Virtual Symposium 2020

Date: 9th July 2020

Welcome to Medlab Clinical’s first Virtual Symposium where we proudly showcase our scientific endeavours and research achievements.

Topics will encompass our core research areas: the applications and distinctions of medicinal cannabis, the microbiome and its influences and the significance and evidence of delivery platforms.

Showcasing professional speakers renowned in their respective fields, delegates will have the opportunity to interact live and ask questions at the conclusion of sessions, and thereafter access to session recordings and presentation notes.

Attendance to the symposium is free, instead we kindly encourage delegates to make a donation to the Children’s Cancer Institute to support our joint mission of curing childhood cancer.

We look forward to inspiring you,

The Medlab Team

For children with cancer, any virus can be a death sentence

Finding better, safer treatments for them is so important – especially now. Help the Medlab team raise vital funds for childhood cancer.


Courtney Fletcher

Position: Life Science Educator, Medlab Clinical Ltd

Speaker Topic: Opening Address

Bio: Courtney is in her final months of a Bachelor of Health Science, Nutrition.

With her past decade of experience in the film and television industry and as a business owner, a change in professional interest took place. In the last three years she has committed to her education and formally started to work within a scientific clinical framework at Medlab Clinical and her own Nutritional Clinic.

In her current capacity at Medlab Clinical, Courtney develops technical educational material to support conference presentations about Medlab’s research and publications. Her role has expanded beyond the boundaries of a traditional educator which includes presenting at educational and training events, working alongside the sales and marketing team to support sales targets and performance and creates digital assets including blogs, videos and webinars.

Children's Cancer Institute Australia

Speaker Topic: Message from Children’s Cancer Institute Australia. Our organisation exists solely to put an end to childhood cancer. We don’t just hope to do it. We will do it.

And we are making great strides. Sixty years ago, cancer was nearly always a death sentence for a child. Now eight out of 10 children survive. What made that huge difference? Medical research.

As the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to childhood cancer, our role is vital. Because, despite our progress, cancer still kills more children than any other disease. Our task won’t be easy – childhood cancer is hugely complex – but we’re confident that with the brightest brains, the best facilities and the greatest determination, we will get the job done.It’s not if. It’s when.

Hon Greg Hunt

Position: Minister For Health

Speaker Topic: Message from the Hon Greg Hunt

Gregory Andrew Hunt is an Australian politician who has been Minister for Health since January 2017. He is a member of the Liberal Party and has served in the House of Representatives since November 2001, representing the Division of Flinders in Victoria.

Dr Sean Hall, MD, MBA (clin pharm mtg)

Position: Chief Executive Officer, Medlab Clinical Ltd

Speaker Topic: Potentiating new Neurological pain drugs from cannabis

Bio: Sean Hall founded Medlab in August 2012. Sean has over 20 years experience in nutraceutical sales and development, as well as early drug discovery in Australia, Asia and the US. Sean has led and inspired his teams to author multiple patents, write peer reviewed articles and deliver lectures at scientific conferences. His passion is leading his researchers into novel areas and strong commercialisation opportunities.

Prior Sean was a founder of FIT-BioCeuticals. Under his management and guidance BioCeuticals became the most innovative, research driven, practitioner brand in Australia. For his sale of FIT-BioCeuticals to Blackmores in 2012, Sean was nominated as a finalist in the inaugural Australian Exit CEO of the Year Award. Sean is a Medical Doctor with an MBA in clinical pharmaceutical management, and focuses on the research to pioneer innovation and commercialisation. Sean is an active member of Medicines Australia, the European Medical Association, the American Federation for Medical Researcher, The World Medical Association, A4M and Special Operations Medical Association.

Donald I. Abrams, MD.

Position: Integrative Medicine and Cancer Treatment Specialist, UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Oncologist, Zuckerberg San Francisco General. Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of California San Francisco.

Speaker Topic: The therapeutic effects of Cannabis and cannabinoids.

