TORC Steering Committee

Dr Merrole Cole-Sinclair BSc (Hons), MBBS, FRCPA, FRACP
St Vincent’s Hospital

Dr Cole-Sinclair is a Consultant Haematologist in the Haematology Department at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne and Chair of the St Vincent’s Hospital Transfusion Committee, and the Transfusion Outcomes Research Collaborative Steering Committee. She has a special interest in clinical quality improvement, patient safety & clinical transfusion. Merrole is currently Chief Examiner in Haematology for the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia & co-chair of the Joint Specialist Advisory Committee on Haematology [RACP/RCPA].

Professor Peter Cameron MBBS, MD, FACEM
Head, Critical Care Unit, DEPM

Professor Cameron is head of the Critical Care Unit within the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.  He is also Academic Director of the Emergency and Trauma Centre, The Alfred Hospital, Head of the Victorian State Trauma Registry and Associate Director of the National Trauma Research Institute.  His main research interests include trauma epidemiology, injury prevention and management, prehospital care and health services and systems research.  He is a past president of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM), co-editor of the Adult Textbook of Emergency Medicine and a senior examiner for ACEM.  Peter completed his medical undergraduate training at Melbourne University in 1981 and fellowship training in Emergency Medicine at Western Hospital, Melbourne 1987. An MD in Trauma Epidemiology was completed through Monash University in 1997.

Professor Robert Flower MSc, PhD, DipBus, DipEd, FFSc(RCPA) Research Program Leader (Transfusion Science), Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Professor Robert Flower is in the national position of Research Program Leader (Transfusion Science) at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and is also an Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology with both undergraduate and post-graduate teaching responsibilities. Robert is a foundation fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists Faculty of Science and is also currently a NATA assessor for Transfusion. Robert obtained his PhD for studies of retroviruses from Murdoch University and also holds a Diploma of Business and a Diploma of Education. Robert has completed supervision of more than 50 post-graduate students and has published nearly 200 scientific papers.

Robert’s Transfusion Science Research team works closely with internal Blood Service collaborators from the Manufacturing and Medical, Transplantation and Quality Services Divisions, as well as with external collaborators, from hospitals and universities to carry out leading-edge research that can be translated into improved operational procedures or changes in practice. The current research themes for Robert’s team include new strategies for blood typing with a particular focus on genetic studies; studies of emerging infectious risks to blood safety including dengue virus and West Nile virus and developing and in vivo and in vitro models of transfusion to investigate how factors such as donor variation and accumulation of biological response modifiers during storage of blood components play a role in outcomes post-transfusion.

Dr Chris Hogan MBBS, BSc (Hons), FRCPA
Medical Director, Pathology Services & Transplantation Services,
Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Dr Chris Hogan is a consultant haematologist and has recently taken up the position of Medical Director of Pathology Services & Transplantation Services with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

For the previous four years he has been the Principal Medical Officer of the National Blood Authority - Australia.  His many responsibilities in that role included the provision of the national blood supply, frameworks for safety and quality in the blood sector, and the development and promotion of national standards in transfusion practice and haemovigilance.

He was a foundation member of the Victorian Serious Transfusion Incident Report scheme (STIR).  He currently chairs the new Australian National Haemovigilance Advisory Committee, and is the Australian representative on the International Haemovigilance Network.

Chris also holds a part-time position as a haematologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he has both clinical and laboratory responsibilities; he continues to pursue a special interest in critical bleeding, red cell serology, and ABO-mismatched organ transplantation and in teaching.  Dr Hogan is also past Chair of the Royal Melbourne Hospital Blood Transfusion Committee, and Chair of the Western Health Blood Transfusion Committee.

