Organising Committee


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Associate Professor Debra Waters – Convenor

Associate Professor Waters is the Director of Gerontology Research at the University of Otago in Dunedin New Zealand. This is a joint appointment between the Department of Medicine and School of Physiotherapy. She is also the Director of the University of Otago Collaboration of Ageing Research Excellence (CARE) research theme; Deputy-Director of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge and Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology.

She began research on sarcopenia and sarcopenic-obesity in the 1990 as the co-director of the New Mexico Ageing Process study in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She immigrated to New Zealand in 2005 and since then has been involved with testing safe and effective life-style interventions for frail obese elders, effective community-based interventions for pre-frail older adults, and peer-led models of community falls prevention.

 


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Associate Professor Phil Sheard

Associate Professor Philip Sheard is in the Department of Physiology at the University of Otago. Dr Sheard’s lab uses animal models to investigate and describe age-related changes in upper and lower motoneurons, the neuromuscular junction, and skeletal muscle fibres and connective tissues. The primary objectives of the work are to understand how and why skeletal muscles become weaker in old age, and to understand how regular physical activity protects cells in the neuromuscular system from age-related deterioration.


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Dr Kim Meredith-Jones

Currently, Dr Kim Meredith-Jones is the Director of the Bone and Body Composition Research Unit which undertakes innovative prospective studies evaluating bone density and quantifying body composition and regional body fat distribution in children and adults using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

She is also involved with three major research projects in collaboration with other members of the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre: MInT, PLAY and Healthy Homework in several capacities, including providing physical activity recommendations for children and families and analysis and management of accelerometry for physical activity and sleep assessment.


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Associate Professor Simon Stebbings

Associate Professor Simon Stebbings' research has focused on ankylosing spondylitis and spondyloarthritis. Through national collaboration he established the multicentre Spondyloarthritis Genetics and the Environment Study (SAGE), which included a longitudinal study of outcomes in spondyloarthritis in New Zealand.

Through his membership of the International Genetics of Ankylosing Spondylitis study group he has contributed to the study of the genetic background to this common inflammatory arthritis. 

Associate Professor Stebbings is a member of the Assessment in Spondyloarthritis International Society (ASAS) and has contributed to the development of an ASAS Health Index. He is a member of the working group on management guidelines for axial spondyloarthritis for the Asia Pacific League Against Rheumatism. 

Associate professor Stebbings has strong research links with the Department of Psychology and the School of Physiotherapy. Through collaborations with colleagues his research has investigated the importance of fatigue in rheumatic diseases, and the effectiveness of complementary therapies. He has been involved in research into the effects of smoking on arthritis and ways to encourage smoking cessation.


                                                         Jon Cornwall

                                                                                Education Advisor, Early Learning in Medicine, Otago Medical School, University of Otago


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Dr Lynnette Jones

Dr Lynnette Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity and Health at the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences and has held an academic position since 2002.  She graduated from the University of Otago with a first class honours degree in Physical Education (Exercise Physiology/Metabolism) in 1997 and completed her BSc in Biochemistry in 1999.  Lynnette joined the staff at the School of Physical Education as a Teaching Fellow in Exercise Prescription in 2000, and completed her PhD in Biomedical Science in 2003.


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Lara Vlietstra

After successfully graduating as a physiotherapist in 2014, Lara Vliestra decided to pursue two postgraduate degrees - in Clinical Health Sciences and in Geriatric Physiotherapy - at the Utrecht University/University Medical Centre Utrecht and Avans+, the Netherlands. Soon, Lara was struck by the phenomenon of sarcopenia, and after working toward her Clinical Health Sciences master thesis during an internship at the University of Otago with Debra Waters and Kim Meredith-Jones, she decided to submit a PhD proposal within the sarcopenia research area, which successfully got accepted. By the 1st of February 2018 she will hence start her PhD within the Department of Medicine and School of Physiotherapy at the University of Otago, again working with Debra Waters and Kim Meredith-Jones.


                                                         Dr Stephen Chalcroft 

                                                                                 http://www.otago.ac.nz/dsm-medicine/people/profile/?id=1511



Scientific Committee


Professor Gustavo Duque

Professor Gustavo Duque MD, PhD, FRACP is a geriatrician and a clinical and biomedical researcher with special interest in the mechanisms and treatment of osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty in older persons.

His initial training included Internal Medicine at Javeriana University (Colombia) and Geriatric Medicine, which he completed at McGill University in Montreal (Canada). Subsequently, he obtained his PhD at McGill University in 2003 with a thesis entitled ‘Molecular Changes of the Aging Osteoblast’ under the supervision of Dr. Richard Kremer. He is also Macy Scholar in Medical Education from Harvard University.

