Our Team

Professor Michael Findlay, MBChB, MD, FRACP

Michael Findlay completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Otago in 1983. He was awarded his Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 1990 after training in Wellington and Sydney. His post-fellowship research in the treatment of gastro-intestinal cancers at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London resulted in the awarding of the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1995. After appointments at Sydney Cancer Centre and Wellington Cancer Centre between 1994 and 2002, he was appointed as the foundation Professor in Oncology, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, at The University of Auckland. With his appointment and support from the Cancer Society Auckland and Northland, he established Cancer Trials New Zealand, a clinical trials coordinating centre engaged in the design and conduct of clinical and translational trials in a wide range of cancer types. Until 2016 he was Deputy Chairman of the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group and remains on its Scientific Advisory Committee and Upper GI Cancer Working Party. Michael is a board member of the Gut Cancer Foundation, a charitable organisation established in New Zealand to raise awareness and funding for research into GI cancers. Michael is an advocate of research-driven cancer care.

Dr Nicky Lawrence, MBChB, FRACP
Deputy Director and Medical Oncologist

Nicky completed her undergraduate studies at The University of Auckland. She is a Medical Oncologist at Auckland City Hospital with an interest in genitourinary cancers and clinical trial methodology. She was awarded her Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2015. Nicky worked as a research fellow at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney from 2015 to 2017 where she gained experience working in a co-ordinating centre for cancer clinical trials. She was awarded an NHMRC postgraduate scholarship, NZ Goldman Sachs scholarship, and Sydney Catalyst Top-Up scholarship to undertake a PhD evaluating the design of cancer clinical trials in the era of targeted and immunological therapies (2015 to 2018). She convened the inaugural NZ concept development workshop, and is a faculty member of the ACORD protocol writing workshop. Nicky joined CTNZ in February 2019.

Professor Katrina Sharples, PhD
Principal Biostatistician

Katrina was instrumental in developing CTNZ and is based at the University of Otago, dividing her time between the Department of Medicine and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics (where she is currently Head of the Statistics Group). She gained her initial experience in clinical trials at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle while undertaking a PhD in Biostatistics at the University of Washington. Since returning to New Zealand she has worked as a statistician for trials in a variety of areas, with a primary focus on cancer, and has gained wide expertise through serving on Data Monitoring Committees. She is currently the Chair of the Health Research Council of New Zealand Data Monitoring Core Committee. Katrina has broad interests in statistical methods for epidemiology and clinical research, and in addition to her role with CTNZ, she is the lead statistician for two research groups based at Otago, the Pharmacoepidemiology Research Network and the Centre for International Health.

Associate Professor Michael Jameson, MBChB, FRACP, FRCP (Edin.), PhD
CTNZ Clinical Advisor | Concept Development

Michael Jameson is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand, and Assistant Dean, Waikato Clinical Campus, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland. His clinical training was undertaken in NZ and the UK, including a year at the Royal Marsden Hospital, Fulham. He conducted a Cancer Research Campaign phase I trial of DMXAA in Auckland towards his PhD. He has been a consultant at Waikato Hospital since 2000, where he was also the Clinical Director of Medical Oncology from 2008-2011, and was supported from 2007–2016 by the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Division of the Cancer Society of NZ to spend 2 days a week developing and conducting research. He was president of the NZ Society for Oncology from 2011-2013 and was a trustee on local and national research charities and research foundations. Since September 2016 he has been head of the University of Auckland’s Waikato Clinical Campus in Hamilton, which supports training of medical students and postgraduate training of several disciplines.
His research interests are broad and include clinical trials, translational research, early phase drug development, repurposing drugs in oncology and exploring the role of selenium in preventing cancer and modulating the efficacy and toxicity of cancer treatments.

Sarah Benge, PhD
Research Operations Manager

Sarah joined CTNZ in November 2011 from Hampshire in the UK. She has over 20 years’ experience of managing multi-centre, national clinical trials. In her previous role as Senior Clinical Trials Manager at the University of Southampton Clinical Trials Unit she was involved in the development and/or management of over 10 trials across a variety of disciplines. Prior to that she was at the University of Oxford where she was responsible for setting up and getting national registration status for the Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit of which she was the Deputy Director.

