Speaker biographies 2018

Dr Nicholas Child

After completing his undergraduate training in medicine from the University of Otago in 2003, Nicholas initially worked in Wellington and Melbourne as a house officer before moving to Auckland to complete his neurology training.  In 2012 he was awarded the ANZAN Clinical Neurology Fellowship to the Mayo Clinic in the USA, then completing 2 further years of specialist training in Epilepsy and Deep Brain Stimulation.  In 2015 he returned to Auckland becoming a member of the Department of Neurology at Auckland City Hospital and Clinical Lead for Stroke at WDHB.

Dr Ajay Kumar

Ajay has worked with Counties Manukau District Health Board as clinical Stroke Physician, Geriatrician for the past 7 years. He is a Senior Clinical Lecturer with Auckland University Medical School. His research interest includes Acute Stroke Therapies, primary, secondary and tertiary therapies / prevention, especially TIA, investigation /prevention and treatment of early cognitive impairment and Dementia. He has been involved in International Multicenter Acute Stroke Therapies and PI at local sites.

Associate Professor Beverley-Anne Lawton

Bev trained at Otago medical school and is a director of the Wellington Menopause Clinic and a senior research fellow in women’s health at the Wellington School of Medicine. She is President-elect of the Australasian Menopause Society. Bev's areas of research interest include women’s health with specific focus on sexual and reproductive health, mid-life health and menopause, diabetes and heart disease risk, clinical trials, Māori Health and inequalities, Kaupapa Māori research, Maternal and infant health

She is the author of the web site book www.menopausetoday.com, a member of New Zealand guidelines committee on HRT, a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of Practitioners, Chair of the Diabetes Research Strategy committee and a Member of the NZ Cancer Control Council.

Dr Mayanna Lund 

Mayanna is a heart failure specialist at Counties Manukau Health and the current Chair of the NZ Heart Failure Working Group. After training in Cardiology at Green Lane Hospital, she undertook fellowships in cardiac transplantation at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, and echocardiography and heart failure at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She has worked as a consultant cardiologist at Middlemore Hospital since 2001, and is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer for the University of Auckland. Her current interests include the use of big data for quality improvement, the multidisciplinary care of heart failure patients, and cardiac disease in women. Mayanna was on the founding steering group for the NZ Heart Failure Registry, is a former Go Red for Women Ambassador for the NZ Heart Foundation, and is a member of the Heart Foundation Heart Healthcare Specialist Advisory Group.


Professor David Meagher

David is the foundation Chair, Head of Teaching and Research in Psychiatry, University of Limerick School of Medicine, Ireland, Director of the Cognitive Impairment Research Group (CIRG) and Consultant Psychiatrist. Vice-President of the European Delirium Association. Research interests include the neuropsychiatry of delirium across clinical settings with particular emphasis on palliative care, consultation-liaison psychiatry and elderly medical populations, including research activity focusing on definition and nosology, improving detection and assessment, clinical subtyping, management and prognostic indicators.  More than 150 peer reviewed scientific publications with more than 50 papers focusing upon the neuropsychiatry of delirium.

Dr Brandon Orr-Walker

Brandon is an Auckland-trained Endocrinologist who has been working at Middlemore Hospital since 2001 when he was recruited to set up an Endocrinology Service and is the Clinical Head of Endocrinology and Diabetes.

He has extensive experience with a wide range of endocrine disorders, and for several years (since 2005) has been offering clinical use of thyroid ultrasound in his rooms after becoming AACE (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) board accredited in 2004.

Dr John Perry

John has an interest in both upper and lower gastrointestinal disease, including irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, along with liver disease. He is a graduate of the Auckland Medical School who completed specialist training in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine in Auckland and the UK. He did fellowships in liver disease at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and in inflammatory bowel disease at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, UK.

Dr Paul Vroegop

Paul Vroegop is a Consultant Child & Adolescent Liaison Psychiatrist and Pain Medicine Specialist who works in Counties-Manukau Health in Auckland. He is the Clinical Head of Psychological Medicine, Clinical Lead of the Chronic Pain Service and works as the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatrist with the Paediatric Consult Liaison Team. Paul has had a long-standing passion for working with adolescents, children and adults with chronic pain, and the psychological aspects of health care. He is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer with the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland, is involved in advocating for the development of pain services nationally and regionally, and is regularly involved in lecturing and teaching about pain medicine to students, patients and families, and health professionals.

Professor Rob Walker

Mary Glendenning Chair of Medicine, Professor in Medicine & Head of Department of Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago. Consultant Nephrologist and Head of Nephrology, Southern District Health Board.

Prof Walker is a clinical and academic nephrologist with extensive experience in the areas of clinical and experimental nephrology research with a particular emphasis on cardiovascular risk factors in chronic kidney disease and hypertension. Areas of research interest include dialysis outcomes in the elderly; cardiovascular risk factors associated with renal disease; hypertension, obesity and inflammation; the impact of insulin resistance on cardiovascular risk factors; drug induced nephrotoxicity; the impact of drugs and exercise on kidney function; mechanisms of chronic kidney fibrosis; and genetics in renal disease. This research has resulted in over 210 refereed journal papers. He is the director of ‘The Kidney in Health and Disease’ Research group based at the University of Otago. He has over 210 peer-reviewed publications.

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