emerging thought leaders

Emerging Thought Leaders

Our Emerging Thought Leaders are early-mid career researchers and operational subject matter experts, selected for their passion to improve health and their drive to expand the reach of their insights in order to influence change.

2023 cohort

Allison Gaines

Allison Gaines

PhD candidate, The George Institute for Global Health

Allie Gaines is a non-communicable disease epidemiologist and a PhD candidate jointly at Imperial College London and The George Institute for Global Health, focusing on food policy and the sustainability of the packaged food supply. She is a member of the Grantham Institute’s Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training programme. Her research primarily involves the use of large population databases connecting climate change information to food supply and nutrition data. Professionally, she has worked in healthcare technology, product design and computer science. Allison is working on ensuring people know that by making small changes in the food supply chain, we can make big differences to the environmental impact of food production. 

By making more information available, Allie aims to influence consumers, industry and ultimately policymakers to take progressive steps forward to reduce the environmental impact of packaged foods and beverages and improve health of people and planet.

Jacek Anderst

Jacek Anderst

PhD candidate, The George Institute for Global Health

Jacek Anderst (they/them) is a PhD Candidate at Guuna-maana (Heal) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program. Guided by Dharawal and Bidjigal community members, Jacek’s PhD explores meanings of home and desired outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in social housing. They aim to broaden dominant understandings of home and housing so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social housing tenants come closer to what they need in housing and home, to support social and emotional wellbeing. Their research applies Indigenous research methodologies and methods (e.g. yarning) and qualitative research methods (e.g. semi-structured interviews), conducting research at the interface of two worldviews to develop new knowledge (interface methodology). Jacek is dedicated to research that reflects the lived experience of people for whom research is for, and apply equity, decolonising approaches and a relational way of working in all aspects of their research.

Ankita Mukherjee

Qualitative Researcher, The George Institute for Global Health

Dr. Ankita Mukherjee is Qualitative Researcher at The George Institute. She uses qualitative methods to evaluate interventions and improve intervention design. She works across multiple mental health projects including the SMART Mental Health and ARTEMIS cluster RCT, INDIGO and ANUMATI. In her work she regularly interacts with communities, service providers and other stakeholders to understand their perspectives on projects and their implementation. Ankita is interested in using community engagement to develop mental health interventions. Her other interest is in using health policy and systems research to improve access to quality mental health care. She has an M.Phil and PhD in Social Medicine and Community Health.

Ankita Mukherjee

Anthony Paulo Sunjaya

Dr Anthony Sunjaya

PhD candidate, The George Institute for Global Health

Dr. Anthony Paulo Sunjaya is a medical doctor originally from Indonesia and currently a final-year Scientia PhD scholar (similar to a University President’s scholarship). His research focuses on the development and implementation of user-centred digital health tools including artificial intelligence to improve outcomes in patients with chronic diseases including chronic breathlessness, asthma, COPD, heart failure, anxiety, diabetes and those with multiples of them (multimorbidity). Dr. Sunjaya’s research expertise includes mixed-methods studies, clinical trials, meta-research, and health economics and outcomes research.

He is Co-Founder of BantingMed, a diabetes care startup, which aims to reduce the burden of diabetes globally supported by UNSW Sydney and The George Institute. He is a keen advocate for greater research translation and partnerships between research, industry, community groups, and government to solve society’s complex challenges.

He is currently Visiting Researcher at Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals (UK), Honorary Research Fellow at Imperial College London, President of the UNSW Postgraduate Council, Board member of Arc@UNSW, and was formerly President of the UNSW ASEAN Society.

Ashish Manwar

Program Manager, George Institute Services

Ashish Manwar is part of the Innovations team at the George Institute Services. His background is in Aeronautical Engineering, Strategy and Living Systems, and he is a Strategic Foresight Fellow with the Association of Professional Futurists. Ashish has over 20 years of corporate and development experience covering innovation, applied research, impact investment and governance effectiveness.

One of Ashish’s interest themes is the cross-impact patterns of mental health related behaviours, mirrored across individual, organizational and systems layers. He is using anticipatory and systems lenses to explore sustainable function and productivity vectors, that may further support agile research, practice and policy investments.

Ashish Manwar

Bindu Patel

Bindu Patel

Senior Research Fellow, The George Institute for Global Health

Bindu Patel is a Senior Research Fellow with the Health Systems Science division at the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, and Conjoint Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at University of New South Wales.

