Meet the team

AusPIPS Inc. is overseen by a Committee of volunteers.

We also have a collective of medical and allied health professionals, who contribute in an advisory capacity to its work. As Primary Immune Deficiency (PID) impacts many areas of health, our advisory panel has contributors from various medical and allied health professions. The advisory panel provides the committee with information and expertise to continue our work which includes patient advocacy and support.

 

Advisory Panel members

Professor Jo Douglass - Immunology Panel Chair

Professor Jo Douglass is a specialist physician in Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, who currently holds a joint appointment as the James Stewart Professor of Medicine in the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine and Director of Research at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Prof Douglass undertook her undergraduate medical training and a Doctor of Medicine (by research) at Monash University and specialist medical training in Melbourne, London and Southampton.

From 2012 to 2020, she was Head of the Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, undertaking a management role in the Hospital as Divisional Director. She has active research projects in asthma, particularly Thunderstorm Asthma, and in the genomic diagnosis of primary immune deficiencies. Professor Douglass serves on numerous speciality and industry advisory boards, she chairs the National Primary Immune Deficiency strategy and is a past president of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.

Dr Charlotte Slade - Clinical Immunologist and Researcher

Charlotte graduated from UNSW with a BA, BSc(Med) MBBS (Hons) in 2001. She completed specialty training in Melbourne and New Zealand and was awarded dual fellowships of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2013.

She works as a Clinical Immunologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and medical researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Her major research focus is the genetic basis of Primary Immunodeficiency (PID). Through her research at WEHI and her work as a consultant Clinical Immunologist for the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance, she is investigating the use of genomics for improved diagnosis and management of PID.
 
She has presented her work at a number of national and international conferences and is a member of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies, the Australasian Society of Immunology and the European Society for Immunodeficiencies.

Prof Alex Boussioutas - Gastroenterologist and Researcher

Professor Boussioutas is a tenured academic clinician at the Central Clinical School, Monash University. He is the Professor Director of Gastroenterology at The Alfred and has been appointed as Program Director for Specialty Medicine at Alfred Health. He is the Head of GI Risk Management at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and he works as a consultant Gastroenterologist at Epworth Healthcare Richmond and has clinical rooms at Cancer Specialists.

He leads a research program in Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer at the Monash University and The Alfred. His research encompasses a number of disciplines including: population health and screening; use of novel technologies to aid early detection of cancer and; genomics in the investigation of molecular pathology of gastric cancer. He was the only Australian collaborator of The Cancer Genome Atlas Network in Upper GI Cancer which led to landmark studies in the characterisation of gastric and oesophageal cancer that were published in Nature.  He has a particular interest in cancer genetics and is one of Australia’s leading experts in inherited cancer of the Upper GI and Lower GI tract.

Dr Theresa Cole - Paediatric Allergist and Immunologist 

Dr Theresa Cole is a paediatric allergist and immunologist at Royal Children’s Hospital. She is Clinical lead for Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant within the Children’s Cancer Centre, specialising in stem cell transplant for primary immunodeficiency. She is current chair of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) primary immunodeficiency committee, chair of the ASCIA immunoglobulin replacement therapy working party and facilitator of the Transplantation in Primary Immunodeficiency (TAPID) group. She was instrumental in publishing national guidelines for the diagnosis and management of children with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency and contributed to the development of the ASCIA Immunodeficiency strategy for Australia and New Zealand. She is principal investigator on a number of clinical trials in HSCT and contributes regularly too education at a national and international level for immunology advanced training.

Dr David Church - General Practitioner

David is a General Practitioner who has been practicing in the Melbourne area for over 25 years. He is  a Trainer for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and also assists in the teaching of Medical Students. His specialist interests include infectious diseases, and David has a number of Primary Immunodeficient patients under his care.

Dr Katie Frith - Paediatric Allergist and Immunologist

Dr Katie Frith is a consultant specialist in paediatric immunology and allergy. She graduated with honours from the University of New South Wales and undertook her general paediatric training in London before returning to Sydney. Katie trained in immunology and allergy at both Sydney Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. She holds a fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Katie has been instrumental in the development of national guidelines for the management of urticaria and angioedema and she is the Chair of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Emergency Department Anaphylaxis Guideline working party. Katie has an ongoing interest in research and has published peer reviewed papers and co-authored a book chapter on paediatric urticaria. Katie is a world expert on Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis (FPIES) and is the lead author on a recently published paper on FPIES, which at this time is the largest study of FPIES performed worldwide. In addition to her private work Katie continues to work as a staff specialist in the Immunology department at Sydney Children’s Hospital and at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.  Katie has expertise in diagnosing and managing children with food allergies, allergic rhinitis, eczema, hives and immune deficiencies.

 

Mr Richard Hession - Physiotherapist

Richard, is a UK trained physiotherapist with over 19 years’ experience in respiratory physiotherapy.  He received his initial honours physiotherapy degree from the University of Keele (UK) in 2001 and his Post Grad Cert in Advanced Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy from University College London in 2009.

