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Invited Speakers

Tony Blakely

Professor Tony Blakely

Director of Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost Effectiveness, University of Otago and University of Melbourne

Tony is an epidemiologist. He has been at Otago University since 1998, and as of 2016 also holds an appointment at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Melbourne University.

Since 2010, he directs the NZ HRC-funded Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme (BODE³). This programme builds infrastructure (e.g. linked routine datasets) and capacity (e.g. epidemiological and economic decision modelling) to assess the health impact and cost effectiveness of preventative and cancer control interventions.
Tony initiated and implemented the New Zealand Census-Mortality Study (NZCMS) in the late 1990s, a pioneering study linking the national censuses with mortality data to allow monitoring and research on ethnic and socio-economic inequalities and the contribution of smoking to mortality.
Cutting across all Tony’s research is a strong focus and interest in epidemiological and quantitative research methodologies (e.g. causal mediation analysis, simulation modelling). He teaches short courses in epidemiological methods.

Andrew Cheng

Professor Andrew Cheng

Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

Professor Andrew T.A. Cheng received MD degree from National Taiwan University College of Medicine in 1974 and PhD degree from Institute of Psychiatry, University of London in 1987. He also received an academic title of DSc, medicine in Psychiatric Epidemiology from University of London in 2003.

He is Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. Since 1982, he has carried out epidemiological studies of mental disorders in Taiwanese Han and four major aboriginal peoples to investigate incidence, prevalence, genetic and environmental risk factors of mental disorders.

He also conducted the first psychological autopsy study of suicides in a non-western country to demonstrate that psychosocial and psychiatric risk factors for suicide are largely similar between East and West. He is Past President of IFPE in 2002-2007 and an honorary fellow.

Simon Gilbody

Professor Simon Gilbody, DPhil FRCPsych FRSA

Director of MHARG, Department of Health Sciences, University of York

Simon Gilbody is Professor of Psychological Medicine and Health Services Research at the University of York. He is Director of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group (MHARG) and an honorary consultant psychiatrist at Tees and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS Foundation Trust.

Simon holds first degrees in psychology and medicine, and he trained in psychiatry and CBT in the North of England. He held a four year fellowship with the UK Medical Research Council; training as a population scientist and health services researcher. In 2005 he founded the York Mental Health and Addictions Research Group (MHARG). The group has grown in size and reach and now includes 45 researchers, clinical academics and methodologists.

The overarching aim of his research programme is to ensure that publicly-funded mental health care is effective, efficient and equitable. He draws upon his clinical background to conduct large scale pragmatic trials of innovative approaches to treat common mental health problems and to help improve the physical health of people with severe mental illness.

Simon leads several of the largest publicly-funded trials for depression in the UK and the results of his CASPER trials to prevent depression in older people were published in JAMA. He serves on National funding boards and is Deputy Chair of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Commissioning Board.

Simon is Editorials Editor for the British Journal of Psychiatry and an Editor of the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Group. He was an inaugural NIHR senior investigator (2007-2011).

Dean McMillan

Dr Dean McMillan

Senior Lecturer, Department of Health Sciences, University of York

His main research interests are the development and evaluation of low-intensity psychological interventions, behavioural treatments, and the evaluation of screening and case-finding instruments for common mental health problems.

Kathleen Merikangas

Dr Kathleen Merikangas

Senior Investigator and Chief of the Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch in the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Dr Merikangas received a bachelor's degree summa cum laude in experimental psychology and music from the University of Notre Dame. She received clinical training through an NIAAA-sponsored master's program and internship at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she continued to conduct clinical research on the Affective Disorders Clinical Research Unit while she pursued a Ph.D. in chronic disease epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health. Through a Career Development Award from the NIMH, she completed postdoctoral training in population genetics/genetic epidemiology at the Yale University School of Medicine, where she joined the faculty and ultimately became a Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Psychiatry and Psychology and the Director of the Genetic Epidemiology Research Unit in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.

Wulf Rossler

Professor Wulf Rossler

President of IFPE
Prof em. University of Zurich (Switzerland)
Professor at University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Research Supervisor at Charité, University Medicine Berlin (Germany)

- Born 1947 in Germany
- Swiss and German citizen
- attended Medical School at University Heidelberg 1969-1975 and study of psychology (MSc) at University of Heidelberg 1976-1981
- training in general psychiatry, social medicine and rehabilitation at Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim (Germany)
- Full Professor of Clinical and Social Psychiatry at Zurich University (Switzerland) as well as Director and Chairman of the Medical Board at Psychiatric University Hospital “Burghölzli” 1996 - 2013
- 2013-2016 Senior Professor at Leuphana University Lüneburg (Germany)
- Since 2013 Professor of Post-Graduation at Institute of Psychiatry of Sao Paulo University
- Since 2015 President of the International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology
- Since 2016 Research Supervisor at Charité, University Medicine Berlin (Germany)
- Main research in psychiatric epidemiology and health services research
- Editor and author of textbooks in Social Psychiatry, Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Emergency Psychiatry, Prevention of Mental Disorders, Art Therapy
- Chief editor of Frontiers in Public Mental health

Athula Sumathipala

Professor Athula Sumathipala

Professor of Psychiatry, Director, Internationalization at the Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Keele University, UK

Professor Sumathipala graduated with an MBBS from the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, obtained a Diploma and MD in Family Medicine, MRCPsych (UK) an a PhD at the University of London.

