Meet the KT Ambassadors

Claire Vajdic

Cancer CAG


Claire is a leader in research using linked, routinely collected health data. Her vision is to use integrated health 'big data' to develop interventions that prevent cancer and the avoidable consequences of cancer, and reduce unwarranted variation in health care for people with cancer. She applies population health science methods across the cancer control continuum of cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care. She also promotes policy that supports good practice in the access to and use of real-world data for research.

Claire's areas of interest are in cancer prevention, cancer health services, optimal care guidelines and public health. 


Patrick Bolton

Musculoskeletal CAG


Patrick is a Conjoint Associate Professor who works across the hospital community interface as a GP and hospital leader. He has a commitment to practice which is evidence based and/or evidence generating and a commitment to equity.

His areas of interest are in health service innovation, complex and integrated care and behaviour change, as well as systems and data.


Julia Lappin

Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction CAG

Julia Lappin is a clinician researcher with dual clinical and research roles. She is a member of the Neuroscience Mental Health and Addiction CAG Executive. She is a Senior Lecturer at University of New South Wales in the School of Psychiatry and the National Drug and Alcohol Centre (NDARC). Julia is a Consultant Psychiatrist at South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and Clinical Director of the statewide Tertiary Referral Service for Psychosis. Her research focuses on improving outcomes in severe mental illness, including co-morbid substance use.


Deborah Yates

Respiratory, Sleep, Environment and Occupational Health CAG

Deborah Yates trained in Medicine at Cambridge University in England  and now practices in Respiratory Medicine as a Senior Staff Specialist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney and is a Conjoint Associate Professor at UNSW. Her fields of interest include lung diseases arising from dust exposure and rare lung diseases of women, and she continues an active clinical practice, as well as collaborating with bodies which enable optimal training in Medicine and the full participation of the range of genders and backgrounds. She believes that translation of scientific findings in an accessible, innovative format for patients is essential, and that this is best enabled by close collaboration between relevant academic fields. 


Susann Beier

Cardiac and Vascular Health CAG

Susann Beier has expertise in the areas of experimental and computational fluid dynamics and mechanics for personalised cardiovascular health considerations.

Having a broad educational background spanning across mechanical, chemical and materials and biomedical engineering, her research and development work encompasses several areas at the interfield of medicine, imaging, engineering and computer-sciences. Her Coronary Atlas team ( spans across UNSW and the University of Auckland, and creates diverse knowledge to develop innovative methods to understand coronary artery mechanisms including disease, to optimise stent design and stent implant strategies as well as identify novel biomarkers.

Susann has received numerous awards including the Cardiovascular Innovations Award by the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand and was named Research Fellow of the New Zealand Heart Foundation. 


Teena Clerke

Maternal, Newborn and Women's CAG

Teena Clarke has a professional background in visual communication design in the business, government and community sectors, with extensive experience as a lecturer in design, art and curatorial studies, adult education, workplace learning, public communications and global studies. She currently works as a project officer for the Maternal, Newborn and Women’s CAG, with interest in clinician training in shared decision making in relation to timing of birth.


Her research experience includes studies in higher, doctoral and transdisciplinary education, primary health, child and family health, and engineering workplace learning.


Grainne O’Loughlin

Early Life Determinants of Health (ELDoH) CAG

Grainne joined Karitane in 2014 and has over 30 years’ experience in the public health care sectors in the UK and Australia.  She has held a variety of senior health executive roles and has extensive strategic and operational experience. Grainne has a strong focus on the implementation of evidence based practices and value-based care.


Her areas of interest include early intervention and prevention, The First 2000 Days, perinatal & infant mental health.



Blake Cochran

Cardiac and Vascular Health CAG

Blake Cochran is a lecturer in the Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences at UNSW Sydney. Blake is a trained cell biologist, with his research program spanning from discovery and clinical science through to epidemiology and educational research. 

His areas of interest are cardiovascular disease, particularly atherosclerosis, and diabetes.



Sandra Garrido

Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction CAG

Sandra Garrido is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and in the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour & Development at Western Sydney University. She has a background in both music and psychology and was the recipient of an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Fellowship in 2016 and the Western Sydney University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research in 2017. Her work focuses on translational research involving arts in health contexts, in particular with people with dementia and depression.


Antonio Mendoza Diaz

Early Life Determinants of Health (ELDoH) CAG

Antonio Mendoza Diaz is a Conjoint Lecturer and researcher interested in the mental health of children, young people, and families, and is affiliated with the “Early Life Determinants of Health” Clinical Academic Group. Antonio is also affiliated with the South Western Sydney Local Health District and UNSW. ELDoH works closely with several CAGs, including K2A, the Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing CAG, and NMHA (Neuroscience Mental Health and Addiction), to ensure that physical, mental, and developmental health problems are addressed through a holistic lens that recognises the multiple factors that contribute to issues of inequity and intergenerational disadvantage.

Prathyusha Sanagavarapu

KT Ambassador

Dr Prathyusha Sanagavarapu is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and a member of Centre for Educational Research and Translational Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University. The topics of her research include diversity in parenting, children’s health and wellbeing,  educational transitions, and digital and blended learning. 


Dr. Sanagavarapu is interested in adapting the concepts and frameworks of Knowledge Translation into educational research, practices, and policies. She has completed a few funded projects on the psychosocial impacts of food allergy and anaphylaxis on the transition to kindergarten for affected children and their families and the health and wellbeing of students transitioning to higher education.  Currently, she is working on a collaborative project on- ‘Knowledge Translation to Support Early Learning of Children from a Refugee Background and their Families’ Settlement in Australia’- funded by Ian Potter Foundation and Western Sydney University.