Between 2003 and November 2007, he joined the faculty at McGill University Medical School as a member of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and as Researcher at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research. In November 2007, he moved to Australia to join the Faculty as Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Director of the Musculoskeletal Ageing Research Program at Sydney Medical School Nepean -University of Sydney. In 2012, he was promoted to Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney. In 2015, Professor Duque moved to Melbourne to assume new positions as Chair of Medicine and Director of the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS) at the University of Melbourne, and as Staff Specialist at Western Health. 

With more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, Prof. Duque's major research interests include the elucidation of the mechanisms and potential new treatments for age-related bone loss, osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty. He is also looking at the effect of vitamin D, exercise and proteins on bone and muscle mass. He is the Director of the Fracture Care and Prevention Program at Western Health. As part of this Program, Prof. Duque recently implemented a Falls and Fractures clinic at Sunshine Hospital where patients are assessed for falls and fractures risk in a comprehensive manner.   


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Professor Rob Daly

Professor Robin Daly has over 20 years of experience in conducting human clinical, public health and translational intervention trials to evaluate the role of exercise and nutrition for preventing and managing common chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, sarcopenia, falls, type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer as well as cognitive related disorders. He is also interested in health issues related to vitamin D deficiency (and treatment), dietary protein and chronic low-grade systemic inflammation, and the translation of evidence-based research into practice. He has been an active contributor nationally and internationally to clinical guidelines in the area of exercise, calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis and fracture prevention. He is a fellow of Sports Medicine Australia, a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee of Osteoporosis Australia and a council member of the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society. He is also the founder of the ‘Osteo-cise: Strong Bones for Life’ community-based osteoporosis prevention exercise program.


Professor Ian Cameron

Ian Cameron is a Consultant Physician in Rehabilitation Medicine and has the Chair in Rehabilitation Medicine, Sydney Medical School, at the University of Sydney. He is a clinician researcher and holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Practitioner Fellowship.

Current research themes are injury, rehabilitation and disability; specifically disability and health in older people, musculoskeletal injury in compensable settings, and catastrophic injury (associated with severe long-term disability).

Ian is the Head of the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research which is located in the Kolling Institute at Sydney Medical School Northern, University of Sydney. This Unit has a focus on injury-related disability and rehabilitation. It conducts clinical, epidemiological and implementation research. It has interdisciplinary staffing and also provides educational programs.

Concurrent with his academic position Ian holds Senior Staff Specialist positions at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital and Southern NSW Local Health District.

Ian is Associate Editor of the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine and Section Editor of BMC Geriatrics. He has a number of educational roles in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (Royal Australasian College of Physicians) and the University of Sydney Medical Program.

Ian has been a member of Grant Review Panels of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and the New Zealand Health Research Council, over a number of years. He is a Board member of disability studies organisation.

A further role is providing expert advice to Australian and State Governments, other semi-government organisations including the NSW State Insurance Regulatory Agency and the NSW Lifetime Care and Support Authority and NSW WorkCover, Area Health Services and other organisations. This advice relates to injury management, rehabilitation programs, and health services for older people and people with disabilities.


Professor Ian Chapman

Professor Chapman is an endocrinologist working mainly at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He has a research interest in the endocrinology of ageing (particularly growth hormone and androgens), and undernutrition in older people. His group has also recently established a research program on obesity and its treatment in older people.

He has an international reputation for his clinical research related to undernutrition in older people, including sarcopaenia. He has received NHMRC project grant funding in this area and is a chief investigator in the University of Adelaide CRE in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health (2012-7).

He has published many papers and chapters on undernutrition in older people, and has been a plenary speaker on this topic at a number of national and international meetings. He has extensive experience in clinical research training/mentoring of honours and PhD students, and post-doctoral researchers. 


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Associate Professor Debra Waters

Associate Professor Waters is the Director of Gerontology Research at the University of Otago in Dunedin New Zealand. This is a joint appointment between the Department of Medicine and School of Physiotherapy. She is also the Director of the University of Otago Collaboration of Ageing Research Excellence (CARE) research theme; Deputy-Director of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge and Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology.

She began research on sarcopenia and sarcopenic-obesity in the 1990 as the co-director of the New Mexico Ageing Process study in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She immigrated to New Zealand in 2005 and since then has been involved with testing safe and effective life-style interventions for frail obese elders, effective community-based interventions for pre-frail older adults, and peer-led models of community falls prevention.


 

Ms Rita Kinsella (Scientific Secretary)

Rita Kinsella, is the Clinical Research Manager at the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS). She spends most of her time working at AIMSS as well as at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne where she works as a Research Physiotherapist. She is currently working towards her PhD, her thesis involving conservative interventions in rotator cuff tendinopathy. At AIMSS, Rita manages and coordinates the investigator initiated projects undertaken through AIMSS and its many collaborations.