Our team

The DNA Screen team

Led by Associate Professor Paul Lacaze, DNA Screen’s team of internationally recognised leaders in genomics, oncology, epidemiology, clinical genetics, and health policy aims to change outcomes for people who are living with a heightened risk of cancer or heart disease and are unaware of it. As A/Prof Lacaze says, “This type of preventive DNA testing will not only save lives by identifying people at high genetic risk of cancer and heart disease while they are still young and healthy, it will also save the Australian public healthcare system money by preventing thousands of cases of these diseases.”

Management team

Associate Professor Paul Lacaze

Project leader, DNA Screen

Paul is a pioneering researcher in public health genomics and population DNA screening. He holds a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship and leads the landmark DNA Screen study. He also leads the genomics research program for the ASPREE study, Australia’s largest randomised trial and genomic cohort of ageing. He is one of few Australian researchers to have designed, executed and analysed large genomic cohort studies (N > 10,000). He leads a parallel research stream focused on ethical, legal, social, health-economic and policy aspects of human genomics.

Jane Tiller

Project co-lead, DNA Screen

Jane (LLB(Hons)/BSc/MGenCouns) is a lawyer and genetic counsellor with a background in corporate law and a keen interest in the regulatory and ethical aspects of genomics and public health. She is a founding member of the Australian Genetic Non-Discrimination Working Group and currently undertakes a number of diverse roles, including Ethical, Legal and Social Adviser in Public Health Genomics at Monash University and Senior Project Coordinator with Australian Genomics.

Dr Adam Brotchie

Project manager, DNA Screen

Adam obtained a PhD in chemistry from The University of Melbourne in 2009. After postdoctoral training in Potsdam (Germany), he worked as a senior editor of leading materials science journals, including Advanced Materials (Wiley-VCH, Weinheim) and Nature Reviews Materials (Springer-Nature, London). In 2017, Adam returned to Australia, joining Monash University as a Senior Research Development Officer. He started as Project Manager of DNA Screen in September 2021.

Collaborators and clinical partners

Professor Roger Milne

Roger is an epidemiologist with expertise in the analysis of genetic and lifestyle data from observational studies. He joined Cancer Council Victoria in 2013 and was appointed the Cancer Epidemiology Division’s Head in 2017. He leads the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (Health 2020) and Australian Breakthrough Cancer Study. Roger’s work focuses on cancer epidemiology, including genetic and lifestyle-related risk factors, genetic and gene-environment interactions and DNA methylation.

Associate Professor Zanfina Ademi Delaney

Zanfina is Associate Professor of Health Economics and Outcomes Research and Lead Health Economist within the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety at Monash University. Previously, she was Deputy Director of the Centre of Cardiovascular Research and Education in Therapeutics. Zanfina specialises in health technology assessments, economic evaluations alongside clinical trials and clinical registries, and decision health economic modelling. Her research on cost-effectiveness has enabled key decision-makers to enact effective healthcare funding across the world.

Professor Martin Delatycki

Martin is the Medical Director of Victorian Clinical Genetics Services and Co-Director of the Bruce Lefroy Centre at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Martin has clinical and research interests in genetic screening and neurogenetics. He oversaw the setting up of a number of screening programs including those for cystic fibrosis and recessive conditions in the Jewish community. He is Co-Principal Investigator on a $20 million MRFF-funded study of genetic screening for reproductive risk entitled Mackenzie’s Mission.

Dr Tú Nguyen-Dumont

Tú is a molecular genomicist and bioinformatician, and emerging leader in breast and prostate cancer genomics. She obtained her PhD from Université Claude Bernard, Lyon (France). In 2017, she received a National Breast Cancer Foundation Career Development Fellowship and joined Monash University. She currently holds a Victorian Cancer Agency Mid-Career Fellowship. Tú is the genomics and bioinformatics lead of large-scale national and international research projects in cancer genomics. Her work has provided the evidence base for national clinical guidelines.

Professor Paul James

Paul is a clinical geneticist from Melbourne. He is the Director of the Parkville Familial Cancer Centre (Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre) and Head of Clinical Genetics in the Department of Genomic Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital). He is the group leader in Familial Cancer research at Peter MacCallum and leads a program of research involving familial disorders, supported by the Victoria Cancer Agency, Cancer Australia, National Breast Cancer Foundation and the NHMRC.

Professor Melissa Southey

Melissa is Chair of Precision Medicine at Monash Health, Director of Monash University’s new Biobanking Victoria initiative and Research Director of the Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium. Her work with multiple-case cancer families and heritable risk factors has provided the evidence base for best practice guidelines for the clinical management of individuals at high risk of the disease. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to epidemiology and precision medicine.

Professor John McNeil

John was Head of Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM) until January 2019. He was co-principal investigator of the joint US-Australia NIH-funded ASPREE trial of low-dose aspirin in the elderly, which is the largest prevention trial conducted within Australia. The results have changed aspirin prescribing internationally and the genetic substudies are yielding many valuable observations concerning diseases of ageing. His initiatives have led to SPHPM becoming a major centre for clinical quality registries.

Mary-Anne Young

Mary-Anne Young is the Head, Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. She is a recognised leader in genomic health at a national level with advanced clinical and research genetic counselling experience. Her research interests include investigating patient experiences of new genomic technologies and translation of findings into clinical practice. As well, novel models of genetic counselling and mainstreaming genetic information into clinical practice.

Professor John Zalcberg

Professor John Zalcberg is Head of the Cancer Research Program in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, providing academic leadership to a number of clinical quality registries. He holds the inaugural Tony Charlton Chair in Cancer Research at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

Professor Kristen Nowak

Kristen is Director, Office of Population Health Genomics, Western Australian Department of Health. Her policy office focuses on the translation of genomics technology and population screening methodology into public health systems, with an emphasis on rare diseases. Nationally, Kristen has been a member of the Standing Committee on Screening, the Project Reference Group for Health Genomics, and the chair of the Newborn Bloodspot Screening Program Management Committee.

Professor Ingrid Winship

Professor Winship is the Chair of Adult Clinical Genetics at the University of Melbourne and Director of Genomic Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. She is also the Group Director Research for Epworth Healthcare. Professor Winship is a member of the NHMRC Council and Chair of the Australian Health Ethics Committee. She is a Director of the Boards of the Human Genome Organisation, Global Variome and the Australian Genome Research Facility.

Professor David Thomas

David is a clinician-scientist at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and CEO of Omico. His focus is on the application of genomic technologies to the understanding and management of cancer. David founded the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group, Australia’s leading adolescent and young adult cancer unit at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre. He is a past President of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, the peak body in this field.

Dr Fiona Bruinsma

Fiona is Senior Manager, Research Co-ordination, Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria (CCV). She is an epidemiologist with over 20 years’ experience, primarily in cancer epidemiology. Since joining CCV in 2011, she has been closely involved in the development and initiation of the Australian Breakthrough Cancer Study. Fiona has also coordinated studies investigating lifestyle and genetic risk factors for prostate and kidney cancer, multiple myeloma and other less common cancers. Her interest is in developing best-practice ways to communicate genetic test results.

Professor Gerald Watts

Gerald trained at Imperial & King’s College, London University, and was a scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford University. He is senior consultant physician, specialising in the rapidly developing field of cardio-metabolic medicine, and the current chair of the Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Australasia Network. He leads the Cardio-metabolic Service in the Departments of Cardiology and Internal Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital and is Winthrop Professor of Cardio-metabolic Medicine in the University of Western Australia.

Bronwyn Terrill

Bronwyn is an educator and researcher at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Australian Genomics. Her work is focused on approaches to engage and educate public and professional audiences with genomic medicine. Bronwyn has collaborated on projects in workforce education, genetic literacy, and community engagement with genomics in scientific and cultural centres across Australia, US and UK. She holds a conjoint role with the School of Clinical Medicine, UNSW Sydney.

Professor Stephen Nicholls

Steve is Director of MonashHeart, Professor of Cardiology and Director of the Victorian Heart Institute at Monash University. His research focuses on preclinical mechanisms of atherosclerosis, plaque imaging and clinical trials of cardioprotective therapies. He is President-elect of the Cardiac Society of ANZ and Australian Atherosclerosis Society, Treasurer of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance, Chair of the Scientific Committee of the ANZ Alliance for Cardiovascular Trials and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Dr Judy Kirk

Judy is a specialist in cancer genetics with 40 years’ experience in cancer care. She gained her medical degree at Sydney University in 1980, training in paediatric oncology and then molecular genetics. She is the Director of the Familial Cancer Service at Westmead, which provides genetic counselling and testing for families with a strong history of cancer. She has played a leading role in research in the new discipline of familial aspects of cancer in Australia.

Professor Finlay Macrae

Finlay is a clinical research investigator focusing on early diagnosis and familial colorectal cancer. He has instituted randomised controlled trials of diet and aspirin which have provided high-level evidence to support guidelines in Australia and overseas for prevention of colorectal cancer. He manages the international databases of variants responsible for inherited colorectal cancer. His research has been recognised with several awards in Australia and by the Australian Government.

Dr Lesley Andrews

Lesley is Head of the Hereditary Cancer Clinic at the Prince of Wales Hospital, where she cares for families with a wide range of familial cancer syndromes. Her career in hereditary cancer began 25 years ago as co-ordinator of the Sydney Jewish Breast Ovarian Cancer Study. She has since helped establish risk-management clinics for women at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and her research led to free testing for BRCA Jewish founder mutation being offered in NSW.

