Meet the team

The National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine is led by Professor Jon Wardle, Foundation Director and Maurice Blackmore Chair of Naturopathic Medicine. He is a highly accomplished researcher actively involved in research and policy in public health and integrative medicine.

The academic leadership team comprises expert researchers who are not just leaders in naturopathic research, but are also leading health researchers in their own right.


Academic staff


Academic Leadership at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

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Professor Jon Wardle

Foundation Director and Maurice Blackmore Chair of Naturopathic Medicine, Professor of Public Health

Professor Jon Wardle is Foundation Director of the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM) and Maurice Blackmore Chair of Naturopathic Medicine at Southern Cross University. In addition to clinical qualifications in nursing and naturopathic medicine, Jon has postgraduate qualifications in public health, law and health economics and holds visiting positions at Boston University, University of Washington and University of Oxford.

With more than 200 academic publications to his name, Jon is a highly accomplished researcher. He works on the editorial board of eight peer-reviewed international academic medical research journals, including as Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Integrative Medicine, and is actively involved in research and policy in public health and integrative medicine.

Jon is convenor of the Public Health Association of Australia’s special interest group in complementary medicine, serves on the Public Health Association of Australia’s Research Advisory Committee and is on the executive of the American Public Health Association’s integrative health section. He also leads several World Federation of Public Health Association and World Health Organization initiatives on integrative medicine, and is deputy chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Natural Therapies Working Committee.

Jon has worked on integrative medicine, public health and primary health care policy and regulatory initiatives with governments, non-government organisations and international bodies. He is passionate about protecting and embracing tradition knowledge and fostering innovative research, and believes that by combining both optimal public health outcomes can be achieved.

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Associate Professor Matthew Leach

Deputy Director (Education)

Associate Professor Leach is Deputy Director (Education) at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM). His mission is to foster excellence in naturopathic medicine in order to advance the field of naturopathy, and ultimately, to improve patient outcomes. His vision is to build a workforce that has increased capacity to (a) deliver safe, effective and efficient care, (b) work effectively with other members of the healthcare team across diverse settings, (c) advocate for patients and the naturopathic profession, and (d) actively participate in the evolution of the naturopathic profession.

Prior to his appointment at NCNM, Matthew was a Senior Research Fellow with the Department of Rural Health at the University of South Australia. He is also a Registered nurse and naturopath.

Since completing his PhD in 2005, Matthew has built an international reputation in health services research, where he has established a program of research referred to as BEACON (Building Excellence and Advancing understanding of Consumer Outcomes and Needs). This research program is underpinned by three pillars: [i] health consumers (i.e. the health care needs, preferences and behaviours of individuals and communities), [ii] health care provision (i.e. health workforce and services planning, and evidence-based practice), and [iii] health care impact (i.e. the safety and effectiveness of health care interventions and services). Matthew has made an original and significant contribution to each of these areas, and to the field of health services research more broadly.

Matthew has collaborated with more than 27 distinct disciplines, spanning 48 agencies and academic institutions, across 10 countries. He has published over 115 refereed journal articles, 12 book chapters and a sole-authored textbook, and has attracted more than 2,322 citations for his work; with a h-index of 24 and an i10-index of 60. Matthew is also a member of several journal editorial boards, steering committees and government committees, and has been awarded competitive research funding totalling more than $1.69 million. In 2014, A/Prof Leach was awarded a competitive research fellowship with the Australian Research Centre for Complementary and Integrative Medicine [ARCCIM], and was also appointed an Honorary Visiting Fellow with the Faculty of Health, University of Technology, Sydney.

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Associate Professor Romy Lauche

Deputy Director (Research)

Associate Professor Romy Lauche is the Deputy Director (Research) at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, Southern Cross University. Romy has background and qualifications in psychology (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany), and a PhD in medical sciences (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany).

Romy has received comprehensive training in research methodology, and has extensive experience in clinical and non-clinical research, systematic reviews, meta-analysis, mixed-methods research and statistical analyses of large population health datasets. Her current research program includes a focus on the use and efficacy of naturopathic modalities as well as projects exploring yoga, Tai Chi and self-care in the context of chronic illness, and the analyses of large national and international population health datasets.

