The Early Career Investigator Committee (ECIC)



Definition of an Early Career Investigator

Current higher degree or current researcher within 10 years from the award of a higher degree (e.g. PhD/Masters).



The mission of the Early Career Investigator Committee (ECIC), formed in February 2017, is to help shape the future of bone and mineral research in Australia and New Zealand by fostering active engagement of early career investigators within the Australia & New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (ANZBMS), supporting professional development of early career investigators and facilitating interactions between junior and senior members of all disciplines.





     Melissa             John          Bridie         Emma             Jack             Pamela         Albert              Hanh               Lena                Kara                Niloufar             Jiao Jiao



Bridie Mulholand, John Kemp

Career Development Representatives 

Emma Buckels, Jack Dalla Via, John Kemp, Pam Rufus-Membere

Clinical Training Representatives

Albert Kim, Hanh Nguyen

Communications Representatives 

Lena Batoon, Kara Anderson

Events Representatives                            

Bridie Mulholand, Jiao Jiao Li, Niloufar Ansari

ECIC representative to ANZBMS POC

Melissa Cantley



 Dr John Kemp
ECIC Co-Chair, Career Development

NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland
Dr John Kemp is a genetic epidemiologist, and National Health and Medical Research Council Emerging Leadership Fellow. His research aims to identify pharmacological targets for osteoporosis intervention by applying innovative statistical and molecular genetic methods to the world’s largest genetic study of osteoporosis. 


Dr Bridie Mulholland
ECIC Co-Chair, Events

Project Officer, Australian Health Services Research Institute, University of Wollongong
Researcher, University of Sydney
Twitter: @bridiem123
Dr Bridie Mulholland is a bone biologist at heart, completing her PhD through Griffith University and in collaboration with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Bridie’s PhD explored the relationship between osteoporosis and bone metastatic breast cancer. She is currently a Project Officer (Research) for the Australian Health Services Research Institute, based at the University of Wollongong, and a Researcher with the University of Sydney. Bridie’s current research interests include the improvement of emergency care of hip fractures and the evaluation of how effectively bone health is managed in our healthcare system.


Dr Melissa Cantley 
ECIC representative to the ANZBMS POC

NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow, Myeloma Research Laboratory, Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Adelaide

Researcher Profile


Dr Melissa Cantley is a NHMRC Early Career Fellow working in the Myeloma Research Laboratory at the University of Adelaide, located at SAHMRI. Her research interest focuses on targeting bone cells, osteoclasts and osteoblasts to suppress pathogenic bone loss in chronic inflammatory diseases and understanding the role these cells and abnormal bone remodelling processes play in the progression of pre-cancerous stages to the haematological malignancy multiple myeloma.



Dr Emma Buckels
Career Development

Research Fellow, Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand
Twitter: @EmmaBuckels
Dr Emma Buckels is a Research Fellow in the Bone and Joint Research Group at the University of Auckland. Emma is a basic scientist whose interests include understanding how metabolic disorders, such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus, affect bone health. Her current research focuses on preptin, a metabolically active hormone secreted alongside insulin from pancreatic β-cells, and how it affects the skeleton.



Dr Jack Dalla Via
Career Development

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Nutrition Research, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth WA
Twitter: @JackDallaVia
Jack is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Institute for Nutrition Research at Edith Cowan University. Jack received his PhD from Deakin University in 2020. His doctoral research investigated the role of exercise and nutrition in managing musculoskeletal adverse effects of prostate cancer treatment. His current research focuses on developing and evaluating strategies to provide effective and accessible nutrition, exercise and diet support for cancer survivors and those living with chronic disease.
Dr Pamela Rufus-Membere
Career Development

Associate Research Fellow, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria
Twitter: @pamyg5
Dr Pamela Rufus-Membere is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation, Deakin University. She is an emerging leader in the field of osteoporosis assessment and fracture prevention. Specifically, she is part of a team pioneering the sub-field of bone impact microindentation technology in Australia, and is currently leading a global team developing an international reference range for this novel technology. 
Dr Albert Kim
Clinical Training
PhD Candidate at Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney
Endocrinology Research Fellow, Westmead Hospital
Twitter: @AlbertEndoc
Albert is an Endocrinology Research Fellow at Westmead Hospital, Sydney and a PhD candidate at the Garvan institute of Medical Research. His research focuses on cellular changes in response to osteoporosis therapy to improve long term treatment for patients with osteoporosis.


Dr Hanh Nguyen
Clinical Training
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University
Consultant Endocrinologist, Western Health
Consultant Endocrinologist, Monash Health
Dr Hanh Nguyen is a Consultant Endocrinologist at Monash Health and Western Health, and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Bone and Muscle Research Group at Monash University. Currently, she is investigating clinical, genetic and bone architectural risk factors for anti-resorptive therapy related atypical femur fractures. 
Dr Lena Batoon
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Honorary Research Fellow, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Twitter: @lenabatoon 
Dr Batoon received her PhD from the University of Queensland in June 2021. Upon completing a short post-doctoral work at Mater Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia, she moved to the US to undertake a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at the University of Michigan, USA. Her research endeavours are aimed to better understand osteoporosis and skeletal metastasis with an ultimate goal of developing effective therapeutics. Currently, Lena is working to elucidate the contributions of macrophages in bone regeneration, osteoporosis bone pathology and metastatic bone diseases.
Dr Kara Anderson
Associate Research Fellow at the Epi-Centre for Healthy Ageing, IMPACT, Deakin University
Dr Kara Anderson is an associate research fellow at the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT), Deakin University. Her research focus has centered around epidemiology of fractures, and in particular has involved the assessment of recent technologies for assessing bone health and fracture risk. She is currently working on the Geelong Osteoporosis Study, a longitudinal cohort study of musculoskeletal health.
Dr Niloufar Ansari
Postdoctoral Researcher, The Nanomaterials for Biology Group, The Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), Melbourne
Dr Niloufar Ansari is a postdoctoral researcher at The Nanomaterials for Biology Group, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Currently, she works on using nanoparticles for targeted delivery of drugs, and studies the interaction of nanoparticles with the cells. 

Dr Jiao Jiao Li

NHMRC Early Career Fellow, School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sydney
Co-Deputy Director and Chief Investigator, ARC Training Centre for Innovative BioEngineering
Honorary Associate, Kolling Institute, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney
Dr Jiao Jiao Li (JJ) is a biomedical engineer, Lecturer and NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the UTS School of Biomedical Engineering, Co-Deputy Director and a chief investigator on the ARC Training Centre for Innovative BioEngineering, and a Science & Technology Australia 2021-22 Superstar of STEM. She is also an Honorary Associate at the Kolling Institute, University of Sydney. JJ is researching regenerative medicine approaches to treat chronic musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis and bone loss. She has particular interest in developing stem cell-based therapeutics, as well as biomaterials for tissue engineering of bones and joints.