Science update

Science update

School of Science academics appointed to Commonwealth Government Committees

Dr Vaughan MonamyDr Vaughan Monamy, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Ethics, within the School of Science has been re-appointed to the Australian Government’s Gene Technology Ethics and Community Consultative Committee (GTECCC). The appointment was confirmed on 31 January 2016 by Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Minister for Rural Health.

GTECCC was formed on 1 January 2008 and is one of two gene technology advisory committees which operate within the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator. GTECCC advises the Gene Technology Regulator and the Gene Technology Ministerial Council on ethical issues relating to gene technology, and on matters of general concern to the community in relation to genetically modified organisms.

Dr Monamy’s appointment has been made in relation to his expertise in ethical issues associated with genetic modification. Section 56(1) of the Gene Technology Act (2000) states: “The Regulator must not issue the licence unless the Regulator is satisfied that any risks posed by the dealings proposed to be authorised by the licence are able to be managed in such a way as to protect: (a) the health and safety of people; and (b) the environment.”

“My contributions to GTECC will focus on environmental aspects of genetic modification,” Dr Monamy said, “Membership of GTECC also provides excellent opportunities to incorporate up to date information into my teaching of environmental ethics within the School of Science. Our School is developing a high calibre Bachelor of Science degree which will include a Science Ethics unit where such information also will be useful.”

Dr Roger LordDr Roger Lord, Lecturer in the School of Science, has been re-appointed to the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicines (ACSOM) and the Therapeutic Goods Committee, both advisory panels of the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA). The TGA is part of the Federal Department of Health and is responsible for regulating the supply, import, export, manufacturing and advertising of therapeutic goods in Australia.

ACSOM advises and makes recommendations to the TGA on the safety of medicines and provides guidance for risk assessment and management of medicines. ACSOM may also provide advice to the TGA on matters related to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects (known as pharmacovigilance).

The TGC makes recommendations to the TGA and Minister for Health on the adoption of standards for therapeutic goods including requirements for labelling, packaging and manufacture of pharmaceuticals. The TGC also provides advice on standards for medical devices, biologicals and conformity to these standards.

Dr Lord’s appointment has been made in relation to his expertise in organ and tissue transplantation as well as infectious diseases.

“My roles on these committees not only safeguard the health of Australians but also benefit teaching into the new Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree which started last year,” he said. “Students wishing to undertake the pharmacy stream of the program can be briefed first hand on the procedural matters pertaining to pharmaceutical compounds, pharmacovigilance, standards for packaging and issues relating to clinical trials.”

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