Bio: Donald I. Abrams, MD. is an oncologist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General and a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He has an Integrative Oncology consultation practice at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He was one the original clinician/investigators to recognize and define many early AIDS-related conditions. He has long been interested in clinical trials of complementary and alternative medicine interventions for HIV/AIDS and cancer, including evaluations of medicinal cannabis. In 1997 he received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct clinical trials of the short-term safety of cannabinoids in HIV infection. Subsequently he was granted funds by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to continue studies of the effectiveness of cannabis in a number of clinical conditions. He completed a placebo-controlled study of smoked cannabis in patients with painful HIV-related peripheral neuropathy as well as a study evaluating vaporization as a smokeless delivery system for medicinal cannabis. He also conducted a NIDA-funded trial investigating the possible pharmacokinetic interaction between vaporized cannabis and opioid analgesics in patients with chronic pain. His last study was an NIH-funded trial investigating vaporized cannabis in patients with Sickle Cell disease. He co-authored with Manuel Guzman the chapter on “Cannabinoids and Cancer” in the Oxford University Press Integrative Oncology text that he co-edited with Andrew Weil. He co-edits the NCI PDQ CAM Cannabinoids and Cancer website. He was a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s committee that published The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research in January 2017.

Professor Stephen Clarke, MBBS MD PhD FRACP FAChPM FAAHMS

Position: Head of Medical Oncology, Royal North Shore Hospital

Speaker Topic: NanaBis in cancer pain

Bio: Professor Stephen Clarke is a medical oncologist at the Northern Cancer Institute and Royal North Shore Hospital, Director of Cancer Services at Northern Sydney Local Health District and Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney. Stephen is Head of the NSW committee of the RACP and is Oncology Advisor to the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as a Member of the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Review Committee. He has received over $25 million in competitive research funding, which has produced over 260 publications, leading to more than 10000 citations.

Professor Andrew McLachlan, BPharm(Hons1 Medal), PhD, FPS, FACP, MCPA, MSHPA

Position: Head of School and Dean of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney

Speaker Topic: The pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids after different routes of administration

Bio: Professor Andrew McLachlan is the Head of School and Dean of Pharmacy in the Sydney Pharmacy School and a Member of the Order of Australia. He is the former Program Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Medicines and Ageing and previously Professor of Pharmacy (Aged Care) (2006-2018) in the then Faculty of Pharmacy and at Concord Hospital’s Centre for Education and Research on Ageing. He is a pharmacist, academic and researcher experienced in clinical pharmacology and research on the quality use of medicines. His research focuses on understanding the variability in response to medicines and how this can be managed to optimise patient care, particularly in special patient populations such as older people, the very young and the critically ill. He is interested in translating clinical pharmacology research and high quality clinical trial evidence into real-world practice.

Dr Jeremy Henson, MBBS PhD BSc (Hons)

Position: Chief Career Medical Officer, Lakeview Private Hospital | Medical Affairs Director, Medlab Clinical

Speaker Topic: Can improved mucosal absorption allow a THC/CBD oro-buccal spray to achieve clinical efficacy in chronic pain?

Jeremy has 18 years’ experience in cancer research and notably predicted the presence of a completely novel type of cancer biomarker and invented (patented) an assay to detect it. This assay is a frontline research assay and has the potential to become a clinical diagnostic. Jeremy’s research is focused on creating new precision medicines to cure cancer. Jeremy is the Chief Career Medical Officer at Lakeview Private Hospital, Bella Vista, and also practices at Westmead Private Hospital, Waratah Private Hospital, Hills Private Hospital and South-West Sydney Private Hospital. Jeremy is a Clinical Tutor at the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney and is an active member of Cancer Australia Grant Review Committee and the Prince of Wales Clinical School PhD Student Review Committee.

Dr Jason Geue

Position: R&D Manager – MS. Agilex Biolabs

Speaker Topic: Bioanalysis of THC and metabolites

Bio: Dr Jason Geue has 15 years of experience in the field of bioanalysis. Jason and his team at Agilex Biolabs are responsible for developing robust mass spectrometry assays in a variety of matrices under GLP regulations, to support preclinical and clinical release studies.

