Speaker Bios

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Speaker Bios and Presentations

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Read the speaker bios and presentation descriptions for this years @Home Retreat below:

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Dr. Minal Menezes – High-throughput screening of potential therapy targets for protein metabolism disorders

The MDDA is excited to announce our first speaker presenting at this years @Home Retreat – Scientific Stream on Saturday morning – is the wonderful Dr. Minal Menezes. Presenting on the ‘High-throughput screening of potential therapy targets for protein metabolism disorders’, Dr. Menezes is a Senior lecturer at the University of Sydney and leads the phenylketonuria research at the Kid Research and Children’s Hospital Westmead.  She has a PhD from University of Sydney and she specialized in the genetics of Mitochondrial Disorders. She was the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Mitochondrial Research by Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. Her research focuses on trialling novel treatments for PKU and she received the Early Career Kick Start Grant from the University of Sydney for her work on PKU. She has also transferred her skills to research in Anesthesia as a Senior Research Officer within the Department. Her current position includes expansion of the research program and requires mentoring and providing research support for medical registrars and fellows.
Dr. Menezes is a great friend of the MDDA community and we thank her for talking time out of her weekend to present to us on such a interesting and important topic.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Anita Inwood” tab_id=”1601446370840-6a3be0d3-47ca”][vc_column_text]

Anita Inwood – Parenting & Pku – Study and Quality of Life – Kuvan Study

Long time friend and supporter of the MDDA, Anita Inwood is the Director at Queensland Lifespan Metabolic Medicine Service and the Metabolic Nurse Practitioner at the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service. Anita and her team are presenting two studies at the @Home Retreat – “Parenting & PKU” and “Quality of Life – Kuvan” studies. Anita has worked in Metabolic Medicine since 2003, and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2012. After returning from overseas, Anita was instrumental in developing the model of a Metabolic Lifespan Service, the first of its kind in Australia. Anita subsequently completed her Masters of Nurse Practitioner in 2015 and has since held a number of State and National leadership positions, including being instrumental in leading the development of national evidence-based guidelines on the management of PKU and maternal PKU. Anita is a highly respected metabolic clinician both in Australia and internationally. Those of you who have met Anita, either at the Queensland clinic or from her attendance and presentations at many of our family retreats, will be aware of her passionate commitment to the best care for metabolic patients Australia wide.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Prof. Ian Alexander” tab_id=”1601446578760-f41827af-d4cf”][vc_column_text]

Prof. Ian Alexander – Emerging gene therapies for rare inborn errors of protein metabolism in Australia

At this years @Home Retreat, Prof Ian Alexander will present on “Emerging gene therapies for rare (non PKU) inborn errors of protein metabolism in Australia” on Saturday morning. Professor Ian Alexander is a Professor in Paediatrics & Molecular Medicine, Disciplines of Child and Adolescent Health and Genetic Medicine at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Head of the Gene Therapy Research Unit. Over the last 20 years Prof Alexander has played a central role in the establishment of the gene transfer/gene therapy field in Australia, and focused his research efforts on virus-mediated gene transfer and translational medicine. Professor Alexander is one of Australia’s leading authorities on the development and use of recombinant viruses and has become a global leader in the development of liver-targeted gene therapy for metabolic/genetic liver disease (particularly urea cycle defects, UCDs).

Professor Alexander is a physician/scientist with research, clinical and teaching/administrative responsibilities. He received his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 1991 after completing his paediatric sub-specialty training in genetic and metabolic disease. He then undertook full-time post-doctoral research studies in Seattle, focusing on recombinant virus-mediated gene transfer, before returning to Australia in 1995 to take up his current appointments.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Sarah Dodds” tab_id=”1601446694937-5749c731-e44f”][vc_column_text]

Sarah Dodds – A life changing assistance dog for UCD families

MDDA member Sarah Dodds, mum of son Issac who has Citrullinaemia Type 1, will be sharing a presentation at our upcoming retreat on ‘A life changing assistance dog for UCD families’. Sarah talks about the life changing Assistance Dog research that may help to alert to her sons elevated ammonia levels and how  it may help in other conditions. We can’t wait to hear what is going to be an incredibly interesting presentation!

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