The Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute Leadership Advisory Board (ARMILAB)

ARMILAB enhances the reputation and positioning of the Institute by liaising with key stakeholders including business, government, media and the broader community.

ARMILAB works closely with senior management to promote the vision, role and accomplishments of the Institute. It helps ARMI achieve its goals through:

  • advocacy
  • contributing experience and insight
  • supporting and mentoring the Institute’s Director and its leadership
  • supporting the Institute’s fundraising objectives by assisting the Institute and Monash Advancement to build key philanthropic, donor and funding relationships.

ARMILAB members

Andrew Dyer (Chair)
Emeritus Professor Claude Bernard
Professor Kim Cornish
Professor Peter Currie
Dr Patrick Hughes
Jeremy Nestel
Dr Peter Rogers
Duncan Thomson
Sonya Walker

Andrew Dyer (Chair)

Andrew is a company director and serves on a number of boards including Cancer Council Victoria and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He is also the National Windfarm Commissioner for the Australian Federal Government.

Andrew’s professional career includes executive and operational roles in the utilities, telecommunications, information technology and professional services industries, primarily in Australia, Asia, the United States and Latin America. He continues to advise a number of organisations in the private and public sectors and specialises in governance and operational performance.

In addition to his board roles, Andrew is a Professorial Fellow at Monash University, where he assists with the University’s industry engagement programs and lectures at the Monash Business School. He is a member of the Monash University Industry Council of Advisors (MICA), the Monash Engineering Foundation and serves on advisory boards for the Monash Business School, the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash Sustainability Institute and ClimateWorks Australia.

Previous board roles include Chairman of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Council and serving on the boards the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Grampians Water, East Grampians Health Service and BrightSource Energy Australia.

Immediately prior to his board career, Andrew was the Victorian Government Commissioner to the Americas, based in San Francisco, where he facilitated a number of significant trade and investment outcomes for Victoria and Australia.

A former McKinsey & Co. consultant, Andrew holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with first class honours from Monash University and an MBA from Georgetown University in Washington DC. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Emeritus Professor Claude Bernard

Emeritus Professor Claude Bernard undertook a Master of Sciences in Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine, Montreal followed by a Doctorate in the same field (1973). Claude then completed a Doctorate es Sciences (DSc) d’Etat, University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France (1978).

During his research and teaching career spanning more than 45 years, Claude’s employment, invitations, awards and collaborations are extensive. He has worked at the University of Alberta, Canada; the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia; LaTrobe University, and Monash University MISCL and ARMI. He has undertaken several sabbaticals during his research career at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (1985), Department of Neurology & Neurological Sciences at Stanford University, USA (1991); San Raffaele Scientific Institute Milano, Italy; and the Laboratoire d’Immunologie Faculté de Médecine de Nancy, France.

He was a Fulbright Scholar with the Department of Neurology at the University College San Francisco (1998-99), and has held the title of Guest Professor at Kuming Medical University, China and the Bayi Brain Hospital, General Hospital of Beijing Military Command, China (2011-14).

He was the Interim Deputy-Director of ARMI from May 2016 until April 2018.

Professor Kim Cornish PhD FASSA

Professor Kim Cornish is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia. She is the current the Head of the School of Psychological Sciences and the Director for the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience (MICCN). In 2019, MICCN will transition into the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health- the first named institute at Monash resulting from the generosity of the late David Winston Turner, who has presented Monash University with Australia’s largest single gift to mental health. Kim will become the founding Director of the Turner Institute.

Prior to joining Monash University Kim held the prestigious Canada Research Chair in developmental cognitive neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal. She is a pioneer in the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience having defined attention pathways and their trajectories across development in children with differing brain disorders such as Autism and fragile X syndrome. This work has resulted in a ground-breaking translational suite of interactive cognitive tools known as TALITM – the world’s first interactive attention training program for children with severe attention deficits. In partnership with industry, TALI is now used in clinics all over Australia and is NDIS approved as a medical device.

