Committee Election 2017

Voting has now closed for election of members of the ANGMA Committee.  Results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting during the ANGMA Conference (5:30pm- 6:30pm, Saturday 1st April) at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 381 Royal Parade, Melbourne).


How the voting worked:

Five places on the ANGMA Committee were open for election.  There were 11 candidates.  Below is a list of candidate statements with the 3 “Clinical Candidates” first (in alphabetical order) followed by 8 “Basic Science” candidates (also in alphabetical order).  Members could  vote for up to 5 candidates.

According to our constitution, the “Clinical Candidate” who got most votes, and the “Basic Science Candidate” who got the most votes, were both elected to the Committee.  The other places were then  assigned to the next 3 candidates with the most votes, whether of “clinical” or “basic science” persuasion.


3 Clinical Candidate statements (alphabetical order) –

Sebastian King (Clinical)

I am a paediatric colorectal surgeon, based at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. My particular clinical subspecialty interests are congenital colorectal conditions (Hirschsprung disease, anorectal malformations) and chronic constipation. I completed my PhD in 2008 with The University of Melbourne, and have recently been promoted to Associate Professor. My research has focused upon the colonic motility patterns in children with slow transit constipation and the oesophageal motility patterns in children with oesophageal atresia. My work has been supported by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, and the NHMRC.  I have recently joined the ANGMA Committee, and I hope to continue to represent the clinicians in ANGMA and to promote the role for paediatric research across Australia and New Zealand.


Jenny Myers (Clinical)

I am a clinical medical scientist in Oesophageal Function, Digestive Diseases & General Surgery, Royal Adelaide Hospital and senior lecturer, University of Adelaide. Ten years ago, I gained approval for the introduction of solid-state high-resolution manometry (HRM) after patiently working with industry and administrators for TGA requirements for registration and legal supply of HRM devices in Australia. Thus in the last decade our clinical service provision and academic research studies have advanced to include impedance-manometry and also total reflux monitoring i.e. impedance MII–pH testing. My research interests include disorders of upper gastrointestinal motility, including the impact of surgery for reflux, achalasia and weight-loss. I have completed a PhD evaluating factors that contribute to troublesome dysphagia after anti-reflux surgery. Novel studies revealed ‘oesophageal ileus’ contributes to dysphagia in the early period after fundoplication, and in another I utilised novel 3-D manometric profiling to better characterise the oesophago-gastric junction (OGJ). I am a member of several national/ international societies; have organised monthly surgical science journal club SSJC meetings (2008-11); and a committee member for SAMSA (2008-10) and memberships liaison committee for ANZGOSA (2014-16). If deemed suitable, I welcome the opportunity to interact with ANGMA members for the advancement of this society that links, supports and advances knowledge for clinicians and scientists in neurogastroenterology.


Greg O’Grady (Clinical)

I am an Associate Professor of Surgery and Consultant Colorectal Surgeon in Auckland, New Zealand. Clinically, I have an interest in motility disorders throughout the gut, particularly related to colorectal and pelvic floor disorders. I have a strong research track record, having published over 100 papers, mainly in motility science, underpinned by grants from the NZ HRC and US NIH. I lead the Surgical Engineering Lab at the University of Auckland and work extensively in collaboration with physiologists, engineers and clinicians in leading and collaborative roles. Our group broadly undertakes basic, translational and clinical motility research, with a particular focus on gut electrophysiology, neuromodulation, and high-resolution manometry. We also have a particularly strong program in developing innovative devices for measuring human motility patterns. I have extensive previous leadership experience, including serving on the Council of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Council of the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Editorial Board of Neurogastroenterology & Motility, and the Medical Committee of the Auckland Medical Research Foundation. I seek to represent New Zealand on the ANGMA Committee, and my goal is to foster and promote the research and clinical management of motility disorders across Australasia.


8 Basic Science Candidates (alphabetical order)

Simona Carbone (Basic Scientist)

I am a basic scientist at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. I have been an active member of ANGMA since 2013, having participated in the annual general meetings and conferences. If elected to the committee, I aim to represent the needs of our early and mid career researchers, a group I feel is currently underrepresented in our committee. The success of our early and mid career researchers is imperative for the continuation of our association, and I believe ANGMA should provide opportunities to aid in the success of this group wherever possible. I currently serve in an unofficial capacity as the ‘social media officer’ for ANGMA. In appointing me a formal role on the committee, I will also be able to better serve this position by having up-to-date access to relevant information that can be dissipated to our members in a timely manner. I also have some exciting ideas to better use the ANGMA twitter account to promote the research of our members on an international forum.


Jamie Foong (Basic Science)

I am an early career researcher with a unique expertise in the examination of mature and developing ENS function. I currently lead a research team that includes international collaborators on a project examining factors which influence postnatal ENS development. I have been an ANGMA member since 2013. I have been invited to present my work at several ANGMA conferences and I am also part of the local organising committee for the conference this year. Furthermore, I frequently attend international Neurogastroenterology and Motility conferences and interact with other emerging leaders in the field at Little Brain Big Brain meetings. If elected as an ANGMA committee member, I aim to provide more opportunities to promote early career researchers and female scientists in the association. This includes allocating spots in the conference program and organizing committee specifically for early career members. I will organize mentorship workshops as a satellite meeting to the annual conference. This will enable students and trainees to interact with experienced researchers (including female scientists) who will share their career progression and strategies for achieving successful careers in spite of career disruptions. Further, I will provide opportunities to encourage collaborations between researchers of different disciplines and industry partners.


