Speakers





Paul Liknaitzky
Dept of Psychiatry at Monash University

Dr Paul Liknaitzky is Head of the Clinical Psychedelic Lab, and Senior Research Fellow within the Dept of Psychiatry at Monash University. He has played a central role in establishing the field of clinical psychedelic research in Australia, and is the Principal Investigator on a program of psychedelic trials. Paul leads the country’s largest and most experienced group of psychedelic researchers and clinicians, is involved in numerous psychedelic studies across Australia, and collaborates with many international experts and organisations in the field.
In Australia, Paul established the first psychedelic lab, coordinated the first applied psychedelic therapist training program, and obtained the first industry funding for psychedelic research. Together with clinical and industry colleagues, he co-founded Australia’s first purpose-built psychedelic-assisted therapy clinic. He is regularly invited to speak on the topic of psychedelic science, co-convenes the Australasian Research Group on Psychedelic Science, and is a member of several Scientific Advisory Boards.
Paul’s work is focused on investigating novel applications for psychedelic therapies, translating evidence into best clinical practice, exploring under-examined risks, delivering next-generation therapist training, and improving access and affordability.
Peter Higgs

Burnet Institute

Associate Professor Peter Higgs is a Principal Research Fellow at the Burnet Institute. With a background in social work, he combines his experience in community development with methods from applied anthropology and field epidemiology in his collaborative research. Enduring relationships with cohorts of people using drugs have been fostered by flagship projects including the Networks study, SuperMIX and MIX/MAX. Previous academic roles at the Kirby Institute, the National Drug Research Institute and the Department of Public Health at La Trobe University mean he has been fortunate to work with and learn from leading researchers across the sector.  A/Prof Higgs has strong community health and human service connections and a genuine commitment to improving the health of people who use drugs, recognised with Hepatitis Victoria’s Individual Contribution Recognition Award (2017). He has an editorial role on the Drug and Alcohol Review and is currently the Treasurer with Harm Reduction Victoria.  







Dr Heather Gifford
Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development

As a Māori health researcher I have strong ties to my iwi, Ngāti Hauiti and Ātihaunui a Pāpārangi. Just over twenty years ago I completed a PhD and a Postdoctoral Fellowship with Te Pūmanawa Hauora, the Research Centre for Māori Health and Development, Massey University. I believe research can and should actively improve health outcomes for Māori and others in Aotearoa. With this belief, and knowledge gained from studying, I established Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development, a tribally owned Māori health research centre in Aotearoa. My research interests for the last twenty years have focused on tobacco control within a broader context of public policy, equity and health service delivery and intervention.  

Nadine Ezard

St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney

Professor Nadine Ezard is an Addiction Medicine Specialist (MBBS, BA, MPH, PhD, FAChAM) and a founding Fellow of the Australian Chapter of Addiction Medicine. Nadine has been the Clinical Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney since 2012, and the inaugural Director of the National Centre for Clinical Research on Emerging Drugs (NCCRED) since 2018. Nadine has more than 30 years of clinical and research experience in addiction medicine and public health practice in Australian and international contexts, working for WHO, UNHCR, and UNODC. She is an internationally recognised researcher in substance use and its translation into consumer-focused harm-reduction public health interventions, models of care and policy for vulnerable populations. Her current research focusses on working with people who use stimulants and related drugs to develop new and effective interventions. 







Jurgen Rehm
Senior Scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research & Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, Canada

Dr. Jürgen Rehm is Senior Scientist in the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research and in the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at CAMH.  He is Professor and was the Inaugural Chair of Addiction Policy in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and he also holds other professorships and positions in Canada, Germany and Spain.
Dr. Rehm has been a leader in generating and analyzing the scientific data needed to inform clinicians and policy-makers of strategies to reduce alcohol-, tobacco-, and other drug-attributable harm.  His recent research has increasingly included interactions between socio-economic status, poverty and substance use, including analysis of policies and interventions with respect to reducing or increasing inequalities.
His work has been awarded with numerous awards and prizes, most importantly, the Jellinek Memorial Award (2003), the European Addiction Research Award (2017) and the (Inaugural) Kettil Bruun Society Award for Advancement of International Research Collaboration (2021).  

Stephanie Tzanetis

Directions Health Services 

Stephanie Tzanetis is the CanTEST Program Coordinator at Directions Health Services and is the Executive Officer for Harm Reduction Australia’s Pill Testing Australia. With extensive experience in harm reduction services, she is consumer representative for the National Centre for Clinical Research on Emerging Drugs (NCCRED) advisory group and prompt response network. Her lived experience expertise provides critical insights into the challenges posed by emerging novel psychoactive substances.  

Steph has experience volunteering with drug checking services in British Columbia and other festival-based harm reduction services in Portugal and North America, and in several Australian jurisdictions. She has qualifications in Law and Addictive Behaviours. 




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