Jade Scott, MSc Chemistry
Quality Manager and Clinical Trials Monitor

Jade graduated from The University of Auckland with a Master of Science in Chemistry. Following a stint at the London Fire Brigade HQ, she joined the Auckland Breast Cancer Study Group as a Data Manager and then worked as a Clinical Trial Coordinator at ADHB Oncology Research before joining CTNZ in 2007.  Jade is the clinical trials monitor for CTNZ working across a number of trials.

Bobbi Laing, PhD
Clinical Trials Manager

​Bobbi joined CTNZ in July 2021 as a Clinical Trials Manager for the Kōwhai study – the Feasibility Trial on the Younger Women’s Wellness Program for the Younger Women after Breast Cancer. This includes the sub-study ‘Māreikura tū Kōwhai’ which is an adaptation of the study for Māori women. Prior to working in CTNZ she had a position as a research fellow in the School of Nursing and continues in this position as an honorary research fellow. She has a PhD in Biomedical Science and her topic was ‘Key Genotypes and the Response to Nutrient Supplementation in Crohn’s Disease’. She has registrations in Nursing and Nutrition and prior to being in Auckland worked in these roles in a variety of rural and urban health settings in the South Island. Bobbi currently leads the Women’s Wellness Program for the Irritable Bowel Syndrome study (NZ). She is a Co-Investigator on both the Women’s Wellness Program After Stroke consultation project and an HRC Activation grant ‘Investigating registered nurses antimicrobial stewardship: their clinical engagement and leadership’.

Eibhlin Corrigan, MSc
Clinical Trials Manager

Eibhlin joined the team in March 2022. She brings 7 years of clinical research experience to the role, initially working for a CRO in Dublin, Ireland. Since moving to New Zealand she has worked as an Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinator at the ADHB’s Te Pūriri o Te Ora (Cancer and Blood Research Service).  Eibhlin completed her Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Cell Biology at Dublin City University. She earned a Master of Science in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at University College Cork. In 2019, Eibhlin got involved with the collaborative effort to bring EDGE, a cloud-based clinical trial management system, to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Braden Woodhouse​, BSc (Hons)
Project Manager

Braden joined CTNZ in August 2022.  He graduated from the University of Auckland in 2014 with a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science and is currently undertaking part-time studies in Data Science.  Braden has been involved in translational research for seven years as part of the NETwork! translational research programme, with experience in data management, analysis and project management.

Yujin Kim, PhD

Yujin joined CTNZ in May 2022. She is a Biostatistician. Yujin completed her Bachelor of Statistics and Business Administration at Sungshin Women’s University and a Master of Science in Statistics at the University of Seoul in South Korea. Since moving to New Zealand in 2018, Yujin has recently completed a PhD in Statistics at the University of Auckland.  Yujin was awarded the University of Auckland doctoral scholarship to undertake a PhD focusing on two-phase sampling designs and its utility to develop valid statistical inference methods that appropriately elucidate clustered correlated data (2018 to 2022).

Shani Peleg, Information System Engineer
Clinical Data Manager, Data Management Team Lead

Shani joined CTNZ in November 2019. She is an IT Project Manager with over eight years’ experience in a large Health Maintenance Organization. She is experienced in leading and implementing high-volume IT projects including, clinical research development platform, database maintenance, software development, communication and infrastructure. Shani is also an experienced Data Analyst and BI Developer.

Robert Cartwright, MSc
Clinical Data Manager/SAS Programmer

Robert graduated from The University of Auckland in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science, and has recently completed a Master of Biomedical Science at The Liggins Institute. In his Masters, Robert investigated the influence of fetal growth restriction on the effects of repeat antenatal corticosteroid therapy for preterm birth. Robert is also an active Volunteer Ambulance Officer with St. John Ambulance.  Robert has been our SAS programmer for six months but from April 2019 he took on all the Data Manager tasks (including the SAS programming) to work full time for CTNZ in the Data Management team.

Twarita Dhorje, MSc
Clinical Data Manager

​Twarita joined CTNZ in July 2021 with her 10+ years of experience in clinical research. She has primarily worked in the field of pharmacovigilance, drugs and clinical trials profiling, clinical and healthcare data management, eHealth, and pharmaceutical business intelligence services. In 2016, Twarita graduated from the University of Canterbury with a post graduate diploma in Business, while she also holds a Master of Science in Bioinformatics and a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology.