About Us

Our dynamic team of investigative doctors includes specialists in pain medicine, neuromodulation, rheumatology, orthopaedic surgery, dermatology, and gastroenterology / hepatology.

Our highly trained clinical trial coordinators form a diverse team of trial specialists with backgrounds in nursing, midwifery, podiatry, gastroenterology/hepatology, and academic respiratory research.

Committed to their vital roles in the clinical trials industry, our support staff consists of passionate individuals, including research assistants, a quality coordinator, research governance officer, financial administrator, and medical writer.

We have access to casual research nurses and pharmacists who can provide additional support as needed. 

Investigators

Dr Marc Russo About Genesis Research Services - Newcastle Research Institute
Dr Marc Russo
Medical 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 Willem Volschenk About Genesis Research Services - Newcastle Research Institute
Dr Willem Volschenk
Pain 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.

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Dr Cillian Suiter
Pain Specialist / Anaesthetist
MB BCh BAO FFPMCAI FCAI EDRA P Dip Sc.

Dr Suiter is a Pain Specialist and Anaesthetist who joined the Genesis team in 2022. He is passionate about research, specifically new innovations in pain medicine, neuromodulation, and cancer pain management. Dr Suiter believes pain medicine is an exciting area and aspires to be a future leader. He is interested in international collaboration to expand the knowledge of this relatively new field of medicine.

Dr Suiter has also travelled and gained medical work experience in numerous countries such as Tanzania, Malawi, Canada, and Ireland. He has taught as a faculty member on medical training courses in Ireland and Malawi to provide medical support to local hospitals and is a qualified American Trauma Life Support (ATLS) instructor. 

Outside of medicine, Dr Suiter enjoys surfing and exploring the beautiful local beaches.

Dr David Mathers - About Genesis Research Services - Newcastle Research Institute
Dr David Mathers
Rheumatologist
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 John Van Der Kallen About Genesis Research Services - Newcastle Research Institute
Dr John Van Der Kallen
Rheumatologist
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 About Genesis Research Services - Newcastle Research Institute
Dr Uli Liedvogel
General Practitioner
BMed FRACGP

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 Lay Gan, Clinical Gastroenterologist, Clinical Trial Investigator at Genesis Research Services
Dr Lay Gan
Gastroenterologist
MBBS (Hons) FRACP PhD

Dr Gan is a Clinical Gastroenterologist who practices in General Gastroenterology and Hepatology. She has a keen interest in all forms of liver disease, and is also experienced in management of patients with inflammatory bowel disease and other areas of general gastroenterology. 

Due to her interest in research, Dr Gan went to the Australian National University in Canberra where she earned a PhD on her thesis in Mechanistic Studies of Cholesterol Lipotoxicity pertinent to NASH. She is principal investigator for several clinical trials in metabolic fatty liver and inflammatory bowel diseases. She takes pride in her holistic patient-centred care, ensuring patients are actively involved in their care and decision processes.

Dr Gan is supported by her husband, who plays a big role within her sphere professionally and personally. When she is not busy at work, she enjoys cooking all kinds of cuisines, especially those from her home country in Malaysia and spending time with her husband and twin daughters.

Dr Paul Mansfield - About Genesis Research Services - Newcastle Research Institute
Dr Paul Mansfield
Rheumatologist
MBBS FRACP FRCPA

Dr Mansfield is a local Rheumatologist with a background in Immunology. He joined the investigative research team at Genesis in 2020 to be more involved in clinical developments.

Dr Mansfield is fascinated by the immune system and actively seeks to assist people living with a range of rheumatological conditions to have a higher quality of life. He is passionate about giving people greater treatment options and keeping up to date with new therapies. Outside of medicine, Dr Mansfield enjoys being active and playing tennis. We are thrilled to have him as part of our team.

Dr Richard Verheul - About Genesis Research Services - Newcastle Research Institute
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. His primary research interests are improvements to surgical procedures and outcomes for knee surgery patients.

Research Team

Emily Allard 2022 Genesis Research Services Research Nurse Newcastle Australia
Emily Allard
Research Manager / Research Nurse / Trial Coordinator

Emily is a highly experienced Registered Nurse with over 16 years of perioperative nursing experience. Originally from the UK, she moved to Sydney in 2012 and relocated to Newcastle in 2018. In her previous role as a Recovery Nurse, she saw first hand the effects that chronic pain can have on a patient’s quality of life. Emily is passionate about finding new treatment options through clinical research, and has a keen interest in chronic back, neuropathic, and cancer related pain. She also enjoys teaching and educating, and the holistic care approach that can be offered to trial participants.

Outside of work, Emily is a wife and mother of two children. She is a keen swimmer and enjoys spending time with her family at the lakes and beaches of the Hunter Region.

