Our Biobank experts

Meet the team

Professor Jennifer Byrne

Director of Biobanking

As the Director of Biobanking, Professor Jennifer Byrne leads the NSW Health biobanking program, including the NSW Health Statewide Biobank (NSWHSB).

Professor Byrne has extensive experience in biobanking, from both the perspective of a researcher who has employed biospecimens throughout her research career, and through establishing, overseeing and networking cancer biobanks.

Previously, Professor Byrne was Head of the Children’s Cancer Research Unit at Kids Research, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. She established the Tumour Bank within the Children’s Cancer Research Unit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in 1997 and was then appointed as Chair of Biobanking within the Kids Cancer Alliance in 2013. She has taken paediatric cancer biobank networking to a national level by serving as the founding Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology/Oncology Group network of tumour banks.

At a national level, Professor Byrne is a member of the Steering Committee of Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia. She chairs the NSW Health Statewide Biobank Scientific Review Group and is a member of the Victoria Cancer Biobank Scientific Advisory BoardShe has led several Cancer Institute NSW-funded projects across all cancer biobanks in NSW, including a collaboration on the adaptation and implementation of the first biobank certification program to be introduced to Australia.

Professor Byrne is also conjoint Professor of Molecular Oncology within the School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney.

In addition to a wealth of knowledge, experience and achievement in biobanking and biomedical research, Professor Byrne brings her enormous enthusiasm and commitment to the importance of biobanking for research.

Candace Carter

Operations Manager

As Operations Manager, Candace oversees the quality, cost and operational integrity of the biobank, as well as compliance, accreditation, HR, business & resource management.

Candace has over 15 years of experience in biobanking and clinical research and has managed national and international investigator initiated and pharmaceutical supported studies at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research.

Most recently, Candace was employed at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, to scope, seek funding and set up oncology clinical trials.

Candace has been instrumental in establishing and managing the operation of biobanks in Australia and Canada, including the Melanoma Institute Australia Biobank, the GI Biobank for Pancreas Centre BC, the Lung Biobank at the Vancouver General Hospital, the Genome Science Centre (GSC) BC Cancer Agency and an institutional biobank at the Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Vancouver.

In 2016, Candace worked for NSW Health Pathology as a Project Officer, where she supported the development, launch and management of the NSW Biobank Certification Program.

Candace is a highly skilled member of the NSWHSB team and is passionate about supporting and enabling the work of our NSW research and clinical community.

Jane Carpenter

Biobanking Project Manager

As Biobanking Project Manager, Jane has responsibility for supporting statewide biobanking activities linked to the NSWHSB.

Jane trained as a medical laboratory scientist in the UK where she held senior positions in diagnostic hematology laboratories. She has a special interest in paediatrics and worked in haematology at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead before moving to biobanking at the Children’s Hospital Tumour Bank in 2003. She established the operational and management structure of the Australian Breast Cancer Tissue Bank (ABCTB) and led its evolution over ten years.

Jane brings a wealth of biobanking experience from within Australia and globally. She was instrumental in Australia becoming a voting member for the development of a new standard for Biobanking (ISO20387), chaired the Standards Australia Committee for 5 years and has served in many capacities within ISBER, including the Board of Directors and as ISBER Treasurer.

Jane is enthusiastic about educating the next generation of biobankers and the recognition of biobanking as a scientific discipline.

Kathleen Phillips

Quality Manager

As Quality Manager, Kathleen is responsible for developing and maintaining effective quality control and assurance processes that ensure biobanking services conform to regulatory requirements and exceed researcher expectations.

With a background in Anatomical Pathology, Kathleen’s biobanking journey began at the Australian Breast Cancer Tissue Bank, consenting patients and collecting biospecimens for research. Kathleen also worked for the Kolling Tumour Banks in service delivery and operations management.

Kathleen has been a member of the Australasian Biospecimen Network Association (ABNA) since 2013 and has served on the committee for three years.

With 8 years’ experience in biobanking, Kathleen is passionate about quality improvement and streamlining biobanking activities to ensure researchers can access high-quality biospecimens.

Shane Kirk

Laboratory Manager

As Laboratory Manager, Shane is responsible for providing advice on biobanking strategies, developing protocols with clients and managing the day-to-day lab operations.

With a background in genetics, Shane’s career began at Randwick Hospital Pathology (Molecular Genetics), where he specialised in neurodegenerative and muscoloskeletal disorders, hereditary cancer syndromes, molecular haematology and prenatal diagnoses.

Shane is experienced in tissue typing, pharmacogenomics, DNA relationship testing Molecular Virology and Serology and is a great asset to the NSWHSB team.

Adam Robinson

Manager, Biobank IT Services

As Manager, Biobank IT Services, Adam is responsible for establishing and maintaining the NSWHSB Laboratory Information System (LIMS). This involves both technical installation of the software, and implementation of data standards and controls to ensure collections are described consistently.

