Professor Tim Driscoll

Is an occupational epidemiologist and a specialist in occupational and environmental medicine and public health medicine.

He is Professor in epidemiology and occupational medicine in the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.

Tim’s main areas of interest include the burden of occupational disease and injury; occupational cancer and exposure to occupational carcinogens, particularly asbestos; occupational lung disease; increasing the practical application and influence of epidemiological principles and findings; and improving the communication of epidemiological principles and findings to the general public.

He leads the occupational risk factors expert working group in the Global Burden of Disease study, where his work has particularly included the burden of disease from asbestos exposure.


Professor Deborah Yates

Professor Yates trained in Medicine at Cambridge University in England and completed her medical training in London. She has expertise in a broad spectrum of occupational lung diseases including coal workers pneumoconiosis, silicosis, asbestos-related disorders and occupational asthma.

She completed an MSc in Occupational & Environmental Medicine and also the AFOM (UK) & Diploma in Occupational Medicine from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, while working for the London Pneumoconiosis Panel.

She also holds an MD from Cambridge University on the topic of asthma, including exhaled breath testing and fractional exhaled nitric oxide, based on research performed at the National Heart & Lung Institute in London. Since permanently moving to Australia, she has continued her research and clinical interest in rare lung disorders, occupational and obstructive lung diseases. She is a Senior Staff Specialist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Conjoint Associate Professor at UNSW and Co-Chair of the Coal Mine Dust Lung Disease (CMDLD) Collaborative Group and is active in the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) and Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). She is associated with the Black Lung Center of Excellent at Chicago, Illinois and involved in the training program for examining medical practitioners in Queensland.

Professor Yates publishes regularly in the fields of respiratory medicine and occupational lung disease and continues an active clinical practice.


Professor Catherine Jones

Professor Catherine Jones has been an I-MED Consultant Radiologist since 2011, working with the Queensland team since 2017. She graduated from a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics at the University of Queensland in 1997, and subsequently from medical school at the University of Queensland in 2001, before undertaking surgical and radiological training in the UK. She then completed a sub-specialty radiology fellowship in Vancouver Canada, in cardiothoracic radiology before returning to Australia in 2011. She has fellowship qualifications in both Australia and the UK.

Professor Jones practises general radiology with a strong interest in cardiothoracic imaging, including occupational lung disease imaging, particularly in dust-exposed workers. She advises several governments and clinical taskforces on appropriate imaging in dust disease and is Associate Professor at the School of Public and Preventive Health at Monash University.

Catherine obtained her B Reader qualification from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) from the United States, part of the CDC network. This qualification recognises her ability in thoracic radiology in the setting of pneumoconiosis detection. The importance of pneumoconiosis surveillance, not just in the coal mining industry but in affiliated industry such as the building and civil engineering sectors, is becoming increasingly recognised.

She is also adjunct professor at the University of Sydney, curating content for medical students and clinicians. She works with medical AI companies to develop clinically useful AI tools for medical imaging interpretation, workflow, and education of doctors and other healthcare professionals. She has a long career in medical research, having published over 30 research articles, primarily in the fields of cardiac and thoracic imaging, and in developing statistical methodology in diagnostic testing, publishing several book chapters on these topics. She has also enjoyed a long-term collaborative relationship with Imperial College London.


Professor Ken Takahashi

Ken Takahashi was named our Honorary International Advisor at the end of 2021 following his five year tenure as Research Director of ADDRI.

Recognised as a global expert in asbestos, Ken’s influence and knowledge ensures our international programs are of the highest quality and impact. He was appointed by the WHO Director-General to the Roster of Experts in Chemical Safety (Environmental Epidemiology) in 2012, and served as the Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre (WHO-CC) for Occupational Health at University of Occupational and Environmental Health (UOEH), Japan for more than 10 years.

As our Research Director, Ken led and built our international collaborations and projects across Asia Pacific which resulted in our designation as the world’s first WHO-CC for the Elimination of Asbestos Related Diseases, a world first.

Professor Takahashi has been an invited speaker on asbestos issues for nearly 20 years, and has been a consultant, advisor and invited speaker for the WHO to countries including the Philippines, Laos, Thailand, Viet Nam, Mongolia, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. He has led the international cooperative activity coined the “Asian Asbestos Initiative,” funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, which was later recognised by the WHO as a “WHO-CC Success Story.”

At the end of 2021, Professor Takahashi was appointed Adjunct Professor within the School of Population and Global Health at UWA. With his appointment as Honorary International Advisor to ADRI, we benefit greatly from Professor Takahashi’s exceptional expertise, commitment and passion to address and eliminate asbestos related diseases globally, especially across the Asia Pacific region.


