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Project team

A team of experienced professionals is managing the work of Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance.

Professor Clara Gaff

Executive Director

Professor Clara Gaff is the Executive Director for Melbourne Genomics.

Clara has been involved in the use of genetics and genomics in health care for almost 20 years through roles in genetic counselling, management of genetic services, health professional education, and strategic development in Australia and the UK. She has worked in public health, government, academic and not-for-profit sectors.

Clara has a PhD in molecular genetics, certification in genetic counselling and postgraduate qualifications in health service research and evaluation. She is a Member of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Human Genetics Advisory Committee and the Ethics and Social Issues Committee of the Human Genetics Society of Australia.

Naomi Burke

Chief Operating Officer

Naomi is Chief Operating Officer, leading the business development, communications and engagement, strategic planning, compliance and professional services functions.

Naomi has extensive experience and expertise securing funding for, and leading the design and delivery of complex health, ICT and commercialisation programs including: the landmark US$250 million venetoclax royalty monetisation; research and clinical services for Victoria’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC); and Victoria’s life sciences supercomputing initiative (VLSCI).  

Naomi is a Certified Health Informatician (Australasia) with qualifications in economics, ICT and public policy, and currently a graduate student in the Master of Public Health (health economics and economic evaluation). 

Elly Lynch

Clinical Project Manager

Elly Lynch is the Clinical Project Manager for Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance; currently seconded from the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services, where she also works part-time. Elly is a Certified Genetic Counsellor with more than 18 years' experience. After completing her Bachelor of Science, Elly completed a Graduate Diploma of Genetic Counselling and received certification through the Human Genetics Society of Australasia in 2009.

Elly co-established the Clinical Genetics Service at Austin Health, where she worked as Unit Manager from 2007 to 2016. Prior to this, Elly worked at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and The Royal Marsden Hospital in the UK.

Elly has extensive clinical experience in seeing patients with adult and paediatric genetic conditions. She has published in medical journals and is involved with supervision of Associate Genetic Counsellors, as well as being a past member of the Board of Censors for Genetic Counselling.

Dr Amy Nisselle

Workforce Stream Lead

Dr Amy Nisselle is a Specialist Project Officer for the Australian Genomics Health Alliance Workforce & Education research program, Workforce Stream Lead for the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance and an Honorary Senior Fellow of The University of Melbourne. She is based at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, Victoria.

Amy is a researcher, project manager, communicator and producer with a doctorate in multimedia genetics education and evaluation. She has 20 years’ experience in health, science and education research, and her publications have been cited more than 1,000 times. Amy has worked in Australia, the USA and UK, first in population-based genetic screening then moving into research and delivery of medical and genetics educational materials in various settings – primary, secondary and tertiary education, continuing medical education and public sectors.

Dr Natalie Thorne

Lead of Innovation & Technology

Dr Natalie Thorne is Melbourne Genomics' Lead of Innovation & Technology.

After a degree majoring in mathematics and statistics and minoring in genetics, Natalie completed her PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute's Bioinformatics division.

Natalie worked for Cancer Research UK at the Cambridge Research Institute in the computational biology group where she worked on a variety of microarray genomics applications in cancer and analysis of data from emerging genomic technologies. After five years in the UK, she returned to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in a senior postdoctoral position within the statistical genetics lab. Natalie's studies utilised high-throughput sequencing technology to discover disease-causing DNA mutations, focusing on projects to improve the use of whole genome sequencing for disease diagnosis.

Dr Melissa Martyn

Evaluation Project Manager

Dr Melissa Martyn is a Senior Fellow in the Genomics in Society Group at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute. Melissa has been seconded to the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance program team in various roles since mid-2014. Melissa's current role with Melbourne Genomics is Program Evaluation Manager; working collaboratively with subject area experts to develop novel methodological approaches for evaluation of genomics.

Melissa has a Bachelor of Arts/Science, a PhD in genetics and a unique mix of expertise from previous roles in biomedical research, medical education, health program evaluation and research into psychosocial aspects on genetics. Melissa’s research focuses on the intersection between genomics and healthcare, encompassing process and impact evaluation, including patient perspectives, and development of workforce capability to support incorporation of genomics.