His research interests are Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS) and extended through observational epidemiology to intervention studies, epidemiology of chronic disease and multi-morbidity, evaluation and implementation of complex interventions, using twin methods in the study of illness aetiology and ethics related to research. He is an international expert in bioethics.

His greatest contribution to science is the establishment of Institute for Research & Development in Sri Lanka and the population based Sri Lankan Twin Registry, which is a unique resource in the developing world. The IRD has been a vehicle for developing a series of large-scale local, international research projects and a cadre of high-caliber junior academics and reflected in output; research and publications.

Svetha Venkatesh

Professor Svetha Venkatesh

Alfred Deakin Professor and Director of Centre for Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics (PRaDA), Deakin University

Svetha Venkatesh is an Australian Laureate Fellow, an Alfred Deakin Professor and Director of Centre for Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics (PRaDA) at Deakin University. She was elected a Fellow of the International Association of Pattern Recognition in 2004 for contributions to formulation and extraction of semantics in multimedia data, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2006. In 2017 Professor Venkatesh was appointed an Australian Laureate Fellow, the highest individual award the Australian Research Council can bestow.

Ester Cerin

Professor Ester Cerin

ARC Future Fellow

Professor Ester Cerin is a psychologist and statistician. Her research interests focus on environmental and psychosocial determinants of lifestyle behaviours and health across the lifespan. She has held substantive academic positions in the USA and Hong Kong and currently leads a research program in Urban Spaces and Active Ageing in the Institute for Health and Ageing (Australian Catholic University), with intersecting interests in neighbourhood built environment, physical activity and cognitive and mental health. The program is supported by an ARC Future Fellowship and an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cognitive Health. She is also Honorary Professorial Fellow of Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute and the School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong.

Workshop Presenter

Tony Jorm

Prof Tony Jorm

Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne

Tony Jorm’s research focuses on building the community’s capacity for prevention and early intervention with mental disorders. He has published widely in the area of mental health, including many Delphi expert consensus studies to develop the content of interventions. He has been awarded a Doctor of Science for his research and elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He is an Associate Editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. He has been listed in ISI as one of the most cited researchers in Psychology/Psychiatry.

Andrew Mackinnon

Prof Andrew Mackinnon

Professor, Black Dog Institute, Australia


Nicola Reavley

Associate Professor Nicola Reavley

NHMRC Career Development Fellow, Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

A/Prof Reavley’s research focuses on improving public knowledge and beliefs about mental health problems, reducing stigma and discrimination and particularly on interventions that aim to improve support for those with mental health problems. She has led a number of Delphi expert consensus studies, including the development of guidelines for organisations supporting employees returning to work after an episode of anxiety or depression or implementing a strategy for the prevention of mental health problems, and guidelines for tertiary education institutions to support students with mental illness.

Symposium Chair

Louise Birrell

Ms Louise Birrell

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of NSW


Rohan Borschmann

Dr Rohan Borschmann

NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow and Psychologist, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute


Ian Colman

Dr Ian Colman

Associate Professor, School of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Ottawa


Amanda Cooklin

Dr Amanda Cooklin

Research Fellow, Post-Graduate Coordinator, The Transition to Contemporary Parenthood Program, La Trobe University


Jen Dykxhoorn

Ms Jen Dykxhoorn

Phd Candidate, University College London


Gururaj Gopalkrishna

Prof Gururaj Gopalkrishna

Senior Professor
National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences

Melissa Green

A/Prof Melissa Green

NHMRC Biomedical Career Development Fellow

Samuel Harvey

A/Prof Samuel Harvey

Lead for the Workplace Mental Health Program, the Black Dog Institute, University of NSW


Katherine Keyes

Dr Katherine Keyes

Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University


James Kirkbride

A/Prof James Kirkbride

Reader in Epidemiology
University College London


Marlene Briciet Lauritsen

A/Prof Marlene Briciet Lauritsen

Consultant, Head of Research Unit for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, A/Professor Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University Hospital

Rebecca McKetin

A/Prof Rebecca McKetin

Curtin Senior Research Fellow, Curtin University


Allison Milner

Dr Allison Milner

Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellow
Senior Lecturer
University of Melbourne

Craig Morgan

Prof Craig Morgan

Professor of Social Epidemiology and Head, Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King’s College London


Craig Olsson

Prof Craig Olsson

Developmental Psychologist and Scientific Director of the Australian Temperament Project Generation 3 Study

Martin Preisig

Prof Martin Preisig

Senior Psychiatrist, Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Lausanne


Perminder Sachdev

Prof Perminder Sachdev

Scientia Professor of Neuropsychiatry, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, UNSW Sydney

James Scott

A/Prof James Scott

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, UQ Centre for Clinical Research
University of Queensland

Matthew Spittal

A/Prof Matthew Spittal

Associate Professor of Biostatistics
University of Melbourne

Miranda van Hooff

Dr Miranda van Hooff

Director Of Research, Centre For Traumatic Stress Studies, University Of Adelaide


Roger Webb

Prof Roger Webb

Professor of Mental Health Epidemiology
University of Manchester

Harvey Whiteford

Prof Harvey Whiteford

Professor of Population Mental Health, School of Public Health,
University of Queensland


The speaker information on this website is correct at the time of providing, however, the organisers reserve the right to change the information where necessary without notice.


Department of Veterans' Affairs


University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

University of Melbourne

Department of Social Services

Safe Work Australia

RMIT University

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