Associate Professor David Irving MSc, PhD, GAICD
Director, Research and Development, Australian Red Cross Blood Service

With formal training in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology and more recently management, Associate Professor David Irving has over 20 years experience working in the biomedical and life sciences. His early research interests were focussed in the field of molecular approaches to parasite vaccine development, in particular malaria vaccine development. He held postdoctoral positions at the Rockefeller University, New York, and CSIRO, Sydney and has a MSc and PhD from the Australian National University and a certificate of Management (Technology Management) from Deakin University. He is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

David was a founding Director of AusBiotech Limited (Australia's biotechnology industry organisation), was a non-Executive Director of a publicly listed company that stemmed from the Biotech Australia and is currently a Director of a privately held biotechnology company. In addition, David has served on a number of advisory committees within both private and public sectors. David was the inaugural CEO of the Diabetes Vaccine Development Centre (DVDC) and held executive management positions with Biotech Australia Pty Limited, Sydney and its successor companies. He is currently Director of Research and Developement with the Australia Red Cross Blood Service.

Dr Zoe McQuilten MBBS, BMedSci, PhD
Clinical Research Fellow, Monash University

Dr McQuilten is a consultant haematologist at Monash Health in Melbourne, and an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellow at Monash University. She is the Deputy Director of the Transfusion Research Unit and a senior research fellow with the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre. 

Her other appointments include Co-Chair of the Supportive Care Group for the Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group, and Secretary of the Clinical Working Party of the International Society of Blood Transfusion. 

Dr McQuilten is a chief investigator on a number of ongoing studies, including three NHMRC-funded international, multi-centre randomised trials, and five national clinical registries. Her research aims to identify interventions to improve patient outcomes in areas of major blood use, including critical care, trauma and haematological malignancies.age of existing data sources which contain information either on patient outcomes or transfusion practice.

Professor John McNeil AM MBBS, MSc, PhD, FRACP, FAFPHM
Head of Department, DEPM

Professor McNeil has been the head of DEPM since 1986 and is now also Head of the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine based at the Alfred Hospital in Prahran.  His research background is in epidemiology and clinical pharmacology.  John is currently a member of the Boards of the Colonial Foundation, the International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy and Austin Health, Melbourne. He is a previous member of the Boards of Alfred Health, the Metropolitan Ambulance Service, Water Quality Research Australia and the Victorian Public Health Research and Education Foundation.  John has been a member of ministerial committees reporting on renal failure services, organ transplantation and medical staff salaries.  He also serves on scientific committees for the Australian Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, the National Blood Authority, the Therapeutics Goods Administration and the Australian Commission for Safety & Quality in Healthcare.  He is a member of the executive of the Monash Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences.  Professor McNeil has served on the senior medical staff of the Austin and Alfred Hospitals and the Monash Medical Centre.  In 2008 he was awarded an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) for services to Public Health.

Associate Professor Erica Wood MBBS FRACP FRCPA
Head, Transfusion Research Unit, Monash University

Associate Professor Wood is a Transfusion Medicine Specialist, and Head of the Transfusion Research Unit at DEPM.  Erica works as a Consultant Haematologist at Monash Health and holds an honorary Consultant Haematologist appointment at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre/Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Erica is a member of the World Health Organization's Expert Advisory Panel on Transfusion Medicine, and has served as a WHO regional advisor in blood safety.  She is Vice-President and member of the Board of the International Society of Blood Transfusion and a member of several working parties, including clinical practice, haemovigilance and transfusion-transmitted infections.  Erica is the current President of the International Haemovigilance Network, promoting haemovigilance world-wide and supporting haemovigilance systems in their work.  

Erica is a past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion and in 2016, delivered the Ruth Sanger Oration at the Society's Annual Scientific Meeting - the Society's highest honour.

Between 2012 and 2015 Erica served as Chief Examiner in Haematology for the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and she was Associate Chief Examiner from 2008-2012.  

Erica is a founding member of 'Blood Matters', a Victorian Department of Health transfusion practice improvement collaborative, and between 2016-2013 she chaired its Serious Transfusion Incident Reporting (STIR) haemovigilance program.  

In 2013 Erica was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to support her work in patient blood management practice and research.