NCI welcomes new board members

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NCI has announced three new independent board members have been appointed to the NCI Advisory Board –  professor Melodie McGeoch, Ms Clare McLaughlin, and Dr Rosemarie Sadsad. These new members will start their roles in December 2021.

NCI Advisory Board Chair Dr Greg Ayers is excited to add these diverse voices as independent board members. ‘I was delighted by the calibre of applicants, and I know that these three will strengthen NCI’s strategic position through their deep and diverse experience in areas where NCI can make a difference.’

Dr Ayers is also pleased to expand the NCI Advisory Board. He comments: ‘It aligns perfectly with our strategy to have increased the number of independent board members, bringing in new expertise and experience we can draw on. This expansion in Board skills will ensure NCI continues to enhance and broaden the capabilities available to Australian researchers through increased connections across research, industry, and government.’

NCI’s Director Professor Sean Smith is enthusiastic about the new Advisory Board members, ‘These new members will enrich NCI’s collaboration and connection with our users and with the broader Australian science landscape.

‘Professor McGeoch’s research background will broaden the scope of science represented at NCI’s board level. Ms McLaughlin’s public sector knowledge will provide valuable guidance for NCI policy engagement in all STEM fields of research. Dr Sadsad’s bioinformatics and genomics community engagement will influence how NCI will meet intensifying integration requirements. I welcome them all and look forward to their positive impact on the NCI Advisory Board.’

Professor Melodie McGeoch is a natural scientist with expertise in the environmental consequences of global change, based at La Trobe University. She has authored numerous research papers, policy-relevant reports, strategy and technical background documents, including most recently as Coordinating Lead Author of an Assessment of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. She serves on the Implementation Committee of the Group on Earth Observations - Biodiversity Observation Network, and the Science Committee of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Professor McGeoch’s skills and knowledge in the development, analytics and sustainable governance of information in the biological sciences will be an asset to the NCI Advisory Board.

Clare McLaughlin was appointed as the General Manager of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in January 2019. Reporting to the CEO, she is responsible for managing NHMRC staff and operations, including providing high-level advice and input on NHMRC policy and strategy. Ms McLaughlin was previously General Manager, Science Agencies Governance Branch in the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. In this capacity, she led the Industry Department’s engagement in the 2018 Research Infrastructure Investment Plan. She served as Science Counsellor at the Australian Embassy and Mission to the European Union in Brussels from 2013 to 2016, representing Australia’s interests in science and research in Europe and with key international organisations including the OECD and the SKA project. NCI is excited to benefit from Ms McLaughlin’s research and research infrastructure policy experience and her perspective on international and Australian science strategy.

Dr Rosemarie Sadsad is the Research Informatics Manager at the Sydney Informatics Hub Core Facility, University of Sydney and is responsible for data science, software engineering, simulation, and bioinformatics capabilities. She is also the Health Informatics/Bioinformatics lead at the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Public Health, NSW Health where she leads bioinformatics and technology scale-out projects that support the genomics capability for the NSW Health Covid-19 response and surveillance of infectious diseases. Dr Sadsad is a member of the Communicable Disease Genomics Network and the NSW Health Covid-19 Expert Committee. She is also a lead for developing the Australian BioCommons national bioinformatics platform. These positions provide Dr Sadsad with vast experience of the expanding high-performance compute, data and throughput needs of the bioinformatics and genomics community, all of which will play an important role for the growth and development of NCI in coming years.

NCI is governed by The Australian National University on the advice of the NCI Advisory Board, which comprises the independent Chair Dr Greg Ayers, the NCI Director, one member from each of the Major Collaborators and additional independent members appointed because of their expertise or to broaden the opportunities and role of NCI.

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