International Science Advisory Panel

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Professor Jacobijn Gussekloo - Chair

Professor Gussekloo originally trained as a GP and undertook her medical training at Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), Netherlands, where she is now Professor of Primary Care (appointed 2005) and leading the research group Geriatrics in Primary Care. She is very active in educational activities, including the Director of the master Vitality and Ageing.

Since 2022, she has held the position of Dean of the Honours Academy at Leiden University. Her research interests include gaps in evidence for clinical practice in handling unhealthy ageing in primary care.


Professor Suzanne McDonough

Suzanne is Professor of Health and Rehabilitation at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, and a co-investigator in the United Kingdom Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) Centre of Excellence for Public Health (Northern Ireland). She trained as a physiotherapist and has a PhD in neurophysiology from University of Newcastle. She completed a higher diploma in healthcare (Acupuncture) in 2002 from University College Dublin, Ireland. Professor McDonough leads the Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies (CHaRT), Institute of Nursing and Health Research, at the University of Ulster. She was William Evans Fellow at the University of Otago School of Physiotherapy in November and December 2014.

Her research interests include public health approaches to musculoskeletal conditions, electrotherapy / acupuncture and developing technologies used for musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation. Professor McDonough has published widely in her areas of expertise (over 80 full papers) and obtained funding from a variety of prestigious external agencies. She completed a Northern Ireland survey of complementary and alternative medicine use, and several clinical trials and systematic reviews in the area of acupuncture and laser acupuncture. Suzanne has been involved in a number of Cochrane reviews, a current review is on the use of herbal medicinal products / preparations for neuropathic pain.

Professor McDonough teaches clinical research techniques at undergraduate and postgraduate level and has supervised 24 PhD students to completion. She has published several book chapters on acupuncture and more recently laser acupuncture.

Dr Lenore Launer

Dr Launer is Chief of the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, which is in the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute on Aging/NIH (USA).

Her research program in Neuroepidemiology, focuses on understanding the contribution of genetic, inflammatory, metabolic, vascular, and hormonal factors to well characterized continuously and discretely measured sub-clinical and clinical phenotypes in brain disease and investigating the links between brain disease and other common diseases of old age. To study these issues, she had developed and (co-) led several large population-based cohorts including the Honolulu Asia Aging Study and the AGES-Reykjavik Study of Icelandic, both cohorts of which been followed from middle to late-age; and the brain MRI-sub-study within the CARDIA Study of black and white middle age participants, followed since young adulthood; and the ACCORD MIND and SPRINT MIND clinical trials of therapeutic strategies to reduce cardiovascular risk and adverse cognitive sequalae.

She is a long-term collaborator in several genetic and non-genetic consortia aimed to understand genetic and clinical factors underlying neurodegenerative disease.

Professor Leon Flicker

MBBS FRACP GradDipEpid PhD Leon Flicker became the inaugural Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Western Australia in 1998.

He completed clinical and research training in Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne. In 2006, he co-founded the Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing.

Professor Flicker has led the reorganisation of undergraduate and postgraduate education in geriatric medicine in Western Australia. He remains a practising geriatrician based at Royal Perth Hospital.

Leon’s research activities have focused on the major health issues of older people, including falls, depression and cognitive impairment. He has performed and reported many studies about frailty and successful ageing. In 2017 he was honoured to receive an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contributions to geriatric medicine and dementia prevention and care.