Speaker Biography

Steve Allsop


Professor Steve Allsop has been involved in prevention, treatment and policy research and practice, and service management for almost 40 years, working in both government and academic positions. He has been the Director of two national drug research centres, in Adelaide (NCETA until 2000) and subsequently Perth (NDRI until 2016), and for many years he worked with the Western Australian Government Drug and Alcohol Office, including (2003-2005) as Executive Director.

He has chaired national expert groups on responses to alcohol, co-existing mental health and drug problems, and contributed to national clinical practice guidelines and National, State and Territory drug strategies. Other recent and current roles include:

• Chair WA Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies;
• Deputy Chair, Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs;
• Member, Child Death and Domestic Violence Review Panel, Ombudsman (WA);
• Member, Mental Health Advisory Group Australian Defence Force; and,
• Deputy Regional Editor for the journal Addiction.

In 2015 he received the Senior Scientist Award from the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs and in 2017 was the winner of the National Honour Roll as part of the 2017 Alcohol and Drug Excellence and Innovation Awards.

Nadine Ezard
Professor Nadine Ezard is the Director of NCCRED. Nadine is also the Clinical Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney Australia home to one of NSW’s first specialist stimulant treatment programs.
Nadine’s academic achievements include MBBS in Medicine and Surgery and BA in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Melbourne, Masters of Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health and PhD of Public Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Nadine has over 25 years experience in the addiction medicine field and over that time has received multiple accolades including Commonwealth Scholarship and Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence.
Nadine’s body of peer-reviewed research involves building the evidence base for improved health interventions for marginalised populations. Her current research focusses on working with people who use stimulants to develop new and effective interventions.
Nadine is a registered medical practitioner and Fellow of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (FAChAM) of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). She has previously worked for the World Health Organization, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime.

Gail Gilchrist
Gail Gilchrist is a mixed-methods researcher with over 20 years addiction research experience in the UK, Europe and Australia. She is a Reader in Addictions Healthcare Research at the National Addiction Centre, King's College London. Her research focuses on substance use and its relationship with mental health, domestic violence and blood borne viruses; and developing and testing interventions to address these co-occurring issues. Gail currently leads an NIHR programme grant on developing and testing an intervention to reduce intimate partner abuse perpetrated by men in substance use treatment.

Keith Humphreys
Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Research Career Scientist at the VA Health Services Research Center in Palo Alto and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London. His research addresses the prevention and treatment of addictive disorders, the formation of public policy and the extent to which subjects in medical research differ from patients seen in everyday clinical practice.

Dr Humphreys has been extensively involved in the formation of public policy, having served as a member of the White House Commission on Drug Free Communities, the VA National Mental Health Task Force, and the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. During the Obama Administration, he spent a sabbatical year as Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He has also testified on numerous occasions in the U.K. Parliament.

Jee Hyun Kim
Associate Professor Jee Hyun Kim (BSc. (Psychol) Hons. PhD) is the Head of Developmental Psychobiology at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental health. Her focus is on neurodevelopment of addiction and anxiety, and discovered how methamphetamine use in adolescence causes lasting changes in gene expressions in the brain, which leads faster transition to methamphetamine-dependence. She has won numerous national and international awards for her ground-breaking work.

Jee completed her undergraduate degree at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) graduating with the University Medal in Psychology, followed by a PhD from UNSW. Jee then trained as a postdoc at the University of Michigan before her appointment at the Florey.

Jee is a passionate science communicator (@About_Memory), and has given public lectures at TEDx Melbourne (>700,000 views), Australian Museum, National Portrait Gallery, and City of Melbourne as well as regularly featuring on radio and television.

Professor Verdejo-Garcia has a PhD in Psychology (Addiction Neuropsychology, University of Granada, 2006) and a Masters (MSc) in Psychological and Biomedical Aspects of Health & Illness (University of Granada, 2002). After his PhD, he continued specialised training in Addiction Neuroscience in highly prestigious international research centres: Johns Hopkins Medical Institute (Neurology) and the University of Cambridge (Behavioural & Clinical Neuroscience Institute).

Currently, Verdejo-Garcia is an Australian Medical Research Future Fund CDF2 Fellow and holds a Full Professor (Research) appointment at the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN), where he is the Deputy Director of the Addiction Program. He also holds an Honorary appointment at Turning Point, Australia’s leading national addiction treatment and research centre, and is the Chair of the Neuroscience Interest Group of the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM).

Professor Verdejo-Garcia has led numerous studies on the cognitive and neural substrates of addiction, and novel cognitive remediation interventions for treating substance use disorders. He is internationally recognised as an expert in this field, as evinced by several international Editorial Board positions including top-ranked addiction journals (e.g., Addiction, ranked #1 in the Substance Abuse category of the Journal Citation Reports, European Addiction Research, official journal of the European Federation of Addiction Societies). He has published >200 peer-reviewed articles, and his research is funded by the NHMRC and the ARC. His work has attracted over 12,000 citations and has been translated into clinical trials of neurocognitive interventions and policy recommendations regarding the use of neuroscience principles in treatment.

Steve Shoptaw
Dr. Shoptaw is Executive Director of the Center for Behavioral & Addiction Medicine (CBAM) and Center Director of the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (CHIPTS). He is a licensed psychologist, Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Family Medicine and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA as well as an Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town. For over 25 years, he has conducted Phase Ib and IIa randomised clinical trials of medications and behavioural interventions for individuals with stimulant use disorder. He conducts these clinical studies in community settings, striving to bring medical and behavioural interventions to treat addiction and to prevent the spread of HIV, especially in substance-using groups living with comorbidities and with inconsistent access to social determinants of health.


Speaker Biography

Sione Crawford
Sione is currently the CEO of Harm Reduction Victoria and has worked in peer-based harm reduction organisations for over 15 years, including NUAA, CAHMA and AIVL. He will draw on what he has learned over this time along with his own lived experience to reflect upon the successes and challenges facing us as we seek to reduce opioid related overdoses.