She is a vastly experienced supervisor for PhD, Masters and Honours students and has taught a variety of subjects, including lectures and seminars in research methodology, statistics and public health to traditional and complementary medicine students. Her research interests include the examination of naturopathic and complementary medicine, including but not limited to traditional European modalities (e.g. Kneipp water cure, herbal medicine, fasting, cupping), mindfulness interventions (e.g. yoga, Tai Chi, meditation), and manual/other physical therapies.

Romy holds an honorary senior research fellow appointment at the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Technology Sydney, and an adjunct senior research fellow position with the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University. She has received numerous academic awards and prizes, is a member of several societies and editorial boards, has published more than 170 journal articles, and has been cited 6159 times.

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Dr Janet Schloss - National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Dr Janet Schloss (PhD)

Clinical Research Fellow and Lecturer

Dr Janet Schloss is Clinical Research Fellow and Lecturer at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM). Janet is an accomplished researcher with extensive experience in coordinating clinical trials. In addition to her academic career, Janet is also a practicing clinical nutritionist and naturopath with over 20 years’ experience.

Following the completion of her doctorate in 2015, Janet has focused her research on supporting people who have cancer through studying the use of complementary medicines to assist side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Janet works with a number of Oncologists, assisting patients with nutrition consultation to help decrease side effects and support them whilst undergoing medical treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, immunotherapy and hormone treatment. She consults extensively with clients being treated for cancer and auto-immune conditions to reduce the likelihood of metastasis, tumour growth and inflammation while building immune modulation and improving overall health and wellbeing.

Janet has completed a number of ground-breaking studies and has over 30 publications in clinical naturopathy, cancer and auto-immune diseases, some of which have gained wide-spread national media attention. Through her critical and rigorous research, she helps patients and practitioners to establish evidence-based practice.

Janet has lectured in naturopathy, nutrition, and supervised student clinics for over 14 years, and prior to her appointment at NCNM, was the Clinical Trials Manager at Endeavour College of Natural Health.

She has a strong passion for her profession, which has been shown through many professional speaking engagements throughout Australia and overseas, including the ASCO Annual Meeting in 2015 – the largest, most prestigious oncology conference in the world – where she presented a complementary medicine clinical trial to over 32,000 delegates.

In addition to her role at NCNM, Janet is a Research Fellow and a member of the International Naturopathic Leadership group with the Australian Research Centre for Complementary and Integrative Medicine([ARCCIM), and a member of Australian Traditional Medicine Society, Society of Integrative Oncology and American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Dr Andrea Bugarcic

Dr Andrea Bugarcic (PhD)

Senior Lecturer

Dr Andrea Bugarcic is Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator for the Naturopathic Medicine programs at National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine. Andrea holds a PhD in Molecular Virology from the University of Auckland, as well as Bachelor and Master level science degrees and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education.

Following the completion of her PhD, Andrea held post-doctoral research fellow positions at Griffith University and University of Queensland, where her primary research interests were regulation of intracellular protein trafficking in viral infection and Parkinson’s disease. She also designed and delivered several biology undergraduate subjects at University of Queensland and evaluated implementation of novel assessment tasks within practical biomedical curriculum.

Andrea has a strong commitment to building positive outcomes for the naturopathic profession by furthering education and research opportunities for students, as well as contributing her own meaningful research outcomes.

Prior to her role at NCNM, Andrea held an academic leadership position at Endeavour College of Natural Medicine, where she developed, implemented and evaluated several teaching interventions across complementary medicine curriculum and further extended her research interests.

Andrea’s research interest and expertise has been in evidence and critical thinking in natural health practitioners and undergraduate health science students, integration of practice and teaching in complementary medicine, evaluation of teaching practices in health science curriculum, and understanding impact of nutraceuticals/herbs on molecular basis of Parkinson’s Disease. In her role at NCNM, Andrea aims to further explore educational and herbal molecular research.

Andrea has published over 30 scientific and educational research papers, presented at national and international conferences, supervised Honours and PhD students and received research funding in both educational research and scientific research fields.

