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SAHMRI. Inspired research, better health for all.
SAHMRI

Our executive team

SAHMRI
Professor Steve Wesselingh
Executive Director
Professor Steve Wesselingh

In October 2011 Professor Wesselingh was appointed inaugural Executive Director of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). 

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. 

John Ranaldo
Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary
John Ranaldo

John Ranaldo is responsible for the financial management, systems and reporting at SAHMRI, at both a strategic and operational level. He has over 25 years’ experience in professional and executive roles across multiple sectors. Prior to joining SAHMRI he was the Finance Director of Babcock Australasia, a defence and aviation engineering services organisation part of the London Stock Exchange listed Babcock International Group . Prior to this, he was a Partner at KPMG.  He has a Bachelor of Accounting (UniSA), is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Professor Alex Brown
Aboriginal Health Equity Theme Leader
Professor Alex Brown

Professor Alex Brown is the Program Leader, Aboriginal Research, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, based in Adelaide. Professor Brown is an Aboriginal doctor and researcher with extensive skills in Indigenous health research in rural and remote communities. He received his PhD in 2010, and in addition to his medical training has an MPH, FCSANZ and is an honorary fellow of the RACP.  

He has established an extensive and unique research program focused on chronic disease in vulnerable communities, with a particular focus on outlining and overcoming health disparities. He leads projects encompassing epidemiology, psychosocial determinants of chronic disease, mixed methods health services research in Aboriginal primary care and hospital settings, and randomised controlled trials of pharmacological and non-pharmacological chronic disease interventions. He has significant connections across the health system, policy environment and key government and NGO sector, particularly in relation to chronic disease burden and prevention.  

He sits on a range of national committees, including the Heart Foundation, chairs the Cardiac Society Indigenous Cardiovascular Council and was a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council (2009-2012). Over the past five years he has been principal investigator on over $5 million of research and has extensive research collaborations with university, academic, primary care, Aboriginal community control services, international partners and Indigenous community partners. 

Professor Maria Makrides
SAHMRI Women and Kids Theme Leader
Professor Maria Makrides

Maria Makrides was appointed Theme Leader for SAHMRI Women and Kids (formerly Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children) at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in August 2013. Maria has maintained her directorship of the Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) resulting in a significant research partnership in maternal and child health research. Maria and her team are internationally recognised for the conduct and translation of high quality nutritional intervention trial. 

Professor Timothy Hughes
Precision Medicine Theme Leader
Professor Timothy Hughes

Professor Timothy Hughes is the Precision Medicine Theme Leader at SAHMRI and Consultant Haematologist in the Division of Haematology at SA Pathology. He is also Chair of the International Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Foundation (iCMLf); Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS) and Beat Cancer Professor, University of Adelaide. 

Professor Hughes is an international expert in the biology and treatment of leukaemia. He led the establishment of the molecular response criteria that are used world-wide to measure response in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and has led many of the key Global and National trials. His group has successfully developed predictive bioassays that influence the way CML patients are managed world-wide. He has published over 250 papers that have been cited over 28,000 times.

Professor Chris Proud
Lifelong Health Theme Leader (Co)
Professor Chris Proud

In September 2014 Chris moved to Adelaide to take the position of Theme Leader: Nutrition and Metabolism at the SAHMRI, where he will continue his work on the control of protein metabolism in health and disease. This position evolved to Lifelong Health Theme Leader (Co) in 2019.

Professor Chris Proud has held numerous positions as lecturer, reader or professor in universities in the UK, Germany and Canada. 

When he first established his own laboratory at The University of Kent, his research focused on studying the signalling pathways that regulate protein synthesis in mammalian cells. At the University of Dundee, alongside his duties as Head of the Division of Molecular Physiology, he also coordinated the Medical Research Council Nutrient Sensing & Signalling Research Group. 

Chris worked at the University of Southampton from 2008 – 2014 where he led a substantial research team studying the mechanisms which control protein synthesis and ribosome biogenesis. He studied their roles in metabolic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders, and in normal and disease-associated neurological processes. 

Chris is also a Professor in Molecular and Biomedical Science at the University of Adelaide. 

Chris is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Biochemical Journal, f1000 Research and Translation. He holds a Visiting Professorship at China Ocean University in Qingdao. In addition to leading his growing research group at SAHMRI, he also supervises researchers in Southampton and in Milan, Italy. In the UK, he holds research funding from the Wellcome Trust, the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council, Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, The Medical Research Council, AstraZeneca, Diabetes UK and the Gerald Kerkut Trust. 

His research at SAHMRI includes studies on the roles of controlling protein synthesis in neurological processes and in stroke; the regulation of protein synthesis in heart and muscle; cancer cell biology; and the molecular mechanisms involved in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. 

In January 2016 Professor Chris Proud was announced as the new Director of the Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit (LDRU). Chris succeeds Professor John Hopwood who founded the unit in the mid 1970’s to improve the diagnosis of lysosomal storage disorders and to develop treatments. John made key discoveries into how these diseases occur and, crucially, was able to use this information to develop new treatments. 

