About us

Dementia is a major and growing health issue for Australians. In 2020, an estimated 459,000 people are living with dementia and this number is growing by about 250 persons each day.

Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians and is the single greatest cause of disability in Australians aged 65 and over. It is estimated to cost the nation more than $15 billion annually.

The Australian Dementia Network is a network of leading scientists and researchers from across 15 institutions, working together with the aim of:

  • establishing the first dementia clinical quality registry to track, benchmark, and report on the clinical care of people with dementia (Registry);
  • establishing consistent best practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of dementia (Memory Clinics);
  • facilitating the development of effective therapies by providing detailed dementia screening of patients suitable for participation in clinical trials (Screening and Trials).

Led by Professor Chris Rowe, the Australian Dementia Network is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), The Wicking Trust, The Yulgilbar Foundation, Dementia Australia, and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA).

Management Committee

Christopher Rowe

ADNeT Director, Screening and Trials Lead

Christopher Rowe

ADNeT Director, Screening and Trials Lead

Prof Rowe BMBS, FRACP, MD, FAANMS is a nuclear medicine physician and neurologist, with over 20 years of experience in dementia research and patient care.

He is the Director of Molecular Imaging Research at Austin Health, Melbourne, Professorial Fellow University of Melbourne, a NHMRC Practitioner Fellow and is the inaugural Director of the Australian Dementia Network. His research focus is molecular imaging of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly AD, for better understanding, earlier more accurate detection, and to facilitate development of early therapeutic interventions.

He has over 300 publications and is in the 2018 Highly Cited Researcher list of the top 1% world-wide for neuroscience and has received the 2011 US Society of Nuclear Medicine Kuhl-Lassen Award for Outstanding Contribution to Brain Imaging and the 2016 Christopher Clark Award for advancing human amyloid imaging.

Perminder Sachdev

ADNeT Deputy Director; Memory Clinics Co-lead

Perminder Sachdev

ADNeT Deputy Director; Memory Clinics Co-lead

Prof Sachdev AM MBBS MD FRANZCP PhD FAHMS is Scientia Professor of Neuropsychiatry, Co-Director of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) in the School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney, and Clinical Director of the Neuropsychiatric Institute (NPI) at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia.

His major areas of research are drug-induced movement disorders, brain imaging, cognitive ageing and dementia. He has published over 600 peer-reviewed journal papers and 6 books, including one for lay readers (The Yipping Tiger and other tales from the neuropsychiatric clinic) and a book of poems (A migrant’s musings).

He was named NSW Scientist of the year for Biomedical Sciences in 2010. In 2011, he was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to medical research. In 2018, he won the DARF-Yulgilbar Innovation Award for dementia research.

Profile

CHeBA Profile

Stephanie Ward

ADNeT Clinical Quality Registry Lead

Stephanie Ward

ADNeT Clinical Quality Registry Lead

Dr Ward BMed FRACP MPH is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Healthy Brain Ageing, UNSW and a geriatrician at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, experienced in the diagnosis and care of persons living with dementia and cognitive impairment in a variety of settings. She leads clinician engagement with the ADNeT Registry.

Susannah Ahern

ADNeT Clinical Quality Registry Academic Lead

Susannah Ahern

ADNeT Clinical Quality Registry Academic Lead

Professor Ahern MBBS (Hons), MBA, FRACMA, PhD, is the Head of the Clinical Outcomes data Reporting and Research Program, at the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. She is a member of the Australian Commission in Safety and Quality in Health Care's Advisory Committee for Clinical Quality Registries (CQRs) and the Commonwealth Department of Health's CQR Strategy Expert Advisory Group, as well as a member of the Victorian DHHS's CQR Advisory Group. She has extensive experience in the development and management of clinical quality registries and brings this experience and the IT facilities of Monash University that are essential for the successful development and implementation of the national Dementia CQR.

As the academic lead of the ADNeT Dementia Clinical Quality Registry, Professor Ahern has overall responsibility for allocation of Monash staff and resources to the project, as well working closely with Kasey Wallis and Stephanie Ward on ensuring that the ADNeT Registry meets its deliverables and timelines. She drives much of the publication and presentation work of the ADNeT Registry, and leads grant and funding applications for related complementary and collaborative projects.