Professor Cornish is an Executive Board Member of the Australian Brain Alliance (ABA) and a Board member of the Hudson Institute of Medical Research (HIMR).

Professor Peter Currie

Peter Currie received his PhD in Drosophila genetics from Syracuse University, New York, USA.  He undertook postdoctoral training in zebrafish development at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) in London, UK.  He has worked as an independent laboratory head at the UK Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, UK and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney, Australia where he headed a research programme focused on skeletal muscle development and regeneration.

His work is centered on understanding how the small freshwater zebrafish is able to build and regenerate skeletal muscle.

In 2016 he was appointed Director of Research of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.  He is a recipient of a European Molecular Biology Organization Young Investigators Award and a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship and currently is a Principal Research Fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia.

Prof Currie, along with Dr Georgina Hollway, from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and Dr Phong Nguyen of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, won the UNSW 2015 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research. They were awarded the prize in recognition of their groundbreaking research into stem cell generation.

Dr Patrick Hughes

Patrick graduated from Monash Medical School in 1977 and after an early exposure to rural general practice has enjoyed a long career as a specialist anaesthetist with a practice ranging from paediatrics to major reconstructive and complex airway surgery.

In addition to serving on the board of directors of the Victorian Anaesthetic Group, Patrick has served on the medical advisory panel of MIGA (Medical Insurance Group Australia) and on the advisory panel and board of directors of indemnity insurer Invivo Medical Pty Ltd. In addition he served on the Victorian Executive Committee of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists and over ten years as a member of the Victorian Consultative Council on Anaesthetic Mortality and Morbidity.

Throughout his career he has been involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and clinical research. Growing up in a family of doctors he has been able to witness first hand the growth of innovation and research in the medical sciences, its effect on the delivery of health care and its remarkable impact on people’s lives.

Jeremy Nestel

Jeremy joined the ARMI Leadership Advisory Board in Sept 2018. His professional career includes senior executive roles at Citibank in Australia, London and Hong Kong. Prior to joining Citibank, Jeremy was CFO/COO of Aetna International’s Asset Management business in Hong Kong. From 1982 to 1986 he was an Insolvency Principal at Arthur Andersen, Hong Kong. Presently, he is the Owner and Principal of Avisford Private Capital Consultancy, providing a broad range of investment related services and strategic business advice to Australian and overseas family offices.

As a qualified Chartered Accountant, Jeremy possesses considerable specialised expertise in assisting family-based businesses. He served as Chairman of the Board for Monash University’s Medical Foundation from 2012 to 2017 and is currently a member of the Monash University Investment Advisory Committee. Jeremy is a current member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics attained from the University of Hull in the UK.

Dr Peter Rogers

Peter Rogers is a Councillor of the Graduate Union at University of Melbourne, Emeritus Chairman Monash University Engineering & IT Foundation, Chairman of Australian Rotary Health District D9800 Committee, and a Past President of Rotary Club of Melbourne.

His early career was with ICI Australia (now Orica). He worked in agricultural chemicals and plastics businesses and at production facilities at Yarraville and Deer Park in Victoria, and Chester Hill in NSW. He was appointed Staff Manager of ICI Australia in Melbourne in 1980.

Peter was appointed to ICI PLC headquarters in London in 1984 He was a Director of ICI’s subsidiary and associated companies including  ICI Bangladesh, and ICI Bangladesh Trading Company. He was a director of the London based board of Employment Conditions Abroad Ltd (ECA) for two four year terms between 1985 and 2000. He later established International Consultants Centre, a consulting company he led for over 25 years. The company was transferred to the staff in 2015.

