Meet Our Speakers

The AIMS 2024 National Scientific Meeting is pleased to welcome our Keynote & Invited Speakers.  

As new speakers are confirmed they will be updated here, so check back soon. Each speaker will bring a unique perspective, knowledge, and experience. So don’t miss the opportunity to hear from these leaders within their respective fields. 

Keynote Speakers

David Ross


Dr Ross is an academic haematologist working as both a pathologist and clinician with a focus on myeloid neoplasia. He trained in the former Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science in Adelaide, and holds clinical appointments in the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre. He has co-authored >100 peer-reviewed publications and is Editor-in-Chief of Leukemia Research. He is Director of the South Australian Cancer Research Biobank and a Principal Investigator in multiple clinical trials. He is an examiner for the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.

Vienna Tran


Growing up in suburban Adelaide, Vienna became fascinated with the light-polluted night sky visible from her backyard. When she discovered that she could combine her passion for space with her medical degree, she went on to research the effect of artificial gravity on the hip muscles during prolonged bedrest, for which she earned a First Class Honours as part of an international team. Vienna is currently a registrar with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), undertaking her Diploma of Rural Generalist Anaesthetics. She has worked for the Australian Space Agency to help develop the first Applied Space Medicine and Life Sciences roadmap. She was the winner of SQLDR Lana Davies Memorial Award in 2023 for her early-career contribution to aerospace medicine. Outside her day job, you will find her giving a school talk about space, conducting medicals as the local DAME or running on the trails.

Christopher McCudden


Dr. McCudden is a Clinical Biochemist at the Ottawa Hospital in Ontario, Canada.  He is a Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He serves as the Deputy Chief Medical Scientific Officer and Medical Director of Informatics and Information Technology for the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association.  He serves as Board Secretary for the Association for Diagnostics and Laboratory Medicine.  Dr. McCudden’s academic interests include automated chemistry, data analytics & machine learning, quality improvement, plasma cell dyscrasias, and audit and feedback for laboratory stewardship. 

Mark Shephard


Mark brings over 25 years of experience involving pioneering and innovative translational research of POC testing models for chronic, acute and infectious diseases into rural and remote First Nations health services at both national and international levels; he also has significant expertise in POC testing device evaluation and training and quality management systems, as well as leadership in the development of university teaching programs on POC testing at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Mark’s International Centre for Point-of-Care Testing was formally designated as WHO Collaborating Centre in January 2017 and redesignated for a further four-year term in January 2021.

Mark has authored over 100 peer-reviewed published papers, book chapters and Government reports in the national and international literature and is principal author and editor of the book A Practical Guide to Global Point-of-Care Testing (published in November 2016).

Mark is a Founding Fellow in the Faculty of Science of Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) and he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Flinders University in 2009 for ‘significant contributions to the improvement of Aboriginal health in Australia and for services to the University’. Mark is a dual recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) (2006) and an Australian of the Year Award (2004), with both awards recognising his contribution to medical research through POC testing. In 2022, he was awarded the title of Matthew Flinders Professor at Flinders University.

Invited Speakers

Jackie Daley

Genghis Lopez

Sue Branford

Vanessa Tyrrell

Jackie Daley is a senior scientist in the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Red Cell Reference Laboratory, based in Sydney NSW. With over 20 years’ experience at Lifeblood specialising in immunohaematology, she has developed a broad knowledge of blood groups and red cell antibodies. Jackie’s special interests include rare blood types and supporting Lifeblood’s Rh (Anti-D) Program. She is also a strong supporter of continuing education, currently serving as President of Australia’s National Immunohaematology Continuing Education (NICE) association.

Dr Genghis Lopez is a Senior Scientist at the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood in Brisbane. He received his PhD degree from Griffith University. He has published in Vox Sanguinis and Transfusion journals reporting novel red cell antigens, novel blood types, and red cell antibodies associated with hemolytic transfusion reactions or hemolytic disease of the fetus and the newborn. At Lifeblood, he is part of the Research and Development team that investigates complex red cell blood group gene variants, particularly the MNS and RH blood group genes, using a range of molecular typing platforms including massively parallel sequencing.

Professor Sue Branford is the Head of the Leukaemia Unit in the Department of Genetics and Molecular Pathology at SA Pathology and the Centre for Cancer Biology. She was a contributor to international collaborative initiatives that established guidelines and recommendations for producing reliable molecular data for patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia. Her research is focused on understanding the factors that predict for response to therapy and the mechanisms of drug resistance. Dr Branford was awarded the 2021 International Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia Foundation Rowley Prize for significant contribution to the understanding of the biology of chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Ness is Head of the Clinical Translation Research Division, and Program Director of the Zero Childhood Cancer National Precision Medicine Program at Children’s Cancer Institute, with accountability for establishing and sustaining the Program, ensuring efficient, effective, and medically responsible delivery of all aspects of the program, and building it into a sustainable permanent national precision medicine platform supporting research driven clinical care in the long term.