Dr Danielle Santarelli, PhD About Genesis Research Services - Newcastle Research Institute
Dr Danielle Santarelli
Medical Writer / Researcher

Danielle is a medical writer and researcher with a Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) (Honours) and a PhD in Molecular Neurobiology / Experimental Pharmacology from The 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 the world and is a published author on over 25 journal articles. She also produces educational content for patients and research professionals, and assists with the development of protocols for our investigator-initiated studies. Outside of work, she enjoys being crafty and mountain biking.

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Heather Macdonald
Clinical Trial Coordinator - Team Lead

Heather is a Clinical Trial Coordinator with experience in academic respiratory research at the Hunter Medical Research Institute. She has a Bachelor of 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.

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Bethany Williams
Clinical Trial Coordinator

Bethany has a Bachelor of Podiatry and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Medical Statistics at the University of Newcastle. She has 7 years of experience as a pharmacy technician, both in a retail and hospital environment, where her role included involvement in anti-cancer clinical trials and sterile compounding of chemotherapy agents.

During her work as a podiatrist, Bethany witnessed the impact of chronic pain and diseases on her patients, especially those impacted by diabetes related complications and arthritis. She began working in clinical trials as it enables her to be part of the newest interventions improving people’s quality of life. Outside of work, Bethany enjoys running and training circus skills.

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Richelle Powell
Clinical Trial Coordinator

Richelle is a Clinical Trial Coordinator and an experienced Registered Midwife. She has worked for over eight years within the maternity sector, including working at the Hunter Medical Research Institute for three years as a Research Midwife on a large pregnancy study.

Richelle has worked in all areas of maternity and has a wide array of midwifery knowledge. She Always works with dedication, compassion, a high level of technical skill, and attention to detail. Richelle is passionate about evidence-based practice and providing culturally safe and inclusive care for all research participants. She is a mother of two teenage boys, and enjoys yoga, trail running, swimming, and going on adventures.

Melissa Young 2023 Clinical Trial Coordinator Genesis Research Services
Melissa Young
Clinical Trial Coordinator

Mel has worked for over 17 years as a Clinical Trial Coordinator in the fields of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and infectious diseases. She has worked in numerous roles in NSW Health, including 23 years as an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse in Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Clinical Governance as a Project Officer, and multiple working parties.

Mel says that working in clinical research gives her an opportunity to interact with people and help make a real difference to people’s lives by being involved in the processes of finding new treatments. She has a keen interest in metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) and Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH).

She is a mother to two adult children and outside of work she likes to keep busy in the garden growing succulents, renovating, crafting, and spending time with family.

Caitlin Crowfoot 2022 Genesis Research Services Research Administrative Assistant Newcastle Australia
Caitlin Crowfoot
Research Administrative Assistant

Caitlin joins the Genesis team as a Research Administrative Assistant and is excited to put her customer service skills to use to help patients with their health and wellbeing. She is currently completing a Certificate IV in Nutrition and is passionate about further upskilling her knowledge in health and wellness. Caitlin has management experience and a Diploma in Events Management, which she utilises in her day to day life to achieve effective planning and communication.

Caitlin has a strong desire to help others and is driven to help make a difference in helping patients with potential new treatments. Outside of work, Caitlin enjoys exercising and spending time with friends, family, and her cat.

Mel Huber Financial Adminstrator Genesis Research Services Newcastle Australia 2023
Melinda Huber
Financial Administrator

Mel recently joined the Genesis team as our financial administrator. She brings with her a vibrant personality, an extensive banking and financial background, and the skills to support a high level of quality customer service. Mel’s role includes maintaining the integrity of our accounting and financial reporting, while not limited to aiding in all financial aspects of the business.

With a keen eye for detail and a strategic mindset, Mel navigates the complexities of financial management to drive sustainable growth and success for our organisation. Outside of work, she enjoys baking cakes, taking photos, and quality time with her family.

About - Genesis Research Services,Research Service,Research institute
Amy North
Quality Coordinator / Research Governance Officer

Amy first joined the Genesis team as a Research Services Administration Coordinator. She has a strong desire to challenge herself and grow her extensive research administration skill set and has recently taken on the additional role of Quality Administrator. Amy has a Diploma in Business Administration as well as management experience and is going to commence further education and training in her new role.

Amy plays a vital role in supporting our investigators and research team. Her passion for helping people is apparent to everyone who meets her. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends as often as she can.

Ashlie Bruce About Genesis Research Services - Newcastle Research Institute
Ashlie Bruce
Research Nurse / Trial Coordinator (Casual)

Ashlie 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 coordinating vaccination trials and providing 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.