The Research Council oversees the planning, governance, conduct and resourcing of research within the Kids Research Institute. The Council engages and advises the Hospital, NSW Health and the University of Sydney about priorities, strategies, resources and policy and procedures relating to paediatric research.
- Mr John Dunlop AM – Chair
- Ms Elizabeth Koff - Secretary
- Mr Daniel Petre AO
- Prof David Handelsman
- Professor Chris Cowell
- Professor Ian Alexander
- Professor Peter McIntyre
- Professor Kathryn North
- Ms Karyn Joyner
John Dunlop became a member of the Board of The Children's Hospital at Westmead in 1973 and was President from 1983 to 2005. He also served as Honorary Treasurer (1978-1981) and Vice President (1981-1983). He is an external member of a number of The Children's Hospital at Westmead's committees as well as a Director of the Children's Medical Research Institute and the Hospitals' Contribution Fund of Australia Limited and Chairman of HCF. Formerly Managing Director of Edwards, Dunlop & Company Limited, Mr Dunlop was a Director of Health Super Pty Ltd and Health Super Financial Services Pty Ltd between 2000 and 2007. In 1987 Mr Dunlop was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his work for child health.
Elizabeth commenced her health career as an Allied Health professional, gaining 13 years clinical and management experience in a number of teaching hospitals in New South Wales and Victoria.
Following completion of a Master of Public Health at Monash University in 1994, Elizabeth returned to the NSW health system and held a number of planning and service development roles. In 2001 Elizabeth was appointed Director of Health Service Development for South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service (SESAHS). This involved strategy and clinical planning for 11 hospitals providing a range of statewide and tertiary services. In 2005 Elizabeth was appointed Director of Population Health, Planning and Performance in the newly formed South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service(SESIAHS). In December 2007 Elizabeth was appointed Director of Clinical Operations for SESIAHS. This involved management of 21 hospitals, with an operating budget of $2 billion (AUD) and 14,000 employees.
In September 2010 Elizabeth was appointed Chief Executive of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (SCHN). SCHN brings together the Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead as a single entity and creates the largest paediatric facility in the state of New South Wales.
Daniel Petre has been at the forefront of the technology industry in Australia for more than 20 years. Prior to founding Netus (a technology investment company), he spent nine years at Microsoft including three years as Managing Director, Australia. He went on to found Ecorp, a subsidiary of Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL), which became Australia’s leading internet company. Mr Petre’s contribution to the not-for-profit sector has been extensive, with positions held on the Area Health Advisory Council for The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, the Advisory Board of HealthInsite and The UNSW Foundation, among many others. Mr Petre and wife Carolyn set up the Petre Foundation in 2000, which has funded research chairs both at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the Garvan Institute as well as a scholarship for university medallists at UNSW
David Handelsman is Australia’s first professor of Andrology (1996), inaugural Professor/Director, ANZAC Research Institute (1998), Head, Andrology Department, Concord Hospital (1999) and Associate Dean (Research Strategy), Sydney Medical School. After training in medicine (FRACP Endocrinology) and research (NHMRC Overseas Fellow, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow) he worked in the USA and Germany and has served on numerous research and health policy advisory bodies. He was awarded the RACP’s Susman Prize (1994), the inaugural AMA Men’s Health Award (2003) and Honorary Life Member, Endocrine Society of Australia (2008). Over a 30 years he has published 350 scientific papers, supervised 17 PhD students and 10 other graduate students while maintaining continuous funding from peer-reviewed and industry grants. He has served the Editorial Boards of 12 journals, been an invited reviewer for 97 peer-reviewed scientific journals and contributed to NHMRC peer-review for over 20 years serving on all types of grant committees.
Chris Cowell is Director of the Kids Research Institute at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. He has been Director of Clinical Research at the Hospital since 2005, a part-time position created to help advocate and develop clinical research and its infrastructure. A Clinical Professor of the University of Sydney, Prof Cowell trained as a paediatric endocrinologist in Toronto and Sydney and has extensive clinical experience in diabetes, growth, obesity-related metabolic syndrome and disorders of bone metabolism. His major research interests are the prevention of metabolic complications of obesity in teenagers and the effects of disease states on bone mass and bone geometry.
Ian Alexander is Head of the Gene Therapy Research Unit at the Kids Research Institute (a joint initiative with the Children's Medical Research Institute). His specific expertise and interests include virus-mediated gene transfer with a focus on target organs including the liver and bone marrow, both of which show great promise for the treatment of genetic disease in children. Prof Alexander’s team became the first in Australia to treat a genetic disease (SCID-X1) by gene therapy and he is recognised as a leader in the establishment of this exciting field in Australia. This is evidenced by his election as the inaugural president of the Australasian Gene Therapy Society in 2001, his appointment as Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Cellular Therapies Advisory Committee in 2007 and his recent appointment to the Editorial Board of Human Gene Therapy in 2009.
Peter McIntyre is Director of the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs), and a Senior Staff Specialist in Infectious Diseases at the Kids Research Institute. He has broad interests in vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs), particularly Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), Streptococcus pneumoniae and pertussis and VPDs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. He has been Chief Investigator for a number of vaccine trials, most recently a trial of the first dose of pertussis vaccine at birth rather than two months of age. He is a member of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia (CDNA) and the National Immunisation Committee (NIC). He has been an invited speaker at many international and national meetings and is the author of more than 150 scientific papers and book chapters.
Kathryn North is the Douglas Burrows Professor of Paediatrics and Associate Dean of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Clinical School, within the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Sydney. Trained as a paediatric physician, neurologist and clinical geneticist, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School before returning to Australia in 1995 as the recipient of the Children’s Hospital Research Career Development Award. At the Kids Research Institute, Prof North runs the Neurogenetics Clinical Service and is Head of the Institute for Neuroscience and Muscle Research. Prof North leads a large multi-disciplinary team who care for more than 1800 patients. Her research interests include the molecular basis of inherited muscle disorders, genes that influence skeletal muscle function and new therapies for muscular dystrophy and neurofibromatosis type 1.
Karyn Joyner is an experienced senior manager with more than 18 years experience in Laboratory Research, Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing, FMCG Scientific (R&D) Management, International Business and International Regulatory disciplines, Entrepreneurial Investment and most recently in University Research Business Development. This has included activities such as international research development, commercialisation of research outcomes and developing high performance teams.