New Zealand

Dr Nicholas Cross

Dr Nicholas Cross is Chief Medical Officer at New Zealand Clinical Research, Clinical Director of the National Renal Transplant Service, Nephrologist at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha Canterbury/Te Tai o Poutini West Coast and Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago. Dr Cross has led policy and practice change in kidney transplantation in New Zealand over the last six years associated with significant increase in transplantation rate. This includes process mapping at 11 DHB with dialysis services and the monitoring of data related to this programme in conjunction with the Ministry of Health. He has strong track record of clinical research in kidney transplantation, with over 500 citations and a h-index of 12.

Dr Ben Beaglehole

Dr Ben Beaglehole is an academic psychiatrist. He currently works as a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Otago and an outpatient psychiatrist at Hillmorton Hospital for Te Whatu Ora, Waitaha Canterbury. His research interests include the use of large databases to evaluate health service use in New Zealand.

Dr Ian Dittmer

Dr Ian Dittmer has worked as a renal transplant physician at Auckland City Hospital, Te Whatu Ora – Te Toka Tumai Auckland, since 1988. He has a special interest in tissue typing issues and is the Medical Director of the New Zealand Kidney Allocation scheme. He was also the New Zealand physician responsible for the Australia New Zealand Kidney Exchange.

Dr John Irvine

Dr John Irvine has worked as a nephrologist for over 11 years and has been the Clinical Lead for Transplant in the Department of Nephrology at Christchurch Hospital, Waitaha Canterbury, since 2014. He is a member of the National Renal Transplant Leadership Team. His research has primarily focused on the clinical management of people on dialysis to improve long term outcomes.

John Kearns

John Kearns whakapapa back to the far North Iwi of Ngati Kuri and Te Rarawa. John was first diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease in June 1984 and started haemodialysis in September 1986. He received his third and current transplant on Christmas Day 2015. Altogether he has had 8.5 years of in-centre, self-care and nocturnal home haemodialysis. He is a consumer representative in the ASSET study, providing a voice for people with kidney failure to outline their priorities and important outcomes in kidney transplantation.

Dr Curtis Walker

Dr Curtis Walker has been a nephrologist at Palmerston North, e Whatu Ora – Te Pae Hauora o Ruahine o Tararua MidCentral, since 2015. He currently serves as Chair of the New Zealand Medical Council and on the board of the Maori Medical Practitioners Association (Te ORA). He has a strong commitment to improving health outcomes for Maori and supporting doctors during their years in specialist training.

Dr Heather Dunckley

Dr Heather Dunckley is the Clinical Scientist and ASHI Director for the New Zealand Blood Service Tissue Typing Laboratory. Dr Dunckley has worked in the field of histocompatibility testing for transplantation for nearly 30 years. Her responsibilities as Director include provision of clinical laboratory services for patients on the kidney transplant waitlist, matching patients and donors prior to transplantation, and follow-up testing posttransplant.

Merryn Jones

Merryn Jones is a Registered General and Obstetric Nurse who received her Masters in Nursing Science in 2017. She has worked as a transplant coordinator at Hawkes Bay, Te Whatu Ora – Te Matau a Māui Hawke’s Bay, Renal Service for the past 6 years, and prior to that as a haemodialysis nurse.

Post-doctoral student fellowships

Dr Johanna Birrell

Johanna is a medical doctor and Master of Philosophy student researching treatment access and equity for people with kidney failure in Aotearoa New Zealand. Johanna is undertaking specialist training in general and acute care medicine / public health medicine. She has a diversity of medical experience from working in South Australia, the Northern Territory and New Zealand. Johanna is the current Ross Bailey Fellow at the Nephrology Department at Christchurch Hospital, a position that allows her to combine her passion for clinical medicine and public health research.

Trainee Fellowships

Dr Prasad Ravi

Prasad is a Registrar in Adult Renal Medicine and Transplant at Te Toka Tumai Auckland, Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand). As a component of specialist training Prasad is undertaking a research project with ASSET NZ.

Dr Amy Thomas

Amy is an Advanced Trainee in Nephrology at Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand. Amy is currently in her second year of training, and received her medical degree from the University of Otago. Amy has a keen interest in transplantation, as well as other areas of Nephrology.

Picture to come.

Honours Students

Jackie Hazelhurst

Jackie is completing her Bachelor of Medical Sciences with Honours (BMedSc(Hons)). As a component of her Honours study, Jackie is undertaking a research project with ASSET NZ.