Bindu is interested in contributing to equitable, effective and efficient health service delivery and health promotion strategies which address the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCD) globally. Bindu’s research is focused on use of implementation science theories and frameworks to effective adoption and scale-up of NCD innovations, and collaborative and coordinated multisectoral health policy and action. Bindu’s current research includes a Health in All Policies approach to the NCD problem and evaluation of implementation and scale-up of the WHO Package of Essential NCD interventions in Fiji.

Briar McKenzie

Research Fellow, The George Institute for Global Health

Briar is a research fellow and accredited practising dietitian within the food policy division. Briar aims to conduct research that improves diets and reduces the burden of diet related diseases equitably. Briar’s research focuses on two main areas, firstly, supporting the scale-up of food policy interventions in Pacific Island countries and secondly, in exploring the relationship between diet and poor brain health. Across her focus areas, she has a key interest in exploring gender equity considerations.

Briar McKenzie

Chen Chen

Chen Chen

PhD Candidate, The George Institute for Global Health

Chen Chen's research is focus on stroke management, especially BP management mainly in low-middle-resource settings. She has participated as research fellow and/or clinical research associate in several large scale randomized controlled trials, such as the Intensive Ambulance-delivered Blood Pressure Reduction in Hyper-Acute Stroke Trial(INTERACT4), and the Third, Intensive Care Bundle With Blood Pressure Reduction in Acute Cerebral Hemorrhage Trial (INTERACT3), to improve management strategy of acute stroke in China. Chen Chen is striving to improve people’s perception of clinical trials, to enable more people to think of them as a carefully managed alternative option and get more people involved. Get to know clinical trials with emerging thought leader Chen Chen.

Dilara Bahceci

Research Fellow, The George Institute for Global Health

Dr Dilara Bahceci, PhD, is a Research Fellow at the George Institute and facilitates the development of innovative clinical trials for mental disorders that investigate low-cost ‘breakthrough therapies’, like ketamine, MDMA and psychedelics. Dilara has a PhD in neuropharmacology and has academic and private-sector experience in the research and clinical development of psychoactive drugs. Dilara is also an innovative and creative science communicator who is passionate about making science accessible to everybody. Dilara believes that psychedelic treatments like ketamine, MDMA and psilocybin are the most exciting breakthrough for the treatment of mental disorders in decades and have the potential to be available at low-cost and is working to support the rigorous scientific evaluation of these promising interventions and help make them affordable and accessible to everyone.

Dilara Bahceci

Gloria Benny

Gloria Benny

Research Assistant, The George Institute for Global Health

Gloria Benny holds a master’s degree in Development and a bachelor’s degree in Medical Sociology. She is developing her expertise in qualitative research. She has over five years of experience working with tribal communities in southern and central India, and with various rural communities in the southern India. Gloria has a strong interest in research topics within the ecosystem of Health systems and Social Participation in Health. Currently her work is focussed on Universal Health Coverage and health equity.

Partho Mukherjee

Research Assistant, The George Institute for Global Health

Partho is a Research Assistant in ARISE at George Institute India, based out of Bengaluru. He works with informal waste workers, most of whom are migrant workers. Waste workers face multiple forms of discrimination, rooted not only in terms of caste and class, but also from the nature of work and association with waste which has associated social stigma of purity and pollution. In addition, migrant status also leads to denial of social security entitlements from local governments. Using participatory Research Methods, Partho works closely with waste working communities to improve their collective capabilities, help build local governance structures, and work towards policy change that would enable waste workers to claim their right to health. He also works closely with civil society organisations and social movements, bridging the knowledge gaps between research, advocacy and action.

Partho Mukherjee

Ruth Freed

Head of Academic Project Operations, The George Institute for Global Health

Ruth Freed is the Head of Academic Project Operations at The George Institute. She has a long history working in clinical trials and is the global project manager for a large clinical trial (TRIDENT) in secondary prevention in stroke. Ruth is passionate about raising awareness and understanding of clinical trials in the community to overcome barriers and increase participation.

Ruth Freed

Sarah Iqbal

Sarah Iqbal

Research Manager, The George Institute for Global Health

Sarah Iqbal is a Research Manager at the George Institute for Global Health, India. She has a PhD in Biochemistry from Aligarh Muslim University, India and has worked briefly as a postdoctoral fellow before transitioning into research administration. Using her experience Sarah is working on improving the impact pathway to understand how policies affect research and how research creates impact.
 

Viola Korczak

PhD Candidate, The George Institute for Global Health

Dr Viola Korczak is a Registrar in Emergency Medicine and a PhD candidate in the Health Systems team at The George Institute for Global Health. Her research is informed by her clinical practice and focuses on improving equity in accessing care. Her current research is on understanding patient preferences for emergency care to develop models of care which are more equitable and accessible.

 

Viola Korczak

Past cohorts