The PHRN Board is chaired by Professor Ian Smith and is comprised of up to six members. The primary role of the PHRN Board is to provide oversight and strategic direction for the PHRN.

The PHRN Board's Charter outlines the purpose, structure and conduct of the Board.

PHRN Board Membership

Professor Ian Smith  

Up until the end of last year, Ian Smith was Vice-Provost (Research & Research Infrastructure) at Monash University, where he played a university-wide leadership role, with responsibility for research strategy, infrastructure and alliances. A major focus was building linkages to industry and encouraging large companies and SMEs to use the university’s globally-recognised research capabilities and tools to innovate, capture new opportunities and solve problems. 

Ian has a background in both industry and research. He is a leader in his field of medical research, which has resulted in over 260 publications and many patents. Ian receives regular invitations to speak at international meetings and his research has had a direct impact on human health and led to changes in clinical practice. Ian also co-founded a proteomics-based, publicly listed, biotechnology company, which he helped build to IPO and trade sale and he continues to collaborate and consult widely with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. 

Ian is now Professor Emeritus at Monash and as well as consulting for Monash and other organisations, Ian is a board director and chair of a number of national and international senior government and non-government advisory boards as well as serving on a number of national and international committees, many with a strong industry focus. He also serves on a number of international editorial boards and held office-bearing positions in national and international societies, helping organise numerous national and international scientific meetings.

Ian’s unique background in business and research drives his passion to get entrepreneurs and industry collaborating and using university research capabilities to innovate. He believes that Australia lags behind many countries in utilising this enormous asset and is passionate about finding ways to make the collaborative process as efficient and effective as possible for industry, sharing outcomes and success stories to build awareness.

Professor Anna Nowak  

Professor Anna Nowak is Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and has responsibility for research policy development and leadership of the University's research activities, postgraduate education, industry liaison, intellectual property and commercialisation.

Professor Nowak is a medical oncologist and clinician scientist who completed both her undergraduate medical degree and her PhD in tumour immunology at The University of Western Australia (UWA). A post-doctoral fellowship in clinical trials and quality of life research at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre in Sydney gave her a true bench to bedside research perspective. Anna has been a clinical academic in the UWA Medical School since 2005, and has built a strong research program encompassing laboratory, murine, translational and clinical trials work, with a focus on mesothelioma. Her research has been funded by NHMRC, Cancer Australia, Cancer Council WA, the US Department of Defense, and through industry partnerships and philanthropy. Anna represents her discipline on a number of international research and policy groups in this field. She embraces collaboration, and has built longstanding productive partnerships with researchers in psycho-oncology, public health, palliative care, imaging and clinical trials locally, nationally, and internationally. In 2018, Anna was named Cancer Researcher of the Year by the Cancer Council of WA, and in 2021 received both the International Mesothelioma Interest Group’s prestigious Wagner Medal for her contribution to mesothelioma research, and the Medical Oncology Group of Australia’s inaugural Martin H Tattersall’s Heroes Award for her mentorship, advocacy and contributions to the discipline.

Anna’s research leadership experience includes her role as Pro Vice Chancellor (Health and Medical Research) at UWA, Associate Dean (Research) of UWA’s Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, as Director of the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases since 2018, and as Chair of the national brain cancer collaborative clinical trials group COGNO from 2017 to 2020. She is a member of the Cancer Council WA Board. Anna is passionate about mentoring, collaboration, building a positive culture for research staff and students, and women in science.

Professor John McNeil  

After graduating in medicine from the University of Adelaide Professor McNeil undertook specialist training to become qualified as a consultant in internal medicine and clinical pharmacology.  He completed a PhD in Clinical Pharmacology at Melbourne University and   was awarded a National Heart Foundation overseas postgraduate research scholarship to study epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. In subsequent years he has held clinical appointments as a visiting specialist physician at the Austin, Alfred and Monash Health.

In 1986 he was appointed directly to the Monash Chair of Social & Preventive Medicine based at the Alfred Hospital.  Over subsequent years the department (now a School) evolved around a core of methodological skills in epidemiology, clinical medicine, biostatistics & data-management to become prominent  in clinical, public health and health services research. Much of his work centred around large scale clinical trials and clinical registries.

His broader leadership roles have included service on the Boards of Management of the Alfred and Austin Hospitals,  Ambulance Victoria, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare The Victorian Managed Insurance Authority, Orygen Youth Mental Health Research Institute,  Dunlop Medical Research Foundation, , the Colonial Foundation, the, Victorian Public Health Research and Education Consortium and Water Quality Australia. He has also served on a range of Ministerial Committees advising on issues ranging from renal failure services to medical staff salaries, location of organ transplantation services and patent safety. He has also served on a broad range of committees of the NHMRC, TGA, Victorian Department of Health, Food Authority for Australia & New Zealand, Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, National Blood Authority and various charities and NGOs. He also  spent 10 years as Secretary of the International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy.

