"We continue to build and strengthen our team of experts and professional staff at the Centre."

Professor Jon Wardle

Foundation Director, National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Our people

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.


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

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Academic staff

Clinical Research Fellow and Lecturer

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Post Doctoral Research Fellow

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Teaching Scholar

Associate Lecturer

Casual Academic (Teaching)

Unit Writer, Lifestyle Medicine


Adjunct Professor; Group Director, Blackmores Institute; Adjunct Associate Professor, NICM Health Research Institute

Adjunct Professor Research Leader, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Canberra

Adjunct Professor; General Practitioner 

Adjunct Associate Professor; Research Director, Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen

Adjunct Associate Professor; Adjunct Professor, National Center for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi

Adjunct Professional Fellow; Head of Scientific & Regulatory Affairs at PharmaCare Laboratories

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

Adjunct Fellow; Director of Research, National University of Natural Medicine USA

Adjunct Fellow; Senior Industry Fellow, RMIT University

Adjunct Fellow; Director of Research Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

Adjunct Fellow; Director, House of Health Ltd, New Zealand

Adjunct Fellow; Associate Research Scientist, Aging and Development Unit, African Population and Health Research Center, Kenya

Adjunct Fellow; Associate Professor and Director of International Engagement at Nursing & Midwifery, Monash University

Adjunct Fellow; Acting Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Health Sciences at Indiana University School of Health & Human Sciences

Adjunct Fellow; Public Health Officer, Department of Health & Human Services

Adjunct Fellow and Lecturer at National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Adjunct Fellow; CEO, The Aṉangu Ngangkaṟi Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (ANTAC)

Adjunct Fellow; Functional Medicine Practitioner, Melbourne Functional Medicine

Adjunct Fellow; Senior Research Fellow, ARCCIM, University of Technology Sydney

Academic Leadership at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Man in blue-checked shirt

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 traditional knowledge and fostering innovative research, and believes that by combining both optimal public health outcomes can be achieved.

man in white shirt

Associate Professor Matthew Leach

Deputy Director (Education)

Associate Professor Matthew 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.

man in suit jacket with checked shirt

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.

Dr Janet Schloss - National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Dr Janet Schloss

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

Course Coordinator and 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.

Dr Peter Bai James profile photo

Dr Peter Bai James

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Peter Bai James is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine.

Dr James has a background in pharmacy, pharmacology with wide-spanning experience across drug research and development, drug regulation, pharmacovigilance, traditional and complementary medicine, public health, and health services research in low-to-middle income countries.

In addition to his undergraduate qualification in Pharmacy, Peter has postgraduate qualifications in ethnopharmacology (MMed) and public health (PhD). His doctoral research looked at healthcare service utilisation, including the use of traditional and complementary medicine among Ebola survivors suffering from post-infectious complications.

Prior to doing his PhD, he worked as an associate lecturer at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone and as a Drug regulatory officer at the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Government of Sierra Leone. He is currently an adjunct lecturer at College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone.

Peter now supports the National Centre’s African strategy by developing a program of research, education, and service of Traditional Complementary and Integrative Medicine (TCIM) capacity in developing countries with a focus in Africa. Dr James recently accepted a nomination to serve on an advisory committee for Traditional medicine in the West African Health Organisation (WAHO). He is a member of the Public Health Association of Australia’s special interest groups in complementary medicine, and international health.

Peter has acquired methodological knowledge and skills in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method research, systematic reviews, public health, and health service research and big data to conduct research in the following areas of interest relating to vulnerable populations: Traditional and complementary medicine policy, regulation, and integration, within the wider health system;  Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola and  COVID-19; Pharmaceutical policy, and practice; Migrant and refugee health; and Behavioural health including mental health in low middle-income countries.

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