With a PhD in chemistry and a Bachelor of Science with Honours in chemistry, Jason currently has 10 peer-reviewed scientific papers in high impact journals. He has a background in bioanalysis in research and industry roles and specialised expertise in complex method development and mass spectrometry analysis. Jason has a passion for problem solving and enjoys the challenge of successfully troubleshooting analytical problems to find solutions to commercial and scientific challenges for each client.

Rhys Cohen

Position: Principal Consultant, FreshLeaf Analytics

Speaker Topic: Cannabis market analytics: patients, products, indications and costs

Bio: Rhys is a recognized thought leader in the Australian medicinal cannabis industry. As Principal Consultant, Rhys leads the FreshLeaf Analytics team and is responsible for business development and project delivery. Rhys was previously Director of Cannabis Consulting Australia and was also the Senior Project Officer at the University of Sydney’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics. His industry analysis has been cited by Deloitte Access Economics and the Office of Drug Control as well as ABC News, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and MJBiz Daily.

Dr David Rutolo, Phd, JD

Position: Director of Science, Medlab Clinical LTD

Speaker Topic: Nanotechnology and NanoCelle

Bio: David has 35 years experience in research, product development, manufacturing, and technical marketing support in the pharmaceutical and nutritional industry. He earned his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of California at Irvine and a JD from Western State University, College of Law. In addition, he holds a Certificate of Completion in FDA Law from the University of Southern California.

David is a major contributor to the American functional food and high-profile bottled juice market segments, and he continues to develop healthcare products specifically designed for the international marketplace. Through a number of private development associations, he consults and formulates nutritional products for Asia, Europe South America and Australia.

David was Cofounder of Micelle Laboratories, Inc., where he served for over 20 years as Executive Vice-President and as a Board Member. The firm provides pharmaceutical and nutritional product development and manufacturing in an FDA drug-licensed facility. As a formulator, he developed unique functional foods, nutritional supplements, skin care formulations, veterinary formulas, and OTC products for domestic and foreign companies. At Micelle, he pioneered the development of micellization, a specialised and patented delivery system to enhance the absorption of fat-soluble substances, widely utilised by organisations in the production of nutritional and skin care preparations. David manages and is a shareholder of lnMed Technologies, Medlab's 60% owned US company.

Associate Professor Wojciech Chrzanowski PhD, DSc.

Position: Associate Professor / Deputy Director Sydney Nano Institute (Academic Partnership), The University of Sydney, Sydney Nano Institute.

Speaker Topic: The Characterisation of Nanotechnology

Bio: Associate Professor Wojciech Chrzanowski is a Deputy Director at Sydney Nano Institute and Head of Nanomedicine and Nano-Bio-Characterisation laboratory in the Sydney School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health. He is a biomedical engineer who translates the science of extracellular vesicles and bio-characterisation at nanoscale to human applications. His work addresses a desperate need for effective technologies that regulate stem cells to promote desired tissue repair. Wojciech laboratory pioneers the use of nanoscale characterisation techniques to understand cellular communication and functionality of tissues. Wojciech contribution to the field is exemplified by over 150 peer-reviewed publications, four patents and over 70 invited talks and seminars. He is a recipient of numerous prizes and awards for his work including 2019 Bary Inglis Medal form National Measurement Institute, 2018 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research and Education and 2018 Outstanding Paper Award from Royal Society of Chemistry. Translation potential of his work is demonstrated by several grant funding he received to move his research discoveries into realms of mainstream medicine.

Professor Luis Vitetta, BSc (Hons), PhD, MD, DradDip Nutr/Environ Med, Grad Dip Integr Med.