Peter was appointed Chairman of Monash University Engineering & IT Foundation Board at commencement of 2009 and served in that role for eight years. During this period the Leadership Program , MITI and three Research Institutes were established. This included establishment of Monash Institute of Medical Engineering (MIME). The Foundation’s endowments reached $60m in 2018. The Faculty of Engineering was ranked highest in Australia in 2015 by Times Higher Education Rankings, and highest in industry engagement and fundraising and retains top ranking in 2019.

Peter was elected to the Board of Hepburn Wind in 2011 – Australia’s first community owned wind farm located at Daylesford Victoria. His tenure covered the period of $10m capital fundraising, construction and commissioning. Awards received during his time on the Board included Premier of Victoria award, WWEA, and Banksia award.

Peter graduated in chemical engineering from Monash, M App Sc from University of Melbourne, and received his PhD degree from Monash University in 1974. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia. He was awarded a Monash Distinguished Service Medal in 2008, Rotary Paul Harris Fellow 2008, and the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering medal in 2013. In 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by Monash University.

Duncan Thomson

Dr Duncan Thomson brings a pragmatic passion for translational commercialisation. He is an experienced executive with >25 years’ experience in animal health, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, having worked in senior marketing, sales and management roles in Europe, the US and Australia.

Having graduating as a veterinarian in ’94 from Sydney, he worked in practice for 5 years in Australia and UK before completing an MBA (Cranfield, UK). In 2001 he joined Novartis Animal Health and held various senior sales and marketing positions in Switzerland, US and Australia.

In 2010, he joined Regeneus as the Head of Animal Health. During his time at Regeneus, he launched an adipose derived allogeneic MSC product into the veterinary market in a pre-registration phase; opened an INAD with the FDA; and conducted numerous trials on the product. Usage of the product became #1 globally with >4000 treatments administered across >90 Australian practices, including 80% penetration of specialist veterinary surgeons. This success paved for the development of the subsequent human MSC product which has had a successful Phase 1 for knee osteoarthritis. He also launched the first ever veterinary personalised cancer immunotherapy in Australia; initiating a multicentre trial in the US; and received the regulatory green light for commercialisation in the US in record time. In 2015, he subsequently became the VP Licenses and Alliances for Regeneus. In late December 2016, Regeneus secured a multi-million-dollar manufacturing license agreement with the largest biopharma manufacturer in Japan and became only the 17th company to secure a significant licencing agreement in Japan in the previous 20 years.

Duncan is currently consulting in the regenerative medicine and animal health sectors.

Sonya Walker

A Business Leader (matrix roles across Region Manager/General Manager/Commercial Management/Program & Project Director) with strengths in the building of strong teams and the delivery of results. An excellent track record in the delivery of major organisation change initiatives with integrated commercial and consulting services components.

A passion for building business’ and delivering outstanding sales, marketing and project delivery wins for my clients. I enjoy propelling start up or mature and stagnant business into high growth and profitability through the development of sound strategy and highly targeted execution. As a Corporate Entrepreneur I drive success by leveraging reputable business models to manage risk and performance to secure outcomes.

With a background in information technology, banking and finance, commercial and public sectors I am also engaged in numerous community projects and have contributed as an MC, Panel Guest and Advisor for Australian IT Industry Association (AIIA), ICT, Public sector and Sustainability in Innovation initiatives.

Commercial & public sectors – with a Trusted Advisor business style
Expert Facilitator, complex negotiations & lobbying
Excellent strategic planning, business plan development & execution
Business & IT advisory services for government, boards, C-suite leaders
International trade & investment, trade missions
Business leadership with both sales & consulting delivery skills
Business commercialisation & go-to-market strategy
Strategic planning workshops & consulting projects
Global sales & marketing management
Vendor & partner management (for corporate clients & vendors)
Public & Private sector CFO, CIO & CHRO strategy,
Development of Programs of Work – Adept at the distillation of complexity & the design of delivery programs,
Large Scale IT Projects – Master Project Director, Advisory & Consulting Services
Specialist IT Projects – Office of CIO/CSO Security, DR/BCP & Subject Matter Expertise