MND Australia

The MND Research Collective Board

Image of Dr. Patricia Geale
Dr. Patricia Geale

Dr. Patricia Geale and her brother Murray, who lived with MND for 5-years, jointly served on the Board of The MND Collective in 2022. She holds an MBA and a PhD in Corporate Governance. Together with her academic qualifications, Patricia had a thirty-year career in strategic management and marketing, primarily in the travel and tourism industry. She has been on the academic staff at Griffith University, Bond University, James Cook University, Central Queensland University and Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles. She lived and worked in the USA for 13 years. Patricia continues Murray’s legacy by ensuring People Living with MND are the central focus of The MND Research Collective and organisations dedicated to MND Research.

Image of Dr Anne Hogden
Dr Anne Hogden

Dr Anne Hogden is a researcher and senior lecturer with the School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine & Health, UNSW. She has a clinical background in MND care as a speech pathologist, assisting people with MND and their families to manage communication, saliva and swallowing concerns. She is the author and developer of the Australian MND patient decision tools ( supporting people living with ALS/MND to make decisions for their care and quality of life. Anne has collaborated widely with MND clinics and researchers in Australia and internationally for decision tool development and models of care and service delivery to people living with MND.

Image of Kate Johnson
Kate Johnson

Kate has been CEO of the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association of Victoria since April 2019. Prior to that Kate enjoyed over 20 years’ experience in leadership and the strategic development of not-for-profit organisations. Kate’s previous roles include General Manager St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria (Service Development) and General Manager Carer and Community Services at Carers Victoria. Kate has a Bachelor of Science (majoring in Genetics and Psychology), a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology and recently graduated with an MBA and Master of Leadership. Since arriving at MND Victoria, Kate has facilitated the development of the strategic and business plans, the re-architecture of the organisation’s IT infrastructure and the selection and implementation of a new client and customer management system.

Kate ensures that people living with MND in Victoria and Tasmania are well supported, informed and have access to services, including palliative care, throughout their MND journey. Under Kate’s leadership, MND Victoria supports, promotes and delivers research into better care, identifying causes, treatments and ultimately a cure for MND. Since 2021 Kate has also been a Board member of Palliative Care Victoria and chairs PCV’s engagement committee.

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Associate Professor Susan Mathers

Susan Mathers is a neurologist at Monash Health, Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University and Clinical Director of Neurology at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem, Melbourne. Her clinical and research interests focus on the management of progressive neurological diseases, clinical trials and models of care. She is a member of the scientific committee of Motor Neurone Disease Research Australia, the Fight MND CURE Sub-Committee and a chief investigator on the MiNDAUS project: Motor Neurone Disease: Patient centred care for a progressive neurological disease— evidence driving policy.

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Dr Peter Raisbeck

Dr Peter Raisbeck is an Associate Professor of Architectural Practice at the Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne. Since 2006 he has been teaching Architectural Practice, Design Activism and Architectural Archives. In September of 2018 he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Since this diagnosis he has become increasingly passionate about disability inclusion in architecture. He has published three books including the most recent, Architects, Sustainability and the Climate Emergency: A Political Ecology, published in November 2022.

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Associate Professor Mary-Louise Rogers

Associate Professor Mary-Louise Rogers was elected as chair of the Discovery Research Driving team in 2021. Mary-Louise has led the Motor Neurone Disease and Neurotrophic Research Laboratory at Flinders University since 2011. Assoc Prof Rogers research is focused on improving ways to detect treatments are working in clinical trials for MND and working out why MND starts. Success in funding from USA and Australian granting bodies has enabled the research program to continue and is well recognised as an MND researcher that is making a difference to facilitating the development of an effective MND treatment. Assoc Prof Rogers is passionate about improving the outcome of people with MND, and is on the MND SA Board.

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Dr Bec Sheean

Bec is the Director of Cure Research and Programs at FightMND and has been working in the MND sector for 17 years. She has a PhD in Neuroscience, specialising in MND and a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research. Bec oversees all FightMND’s Cure Research portfolio, which supports pre-clinical and clinical MND research projects throughout Australia and internationally, as well as FightMND funded Clinical Trials. Through her role she liaises with all aspects of the research sector including researchers, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies, and Government to develop large scale, collaborative MND research projects. Bec has a passion for science communication and building connections within the research community including people with lived experience of MND.

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Dr Nicole Sheers

Dr Nicole Sheers is the Chair of the MND Collective Clinical Care Driving Team. She has 25 years of clinical experience working with people living with neuromuscular conditions, and has worked as a respiratory physiotherapist with the Victorian Respiratory Support Service - the specialist state-wide home ventilation team - for the past 17 years. Nicole's research aims to improve sleep, breathing and cough function for people living with a neuromuscular disease, and she conducted a clinical trial that tested the effect of a particular breathing exercise as part her PhD; completed in 2021. She is an early career researcher and postdoctoral research fellow at The University of Melbourne and Institute for Breathing and Sleep at Austin Health.

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Jane Simpson

Jane spent 20 years working with Australian and Global corporations to identify improvement opportunities within their policies and procedures. Jane has been invited to speak at both International and national conferences. Jane started her own business and in 2019 won Xero’s Best Small Australian business.
Jane’s husband Robert was diagnosed with MND in February 2021 and he died 10 months later. Since then, Jane has become involved with Fight MND and MND Australia to try and make a difference to those with MND and their carers. Jane is the Chair of the MND Research Collective Lived Experience Expert Driving Team and is host of the podcast “Let’s Talk MND”

Image of Dr Gethin Thomas
Dr Gethin Thomas

Dr Gethin Thomas has been the Executive Director, Research at MND Australia since 2019. He oversees the MND Australia research grant program and manages national and international partnerships. A key aspect of this role is providing a conduit between research programs and the wider MND community through MND Australia and the affiliated State Associations. Gethin is also on the Board of the International Alliance of ALS MND Associations.