Plenary & Special Session Speakers

The G-I-N & JBI 2019 Scientific Committee is honoured to announce the following plenary speakers.   

Jako BurgersProfessor Jako Burgers

Maastricht University

Jako Burgers is Professor in ‘Promoting Personalized Care in Clinical Practice Guidelines’ at the Department of General Practice and Care and Public Health Research Institute of Maastricht University, Senior Consultant at the Dutch College of General Practitioners (NHG), and practicing primary care physician in the Netherlands.

From 2012 to 2018 he was head of the Department of Guideline Development and Research of NHG. In 2015, the NHG was local host of the annual G-I-N conference in Amsterdam.

Previously he was senior researcher at IQ healthcare, Radboud University Medical Center, He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on guideline development and effectiveness, quality of health care, and healthcare system performance focusing on primary care. Jako was a 2008–09 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, based at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and still involved in the network of Alumni Harkness fellows. 

He is founding member of G-I-N and served as Chair of the Board of Trustees in 2007/2008. He was co-investigator in the international AGREE (Appraisal Guidelines Research and Evaluation) project and trustee of the AGREE Research Trust from 2004 to 2014. 

You can view Jako's LinkedIn profile here.


Gill HarveyProfessor Gill Harvey

University of Adelaide,   @GillHar26

Gill is a Professorial Research Fellow in the Adelaide Nursing School at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Gill has a professional background in nursing and her research interests are in the field of knowledge translation, implementation science and facilitating evidence-based practice in health care. Previous roles in the UK include working as the Director of the Royal College of Nursing’s Quality Improvement Programme, Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) National Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Supportive Care and Professor of Health Management at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.  In 2014, she was named as a Thomson-Reuters highly cited researcher, particularly for her work with colleagues on developing and testing a widely used conceptual framework for implementation, known as PARIHS - “Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services”.

You can view Gill's LinkedIn profile here.


RomanDr Roman Kislov

Manchester Metropolitan University  @RomanKislov

Dr Roman Kislov is a Reader in Organisation Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Health Policy and Organisation, University of Manchester, and an Adjunct Visiting Fellow at the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI), Queensland University of Technology. He conducts qualitative research on the processes and practices of knowledge mobilisation, with a particular interest in communities of practice, intermediary roles, organisational learning and implementation of change. Roman is currently a Deputy Theme Lead for Implementation Science in the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration (NIHR ARC) Greater Manchester—a large-scale partnership between universities, NHS providers and third-sector organisations aiming to produce research that responds to the needs of local health and care system across the region. Before joining Manchester Metropolitan University, Roman was a senior researcher at Alliance Manchester Business School, where he led research projects on knowledge brokering, leadership for knowledge mobilisation and co-production of research in multiprofessional project teams. In 2016-2018, he was a country lead investigator for FLAME (Facilitators and Leaders Actively Mobilising Evidence)—a comparative case study of evidence-based practice in nursing across Australia, Canada, Sweden and the UK. Prior to pursuing an academic career, Roman worked as a doctor in a gold-mining company in Central Asia, combining clinical work with a managerial post. He is a regular contributor to Implementation Science, and his work has also recently appeared in Public Administration Review, Organization Studies, Public Administration, International Journal of Nursing Studies and BMJ Quality & Safety.

You can view Roman's LinkedIn profile here.


IIkka KunnamoProfessor Ilkka Kunnamo

University of Helsinki, @ilkkakunnamo

Ilkka Kunnamo, MD, PhD, born 1955, developed the original idea of Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines, a comprehensive electronic guideline database published by Duodecim Medical Publications Ltd., Finland, and served as its editor-in-chief between 1988 and 2008. He now serves as the editor-in-chief of the international version, which has been translated into 10 languages. Since 1986 he has worked as general practitioner at Karstula in Central Finland. In 2009 he was appointed adjunct professor of general practice at the University of Helsinki. Presently he develops a comprehensive multilingual decision support service (Evidence-Based Medicine Electronic Decision Support, EBMEDS, utilizing coded  data from electronic health records and providing patient-specific reminders, interactive algorithms, and population health tools.  He has published research papers in informatics, guidelines, polypharmacy, rheumatology, gastroenterology, sinusitis, and diabetes care. He is a member of the GRADE working group, a member of the Executive Board of DynaMed Plus, EBSCO Health, an Editorial Advisor of BioMed Central (London), a founding member of the G-I-N Implementation Working Group and the Multimorbidity Working Group. In 2014 - 2018 he served as chair of the WONCA (World organization of family physicians) Working Party on eHealth.

You can view IIkka's LinkedIn profile here.


