Life Sciences Committee Members


Lisa Crowley  (Chair)

Lisa is a Research Operations Manager with over 10 years’ experience as a biomedical and clinical researcher. She completed a PhD in Medicine and Health from University College Cork (Ireland). In 2011 she moved to Brisbane to take on a biomedical post-doctoral position. During this time, she realised her passion for translational research and shifted to clinical research, choosing to concentrate on Stillbirth prevention. Lisa has always been driven to improve the research working environments. actively participating in committees including the ECR committees, User groups and mentoring. In 2014 Lisa she took an opportunity to concentrate on the operational side of research. Currently she oversees the operations of Mater Research across 3 sites. Through this she has honed skills such as project management, organization, communication and collaboration.



Sophie Courtney (Secretary)

Sophie is an experienced laboratory manager with considerable experience in providing facilities support within a complex research and academic environment. She is performance driven and has excellent management and academic achievement. Sophie is a skilled communicator and has the ability to develop rapport and trust with research and medical professionals and operates in a framework of integrity and ethics of the highest standard. Sophie is currently working at the Translational Research Institute (TRI) as a Research Floor Manager. TRI is a unique, Australian-first initiative of 'bench to bedside' medical research, it combines clinical and translational research to advance progress from laboratory discovery to application in the community.



Ann Uldridge

Ann has over 30 years experience in the information and communications technology industry, holding a significant shareholding together with her late husband in a systems integration firm that grew from 6 to over 600 people during the 1980’s and 90’s. Following the sale of the firm to a USA based private company, Ann invested her energies in a portfolio of directorships and advisory positions for community-based as well as private organisations.

As a founding member of Women in Technology in 1997 (President from 1999-2001) and the Biotech Chapter in 2005, Ann remains committed to advancing women in technology in decision-making roles.

Ann was a Director of teQstart Pty Ltd from 2004-2009 (a Queensland Government fund to invest in high-tech industries) - co-investing in 27 companies across a range of technologies and industries.  While a Director of ‘31’  in 1999-2000 (Queensland’s communityTV broadcaster), she seized an opportunity to more broadly transmit information about science and technology by executive producing 9 documentaries for National Science Week showcasing Queensland’s science and technology enterprises on community TV.

Since becoming involved with the TAFE sector in 2000 first as a member of the then Training and Employment Board and for the last 10 years as a member and Deputy Chair of Brisbane North Institute of TAFE, she has persistently championed the benefits of moving to “blended learning” models.  That is, making use of technology to maximise the currency, flexibility, quality and interactivity of learning in order to rapidly respond to changing needs.



Lilach Avitan

Lilach is a Neuroscientist at the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland.

Following her BSc in Computer Science and Statistics, Lilach played various technical and managerial roles in the IT industry. Lilach was a partner in a startup company in the field of search engines.

After 10 years in the IT environment, managing highly complex projects and leading large teams, Lilach undertook a PhD in computational Neuroscience studying the statistics of populations of neurons in the brain.  Lilach found the combination of Mathematics and Biology fascinating, and was awarded her PhD with high distinction.  Lilach then undertook post-doctoral research at the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland where she is looking into the neural code. Lilach is a mum to two beautiful little girls.



Maree Klemm

Maree has 35+ years of mining and financial services sector experience, in operations, advisory and consultancy roles for multinational corporations, private and publicly listed companies and government.

Working in globally competitive industries has honed her skills in:- strategic use of capital to establish and optimise value; taking resources projects from exploration through financing and permitting to production; valuations and strategic positioning of assets;   .

Maree’s career in mining and equity capital markets includes metalliferous, industrial minerals and energy resource projects; asset and share price valuations; mergers and acquisitions; investor relations; corporate development and research and analysis. She has worked with Xstrata, Rio Tinto, Societe Generale de Surveillance, consulted to many resources/mining companies and a number of investment bankers and brokers, and was Project Director for T1 & T2 of the Telstra privatisation. 


Diana Leemon

Diana is a Principal Scientist for bee health and arthropod pest management in Agri-Science Qld within the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Diana obtained a BSc from the University of Queensland (UQ) majoring in botany and mycology and commenced work at UQ in mycology and plant pathology, then timber pathology research. After completing a Grad. Dip. Ed. Diana took up teaching science, maths and biology, first in secondary schools and later with international students at QUT. Later she completed a Grad. Dip. Biotechnology and returned to research, taking up a position with the Department of Primary Industries to investigate the fungal bio-control of livestock ectoparasites.