Dr Nicholas Pachter

Nicholas is Director of Genetic Services of Western Australia, and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia and Curtin University, where he focusses on the diagnosis and management of inherited cancer and inherited cardiac disorders. Nicholas is the Chair of the Specialist Advisory Committee in Clinical Genetics (Royal Australasian College of Physicians), and a member of the Cancer Genetics reference committee for EviQ, which provides health professionals and patients evidence-based, best-practice treatment protocols and information.

Associate Professor Kathy Tucker

Kathy founded Australia’s first Familial Cancer Service in 1994 and is former head of the Hereditary Cancer Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital, where she is currently based. She led the development of telehealth for cancer genetic patients, and is the clinical geneticist on several national Zero Childhood Cancer Projects and the Genetic Cancer Risk in the Young (RisC) study. She was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2018 for her work.

Dr Mathew Wallis

Mathew is a professional clinical geneticist and clinical director of the Tasmanian Clinical Genetics Service. His primary research interests are translational projects that address, and meet the challenges arising from, the recent and rapid incorporation of genomics and personalised medicine into public health and clinical practice. Mathew has strong research connections and is committed to undertaking collaborative strategies that pool resources and knowledge in Tasmania and link them to other initiatives.

Dr Nicola Poplawski

Nicola is a clinical geneticist and paediatrician. She is the Medical Unit Head of the Adult Genetics Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia. Nicola’s interests include genetic education for the public, families and health care professionals. Her research focuses on clinical aspects of inherited diseases, including familial haematological neoplasia and cancer.

Dr Andrew Bakshi

Andrew is a genomics researcher with a background in cancer research. After completing a Masters in Science (Bioinformatics), he spent three years working in statistical genetics research, before undertaking a PhD in prostate cancer genomics. As of 2021, he has been employed as a research fellow in the Public Health Genomics group at Monash University, with a focus on understanding biomarkers that predict risk of disease.

Jerico Revote

Jerico is a Research DevOps Systems Engineer within the Monash eResearch Centre. He has over 15 years of experience working on enterprise and state-of-the-art research infrastructures. Jerico has established a wide range of technology research capabilities used by hundreds of national and international researchers.

Consumer/patient group partners

Mr Simon von Saldern

Healthy Male

Health has been a common theme throughout Simon’s career—from fundraising to public relations, marketing, and management. As CEO and Director of Healthy Male, Simon’s goal is to make a sustainable difference in the area of male health by ensuring that men have the tools they need to lead healthier lives. Simon’s experience in various leadership roles throughout his career means he is exceptional at bringing different groups and organisations together for the same outcome.

Sarah Powell

Pink Hope

Sarah was diagnosed with breast cancer at 29 years old and subsequently found out she has a BRCA1 mutation. With two young children who may have inherited this increased risk of cancer, she has been a passionate advocate and supporter of Pink Hope since its inception. As CEO, Sarah brings to Pink Hope a background incorporate banking and events management and being a high-risk individual herself, she knows exactly what’s important to the Pink Hope community.

Toni Rice

Clinical Advisory Committee - Consumer Advisor

Toni is Non Executive Director, Lynch Syndrome Australia and has been a volunteer consumer with Lynch Syndrome Australia since 2013. She is committed to ensuring that the consumer's voice is essential for all research activities. Toni has a background in project management. One of the key achievements of Lynch Syndrome Australia which Toni coordinated with other members of the team was the consumer-led research and report ‘Misdiagnosed, misunderstood and missing out: Lynch Syndrome, Australia's untold healthstory’.

Professor Gerald Watts

Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Australasia Network

Gerald trained at Imperial & King’s College, London University, and was a scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford University. He is senior consultant physician, specialising in the rapidly developing field of cardio-metabolic medicine, and the current chair of the Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Australasia Network. He leads the Cardio-metabolic Service in the Departments of Cardiology and Internal Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital and is Winthrop Professor of Cardio-metabolic Medicine in the University of Western Australia.

International advisors

Robert C. Green, MD, MPH

Robert is a physician-scientist and Professor of Medicine (Genetics) at Harvard Medical School who directs the Genomes2People Research Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Ariadne Labs and the Broad Institute. Robert’s empirical research and policy development is accelerating the implementation of genomic and precision medicine. He currently co-leads the first empirical trial of comprehensive sequencing in healthy newborn infants and has established the world’s first academically-affiliated, family-oriented Preventive Genomics Clinic in Boston.

Management Team
Collaborators and clinical partners
Consumer/patient group partner
International Advisors