Richard has in-depth experience in a variety of patient groups including cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, COPD, ILD, primary and acquired immunodeficiency disorders, and cardiothoracic surgery.  Focussing mainly on ICU and acute medicine, worked for 9 years in the UK in intensive care, developing an extended scope role in tracheostomy care.  Richard moved to Perth with his family in 2010 where he worked at Fremantle Hospital in Intensive Care and cardiothoracic surgery before moving to Melbourne in 2013, working in Acute Specialty Medicine, Emergency Medicine and ICU at Maroondah Hospital, Eastern Health Melbourne.

Richard now treats and manages respiratory patients privately through Melbourne Chest Physiotherapy Clinic as well as in the community, focusing on improving and maintaining quality of life for respiratory patients in Melbourne.  

Richard has worked with AusPIPS for the last 5 years on the advisory panel, providing advice, discussion and education about exercise and quality of life for those with PID.  He is now starting research into the optimal exercise program for sufferers of PID to better inform the evidence base able to give more specific help and advice to individuals with PID.  

 

Dr Daman Langguth - Clinical Immunologist

Dr Daman Langguth is the Director of Immunology at Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology and a VMO at the Wesley Hospital. He has clinical interests in ANCA vasculitis, myositis, autoimmune blistering skin disease as well as running Brisbane’s first SCIG program for primary and secondary immune deficiency. He is the current Chair of the Board Of Professional Practice and Quality of the RCPA and is a member of the Board of the RCPA.

 

Dr Jeremy McComish - Clinical Immunologist, Allergist and Immunopathologist

Dr Jeremy McComish is a Clinical Immunologist, Allergist and Immunopathologist, and is the Clinical Lead for Immunology/Immunopathology at the Blood Service. His immunology training was in Melbourne and Adelaide, with a post-training fellowship position at the Institute of Child Health, University College London. He currently holds a Clinical Immunology consultant position at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and has a private practice in Clinical Immunology and Allergy based at Cabrini Hospital Malvern.

 

Ms Shuk-Yin (Sylvia) Tsang - SCIg Program Nurse Consultant

Sylvia has a Masters in Nursing Science from the University of Melbourne, a certificate specialising in cancer and palliative nursing and specialised in haematology nursing. She works as a Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin (SCIg) Program nurse consultant in the Department of Immunology and Allergy at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. She provides education and support to patients on SCIg therapy including immunology patients with primary and secondary immunodeficiency as well as neurology patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. She is also involved in supporting hereditary angioedema patients on subcutaneous C1-esterase inhibitor therapy. She is part of the board membership with International Nursing Group for Immunodeficiencies and has presented at joint conferences with European Society for Immunodeficiencies. She is also a clinical nurse consultant in dermatology looking after patients with epidermolysis bullosa.

 

A/Prof Menno van Zelm - Immunology Researcher

A/Prof van Zelm is an expert in the field of Primary Immunodeficiency, and is the inaugural director of the Jeffrey Modell Centre for Primary Immunodeficiencies in Melbourne. Menno performed his PhD studies at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Following post doc training in San Diego, CA, USA, he returned to Rotterdam to establish his own research group. He relocated to Australia in 2015 joining Monash University’s Department of Immunology and Pathology to establish the B cell differentiation laboratory. He is also the department’s Deputy Head of Research.

Menno’s major research focuses on unravelling the processes that underlie B cell dysfunction in patients with predominantly antibody deficiency, the most prevalent primary immunodeficency, as well as allergy, autoinflammatory diseases and persistent viral infections. Through his research Menno described the first antibody deficient patients with CD19 and CD81 gene defects, and established the KREC assay for quantification of B-cell replication history. By studying human immunology, Menno aims to directly translate his research into the clinic for better patient care and diagnostics. He has published over 120 research papers and regularly presents his team’s research at national and international conferences worldwide.

Dr Priscilla Auyeung - Immunologist

Dr Priscilla Auyeung completed specialist training in Clinical Immunology, Allergy and Immunopathology in Perth and Melbourne. She was conferred dual Fellowships from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2011. She was awarded her PhD degree by the University of Melbourne in 2015.  Dr Auyeung offers allergy testing and manages all facets of allergic disorders, including allergic rhinitis (hayfever), food allergy, urticaria (hives), angioedema, anaphylaxis, drug allergy and atopic dermatitis (eczema). Dr Auyeung also consults at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Monash Medical Centre. She sees adults and adolescents (13 years or older). Dr Auyeung‘s research interest is in mast cell-related disorders. Since 2011, she has been studying chronic idiopathic urticaria, a skin disease in which itchy hives recur without any apparent trigger, at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. She has published on this topic and presented her work at international meetings. Dr Auyeung is a member of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies and Australasian Society of Immunology.

Dr Gary Unglik - Immunologist

Gary graduated from Monash Medical School in 1997 with honours. He was an Intern and Registrar at the Alfred Hospital and then a Registrar at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He obtained a combined fellowship from both the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2007. He’s a Consultant Clinical Immunologist and Allergist in the Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at The Royal Melbourne Hospital where he was the Head of the Immunopathology Department from 2008 until 2015. Gary is also a Consultant Pathologist at Melbourne Pathology.