Our People

Our Team:

2017 NTA Team May_Small file

Our Board:

Governance by a Management Board made up of Key Opinion Leaders from the following disease groups:

  • Dementias
  • Epilepsy
  • Movement Disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Mental Health
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Neuromuscular Diseases
  • Neurosurgery
  • Pain
  • Stroke.


Dr Tina Soulis PhD, BSc

Tina drives the clinical development of projects for academic and commercial sponsors. When planning your clinical trial, you can be assured it will be overseen by one of Australia’s most experienced operators in the field.

Prior to her role with Neuroscience Trials Australia, Tina was the director of clinical development at Acrux Pharma Pty Ltd, a successful Australian biotechnology company. She managed the strategic direction, development, co-ordination and reporting of the company’s clinical programs. Tina had pivotal involvement in taking a product (Axiron), right through all stages of clinical development and in submission of the product dossier for regulatory approval.

Tina is an experienced driver of clinical drug development, particularly in the design, management and implementation of clinical trials and has worked as a clinical researcher and in senior roles within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for over 20 years. Her experience encompasses all stages of drug development in many therapeutic areas and geographical regions.

Tina has held senior clinical positions with Kendle (now INC Research, a global CRO) that involved the leadership of projects and personnel for numerous biotechnology and pharma clients. Prior to Kendle, Tina was a post doctoral research manager responsible for a team of scientists developing new drugs for the management of diabetic disease.

Our Co-chair:

Professor Steven Petrou PhD

Professor Petrou is a PhD trained neuroscientist who focuses on the biology of disease and therapy development in neurogenetic disorders. Professor Petrou’s rigorous approach to his research, and his ability to translate this research into commercial outcomes is the result of his focus on interdisciplinary research. His laboratory successfully amalgamates physics, engineering, computation, cell and molecular biology, genetics, neurobiology and clinical research to improve the lives of patients with neurogenetic diseases. As a leader in the area of precision medicine in epilepsy he has published key papers that not only describe novel disease mechanisms but also identify a number of treatment modalities including repurposing of existing drugs, novel small molecule development and gene therapy. He collaborates nationally and internationally with leading clinicians and scientists and has co-founded two biotech companies to commercially develop new treatments for patients with epilepsy and related disorders.

Professor Petrou has been the Deputy Director of the Florey since 2012 and the Head of a successful laboratory which has enjoyed continuous funding for the past 20 years. He is also a current NHMRC Principal Research Fellow. Professor Petrou was part of the three person team to establish the Centre for Neural Engineering at the University of Melbourne and serve as its Deputy Director and Head of Biology Node. His scientific service includes Deputy Director of the Australian Course in Advanced Neuroscience and Editor of the Australian Neuroscience Society. Globally, he sits on major committees for the world’s two peak bodies in epilepsy; The International League Against Epilepsy and the American Epilepsy Society and holds the role of Editorial Board Member for key international journals, including PLoS Genetics, Neurobiology of Disease, and Frontiers in Pharmacology. He has published over 180 papers and given numerous lectures and plenaries across the globe in further recognition of his leadership. Professor Petrou’s election as a Fellow of the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2015 was a marker of the regard in which he is held by his peers.

Our Senior Team:

Ric DeGaris, Head, Clinical Operations BSc, Ph.D (Pharmacology)

Ric has extensive experience in BioPharma company operations and leadership having worked in Clinical Operations for over 25 years. He also brings with him on-the-job knowledge in Executive Leadership having held roles as CEO, General Manager, Directorships, as well as a Board Member for local private companies. He is currently the Head of the Clinical Trial Division of Ward Medication Management. Ric is best known in Industry for his CRO expertise in management of Kendle Australia. Kendle, was a well-known, multinational consulting company to the global biopharmaceutical industry prior to its takeover by INC (now Syneos).

Mary Hayek, Operations Manager BSc

Mary is the Clinical Operations Manager within the niche Contract Research Organisation company Neuroscience Trials Australia (NTA). Over the past 20 years, Mary has worked in a variety of roles within the clinical trials industry including central laboratories, sites, pharmaceutical and clinical research organisations in Australia, Singapore and the USA. Mary is passionate about bringing projects to success by working collaboratively with all stakeholders.