Professor Svetlana Popova

Dr. Svetlana (Lana) Popova, MD, PhDs, MPH is a Senior Scientist at CAMH’s Institute for Mental Health Policy Research. She is also an Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Epidemiology Division and the Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. She has an appointment as a Graduate Faculty Associate Member with the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto. Dr. Popova has a national and global presence as a researcher in the field of mental health and addiction, particularly fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), which are recognized as the leading known preventable cause of developmental delay and intellectual disability among Canadians. Dr. Popova’s research focuses on the epidemiology, economic cost, prevention and intervention strategies related to FASD.


Dr Michael Kobor

Dr. Michael S. Kobor is a Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Dr. Kobor has received many distinctions, including a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Social Epigenetics, the Sunny Hill BC Leadership Chair in Child Development, and an appointment as Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Child and Brain Development Program. A champion for translational research, he serves as the Lead for the “Healthy Starts” Theme at BC Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kobor’s own research program is focused on illuminating the developmental origins of health and disease. Building upon deep expertise in gene regulation and epigenetics developed over the course of his career, Dr. Kobor’s translational research in human populations is taking a life course approach to understand human health. Through a large interdisciplinary research network with partners from child development, psychology, psychiatry, and epidemiology, these studies are deciphering the mechanisms by which environmental exposures and life experiences can “get under the skin” to persistently affect health and behaviour across the lifespan.


Ms Claire Gyde

Chairperson of New Zealand’s national FASD support group, FASD-CAN Incorporated. This organisation was established in 2013 by a small group of professionals and parents raising and working with children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Claire has an adult son with FASD and frequently speaks publicly to deliver their personal story in the hope it helps others understand the ‘lived experience’.  Her mantra is that “if you speak to the hearts of people, then their heads will surely follow”.  Raising awareness of FASD is her passion and she does this so that FASD is recognized and accommodated by education, health, justice and the broader community.


Professor Elizabeth Elliott

Professor Elliott is an Australian and international leader in FASD research and clinical diagnosis. She is a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Sydney and Consultant Paediatrician Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (Westmead). She is the Director of the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit and Co-director of Care and Intervention for Children and Adolescents with Drug and Alcohol problems (CICADA). Professor Elliott is Co-Director of the FASD Research Australia Centre of Research Excellence in FASD and leads development of the National FASD Hub and Register. Her research spans epidemiology, epigenetics, dysmorphology, impacts on families, and FASD in Indigenous communities. She is Head of the NSW FASD diagnostic clinic and Co-director of the service for Care and Intervention for Children and Adolescents with Drug and Alcohol problems (CICADA).

Invited Speakers

Dr Kerryn Bagley

Dr Kerryn Bagley is a lecturer in Social Work at Federation University Australia. Her research considers social work and human service sector responses to FASD, and she has particular expertise in co-design and consumer participation in research. Kerryn’s engagement with FASD stems from her extensive practice experience in child and adolescent mental health services. She was first educated about FASD by parents and carers while based in New Zealand, and went on to undertake a FASD diagnostic program and various intervention training programs in the USA and Canada with the support of a Creswick Fellowship. Kerryn is an active contributor to capacity building for FASD services and support in Australia and New Zealand. She has assisted in the development of FASD multidisciplinary diagnostic clinics and intervention and support services and engages in FASD training and consultation with professionals across the health, allied health, social service, child protection, justice and education sectors. She was the inaugural co-chair of the Australian and New Zealand FASD clinical network, and now chairs the Victorian FASD Special Interest Group. She is also an ambassador for NOFASD Australia.


Dr Tom Snelling

Dr Snelling is a paediatric infectious diseases physician, and Director of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases at the Telethon Kids Institute. The Centre brings together a number of independent researchers and research teams with a common aim; to find and deliver new and improved solutions to prevent and treat serious infections experienced by children or adolescents. The Centre has attracted >$30 million in competitive research grants and commercial sponsorships since it was founded in 2014. Dr Snelling is also co-lead of the Aboriginal Child Health Research Focus Area and member of the Institute Leadership Team at the Telethon Kids Institute, honorary fellow at Menzies School of Health Research, and adjunct associate professor with the School of Public Health at Curtin University. In addition to his broader role, he directly leads a group of six post-doctoral fellows plus undergraduate and higher degree research students, and support staff in a translational program of implementation research

Michael Thorn

Alcohol Research and Education (FARE)

Michael Thorn is Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), and has been responsible for leading FARE’s efforts to stop alcohol-related harm in Australia since January 2011.

Michael previously worked for the federal government as a senior official in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was a project director in the department’s strategy and delivery division.

Michael has a strong strategic policy background, with extensive experience in strategic social policy development and implementation, most recently in Canberra and previously as a policy director of the Western Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet from 2001 until 2008. He has also worked as a policy and management consultant in the fields of housing, Indigenous affairs, regional economic development and employment, and early in his career was a policy adviser and chief of staff to WA Government Ministers.