John McNeil PHRN Board Member

Liddy McCall  

Liddy McCall brings diverse experience as an investor, inventor and executive management achieving multiple successful commercial outcomes for early stage Australian biotechnology research and IT projects. She co-founded the Yuuwa Capital early-stage venture fund supporting a portfolio of early stage opportunities into clinical stage biotechnology and global IT companies. She was a director of Agworld Pty Ltd which was acquired for over A$100m by Canadian company, Semios in 2021 creating one of the largest independent global digital solutions providers for the data-driven farm management platform using a complex data and permissions model supporting industry (e.g. growers, agronomists, retailers, service providers including financial, operational etc). She co-founded iCeutica group (US & Australian entities) leveraging UWA research achieving an exit >10x for early-stage investors and now with 3 FDA approved drugs. She was a co-founded and is a co-inventor on granted patents behind the drug therapeutic being developed by ASX-listed, Dimerix Limited’ multiple phase 3 clinical trials in kidney and respiratory diseases.

Prior to Liddy’s involvement in technology commercialisation, she was an Associate Director in Corporate Advisory at Macquarie Bank focused on mergers and acquisitions. Liddy has qualifications in law, finance and management. Liddy is a board director of a number of ASX listed and unlisted entities including not-for-profit. She also provides advisory support for diverse start-up companies. Liddy applies her diverse skills and experience to encourage and support Australian entrepreneurs to translate research into commercial outcomes. She looks for novel approaches to achieve that can benefit to Australian researchers to showcase their innovations and drive outcomes in the global economy.

Dr Anthony Brown  

Dr Brown is the Executive Director of Health Consumers NSW, the peak body for health consumers in NSW. He is passionate about consumer and carer engagement and co-design in health services and research. He works to ensure that health providers, policymakers and researchers listen to and involve health consumers, their families, and carers as equal partners.

Anthony was a member of the research team that ran citizen juries investigating community members’ perceptions on sharing administrative health data, consumer involvement in health system research. This work was led by the Australian Centre for Health Engagement, Evidence and Values (ACHEEV) at the University of Wollongong.

Anthony provides advice to health services on building and maintaining a social license for the use of linking health data for both quality improvement and research. He is a member of the Stakeholder Reference Group for Lumos, a NSW program linking de-identified data from general practices with other health system data.

Anthony is the author and co-author of papers on citizens’ perceptions on sharing administrative health data, consumer involvement in health system research, and consumer engagement during COVID-19.

Prior to working at HCNSW, Anthony was the Manager of the Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre at Western Sydney University. Where he was part of the leadership team that oversaw research into men and boys’ engagement with health, community, and aged care services. His PhD investigated retired men’s engagement with their communities.

Anthony is an Adjunct Fellow at the School of Science and Health at Western Sydney University, and a Visiting Fellow at ACHEEV at the University of Wollongong.

Adjunct Professor John Bancroft  

Adjunct Professor Bancroft has over 20 years’ experience in industry and 20 more in academia and government, working across Australia, NZ, the UK & EU, Canada & The USA, India, East Asia & the Pacific Rim. He has led sales & marketing, investment generation, knowledge exchange, innovation, impact generation, IP exploitation and business growth teams, and overseen the winning of over $200M of revenue and investment income. He is currently CEO of QCIF (the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation).

He is a graduate Chemist, a Fellow of the UK’s Institute of Sales and Marketing Management, a Visiting Professor in Science and Innovation at the University of Huddersfield and an Adjunct Professor in Research and Innovation at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He has experience in many sectors, territories and business models, and has worked in companies ranging from SMEs to global multinationals. He has successfully won multiple $multi-million orders and helped to create $multi-million businesses. He produced and delivered Graduate and Staff Training Schemes for four major organisations that were aimed at helping technical and business development colleagues to better support one another.

Adj. Prof. Bancroft has served on a number of Boards including the Science Data Processor (SDP) Management Board of the SKA (the Square Kilometre Array), the International Advisory Board of the “ARCHIE-WeST” HPC Centre at Strathclyde University, and the Industry Advisory Board of the “N8” (The Universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York) HPC Service. He was also a Director of the GTMA, the UK’s Trade Association for Manufacturing Companies.

He has been an invited Speaker at innovation and entrepreneurship conferences, describing how to win investment into and promote economic growth from, HPC and e-infrastructure technologies and resources, in London, Paris, Manchester, Strasbourg, Dresden, Toronto, Seoul, Singapore and Beijing. He has personally been instrumental in researching, developing and exploiting new materials, devices, processes and systems, and is a named inventor on three materials patents.

`John Bancroft Board Member