Position: Director of Medical Research, Medlab

Speaker Topic: The Ageing Intestinal Microbiome

Bio: Luis Vitetta is Director of Medical Research at Medlab and Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney, Sydney Medical School. Luis's expertise includes probiotics, the human biome, nutraceuticals, nutrition, clinical trials, epidemiology', integrative and complementary medicine. Between 2007-2013 Luis was the Director and Associate Professor of the Centre for Integrative Clinical and Molecular Medicine at The University of Queensland, School of Medicine. Luis is an Honours Graduate from Monash University (1981) in the Department of Biochemistry - Faculty of Medicine, and a PhD Graduate from the University of Melbourne Faculty of Medicine's Department of Surgery (1985) where he studied the epidemiological and aetiological factors of biliary disease. Between the years of 2000-2005 Luis was the Deputy Head and Director of Research of the Graduate School of Integrative Medicine at Swinburne University, He has served as a member of the Cancer Council's epidemiology group, has been an alternate director of the Victorian Public Health Research and Education Council and a member of its research committee.

Earlier appointments include Senior Research Associate with the University of Melbourne's Faculty of Medicine - Centre for Palliative Care at Caritas Christi Hospice and St Vincent's Hospital and a University of Melbourne Research Fellow with the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Surgery at the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre.

Dr Esben Strodl. BSC (Hons), MPsychClin, PhD

Position: Senior Lecturer/Director Clinical Psychology Services, Queensland University of Technology Health Clinic.

Speaker Topic: Probiotics in the treatment of depression.

Bio: Dr Esben Strodl is a senior lecturer and the Director of Clinical Psychology Services at the Queensland University of Technology Health Clinic. He is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and has previously served as the National Chair of the APS College of Health Psychologists. Dr Strodl’s teaching and research interests are in the areas of health psychology and clinical psychology. He has co-authored 55 journal articles and 6 book chapters in the fields of health and clinical psychology. Dr Strodl is the principal investigator in a recently completed randomised control trial examining the effectiveness of NRGBiotic for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder.

Dr Matthew Bambling, PhD

Position: Clinical Psychologist, The University of Queensland

Speaker Topic: The Ageing Intestinal Microbiome

Bio: Matthew is a clinical psychologist. He gained his PhD at the University of Queensland where he holds an academic position at the School of Medicine. He coordinates the postgraduate mental health programs.

Matthew has published extensively in the area of evidence based treatments. He has a strong track record in conducting clinical treatment trials and has made internationally recognised contributions to psychological treatments for major depressive disorder and novel online treatment delivery modalities. In 2014 Matthew coauthored with Luis Vitetta and Hollie Alford, 'The gastrointestinal tract microbiome, probiotics, and mood' , published in the journal Inflammopharmacology.

Matthew's current active research interests include researching effectiveness and mechanisms of action in integrative medicine approaches to resistant depression that are nonresponsive to best standard treatments.

Matthew also has active e-health projects in child behaviour management and in the assessment and treatment of mental health patients in rural and remote areas in Australia.

Michael Thomsen, M.Sc, N.D

Position: Naturopath & Herbalist

Speaker Topic: Probiotics in Cancer Care

Bio: Michael is a PhD scholar at the University of Sydney, Sydney Medical School in the Discipline of Pharmacology and is affiliated with Medlab Clinical. He has a Master’s degree in Applied Science and has been practicing as a naturopath and herbalist for 30 years, specialising in cancer support utilising nutritional and herbal medicines and hyperthermia devices. Michael is researching chemoradiotherapy-induced mucositis, intestinal dysbiosis and the role of probiotics in preventing and or reducing chemotherapy/radiotherapy-induced diarrhoea in patients diagnosed with cancer.

Professor Flavia Huygens

Position: Associate Professor / Deputy Director Sydney Nano Institute (Academic Partnership), The University of Sydney, Sydney Nano Institute.

