

Mr Young is Co-Founder and Joint Managing Director of Baker Young Stockbrokers Limited. He is also the current Founder/Chair of Belvidere Winery, Chair of the Australian Central School of Art, Chair of Solstice Media Ltd, Co-Founder/Chair of Flinders Medical Centre Foundation, Founder/Chair of Flinders Bio Medical Enterprises Pty Ltd, Director of Signostics Inc, Director of Hub IT Pty Ltd, and Member of Business Development Advisory Panel of St Vincent de Paul (SA) Inc. 

In 2009, Mr Young was awarded the Order of Australia as a Member in the General Division for service to the community, particularly through business advisory roles with health, medical research and education organisations. 

In 2013, Mr Young was made a Companion of the University, Flinders University an award recognizing his contribution to the University through his commitment to medical research. 

Mr Young’s strengths lie in funding, establishing and developing new businesses and endeavours to trade in the long-term, and in business management advice.

Professor Steve Wesselingh
Executive Director
Professor Steve Wesselingh

In October 2011 Professor Wesselingh took up the position as the inaugural Executive Director of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). Professor Wesselingh has also been appointed as the Infection and Immunity Theme Leader for the institute. 

Professor Wesselingh was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University, from 2007-2011. Prior to taking up the Deanship, he was Director of the Burnet Institute an independent medical research institute specialising in infectious diseases, immunology and public health. 

Professor Wesselingh undertook his undergraduate and doctoral training at Flinders University/Flinders Medical Centre in South Australia and his post-doctoral training at Johns Hopkins in the United States. 

Professor Wesselingh is an Infectious Diseases Physician and researcher in Neurovirology, HIV and vaccine development. He has consistently worked towards the integration of high quality medical research with health-care delivery, leading to improved health outcomes for Australia and the poorly resourced countries of the region.

Emeritus Professor John Hopwood AM FAA
Emeritus Professor John Hopwood AM FAA

Professor Hopwood established the Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit (LDRU) - a large multidisciplinary group researching lysosomal storage disorders nationally and internationally. 

Under Professor Hopwood's stewardship, the LDRU has become world-renowned for its research capabilities in this area and the translation of research findings into state-of-the-art diagnostic services and therapeutics. The LDRU has remained at the international forefront of research into the diagnosis, treatment and biology of lysosomal diseases. 

The LDRU has generated several world firsts, particularly the isolation of the genes involved in some of these disorders and the development of first-ever FDA- approved treatments for two disorders, which in 2005 and 2006 were marketed world-wide. These outcomes have led to improved quality of life for patients and multi-million dollar royalty returns to South Australia. This represents one of the largest public sector commercialisation outcomes in South Australia and possibly Australia. 

Professor Hopwood has mentored 23 PhD students and 35 Post-Doctoral scientists; has over 400 peer-reviewed scientific publications, over 30 international patents and over $35 million in competitive research funding.

Professor Alastair Burt
Professor Alastair Burt

Professor Alastair Burt is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide. He was born in Dunfermline, Scotland and is a graduate of the University of Glasgow where he obtained a BSc in Pathology with first class Honours in 1979, MBChB with commendation in 1981 and MD with Honours and the Bellahouston medal in 1991.  

Upon graduation he was a junior house officer in general medicine with Professor Sir Abraham Goldberg and junior house officer in general surgery with Professor Sir David Carter.  He subsequently took up training in surgical pathology under the tutorage of Professor Sir Roddy MacSween.  During this time he developed expertise in diagnostic pathology of the liver and a keen interest in pathogenesis of liver disease and in particular mechanisms of liver fibrosis.  In 1985-86 he spent time in the lab for cell biology and histology at Free University of Brussels under the direction of Professor Eddie Wisse.  

On return to the UK and on completion of his postgraduate training in Surgical Pathology he moved to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne to become Senior Lecturer in Pathology and Honorary consultant Histopathologist. He was promoted to a personal Chair in Hepatopathology in 1995 and then the established Chair of Pathology in 1998.  He became Dean of Clinical Medicine at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2005.  

He moved to South Australia in January 2013 to take up the post of Dean of Medicine and Head of the School of Medicine.  In August 2014 he became acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and was appointed to the substantive role in December 2014.  He continues to maintain a research interest in liver disease and is Editor in Chief of the principal international text book  in his field, MacSweens Pathology of the Liver, now into its 7th edition.  In addition he is Editor in Chief of the peer reviewed journal, Histopathology.

Professor Robert Saint
Professor Robert Saint

Robert Saint is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Flinders University. He gained his undergraduate, honours and PhD degrees from the University of Adelaide, studying gene structure and expression in the earliest days of recombinant DNA technology.