Holger SchünemannProfessor Holger Schünemann

 McMaster University, @schunemann_mac

Dr Schünemann is chair of the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University. He began his research career in respiratory and exercise physiology ( as a medical student and in nutritional epidemiology (PhD) and molecular biology (postdoc) in the Department of Physiology at the Medical School of Hannover and the University at Buffalo (UB), State of New York. He trained in internal medicine, epidemiology and preventive medicine. Having contributed to over 600 peer-reviewed publications, he has been listed among the most influential 3,000 scientific minds of current times (Thomson Reuters) across all scientific disciplines since 2015 and has an h-index of 127/88 (google scholar/web of science) and is among the 1500 most cited scientists of all times ( He is co-chair of the GRADE working group, the director of Cochrane Canada, a co-chair of the GINAHTA working group. He led or participated in high-profile guideline panels, including for the WHO and numerous professional societies and he was a key contributor to the revised methods for WHO guideline development in 2006 and the GIN-McMaster Guideline Development tool. Maintaining an active clinical practice fulfils his passion for patient care and ensures his research is people-oriented.

You can view Holger's LinkedIn profile here.


Allison Tong 2Professor Allison Tong

The University of Sydney, @allisontong1

Professor Allison Tong is a Principal Research Fellow at the Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney. She holds an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellowship. Allison has an interest in patient involvement in research, including in the context of research priority setting, the development of core outcomes for research, and the co-production of clinical trials. She co-founded the global Standardised Outcomes in Nephrology (SONG) initiative, which aims to established consensus-based core outcomes across the spectrum of chronic kidney disease. She also Chairs the Patient-Centred Research (PACER network), which facilitates knowledge exchange, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and innovation in conducting and implementing patient-centred outcomes research and patient involvement in research. She also has experience in developing and implementing strategies for involving patients and caregivers in national and international guidelines in kidney disease. Her reporting guidelines for qualitative health research (COREQ), and synthesis of qualitative research (ENTREQ), are endorsed as key reporting guidelines by leading journals and by the international EQUATOR Network for promoting the transparency of health research.

You can view Allison's LinkedIn profile here.


Steve WebbProfessor Steve Webb 

Royal Perth Hospital,

Dr Steve Webb is a Senior Staff Specialist in Intensive Care Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital, Director of Clinical Trials at St John of God Hospital Subiaco, and a Professor of Critical Care Research in School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University.

Dr. Webb is a trialist who designs and conducts clinical trials that generate evidence to improve patient care. He is a recipient of more than $85M in research funding and has published over 150 manuscripts including multiple manuscripts in the NEJM, JAMA, BMJ, and The Lancet.  His work has been cited more than 27,000 times.

He is a founding Director and Deputy Chair of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance, a foundation Fellow and a member of Council of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and co-Chair of the Australian Government’s Clinical Trials Collaborative Forum.  He is a former chair of the ANZICS Clinical Trials Group, and he chaired the UWA Human Research Ethics Committee from 2007 until 2016. He is a recipient of a Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Western Australia.


Davina Ghersi

Professor Davina Ghersi

National Health and Medical Research Council

Davina joined the National Health and Medical Research Council as a Senior Principle Research Scientist in 2011 after 5 years as Team Leader with the Research Policy and Cooperation Department of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. At NHMRC she provides methodological advice and support across the agency on issues relating to the creation and translation of research evidence, including public health and clinical practice guidelines. Before this she led the Systematic Review and Health Care Assessment team at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney.

Academic interests are in publication bias, selective reporting, research transparency, systematic reviews and the translation of health and medical research into health care decision making and health policy. She is Adjunct Professor at Sydney Medical School and is a member of a number of advisory groups including PROSPERO and the Pan African Clinical Trials Registry. She has a long history of involvement with the Cochrane Collaboration.


Blackford MiddletonDr. Blackford Middleton

Apervita Inc.  @bfm

Blackford Middleton is Chief Informatics & Innovation Officer at Apervita, Inc., which provides a platform for the democratization of healthcare data and analytics. He is Past-Chair of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), and of the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS). Previously, he was a professor of Biomedical Informatics, and or of Medicine, at Stanford, Harvard, and Vanderbilt Universities, and he held executive roles at Stanford (CMIO), MedicaLogic/ Medscape (CMO), Partners Healthcare System (Director, Clinical Informatics R&D), and at Vanderbilt (CIO). 

Dr. Middleton’s work is focused on clinical informatics – the applied science surrounding strategy, design, implementation, and evaluation of clinical information systems in complex environments. Currently, he serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee for the Patient-centered CDS Learning Network and is a member of the Steering Committee for the MBCK (Mobilizing Biomedical Computable Knowledge) movement, and Co-Chairs the Policy and Trust Subcommittee.

