Our Philosophy

We believe our first responsibility is to our community; to provide a centre with the capabilities of linking local specialist doctors with appropriate clinical trial opportunities so our community has access to innovative technologies and potential treatments. We provide hope to our community by expanding available healthcare options.

For our participants; we believe in creating a positive experience through interactions with friendly, capable staff and approachable doctors. Participants will always be treated with great care and respect, with each human interaction being valued and each person being assessed for their individual needs to achieve quality outcomes for each person.

For our staff; we will work diligently to ensure our staff are supported in their complex roles, and provide opportunities for career growth. We will strive for the highest standards in everything we do and have a culture of open communication for continuous quality improvement. Our staff will enjoy health initiatives to provide a foundation for taking on new challenges and building innovative attitudes.

We are responsible to our clients and the projects we are fortunate enough to work on. Collectively, our team will provide quality data, exceed recruitment goals and be highly responsive in all interactions. Our client’s expectations will be exceeded and we will continue to experiment with new ideas to improve our services. We will always operate with integrity in our undertakings, committing to the highest quality output in the most efficient way.

Investigators

Dr Marc Russo
Dr Marc RussoMedical Director/Pain Specialist
MBBS DA (UK) FANZCA FFPMANZCA

Dr Russo is a globally recognised Pain Medicine Physician who believes that clinical diligence, early intervention, education and research in the field of pain management are integral to successfully treating patients suffering from chronic persistent pain.

Dr Russo completed two successful world first spinal cord stimulator device implantations in Newcastle Australia in 2011, establishing him as a leader in his field. Dr Russo has been involved in over 60 clinical trials and published over 40 journal articles. Dr Russo participates in both pharmaceutical and medical device trials (SCS). His primary research areas are Neuropathic Pain (CRPS, PDN, PHN), Chronic Pain (Back, Neck & Limbs), Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, Osteoarthritis and Vaccine studies.

Dr David Mathers
Dr David MathersRheumatologist
MBBS FRACP

Dr Mathers is a Consultant Physician in Rheumatology with clinics in Newcastle and regional NSW. He is a regular Specialist at John Hunter Hospital and a Lecturer at both the Universities of Newcastle and Wollongong.
Dr Mathers enjoys the great outdoors having walked the Kokoda track and also climbing to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. In 2017, Dr Mathers joined a small group involved in the Larapinta Trail Challenge, trekking 65km in 5 days in the Northern Territory raising funds to support Indigenous students and research into Indigenous community health issues.

Dr Mathers has worked with Genesis since 2016 as an investigator on numerous Rheumatology studies. His primary research areas are Spondyloarthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Dr Willem Volschenk
Dr Willem VolschenkPain Specialist/Anaesthetist
MBChB, FCA (SA) FANZCA, FFPMANZCA

Dr Volschenk is a dual qualified Anaesthetist and Specialist Pain Management Physician from South Africa. He speaks 2 languages; English and Afrikaans. He is passionate about clinical education as a local GP educator and trainer for Fellows of Pain Medicine.

Dr Volschenk commenced working with the Genesis team in 2015 working on device and pharmaceutical studies for people suffering chronic pain as both a study investigator and Anaesthetist for our surgical procedures. His primary research interests are in neuropathic pain conditions and spinal pain.

Dr John Van Der Kallen
Dr John Van Der KallenRheumatologist
MBBS FRACP

Dr Van Der Kallen is a leading Rheumatologist in Newcastle with a passion for climate change activism. He speaks 2 languages; English and Dutch. Between his clinical practice and work as a conjoint lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Dr Van Der Kallen runs his own tree plantation and biodiversity project in Northern NSW. He also chairs the NSW branch of Doctors for the Environment Australia, addressing environmental deterioration and the effects on our health.

Involved in research projects since 2007, Dr Van Der Kallen’s primary research interests are in musculoskeletal disease, osteoporosis and Rheumatology. He has worked with the Genesis team since 2016 on a number of Pharmaceutical studies, expanding our ability to be involved in Rheumatological advances.

Dr Uli Liedvogel
Dr Uli LiedvogelGeneral Practitioner
MBBS BAppSc

Dr Liedvogel is an experienced General Practitioner specialising in the management and rehabilitation of Acute Injuries. He is a thrill-seeker with a passion for adventure sports and has travelled to remote locations for Medical Locum and foreign aid positions to assist people in need. Dr Liedvogel is the owner and Principal Doctor at the Hunter Acute Injury Management Unit at Newcastle Private Hospital. As a procedural GP, he assists numerous surgeons in theatre operations including all Genesis Spinal Cord Stimulation surgeries.

Dr Liedvogel’s flexible approach to medicine centres around his beliefs that treatment options need to be customised to suit each individual, stimulating his interest in developing therapies available through research. He has worked with Genesis since 2016 with his primary interests being in musculoskeletal pain management studies.

Dr Jane Morgan
Dr Jane Morgan General Practitioner
MBBS DipRACOG

Dr Morgan is an experienced General Practitioner with special interests in women’s health. She has worked in numerous rural areas of NSW and is currently practicing in Hamilton, Newcastle. Dr Morgan is a passionate advocate for human rights and has a deep appreciation for the natural environment. She is involved in the Hunter Farm Forestry Network and makes significant contributions to the regeneration of bushlands and waterways in NSW through her multiple biodiversity projects.