Recently the group have widened their area of research to include investigation into the causes of other major neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntingdon’s disease. It is thought the underlying cause of these diseases is also related to defects in the cell’s recycling centre – the lysosome. 

In addition, LDRU researchers are studying new aspects of childhood disorders – including potential treatments for a childhood-onset form of dementia called Sanfilippo syndrome and investigating the changes in the brain which lead to autism. 

Associate Professor Peter Psaltis
Lifelong Health Theme Leader (Co)
Associate Professor Peter Psaltis

Associate Professor Peter Psaltis is the Co-Leader of SAHMRI's Lifelong Health theme and Head of the Heart and Vascular Health Program. He is an Academic Interventional Cardiologist who holds Level 2 NHMRC Career Development and National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowships. Associate Professor Psaltis also has Faculty positions within the University of Adelaide and Central Adelaide Local Health Network.

Associate Professor Psaltis' bench-to-bedside program is dedicated to the study of vascular inflammation, innate immunity and atherosclerosis, with specific focus on the developmental origins, molecular and pharmacological regulation of macrophages in healthy and diseased vasculature and other tissues, and the applications of stem/progenitor cells in cardiovascular therapeutics. He has served as Associate Editor for Heart, Lung and Circulation since 2015 and is on the editorial boards of Cardiovascular ResearchJournal of Geriatric Cardiology and Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy  Among national leadership positions, 

Associate Professor Psaltis is President of the Australian Atherosclerosis Society, Scientific Program Chair for the 2020 Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting, National Lead of the CLEAR Outcomes (Esperion Therapeutics) and COCOMO-ACS (NHMRC) clinical trials, and Imaging Core Laboratory Head for the multinational HUYGENS study (AMGEN).

 

Professor Deb White
Precision Medicine Deputy Theme Leader and Director of the Cancer Program
Professor Deb White

Professor Deb White is the Director of Cancer Research and Deputy Cancer Theme Leader at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in Adelaide. Deb is a Principal Research Fellow with SAHMRI, and a Professor in both Medicine and Paediatrics at the University of Adelaide. In addition, she is a Fellow of the Faculty of Science (Royal College of Pathologists of Australia) a member of the American, European and Australian Societies of Haematology and the International Children’s Oncology Group (COG). 

Deb holds Grants (peer reviewed) from The William Lawrence and Blanche Hughes Foundation (USA), the NHMRC, the Leukaemia Foundation Australia (LFA), Channel 7 and the Cancer Council SA (CCSA) to continue her work on the underlying disease biology, drug transport and mechanisms of resistance in CML, Ph+ and Ph-like ALL. Over the last 5 years she has presented more than 130 papers at scientific meetings (both invited and peer reviewed) and has authored more than 40 scientific publications on CML and ALL, as well as being an inventor on several patents. 

Deb is a member of the NHMRC Academy, the NHMRC Women in Health Science Executive Committee and was recently recognised as the 2014 Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Leading Light for her Medical Research. 

Prior to joining SAHMRI Deb was employed as the Scientific Head of Haematology research at SA Pathology.  

Professor Caroline Miller
Executive Officer
Professor Caroline Miller

In 2012, Professor Caroline Miller was appointed as SAHMRI’s Executive Officer. Professor Miller also leads a program of research in population health, focused on tobacco control and obesity prevention. She is a Beat Cancer Project Principal Research Fellow. Caroline has qualifications in psychology, public health and economics. Prior to joining SAHMRI, Professor Miller was General Manager, Cancer Control at Cancer Council. 

Heather Croucher
General Counsel and Company Secretary
Heather Croucher

Heather Croucher is responsible for the management of legal risks affecting SAHMRI. Heather has over 25 years’ legal experience, having previously been a partner with a large private law firm in South Australia, worked with the SA Crown Solicitor’s Office and held in-house roles in the public and private sectors. 

Sophia Degner
Director, Research and Facility Services
Sophia Degner

Sophia Degner joined SAHMRI in 2016 and is responsible for the management of core facilities and research and building infrastructure within SAHMRI. She has over 30 years’ experience in conducting research and in various management roles, including laboratory, operations, project and events. Prior to joining SAHMRI, Sophia was the Operations Manager for the University of Adelaide, Barley Breeding Program based at the Waite Campus.

Collette Ordish
Human Resources Manager
Collette Ordish

Collette has a Degree in Business and Commerce majoring in Human Resources Management and Business Law from Monash University and over 15 years HR experience across the Health, Aged Care and Hospitality industries. Collette’s history working within the health industry has included working regionally at the Murray Bridge Soldier’s Memorial Hospital and Murray Mallee Community Health Service in both a HR and Management capacity.

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North Terrace
Adelaide 5000
South Australia

Postal address

PO Box 11060
Adelaide 5001
South Australia

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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.