He was a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University and NHMRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Walter and Eliza Hall Inst. He then worked at the CSIRO before moving to the University of Adelaide in 1989, where he pioneered research into cell cycle control during animal development.

In 1994 he was appointed Professor of Genetics at the University of Adelaide and from 2000-2008 he was Director of the Australian Research Council Special Research Centre for the Molecular Genetics of Development, which began at the University of Adelaide before expanding into the ANU following Professor Saint’s move there in 2002 to take up the position of Professor of Molecular Genetics and Evolution.

In 2009 he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne. He was elected a Member of the Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network and has been awarded the Julian Wells Medal of the Lorne Genome Conference, the MJD White lectureship of the Genetics Society of Australia and the President’s medal of the Aust. New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology. He has been a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts, served on NHMRC Grant Review Panels and the Human Frontier Science Program Grant Review Panel.

From 2012 to 2014 he was a standing member of the Prime Minister’s Science Engineering and Innovation Council. His research focuses on the genetic and molecular regulation of cell behaviour during animal development.

Ross Haslam
Ross Haslam

Ross Haslam was appointed as a Director to the SAHMRI Board in July, 2018. Having established himself as one of South Australia’s most highly respected accountants, and with extensive expertise in corporate responsibility, audit procedures, investment due diligence and company restructures, Ross brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience to SAHMRI. Additionally, with a special interest in risk management, he oversees the Risk, Finance and Audit Committee at SAHMRI.

Ross has widespread experience across the health sector (SAHLN, WCHN, FMC) and also holds a current Director position at Port Adelaide Football Club (AFL). His previous positions include Chair of Flinders Medical Centre, Scotch College Adelaide and Michell Holding Pty Ltd.

Ross gained a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from the University of Adelaide and is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand.

Jennifer Richter
Jennifer Richter

Jenny Richter was appointed as a Director to the SAHMRI Board in February 2018.

Jenny has over 30 years’ experience in the health sector, commencing her career as a Registered Nurse, before gaining significant leadership experience as an administrator and executive in the public and private hospital sectors, community nursing, with public private partnership projects, and within the SA public health system.

Jenny’s previous roles include Deputy Chief Executive for SA Health, a position she held for five years, and more recently as CEO of Central Adelaide Local Health Network where achievements included the development of the Clinical Trials Centre at the new RAH.

Before joining SA Health, Jenny was an Executive Director with the Plenary Group advising on health service planning and infrastructure projects. This included working with Plenary Group on the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.  Jenny also has significant experience in areas of Hospital and Health service and facility planning, and health service performance both in Australia and the UK.

Jenny is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian College of Heath Service Management and a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing Australia.  She has a Master of Business Administration, a Grad Dip in Health Administration and a Bachelor of Arts.

Professor Caroline McMillen
Professor Caroline McMillen

Professor Caroline McMillen commenced in the role as Chief Scientist for South Australia in October 2018 after serving as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle for 7 years from 2011.

She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales and a Bragg Member of the Royal Institution, Australia.  She holds a BA (Honours) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and completed her medical training graduating with an MB, BChir from the University of Cambridge. She has served in academic leadership positions at Monash University, the University of Adelaide and at the University of South Australia where she held the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation prior to her move to Newcastle.  

Professor McMillen’s research focusses on the role of the environment in early development in determining the metabolic and cardiovascular health of the offspring in later life. Her research group was funded for two decades by both the ARC and the NHMRC, she was a member of the PMSEIC Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health focusing on maternal, fetal and post-natal health and she has been a chair and member of international and national research policy, review and assessment panels. She has also served on a range of industry boards including the National Automotive Industry Innovation Council, Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Automotive Technology, Cooperative Research Centre for Rail Innovation, the South Australian Premier’s Climate Change Council, the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council as well as a range of state industry and government leadership groups.

Professor McMillen has been invited to speak in international and national fora on the critical role of STEMM in driving innovation and on the role of universities as national and regional catalysts of economic and social transition. Throughout her career she has been committed to building collaborations between universities, government, industry and communities which deliver a positive impact on the economic, social and cultural health of Australia. She was honoured at the end of her term as Vice-Chancellor to be presented with the Key to the City of Newcastle by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle.

You can't miss us

North Terrace
Adelaide 5000
South Australia

Postal address

PO Box 11060
Adelaide 5001
South Australia


Key partners

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SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people.

The SAHMRI community acknowledges and pays respect to the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region. We also acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and the relationship of the Kaurna people to their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna peoples' ancestors and the living Kaurna people today.