He has been PI on numerous clinical informatics R&D projects focusing on clinical decision support, knowledge engineering and management, and value-based technology assessment. He received his MD from SUNY-Buffalo, and MPH (epi) from Yale, and completed Fellowship in general internal medicine and an MSc in Health Services Research from Stanford focusing on clinical informatics.

You can view Blackford's LinkedIn profile here.


Nichole Taske

Dr. Nichole Taske

Associate Director, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), UK.

Nichole graduated with a PhD in clinical genetics from the Australian National University in 1997.  She has worked as a postdoctoral research fellow both in Australia and the UK specialising in inherited ion channel disorders.  In the UK, she undertook further studies in health policy, planning and financing at University College London, the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 2003, Nichole joined Bazian Ltd, a health care consultancy that provides evidence-based reports for governments, insurers, publishers and research organisations.  Nichole joined NICE in 2004 and currently leads the Methods and Economics team which has responsibility for overseeing the technical quality assurance of guidelines in development.  In addition, the team leads on the development, evaluation and implementation of new and emerging guideline development methodologies and processes.  Nichole is a member of the Cochrane Scientific Committee and currently co-leads the UK GRADE Network - comprising members from NICE, The Cochrane Editorial Unit, Cochrane UK, SIGN, BMJ Evidence and from 2019, the UK-based centres of the Joanna Briggs Collaboration. 

You can view Nichole's LinkedIn profile here.


The G-I-N & JBI 2019 Scientific Committee is honoured to announce the following speakers who will present a "special session" at the conference.

Patrick OkwenPatrick Mbah Okwen

eBASE Africa, @okwen

Patrick is a clinician at primary care in Cameroon with a passion for improving livelihoods for underserved populations (rural populations, women, children, people living with disability, and indigenous populations) in Africa through the use of innovation and best practices. He is the district medical officer of the Bali health district ion Cameroon and the Team Lead at Effective Basic Services (eBASE) Africa. He is active within the evidence ecosystem and particularly interested in poverty related diseases, evidence hesitancy, evidence informed decision making, and evidence implementation in LMICs. Patrick is also the chair for the Guidelines International Networks African community and is currently initiating a community of best practices for African community through the EBPracticeNet Africa platform (

You can view Patrick's LinkedIn profile here.


Andrea TriccoAndrea Tricco

St Michael's Hospital, Canada, @ATricco

Andrea Tricco completed a MSc in Epidemiology (2004) and a PhD in Population Health (2009). She is a Scientist and Director of the Knowledge Synthesis Team in the Knowledge Translation Program of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She is also Co-Director of the Queen’s Collaboration for Health Care Quality Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence. Her research interests are related to responding to decision-makers (including policymakers, healthcare providers, and patients) through knowledge synthesis. Her research also focuses on advancing the science of knowledge synthesis and she is leading research projects related to rapid reviews, network meta-analysis, and scoping reviews.

You can view Andrea's LinkedIn profile here.


Nicole Scholes RobertsonNicole Scholes Robertson

University of Sydney, @scholes_nicki

Nicki is a patient partner, physiotherapist, and a PhD candidate at the Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney. In 2014, Nicki commenced dialysis and was fortunate to receive a living donor kidney transplant from her brother. Her research focus is on access to dialysis and transplantation services for rural and remote patients in Australia.

 Nicki has given several invited presentations, including at the Global Health Policy Forum at The World Congress of Nephrology on “Quality, Sustainability and Equity of Care: a patient’s perspective.” Nicki is also a co-chair of the BEAT-CKD Consumer Advisory Board and is a Steering Group member of the Standardised Outcomes in Nephrology (SONG-GN) initiative, which aims to develop core outcomes for people living with glomerular disease. Nicki is a part of the KHA-CARI consumer guidelines group currently working on Kidney Biopsy guideline. Nicki lives in Armidale NSW where she has founded a kidney support group that is ongoing. 


Nancy Santesso

Nancy Santesso

McMaster University Canada

Nancy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact at McMaster University, Canada, and a Registered Dietitian. She is a member of the GRADE Working Group - a group dedicated to the rigorous development of clinical practice guidelines and the use of evidence from systematic reviews in guidelines.

 She has trained guideline developers and facilitated guideline panel meetings using the GRADE approach for the World Health Organization (WHO) and other professional organizations nationally and internationally. Nancy has also been a strong supporter of the Cochrane Collaboration since 2002 and is currently the Deputy Director of Cochrane Canada and editor of the Cochrane Consumers and Communication Review Group.

She has provided training in Cochrane systematic reviews for over more than a decade.

Her research interests include the communication of guidelines and evidence to patients and the public as plain language summaries of systematic reviews and as patient versions of guidelines. 

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