Marlene Hao (Basic Science)

My research interest is in the field of developmental neuroscience, in particular, examining the development of the neural circuits and wiring in the enteric nervous system (ENS). All neurons and glia of the ENS arise from neural crest cells that migrate into the gut during development. To build a functioning network, these progenitor cells must proliferate and differentiate to (1) form the many different functional and neurochemical subtypes of enteric neurons, (2) project to the correct target cells, and (3) form functional connections to communicate with their targets. Work from my PhD was focussed on examining how enteric neurons acquire electrical activity during differentiation. More recently, we have been working on the development of communication between ENS precursors and how they project axons to the correct target cells. My experience so far has been in live calcium imaging, patch-clamp electrophysiology, time-lapse imaging, immunohistochemistry and embryonic dissection techniques. I have just returned from a 3.5 year post-doc at the KU Leuven in Belgium, working in a lab that was very focussed on using different microscopy techniques to examine neurogastroenterology.


Patrick Hughes (Basic Science)

I am a basic scientist (PhD 2008) interested in understanding how the nervous and immune systems are involved in diseases of the lower gastrointestinal tract, primarily Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I am currently supported by a NHMRC R.D. Wright Biomedical Fellowship and have previously been awarded a NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship. I have built a successful laboratory ‘Gastrointestinal Neuro-immune Interactions’ as part of the Centre for Nutrition and Gastrointestinal Diseases, University of Adelaide, which is based in the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. Research in our group has been supported by NHMRC, philanthropic organisations and industry. I have a strong national and international profile which includes regular invites to present my work (including at ANGMA conferences in 2015 and 2017) and chair sessions at conferences. I am the sole Australian representative of GENIEUR, a COST funded pan-European initiative aiming to standardise approaches to investigating IBS. I was the lead organiser of the 2012 LBBB meeting, held in China, and also was a co-organiser of the ASMR national meeting held in Adelaide, 2016. My aim for ANGMA, should I be elected, is to continue to build the organisations national and international profile.


Kulmira Nurgali (Basic Science)

I am an Associate Professor and the Head of Enteric Neuropathy Lab at the Centre for Health, Research and Education, Victoria University, Sunshine Hospital, Melbourne. I conduct research on the role of the enteric nervous system in models of inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer and chemotherapy. My research focuses on pre-clinical studies that have translational value and direct impact on patient’s life. My research philosophy is to translate scientific discoveries of basic science research (bench) into novel therapies for human disease (bedside). My research expertise and leadership have been recognized nationally and internationally as evidenced by several successful NHMRC grants and many other external and internal research grants with my leading role in them as well as invitations to present my work at national and international meetings and publications in prestigious journals such as the Nature Medicine, Trends in Molecular Medicine, Journal of Physiology. I am in editorial board of several journals and have organised and chaired ANS symposiums. As a research-and-teaching academic, I transfer knowledge to young generation and provide mentoring to early career researchers. If elected to the ANGMA Committee, I would promote interdisciplinary collaborations by joining ANGMA meetings with other society meetings (e.g. nutrition, obesity, diabetes, cancer, immunology etc) depending on the requirements of ANGMA members. I would enhance collaboration between clinical and basic scientist by organising joint meetings with GESA and other clinical conferences and would also stimulate collaborations with industry partners.


Niranchan Paskaranandavadivel (Basic Science)

I am a biomedical engineer with research expertise in gastrointestinal electrophysiology and based at University of Auckland (Auckland Bio-engineering Institute and Dept Surgery). Previous Committee Roles: In 2015 I chaired the organising committee (of 8 people) which coordinated and implemented a MedTech CoRE (Medical Technologies Center of Research Excellence) conference for 143 attendees.I have been involved for the last two years in supporting the International Gastrointestinal Electrophysiological Society with sending newsletters and assisting with conference organisation.My aim for ANGMA is for it to have a bigger presence in Australia and NZ, as well as overseas, and to have interdisciplinary and cross-collaboration meetings to disseminate scientific results and learn from one another.


Daniel Poole (Basic Science)

I have been involved in basic neurogastroenterology research for the last 18 years and have studied and worked in NZ, Australia and USA. I am currently based at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS). I have served on the ANGMA committee since 2015 and have been actively involved in organizing the 2014 and 2017 meetings at MIPS. I am interested in developing ANGMA’s support for students and early career researchers, with the aim to retain talent within our research field. I would also like to promote greater interaction between basic and clinical researchers within Australia and NZ.


Lincon Stamp (Basic Science)

While much of my research to date has been broadly on stem cell biology, it has always had a (Neuro)gastroenterology & Hepatology focus. My PhD studies with Prof Martin Pera focused on derivation of hepatopancreatic progenitor cells from human pluripotent stem cells. With Dr Don Newgreen, I was working on the development and stem cells of the enteric nervous system. And now my studies with Prof Heather Young are focused on investigating cell therapeutic approaches to treat gut motility disorders. I have a genuine passion for the field of gastrointestinal biology and health, and am keen to encourage a more collaborative network between the basic and clinical members of ANGMA.




ANGMA Conference-2017 this weekend!
The ANGMA Conference for 2017 will be held from 31st March - 2nd April at the Monash Institute for Pharmaceutical Science, 381 Royal Parade, Melbourne. There is still time to register online! For details about the conference click here.
For information about the program and invited speakers click here. Abstract submission is now closed

ANGMA Committee elections now closed

Five places on the ANGMA Committee were up for election. There were 11 candidates. Voting was open from 28/2/17 to 26/3/17 (till 5pm EST). Results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting to be held as part of the ANGMA Conference at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AGM: 5:30-6:30pm Saturday 1st April)