She is an author on the following dementia/ADNeT publications:

  1. Lin X, Ward S, Ahern S, Wallis K, Brodaty H, Rowe C, Lambourne S, McNeil J. Optimising participation of persons with cognitive impairment in a national dementia registry: challenges and solutions
  2. Lin, X., Wallis, K., Ward, S A., Brodaty, H., Sachdev P, Naismith S, Krysinska, K., McNeil JJ, Rowe C, Ahern, S. The protocol of a clinical quality registry for dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI): the Australian dementia network (ADNeT) Registry
  3. Ayton D, Gardam M, Pritchard E, Ruseckaite R, Ryan J, Robinson S, Brodaty H, Ward S, Ahern S. Patient-Reported Outcome Measures to Inform Care of People With Dementia—A Systematic Scoping Review
  4. Ayton, D., Gardam, M., Ward, S., Brodaty, H., Pritchard, E., Earnest, A., Krysinska, K., Banaszak-Holl J., McNeil, J., Ahern, S. How Can Quality of Dementia Care Be Measured? The Development of Clinical Quality Indicators for an Australian Pilot Dementia Registry

Colin Masters

ADNeT Screening and Trials co-Lead

Colin Masters

ADNeT Screening and Trials co-Lead

Prof Masters' career over the last 35 years is widely acknowledged as having had a major influence on Alzheimer’s disease research worldwide, particularly the collaborative studies conducted with Konrad Beyreuther in which they discovered the proteolytic neuronal origin of the Aβ amyloid protein which causes Alzheimer’s disease.

More recently, his focus has been on describing the natural history of Alzheimer’s disease as a necessary preparatory step for therapeutic disease modification. His achievements have been recognised by the receipt of many international awards.

Sharon Naismith

ADNeT Memory Clinics Lead

Sharon Naismith

ADNeT Memory Clinics Lead

Prof Naismith is a Clinical Neuropsychologist, NHMRC Dementia Leadership Fellow and Heads the Healthy Brain Ageing Program at the Brain and Mind Centre. Her work focuses on modifiable risk factors for dementia and clinical interventions for early cognitive decline including cognitive training, sleep and pharmacological interventions. She leads an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence to ‘Optimise Sleep in Brain Ageing and Neurodegeneration (CogSleep)’.

Prof Naismith leads the Memory Clinics Initiative of ADNeT, which aims to improve access to and harmonise services for dementia in Australia. The team’s strategies include national networking and service mapping, new guidelines, innovation with new tools, filling the evidence-to-practice gap and training of clinicians.

Michael Breakspear

ADNeT Technology Clinical Lead

Michael Breakspear

ADNeT Technology Clinical Lead

Prof Breakspear MB BS, PhD, FRANZCP is a professor of neuroscience at the University of Newcastle and a consultant psychiatrist. He is the group leader of the Systems Neuroscience Group with interests in computational neuroscience and translational neuroimaging. His work in translational imaging encompasses healthy ageing, dementia, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, with a focus on connectomics and risk prediction.

He leads the technology division of ADNeT together with Jurgen Fripp from CSIRO, with the goal of ensuring all ADNeT data is of the highest quality and stored in a manner that is safe and of most benefit for the entire ADNeT team. Prof Breakspear also leads the ADNeT site in Newcastle, NSW studying healthy ageing and early dementia, with a view to referring people from the Hunter communities into local clinical trials sites.

Jurgen Fripp

ADNeT Technology Academic Lead

Jurgen Fripp

ADNeT Technology Academic Lead

Peter Schofield

ADNeT Business Development Lead

Peter Schofield

ADNeT Business Development Lead

Prof Schofield AO FAHMS PhD DSc is CEO of NeuRA (Neuroscience Research Australia) and a Professor of Medicine at UNSW. His research interests focus on genetics of brain function, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and bipolar disorder. He is a site leader for the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network. He served as the Interim Director of the NNIDR in 2016-17.

Peter is an ADNeT Chief Investigator and is responsible for ADNeT's Business portfolio. This includes the oversight business development role and legal advice with the goal of securing pharmaceutical and other support to enhance the capacity and activity of ADNeT’s research. He is also a Director of Australian Dementia Network Limited, the not-for-profit company that has been established to facilitate external investment into ADNeT.

Ralph Martins

ADNeT Chief Investigator

Ralph Martins

ADNeT Chief Investigator

Prof Martins holds a joint academic appointment – Foundation Professor and Inaugural Chair in Ageing and Alzheimer’s (Edith Cowan University) and Professor in Biomedical Sciences (Macquarie University). His groundbreaking discoveries include the seminal discovery of beta-amyloid and its precursor, the amyloid precursor protein (APP), found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients which is now universally acknowledged as being fundamental to the molecular pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.

Cherry Ann Santos

Operations Manager

Cherry Ann Santos

Operations Manager

With more than 15 years' experience in program and project management roles in Australia and Asia, Cherry brings a strategic, proactive and people-oriented approach to ADNeT. Prior to joining ADNeT, Cherry led the development of key infrastructure projects for the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Medicine, and Architecture of the University of Melbourne. She also has extensive consulting experience with the Asian Development Bank on various regional cooperation projects across Asia. Cherry holds a Master of Development Economics and a Master of Management.

Larry Ward

Business Manager

Larry Ward

Business Manager

Dr Ward is a highly experienced biotechnology executive with over 20 years’ experience in the biotechnology industry at companies including AMRAD, Virax Holdings and Medicines Development for Global Health (MDGH) in positions spanning from Laboratory Director through to CEO. Dr. Ward heads the business development function within ADNeT as well as in the related organisations AIBL and CRC for Mental Health.