Targeted Translation Research Accelerator Plan Expert Advisory Panel

The Targeted Translation Research Accelerator Plan Expert Advisory Panel (EAP) advised on investments under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) for research into diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


The Australian Government has committed $77.5 million from 2023-2024 under the MRFF to support research into diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) and cardiovascular disease. 

Funding is from the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator under the MRFF’s Preventive and Public Health Research initiative. This complements funding awarded to MTPConnect in 2020 for the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease.

The EAP developed a Targeted Translation Research Accelerator Research Plan that identifies short (1-2 years) and medium (3-4 years) term priorities that:

  • accelerate therapeutic approaches and devices for the prevention, early detection, management and treatment of disease related complications for diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • support the implementation of novel interventions and models of care for patients experiencing multi-morbidity across diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • address inequities in treatment, management, access to care and health outcomes for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • inform implementation of current and future policies and programs.

Find out from EAP members how the plan will improve health outcomes for people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


The EAP was independently chaired and included members with expertise in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The panel also included members of the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Expert Advisory Board. At least one member was a consumer representative or had lived experience. The EAP ceased in August 2023. The following information including declarations was current until the EAP ceased.


Background and experience

Declarations of interest

Mr Yasser El-Ansary


Mr Yasser El-Ansary is a chartered accountant and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director of FINSIA. He currently serves on the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB). Prior positions include the Chief Executive of the Australian Investment Council from November 2013 to April 2022.

Managing Director of FINSIA.

Mr Mike Wilson, OAM

Mr Mike Wilson is the CEO and Managing Director of JDRF Australia. He was the former Chairman of Somark Innovations and Director of the Glycemic Index Foundation.

Managing Director of JDRF Australia.

Ms Justine Cain

Ms Justine Cain is Group CEO of Diabetes Australia.

CEO Diabetes Australia.

Current Board memberships:

  • LeapIn
  • Diabetes Qualified
  • Australian Diabetes Society
  • Australian Diabetes Educators Association
  • UnitingCare QLD

Professor Garry Jennings

Professor Garry Jennings is the Chief Medical Advisor of the National Heart Foundation of Australia. He has had a distinguished career as a cardiologist in clinical practice and was past President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes.  

  • Director, Baker Foundation.
  • Director, Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Professor Gemma Figtree AM

Professor Gemma Figtree is a clinician and Professor in Medicine at the University of Sydney. She co-leads the Cardiovascular Theme for Sydney Health Partners, a NHMRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre. Professor Figtree is also Chair of the University of Sydney’s multi-disciplinary Cardiovascular Initiative and the MRFF’s Cardiovascular Health Mission Expert Advisory Panel.

Board Director, Australian Cardiovascular Alliance.

Professor John Prins

Professor John Prins is Executive Director at Health Translation Queensland, CEO and Institute Director of the Translation Research Institute and endocrinologist at Royal Melbourne Hospital and NorthWestern Mental Health. He is a leader in diabetes and endocrinology research and has wide experience serving on numerous national and international scientific, clinical and educational committees and, non-government organisations and industry.


Professor Louise Maple-Brown

Professor Louise Maple-Brown is a Senior Endocrinologist at the Royal Darwin Hospital and the Deputy Director Research at the Menzies School of Health Research. She has provided clinical diabetes services to urban and remote Northern Territory (NT) communities for over 20 years and founded the NT Diabetes Network.

  • Director, Maple-Brown Family Foundation and Maple-Brown Family Investments.
  • Beneficiary of Maple-Brown Family Investments.
  • Deputy Director Research, Menzies School of Health Research.
  • Steering Committee member, Australian Stroke and Heart Research Accelerator.
  • Member, Australian Diabetes Society Board 2014 -2022

Professor Julie Redfern

Professor Julie Redfern is a Professor of Public Health and holder of a NHMRC Investigator Grant Leadership 2 (NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Award for Health Services). She leads the Engagement and Co-Design Research (ECHO) Team, with over 15 years of experience developing, testing and implementing scalable strategies to close evidence-practice gaps and improve health outcomes for people with chronic disease.

Director, Terrigal Surf Lifesaving Club.

Doctor Rachel Climie

Doctor Rachel Climie is an NHMRC Emerging Leader, Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow and Clinical Exercise Physiologist at the University of Tasmania.


Professor Ray Mahoney

Professor Ray Mahoney is a descendant of the Bidjara people of Central West Queensland. He is Professor of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Discipline Lead for Population Health at Flinders University, and a Visiting Scientist with the Australian eHealth Research Centre (AEHRC) at CSIRO.


Professor Kosh Ray

Professor Kosh Ray is Professor of Public Heath in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at Imperial College London. He is also an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the Imperial College NHS Trust.


Mr Tim Benson

Mr Tim Benson is a member and Treasurer of the Consumer Credit Legal Service (Western Australia) Board. He lives with Type 2 diabetes. Mr Benson has served as Treasurer for Diabetes WA, served as a community representative in the health sector and was Patient Safety Champion for the World Health Organisation.

Director, Zilmit Pty Ltd.

Declarations are accurate as of 19 May 2023.

No conflicts of interest required action beyond ‘register’ as defined in the MRFF Declaration of Interest Policy Statement.

Related committees and groups

The Targeted Translation Research Accelerator Plan Expert Advisory Panel reported to the Minister for Health and Aged Care.

The Health and Medical Research Office provided secretariat support to the EAP.


Targeted Translation Research Accelerator Plan Expert Advisory Panel contact 

The Targeted Translation Research Accelerator Plan Expert Advisory Panel advised on investments under the Medical Research Future Fund for research into diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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