Introducing our keynote speakers


Michael Nicholas

Michael is the Director of Pain Education at the Pain Management Research Institute, Sydney Medical School (Northern) at the Royal North Shore Hospital where he also directs several multidisciplinary pain management programs. He has a national and international reputation in this field, especially in relation to his work in developing and evaluating multidisciplinary pain management programs, and over 170 publications in scientific journals and books on pain assessment and management. His current research interests include the self-management of persisting pain in both the adult and older adult populations, adherence to self-management strategies for persisting pain, and early psychosocial interventions to prevent long-term disability in injured workers. His most recent study on early intervention with injured workers in NSW has demonstrated that injured workers at risk of delayed recovery can be identified in days and RTW in half the time of those offered usual care.




David Phipps

Dr. Phipps received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario) and undertook post-doctoral studies in HIV research at the University Health Network (Toronto).  After leaving the lab he built a career managing academic research holding successively senior positions at the University of Toronto Innovations Foundation (Manager of Biotechnology and Life Sciences), Canadian Arthritis Network (Director of Business Development) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Director of Partnerships).  In 2001 Dr. Phipps completed his MBA from the Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto).  Dr. Phipps is the Executive Director of Research & Innovation Services at York University where he manages all research grants and contracts including knowledge and technology transfer. 

In this capacity he leads York's award winning Knowledge Mobilization Unit that provides services to researchers, community organizations and government agencies who wish to use maximize the economic, social and environmental impacts of university research.  Dr. Phipps has been named the most influential knowledge mobilizer in Canada. In 2012 York's Knowledge Mobilization Unit was awarded a best practice award from the European-based Knowledge Economy Network. In 2012 he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his work in knowledge mobilization.  In 2013 he was one of three national finalists for the Impact Award – Connections category from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He was also awarded the 2015 Research Management Excellence Award (Canadian Association of Research Administrators) and 2015 President's Award for Innovation in Knowledge Mobilization (Institute for Knowledge Mobilization). In 2015 he was named the Gordon and Jean Southam Fellow from the Association of Commonwealth Universities. In 2017 Research Impact Canada received the Directors' Award for Inter-Institutional Collaboration from the Canadian Association of Research Administrators.

He is the Knowledge Translation Lead for Kids Brain Health Network of Centres of Excellence and is the Network Director for Research Impact Canada, Canada's knowledge mobilization network including 12 universities investing in strategies to maximize the impact of research.


Vicki Ward

Vicky Ward is Associate Professor of Knowledge Mobilisation in the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences at the University of Leeds, UK. She started life as a musician and clarinet teacher, before moving into health research after her PhD. Her research focuses on how people (e.g. healthcare staff, academics, communities) can be supported to learn from, and share their knowledge with, one another. 

She has conducted research on how health and wellbeing managers share and create knowledge together, how collaborative relationships between academics and NHS managers develop and how knowledge is exchanged within healthcare service delivery teams. 

Between June 2014 and May 2017 she held a prestigious National Institute for Health Research 'Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellowship' to study and support knowledge sharing across health and social care boundaries in community settings. Her published work is in the area of knowledge brokering and knowledge mobilisation frameworks. 

Find out more about her work on her webpage and blog.






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