During the last fifteen years with this department through its various name changes Diana completed a M Appl Sc and a PhD while establishing her specialty area of research, the development of non- chemical controls for arthropod pest management.  She has served on the executive of the Australasian Mycological Society as both Vice–President and President. Her driving passion is for understanding science and how we can apply it to better our world. She has a particular obsession with the mostly unseen world of fungi and the amazing ways this little understood kingdom of organisms impact upon our lives.

She has developed expertise in: Research project management, including project development, funding acquisition and active leadership. Science communication, both written and oral, to industry and scientific and general communities. Science education including development and delivery of programs to students and adults. Networking and organisation.

















Clarissa Rios 

Clarissa Rios is an experienced researcher and scientist with more than 10 years of experience in conducting multilateral scientific projects and publishing scientific articles in the areas of Biomedicine and Molecular Biology. She did her bachelors at the Mayor National University of San Marcos (Peru), followed by exchange studies at University of Turku (Finland). She graduated with the master in Biomedicine and Neurosciences from Karolinska Institute University (Sweden) and currently she is finishing her PhD at University of Queensland (Australia).

She is also passionate about social development, her vision is to empower Latin students and promote the social and economic development of Latin American countries through education, science and technology. Hence, she is the Founder and Director of the non profit: Ekpapalek ( which offers opportunity for professional development.

Clarissa is also an advocate for gender equality, she is one of the current Global Champions for women economic empowerment (WEE) 2015-2016 of the platform Empower women from UN Women. As a champion for WEE she is currently developing a project for empowering women in Peru that seeks to change women’s current role models (Ekpapalek Mujeres). Moreover, she works with Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) developing webinar series showcasing the achievements of Australian women who have been acknowledged by WILPF as Peacewomen for their contributions to peace building within their communities. 

Her global experience has allowed her to develop key strengths in innovation, research, management and team leadership, public speaking and excellent interpersonal skills in a variety of working cultures including non-profits, start-ups, universities and research organizations" 


Catherine Kim

Catherine is a PhD Candidate and an XL Catlin Oceans Scholar at the University of Queensland.  Her research focuses on coral reef ecology of Timor-Leste and has the privilege of gathering baseline coral reef phototransects across the Indo-Pacific with the XL Catlin Seaview Survey.  The project also collects 360 degree, underwater imagery which can be viewed as ‘virtual diving’ on Google StreetView.  Catherine enjoys science outreach and communication and is a Young Science Ambassador through the Wonders of Science Program at UQ.  Previously, she worked for Professor Drew Harvell at Cornell University working on coral disease in Hawai‘i and seagrass wasting disease in the San Juan Islands after graduating with a BS in Science of Earth Systems. 











Nasim Amiralian

Nasim Amiralian is an Advance Queensland Research Fellow in the area of nanomaterials engineering in Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland. While passionate about fundamental science and engineering, Nasim is strongly focused on pursuing commercial endeavours associated with her research area. This includes working with industry partners to advance and translate her research into products that will benefit the economy and strengthen Australia's position in the global market.

Nasim’s research has also been instrumental in fostering linkages and delivering job opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

Nasim is passionate about inspiring the next generation of young scientists. She has been instrumental in the development of a culture of collaboration and career support for UQ's next generation of research leaders. Her vision is to help different committees to create a program that enables all early and mid-career researchers to reach their career goals and achieve research excellence. She also like to share her enthusiasm for science with high school students and potential undergraduate students who are curious about a career in science.


Elise Hogan 

Elise Hogan is Area Business Director – Australia/New Zealand and SEA Sorin Group.  She has an extensive knowledge of Cardiovascular devices and their clinical application has provided the foundations for Elise’s successful career in the medical devices industry.  Senior and autonomous management roles with multinational medical device companies have developed Elise’s financial and operational skills to a high level.   As a recognised strategic leader, and capable General Manager, Elise has had the privilege to manage to establishment of two multinational medical device companies in Australia.  Her entrepreneurial spirit and keen business acumen have resulted in the growth of successful subsidiaries for two high profile companies.   Elise has a wealth of experience in the healthcare industry throughout Asia, Europe, Aust/NZ and with USA teams.  This experience has developed strong clinical and commercial networks though out the world.  It has also given her an extensive knowledge of the regulatory and commercial landscape of many developing regional markets, and experience in business development projects throughout the world.




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