Adam has several years of experience in both technical and management roles for large organisations in the IT, financial services and telecommunications industries. His experience includes implementation of systems, project management, programming in a variety of languages, database development and performance tuning of applications, on a wide variety of platforms, both within Australia and internationally.

Adam is passionate about bringing this experience to a biobanking context, to improve the capability of biobanking IT systems.

Renee Mantle

Communications Manager

As Communications Manager, Renee is responsible for delivering the NSWHSB communications strategy and sharing the incredible work of our biobanking experts, valued Strategic Collection Custodians and research partners.

With over 16 years of marketing, communications and event management experience across the health, medical research, events, lifestyle, food, not-for-profit, FMCG, wedding, lifestyle, children’s, technology and education sectors, Renee brings a wealth of unique knowledge and expertise to our team.

Renee has a true passion for public health and is an advocate for communicating the value of biobanking and the role of biobanks as a pathway to better research that leads to better treatment for patients.

Associate Professor Craig Gedye

Clinical Research Director

As Clinical Research Director, Associate Professor Gedye works with the Director of Biobanking and Operations Manager to help existing and potential Custodians drive research outcomes and protect the research participants who generously donate their biospecimens.

Associate Professor Gedye works in clinical medicine as a medical oncologist. His experience of the challenges and rewards of this work, together with his knowledge of basic laboratory and translational research helps him to understand the possibilities that can arise from the samples people trust the biobank to hold.

Associate Professor Gedye leads clinical trials locally and nationally, supporting clinical trials teams within cooperative groups and research institutions to translate science into medicine. He holds an advisory role with several research entities, chairs the Kidney Cancer Subcommittee of the Australian and New Zealand Urological and Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Group (ANZUP Pty Ltd) and is on various scientific advisory committees. He has been awarded numerous scholarships, fellowships, grants, investigator-initiated clinical trials, publications, conference presentations and prizes.

Working for people suffering cancer, Associate Professor Gedye brings an understanding of their courage and generosity to think of others as they contribute to science and research. He brings knowledge of clinical practice, research pathways, ethics and governance, and an appreciation of the collaborative possibilities that each person’s donation can translate and become.

Toby Baldwin

Biobanking Support Officer

As Biobanking Support Officer, Toby assists researchers in establishing service models for collection, processing and storage of research samples.

While honing his skills as a musician and audio engineer, Toby worked part-time in Specimen Reception before commencing a full-time career in pathology in 2009. Preparing data and samples for a national breast cancer study at NSWHP Genetics Randwick ignited his interest in health research, which continues to grow in his current role.

Solving complex logistical challenges and maintaining excellent stakeholder relationships are strengths Toby brings to the NSWHSB. His expertise in logistics and sample management underpins the roll-out of complex, large-scale specimen collections and custom investigator-led studies alike.

Toby’s expertise in finding novel solutions in uncharted territory has also seen him designated as the Project Lead to implement and customise Client Relationship Management software that will allow streamlined roll out of projects across NSW.

Amanda Rush

PhD Student

Amanda is undertaking PhD studies investigating the costs and research outputs of cancer biobanks in NSW, and requirements of biospecimen researchers. Prior to studying, she worked in biobanking and related disciplines for almost twenty years, including pathology laboratories, clinical trials, data management, and brain and tumour biobanking.

Amanda has managed a number of Cancer Institute NSW-funded projects, which made a significant contribution to biobank strategy in NSW. Most recently, she worked in the Biobanking and Genomics team at the Office for Health and Medical Research, developing policy and grants to support the NSWHSB.

Amanda has published 17 scientific papers on biobanking and was an Associate Editor of the 2018 ISBER Best Practices.

She brings years of experience on all aspects of biobanking, and a willingness to contribute her knowledge to the local team.

Trang Le

Scientific Officer

As Scientific Officer at the NSWHSB, Trang is responsible for carrying out routine monitoring and operations in the lab and supporting the development and evaluation of protocols.

Trang has a background in molecular genetics, specialising in genetic testing for disease diagnosis and susceptibility in neurodegenerative, cranio and muscoloskeletal disorders, hereditary breast cancer, molecular haematology and prenatal diagnoses.

With over 14 and 6 years at NTIS and SEALS respectively, Trang is experienced in pharmacogenomics, tissue typing, diagnostic DNA and serology testing.

Carla Scicluna

Technical Officer

As Technical Officer, Carla is involved in the production and storage of all study specific clinical trials, banked within the NSW Statewide Biobank. Her role includes the development and troubleshooting of SOPs, auditing of WHS equipment and PPE and support in all aspects of biobanking.

Carla worked at Neuroscience Reasearch Australia for 14 years, where she obtained experience in biobanking, research resources and specialized neuropathology histology techniques and was nominated for the Neuroscience Australia excellence in research award.

She has experience within the NSWH RPAH Anatomical Pathology department and brings a wide knowledge of histological skills to the NSWHSB team.

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