Dr Morgan’s research interests lie in primary care projects that will have a real community benefit, with a specific focus on conditions that are beyond human control, inherited or otherwise. She commenced working with Genesis in 2019, further expanding our capacity to participate in higher volume primary care and vaccine studies.

Dr Richard Verheul
Dr Richard Verheul Orthopaedic Surgeon
MBBS FRACS

Dr Verheul is a specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon, working exclusively in knee surgery. When he is not working at his clinic in Lake Macquarie or in surgery, Dr Verheul can be found getting his hands dirty at his farm in Port Stephens. Dr Verheul has travelled through Asia volunteering to teach arthroscopy and joint replacement surgery to local doctors. He also speaks two languages, English and Dutch.

As one of the most productive knee surgeons in Australia, we are fortunate to have Dr Verheul commencing work with us at Genesis in 2018. His primary research interests are improvements to surgical procedures and outcomes for knee surgery patients.

Dr Mazyar Danesh
Dr Mazyar DaneshAnaesthetist
MD ACEM FANZCA

Dr Danesh is a specialist anaesthetist and has also had training in emergency medicine. He speaks 3 languages; English, Farsi and Azarbajani and completed his Medical degree in Iran in 2003. He is a basketball and football fan, and loves to travel, engage in various sports, and meet new people.
Dr Danesh is currently completing training to become a Specialist Pain Management Practitioner, expanding his understanding of procedural pain medicine. He hopes to have a positive impact on the lives of people who live with chronic pain.

Dr Danesh commenced working with Genesis in 2018 on numerous projects. He believes in the ability for research to provide hope to patients who have limited options and he trusts research will open new windows to the future. “When people feel left without options, it can be a very dark place and research has the potential to shed light back into their life”.

Research Team

Dom Bailey
Dom BaileyChief Executive Officer
Dom is a highly experienced healthcare professional having worked extensively in both public hospitals and private companies. He has university qualifications in Nursing, Occupational Health and Safety and a Masters of Clinical Trials Research.

With a focus on business development, innovation and sustainability, Dom’s professional goal is to provide simple plans and modern project management for clinical research business success. He is passionate about bringing new opportunities to our local area and offering a platform for pharmaceutical and medical device companies to gain the evidence they need to develop their treatments.

Katie Hart
Katie HartClinical Trial Coordinator
Katie is a clinical trial coordinator and resident pharmacist at Genesis who works on all elements of clinical trials. She has been lead coordinator on both pharmaceutical and device research studies as well as development of innovative projects involving our local research network.

Prior to Genesis, Katie worked as a community Pharmacist, delivering holistic care and support to patients. Outside of work, Katie enjoys baking and cooking, travelling and spending time with her family. She has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and a Masters of Pharmacy from Newcastle University.

Dr Danielle Santarelli PhD
Dr Danielle Santarelli PhDMedical Writer/Researcher
Danielle is a medical writer with a PhD in molecular neurobiology / experimental pharmacology (University of Newcastle). Since completing her thesis by publication and leaving the laboratory, she has worked alongside Dr Marc Russo at Genesis Research Services performing patient data analysis and publishing journal articles.

Danielle operates as a consultant medical writer for specialist physicians around Australia and is a published author on over 15 journal articles. She contributes to the educational content available for our participants and writes protocols for our investigator-initiated studies.

Mel Goldman
Mel GoldmanBusiness Development Manager
Mel is the Business Development Manager at Genesis overseeing all new study feasibilities, contracts and financial management. Mel also leads the recruitment services department of Genesis, connecting over 3000 participants with sites in Australia and New Zealand in 2017.

Mel has a Bachelor of Business (Management), receiving the Faculty Medal for Excellence from the University of Newcastle. Mel’s interests lie in the development of progressive services for clients and participants, to ensure Genesis delivers on study outcomes.

Michael Holt
Michael Holt Clinical Trial Coordinator
Michael is a clinical trial coordinator at Genesis Research Services who assists in project management of clinical investigations whilst upholding participant care. His responsibilities include managing all operational aspects of medical and device research studies.

Prior to Genesis, Michael worked as a treating practitioner in injury solutions and peak conditioning. He has a Bachelor of Exercise Physiology and a Graduate Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science.

Heather Macdonald
Heather Macdonald Clinical Trial Coordinator
Heather is a clinical trial coordinator with experience in academic respiratory research at the Hunter Medical Research Institute. She has a degree in Biomedical Science from the University of Newcastle for which she received the Dean’s Merit Award.

Heather has worked in both laboratory and clinical areas with dedication, a high level of technical skill and attention to detail. She works on both pharmaceutical and device studies at Genesis. Heather is passionate about patient care and enriching people’s lives through her work. Outside of work, Heather enjoys music and dancing.

Ashlie Bruce
Ashlie Bruce Clinical Trial Coordinator
Ashlie is our newest clinical trial coordinator at Genesis. She is a qualified Registered Nurse with over 7 years experience in hospital emergency departments and GP practices in the Newcastle and Hunter areas. Ashlie’s role at Genesis is largely dedicated to vaccination trials and ongoing participant care. She has additional qualifications in immunisation for health practitioners and Work Health and Safety.

Ashlie is passionate about patient focussed care in order to provide positive health outcomes for her study participants. Outside of work Ashlie is a professional photographer and mother of two beautiful daughters. She enjoys exercising and travelling with her family.