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Team

Christopher Burns B.Sc. (Hons) PhD GAICD

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

Chris is an experienced drug discovery leader having worked in various roles in pharma, biotech and academia for 25 years. 

After completing a Ph D in Organic Chemistry at the University of Melbourne Chris undertook postodoctoral studies in the USA before moving to Pfizer UK, as a senior scientist. After 5 years he returned to Australia as a Research Fellow at the University of Sydney with the CRC for Molecular Engineering and Technology and after two years moved to the biotechnology company Ambri as Head of Chemistry. 

Chris then moved to the Melbourne-based biotech Cytopia as Head of Medicinal Chemistry and later as Research Director. Over this time he led teams in the discovery of two anti-cancer agents that have entered clinical trial, including the drug momelotinib which successfully completed Phase III studies. Chris was subsequently recruited to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne as a Laboratory Head before taking on executive and leadership roles with a number of privately-held biotechnology companies in Melbourne including Certa Therapeutics and MycRx. 

Dr Burns is the inventor on over 30 patents and a co-author on over 60 scientific publications and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. He was the recipient of the 2022 Adrien Albert Award - the premier award of the MCCB Division of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute which is given for sustained, outstanding research in the field of medicinal chemistry or chemical biology. 

Dr Burns was originally appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 4 May 2018 and was subsequently appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director on 5 December 2022.

Rhiannon Jones BSC (Hons) PhD, GAICD

Chief Operating Officer

Rhiannon has a background in research operations and project management and more than 10 years of experience in the medical research and biotechnology sector. Rhiannon has previous appointments as Director, Operations and Governance (Cancer Therapeutics CRC), Project Manager (WEHI, Business Development Office), Scientific Coordinator (WEHI, Inflammation Division) and a postdoctoral researcher in organic chemistry (Monash University, Chemistry Department). Her experience includes project management, communications, policy development and oversight, ethics committee submissions, risk management and staff professional development systems.

Rhiannon has a PhD in chemistry and a BSc(Hons) from the University of Adelaide and a Certificate in Governance Practice from the Governance Institute of Australia and is a graduate of the AICD.

Mr Tim Luscombe BCom, CA, GIA(Cert)

Chief Financial Officer

Tim is a highly experienced Chartered Accountant who holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and a Certificate in Governance Practice from the Governance Institute of Australia. Tim brings professional skills gained locally and abroad in both public practice accounting and the corporate sector. Tim acts as CFO and Company Secretary for a number of ASX listed healthcare companies, private University spin out companies and Venture Capital investee companies. Tim provides strategic advice to management and boards on financial reporting, cash forecasting, direct and indirect taxes, governance and management matters.

Tim was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Amplia Therapeutics Limited on 25 September 2023.

Charlotte Mulder BVSc (Hons), MBA

Director Early Clinical Development

Charlotte has over ten years’ experience in drug development. Her early career as a Veterinarian in mixed practice in Australia and the UK was followed by a transition into veterinary clinical development with Pfizer Animal Health, then human drug development. Charlotte worked with Medicines Development for Global Health from 2011 until 2021, most recently in the role of Principal Development Manager and Project Leader. She has worked on a variety of projects at different stages of development, spanning preclinical through to regulatory approval. Her experience includes coordination of cross-functional development teams, stakeholder communication, management of international collaborative relationships, and strategic and technical input into development programs.  

Charlotte has a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Melbourne Business School.

Andrew J. Cooke LL.B

Company Secretary

Andrew holds a law degree from Sydney University and has extensive experience in law, corporate finance, governance and compliance. He has over 30 years of boardroom experience and has developed a practical blend of legal and commercial acumen. He has served as a consultant to listed, public and private companies in the biotech, resources, property, mining services and technology sectors focussing on stock exchange, capital raisings, regulatory compliance and a wide range of corporate transactions. 

Andrew was appointed as Company Secretary of Amplia Therapeutics Limited on 11 October 2013.

Terrie-Anne Cock PhD

Director Translational Science

Terrie-Anne has over 18 years research and development experience, including with multinational pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and OSI Pharmaceuticals. Her appointments include leadership roles as Senior Vice President, Therapeutic Research and Development at Microba Life Sciences; Director of Biology, Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative; and, Director of Translational Research, Benitec Biopharma Limited. She has played key roles in the translation of molecules from research, through clinical trials, and regulatory approvals. This has included a diverse range of programs spanning novel, small molecules, biologics, live biotherapeutics, cell-based and gene-based therapies across multiple therapeutic areas.

Terrie-Anne undertook a postdoctoral fellowship, at the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Illkirch, France and has a PhD in Medicine from University of New South Wales.

Adrian Sulistio B. Eng (Hons), B. Com, PhD

Manager Product Development

Adrian has 15 years of experience in early research, process development and GMP manufacture within the life science and biotechnology industries. Prior to joining Amplia, Adrian held a role as Senior Development Scientist at PolyActiva, responsible for developing an ocular drug delivery implant from early-stage research all the way to clinical production. He is a co-inventor on five of patent families. Adrian also held several post-doctoral positions at Monash University and University of Melbourne working in numerous areas in polymer therapeutics, from drug delivery, cancer therapeutics, RNA delivery, antimicrobial polymers, and hydrogels scaffold formation.

Adrian has a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical, Hons) and Commerce (Finance and Marketing) and a PhD in Polymer Chemistry from University of Melbourne.

Nicole Kruger BSc

Director Clinical Operations

Nicole Kruger is contracted to Amplia as Clinical Operations Manager through her company NMK Consulting Services. Ms Kruger has almost 30 years’ experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, with 25 in the clinical research field. Starting as a Clinical Trial Assistant and progressing through Clinical Research Associate, Project Manager and Operations Manager roles, she has worked with major pharmaceutical companies, Contract Research Organisations and medium to small biotechnology companies to implement and manage their clinical research programs and projects.