Speaker Topic: The Human Microbiome: Towards new

Bio: Professor Huygens is a molecular-microbiologist and has a PhD in Medical Microbiology (1992). Flavia is the Director of the Centre for Immunology and Infection Control, QUT at QIMRB and is an expert in clinical bacteriology. Her expertise is in using the latest technologies in transcriptomics, genomics and proteomics to investigate both bacterial and cellular responses to infection. She has had extensive industry funding from the Wound Management Innovation CRC (WMICRC) and was the Principle Investigator of several chronic wound and diabetic foot ulcer microbiome projects. In addition, Flavia has worked on the microbiome of the female reproductive system and she is currently involved in several microbiome research projects, namely, (i) Does supplementation with a prebiotic affect the gut microbiome and behavior in children with Autism?; (ii) Gut microbiota in age-related macular degeneration: Effect of light and diet on gut inflammation; (iii) Sinonasal microbiome transplant as a therapy for chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps (CRSsNP); and (iv) The microbiome of the anterior surface of the eye. Prof Huygens has also had substantial industry funding from the Australian Government departments of Industry and Innovations, and Industry - Business.
Professor Huygens has published 63 peer-reviewed papers, has a granted patent called “Microbial Markers and Uses Thereof” WO 2014/190394 which has been granted in Australia, China, USA, Japan and Canada; other patents include: “Antimicrobial Activity” (ZA9704484 Priority Date 12/12/1997) and a PCT patent called “Biomarkers and uses therof” (PCT/AU2018/050471). Flavia has also established a significant number of collaborations including Pathology Queensland, Queensland Health Forensic Science Services, Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), Wesley Medical Research, Department of Natural Resources and Water Queensland, University Paris-Est Creteil France and Immun express, USA and Harvard Medical School, USA.

Dr Karen E Bridgman PhD, M. Sci (Hons), M. Ed (High Ed), M App Sci ND, Dip Hom, DBM

Position: Director, Starflower Pty Ltd and Starflower Herbals

Speaker Topic: The Viral Challenge (the immune system and supplements)

Bio:Coming from a Nuclear Medicine background in the 1960s to 1980s, Karen changed careers in 1981, then as a Naturopath she practiced for over 35 years at Pymble Grove Health Centre, and at Australian Biologics Testing Services. She is currently practicing at Lotus Health and Dental Clinic, Sydney.

Karen has lectured widely at colleges and universities for 30 years, including the Naturopathic Colleges in NSW, Western Sydney University (in transformative education and in Naturopathic education), and for 10 years at the University of Sydney - Herbal Medicines Research and Education Centre (Faculty of Pharmacy) - Masters Herbal Medicine. As a lecturer, clinician, academic and researcher, she was, and is still passionate about qualitative research and transformative education.

Karen's major clinical and research interests are in effectively utilising integrative medicine to improve the health of cancer patients, improve the outcomes of patients with various 'controversial' infections (eg mycoplasma, HCV, borrelia, and infective triggers for oncogenesis), and in successfully managing neurological conditions.

As an author, she has contributed chapters to many published books on Clinical and Naturopathic medicine (worldwide) and writes regularly for a major health magazine.

Now semi-retired, Karen is still writing articles, is maintaining a part time clinical practice and enjoys speaking at various conferences on her research.

Today she is relishing the opportunity to travel regularly, continuing to learn about different cultures and ways of being, and adding to her knowledge of herbal and medical practices worldwide.

Courtney Fletcher

Position: Life Science Educator, Medlab Clinical Ltd

Speaker Topic: Thank You/Conclusion

Bio: Courtney is in her final months of a Bachelor of Health Science, Nutrition.

With her past decade of experience in the film and television industry and as a business owner, a change in professional interest took place. In the last three years she has committed to her education and formally started to work within a scientific clinical framework at Medlab Clinical and her own Nutritional Clinic.

In her current capacity at Medlab Clinical, Courtney develops technical educational material to support conference presentations about Medlab’s research and publications. Her role has expanded beyond the boundaries of a traditional educator which includes presenting at educational and training events, working alongside the sales and marketing team to support sales targets and performance and creates digital assets including blogs, videos and webinars.