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Dr Amie Steel

Senior Research Fellow, ARCCIM, University of Technology Sydney

Dr Amie Steel is a naturopath, educator and researcher in the field of complementary medicine. Amie currently holds dual research positions as a postdoctoral research fellow at ARCCIM at UTS and Associate Director – Research Endeavour College of Natural Health.

Amie has a Master of Public Health from the University of Queensland a PhD through the University of Technology Sydney. Amie’s current research focus includes a diverse area of complementary medicine including pregnancy and women’s health, curriculum content of conventional and complementary medicine courses, integration and regulation of complementary medicine within the wider health system, and the interface between evidence-based medicine and complementary medicine practice.

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Dr Holger Cramer

Research Director, Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen

Dr Holger Cramer is Research Director at the Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Holger received his MSc in clinical and biological psychology from the Ruhr-University Bochum and his PhD in medical science from the University of Duisburg-Essen with an award-winning thesis on complementary medicine pain management.

Holger has authored more than 100 scientific journal articles on complementary and integrative medicine and has completed a number of randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews/meta-analyses on complementary medicine and naturopathic treatments. He also teaches naturopathy, mind/body medicine, medical psychology and research methodology.

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Dennis Anheyer

Research Assistant, Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Dennis Anheyer is Research Assistant at the Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen. Dennis conducts research in integrative paediatrics, pain management and health psychology. He is also interested in research methodology and meta-analysis techniques.

He was awarded a Scientific Article Prize of the International Society for Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Research (ISCMR) for his essay "Mindfulness-based stress reduction for treating low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis", which appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Dr Francesca Panzironi

CEO The Aṉangu Ngangkaṟi Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (ANTAC)

Dr Francesca Panzironi is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of ANTAC, the first organization of Aboriginal traditional healers in Australia. Since 2008, Francesca has led a process of consultation with the ngangkaṟi in the APY lands which has resulted in the formation of the Aṉangu Ngangkaṟi Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation.

Francesca travelled across South Australia for over four years collecting evidence of the current status of Aboriginal Traditional Medicine in community and clinical settings. Francesca is an international human rights academic who applied her knowledge and experience to create a platform for the recognition of the internationally recognised right of Indigenous Peoples to maintain and practice their traditional medicines within Australia’s national health care system.

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Tobey-Ann Pinder

Vice President NHAA

Tobey-Ann Pinder is both a licensed and registered Naturopathic Doctor and lawyer in Canada and a fully qualified practicing naturopath in Australia. Tobey-Ann has experience in, and contributes to, many other facets of the profession globally.

She maintains licenses as a Naturopathic Doctor and Barrister & Solicitor in Canada, and remains connected to the profession through various association memberships in both Australia and North America. Tobey-Ann is the Vice President of the NHAA Board of Directors, where she aims to continue to make a positive impact to the association and the profession through advocating for the growing movement for higher standards of professionalism, education, and professional regulation in natural medicine and CAM.

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Kieran Cooley

Director of Research Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

Kieran Cooley is the Director of Research at Canadian College of Neuropathic Medicine. He is an accomplished researcher and clinical epidemiologist, experienced in conducting pragmatic, whole-practice clinical trials on naturopathic care, evaluating the quality and impact of both naturopathic and integrative medicine, as well as collaborating with various institutions to evaluate natural health products. Currently, he is investigating cannabis and integrative approaches for chronic pain, interprofessional collaboration and education, and naturopathic approaches to both irritable bowel syndrome and diabetes. Kieran is also Chair-Elect of the Canadian Interdisciplinary Network of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Researchers (INCAM).

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Dr Ryan Bradley

Director of Research National University of Natural Medicine USA

Following undergraduate training in chemical engineering and biotechnology, Dr Ryan Bradley completed his Doctor of Naturopathy from Bastyr University in 2003 and his Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington in 2009.

Ryan has conducted a wide-variety of clinical and observational research, including: cardiovascular epidemiology in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort; observational research and clinical trials on practice outcomes from integrating naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease; clinical trials of natural products (including vitamin D, mixed-carotenoids, and quercetin) and mind-body interventions including qigong for type 2 diabetes.

Professional staff

Renea Duignan – General Manager

Caitlin Zillman – Marketing & Communications Manager

Karlyn Major – Marketing Coordinator

Natasha Cook  and Sarah Rickard – Administrative Assistant

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