A/Professor Sonja Klebe

Honorary Research Associate

A/Prof Klebe is a graduate of the Free University Berlin, who completed an MD in Germany, and postgraduate training in Pathology and a PhD at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. Her professional and academic interests over the last 16 years have concentrated upon asbestos-related disorders, especially lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma, including their diagnosis and pathogenesis.

She is an Honorary Research Associate of the Asbestos and Dust Disease Research Institute (ADDRI), an Associate Professor at Flinders University and a Senior Consultant with SA Pathology. A/Prof Klebe is the current chair of the ICCR structured reporting committee for mesothelioma (2021), a member of the International Mesothelioma Panel, International Mesothelioma Interest Group and an author for the new WHO classification of lung and pleural tumours.

A/Prof Klebe had co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications dealing with malignant mesothelioma and aspects of asbestos-related disease, in addition to chapters in textbooks, and many presentations at national and international conferences. She has supervised to completion PhD, honours and MD projects related to malignant mesothelioma, and I am currently leading a clinical trial.

A/Prof Klebe receives consult cases for all aspects of lung disease and has reviewed more than one thousand cases of mesothelioma, in addition to lung cancers, lung cancer precursor lesions and benign asbestos-related diseases of various types (pleural plaques, diffuse pleural fibrosis, benign asbestos pleuritis with effusion, rounded atelectasis, and asbestosis).


Michael Kottek

Has over 25 years of involvement in assessing asbestos exposure and risk in occupational, residential and environmental settings. This has involved simulating past work practices and analytical techniques as well as archival research on historic measurements of asbestos dust levels early warnings about the hazards of asbestos.


A/Prof Brian C McCaughan AM, MB BS (Hons 1), FRACS

Is a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon with a clinical career with 40 years commitment and passion for the management of thoracic malignancies. A/Prof McCaughan is a pioneer of extra pleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and has made an extensive contribution to lung cancer and mesothelioma research which is evident from his dynamic area in research publications. A/Prof McCaughan has over 150 peer-reviewed publications, including invited reviews and publications in Journal of Thoracic Oncology, British Journal of Cancer, Clinical Oncology; Lancet Oncology, NEJM, Annals of Oncology.

A/Prof McCaughan received the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2009 for services to medicine in the field of cardiothoracic surgery as a clinician, researcher and educator and through contribution to the delivery of health care services. A/Prof Brian McCaughan was a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Royal Prince Alfred and Concord Hospitals (1984-2013), Canterbury, Manly, Ryde, Hornsby and Lidcombe/Bankstown Hospitals (1985-2010) and The Mater Hospital (1999-2013). He is a Clinical Associate Professor at The University of Sydney, an Emeritus Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Royal Prince Alfred and Concord Hospitals (2014-) and a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Strathfield Private Hospital (1989-). He is Chair of the Clinical Excellence Commission (2010-) and the Agency for Clinical Innovation (2010-), Member, Judicial Commission of New South Wales (2010-) and Board Member, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse (2016-). He was also involved in many management roles at hospital, district, state and commonwealth level. These included the Royal Prince Alfred Director of Surgery, Central Sydney Area, Director of cardiovascular Service and Chairman of the New South Wales state Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He served as President of the New South Wales Medical Board (1999 – 2004) and he was member of the Health Minister’s Advisory Council for New South Wales Health. He is a member of the ADRI Biobank consortium providing ethical approved biospecimens for research into asbestos-related diseases and has contributed his expertise to many of ADRI’s research projects and publications. His extensive knowledge of the management of thoracic malignancies, malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) in particular, is invaluable in the development biomarkers for the diagnosis of MPM.

A/Prof Brian McCaughan has made substantial contribution to the ADRI biobank and will continue to provide clinical insight into MPM patient management to support ADRI’s research program.


Professor Anna Nowak

Is a graduate of the University of Western Australia, a medical oncologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and a Professor within UWA’s School of Medicine. She treats and researches the asbestos caused cancer, mesothelioma.

Since 2018 Anna has been the Director of the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases (NCARD), an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence based at UWA. With a research team of around 35, NCARD has an international reputation for mesothelioma immunology, biomarkers, and translational clinical trials.

Anna also has had a leadership role in brain tumour research, and has specialised in treating malignant brain tumours. From 2017 until just recently, she was the Chair of the CoOperative trials Group for NeuroOncology (COGNO), the national brain tumour clinical trials group.

As well as her medical qualifications, Anna holds a PhD in tumour immunology, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical trials and quality of life research, giving her a unique translational perspective with expertise in laboratory science, clinical trials, patient-rated outcomes and quality of life.

In 2018 Anna was named Cancer Researcher of the Year by the Cancer Council of WA, and early in 2020 was invited to join the Cancer Council’s Board. In the second half of 2020 Anna has taken on two challenging new roles with the UWA Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences: Associate Dean of Research, and Deputy Executive Dean.

She is passionate about patient-doctor communication, mentoring, and women in oncology and science.

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