Strategic Advisory Board

Prof Mark James Cook - Chair of Medicine at The University of Melbourne, Professor and Director of Neurology at St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

Cook is a neurologist specialising in the treatment of epilepsy. After completing specialist training in Melbourne, he undertook an MD thesis ('High-Resolution MRI in Adult Focal Epilepsy') whilst working as Brain Research Fellow at Queen Square, London. He returned to St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne to continue his interest in neuroimaging in epilepsy. In more recent years Cook’s interests have included computations models of epilepsy and seizure prediction, and cortical excitability.


Berne Gibbons - Director at Vitro Software International

Berne is the Chair of the AIIA Health Special Interest Group, a member of the Dean of Health Advisory Board at UTS and an Assoc Professor of Healthcare Industry at UTS. She is a member of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Integrative Medicine Committee, as well as a Board member of the NFP organisation Pathfinders with a special interest in registering the Births of Aboriginal people. Berne worked with the Australian Digital Health Agency delivering a strategic Framework for Interoperability for healthcare systems in Australia. Berne is currently the director of Vitro Software is a leading international technology company that provides technology & services that drive efficiencies and quality in healthcare.



Dr Joe is an author, keynote speaker, general practitioner and health industry consultant. Previously holding senior positions in the Australian Medical Association and sitting on numerous industry and government boards Joe has seen the health system from all angles. Add to this extensive corporate experience in the setting up and management of medical centres. Joe’s media activities include having a weekly health segment on Perth Channel 9 morning news and nationally on the Today Show. For ten years Joe was the Night-line doctor and is now on Perth Tonight with Chris Ilsley. In addition to this Joe is a regular guest radio spots and being on the advisory panel for Prevention Magazine. Joe has written for newspapers and news websites nationally.


Deepak Anand - Adjunct Professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Executive Director Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association

Mr. Anand was the founder and the Executive Director of the Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association (CNMMA). The CNMMA represented the nascent Medical Marijuana industry in Canada. Mr. Anand completed his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Vancouver Island in 2003 and have since been involved as a Quality Assurance person under pharmaceutical GMP as defined by Health Canada as for several pharmaceutical wholesale companies in the Vancouver area. Additionally Mr. Anand is the Vice President of business development for Zenabis a licensed Canadian medical cannabis production, research, product development and distribution company.


Maria Hwa Young Oh - co-founder of Biofoundry and Business development manager at Fulgent Genetics

Maria graduated with First Class Honours in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of Melbourne and was previously a PhD/JD candidate at University of Sydney. She was also previously an IARU research fellow at Yale Medical School. She's a co-founder of Biofoundry, co-working space for biotech, housed inside Cicada Innovations, Australian Technology Park. She currently leads business development for Australasia and Asia at Fulgent Genetics. Fulgent is a leader in Next Generation Sequencing Technologies, offering the largest catalogue of clinical genetic testing in the world.  


John Leith – Chairman and Founder of OZ MEDICANN and Hemp & Co.

John Leith holds a Masters Degree in Business Innovation and is one of the key pioneers of the medicinal cannabis ecosystem. Being a passionate entrepreneur, John has played a pivotal role in the industry worldwide, with a key focus on Australia. John is Chairman and founder of the highly successful talent company 2DISCOVER and commercial property firm J&J Properties Innovation Hub and is founder of OZ MEDICANN and Hemp & Co. John recently stepped down as CEO of 2DISCOVER and J&J Properties Innovation Hub and is now full-time Chairman at OZ MEDICANN and Hemp & Co, leading the Leadership and Public Affairs teams in defining both companies’ strategic directions and building OZ MEDICANN and Hemp & Co both locally and worldwide.


Dr Grace Lai (MBBS (Hons), B.Inf.Tech (Distinction)) - founder and Managing Director of Periop PartnersTM

Grace graduated with a Bachelor of Information Technology (Distinction) from the Co-op Scholarship program at the University of Technology, Sydney in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Honours) from the University of Sydney in 2008. She undertook senior roles in market analysis, marketing and sales operations for the Australian and Asia / Pacific (incl Japan) companies, before retraining as a doctor and starting a medical services and software business in 2015. In 2017, she and her co-author Leanne Boase of Prime Medical Property Group, published “Medical Business Management” with Wiley, available at



Ruth Kendon ND DBM

Ruth Kendon is a practising naturopath and herbalist based in Sydney, Australia. After graduating in 1984 with diplomas in Naturopathy and Botanical Medicine, she has spent over 30 years in private practice. In addition, she taught clinical nutrition at all levels for more than 20 years, at Sydney’s most respected naturopathic colleges and at the University of Western Sydney. Ruth has been involved in the formulation and design of hundreds of natural health products including foods, herbal medicines, nutritional supplements, veterinary supplements, cosmetics and aromatherapy products. She has delivered presentations at a number of international conferences on subjects ranging from ageing and longevity to herbal treatment of infectious disease. Her passion is for genuine, effective, high-quality herbal and nutritional medicines – and food. Ruth spent 5 years as a Director of the Board of the Naturopaths and Herbalists’ Association of Australia (NHAA), the peak professional body for practitioners of herbal and naturopathic medicine in Australia. In 2015 she was honoured to be made a fellow of the Association.

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