About NZACRes

About Us

The New Zealand Association of Clinical Research (NZACRes) was formed from the clinical research focus group to foster and promote clinical research, and is the professional association for clinical researchers in New Zealand. NZACRes holds regular meetings to bring together members of the clinical research community, to discuss issues and create collaborative solutions for our industry.

NZACRes organises events encouraging networking opportunities amongst our peers within our industry. Currently regional meetings are held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. NZACRes holds the annual NZACRes Clinical Research Conference where invited speakers from New Zealand and overseas present on topics of interest to researchers.

NZACRes is a non-profit scientific educational organisation. It is run by an elected team of volunteer officers from amongst its members.

Our Goals

Our overarching goal is to promote and support clinical research in New Zealand by:

  • acting as a conduit for networking within the industry;
  • providing information and resources for the industry in New Zealand;
  • educating stakeholders on issues pertinent to clinical research in New Zealand
  • supporting and encouraging training opportunities for our members;
  • promoting New Zealand as a preferred location for clinical research.

Our Members

NZACRes membership is open to all those who have an interest in clinical research.

Join NZACRes
Members Include
  • Investigators, Study Coordinators, Physicians, Clinical Research Nurses, University and Hospital based research personnel
  • Clinical Research Managers, Clinical Research Associates, Regulatory Specialists and personnel from research institutes
  • Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical Device research personnel
  • Pharmacists and Laboratory personnel
  • Health Economists, Biostatisticians and Data Managers
  • Medical Writers and Industry Consultants

Julie Jones


Julie has over 20 years of experience in vaccine development and clinical trials across a variety of roles within the clinical research industry. She is currently working as a quality manager and sits on the Central Health & Disability Ethics Committee. She has previously established a GMP facility and spent 7 years within the European pharmaceutical industry working within clinical trial project management, strategic development and relationship management positions.
Julie Jones

Meghan Mcllwain

I am a Clinical Lead at Syneos Health. Originally a pharmacist, I completed my PhD in Pharmacy in 2014; my doctoral studies focused on neuroimaging biomarkers of treatment resistant schizophrenia. I published research articles on topics ranging from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to the endocannabinoid system in addiction and "party pill" drug-drug interactions. After a post-doc in California I returned to New Zealand where I now enjoy working in the pharma industry as a CRA and Clinical Lead and occasional guest lecturer at the School of Pharmacy, University of Auckland.

Meghan Mcllwain

Ruth Lucas

Ruth Lucas is a clinical research professional with almost 20 years of experience working within the clinical trials industry. Starting out in the UK Ruth gained experience conduct clinical trials across all phases from working in a phase I unit to multi-centre phase IV studies. Ruth moved to New Zealand in 2006, working for both CRO and Pharmaceutical companies. During this time Ruth was also involved with training and mentoring of research professionals and enjoyed coaching and motivating other professionals to participate in high quality research. Ruth then continued to work as an independent contractor on a number of differing projects from Investigator-Led studies to large industry sponsored trials, with a focus on quality improvement within NZ.
In March 2019 Ruth took up the post as Research Manager for Cancer & Blood Research at Auckland District Health Board, broadening her industry experience into the DHB.

Ruth Lucas

Julia Mathieson


Following a career in nursing and management and, in collaboration with my business partner, we started Southern Clinical Trials Ltd in 2007. In 2011 we identified a need for support services for clinical trial units and established Southern Clinical Trials Group (SCTG) which is a clinical trial network providing management services to 5 clinical trial units in New Zealand. Our sites conduct industry trials for global and local sponsors. SCTG also has an alliance with Lakeland Clinical Trials (NZ) and Paratus (Australia) who combine under the banner of Pacific Clinical Research Network (PCRN).
As a business owner I believe I bring a commercial focus to the challenges experienced by clinical trials sites, whether in the private or public sector. I also have a strong interest in the development of career pathways for study co-ordinators.
Julia Mathieson

Alex Semprini

I am a Deputy Director of the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand and research physician with a background in biomedical science, clinical medicine and a PhD in clinical research. In addition to management and business development responsibilities, I undertake Principal Investigator and study physician roles across both sponsored and investigator led research programmes and have interests in clinical informatics, biotech, research network and methodology. Through my PhD I established the NZ Pharmacy Research Network which now offers the capacity to conduct randomised trials embedded in community pharmacy. This programme aims to overcome the methodological and cost barriers to studying over the counter medicines, complementary therapies and devices, through which I have developed an interest in the regulatory and commercialisation aspects of clinical research. I enjoy networking with academia, industry and government and as an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University of Wellington and Research Fellow at Western Sydney University am actively involved in under- and post-graduate teaching and supervision
Alex Semprini

Marina Dzhelali

Marina Dzhelali works as a Research Office Manager and is in charge of the Hutt Valley DHB and Capital & Coast DHB Research Offices. Born in Russia, raised in Ukraine and graduated in the USA, Marina has worked professionally in the USA and NZ for the past 20 years. Marina has acquired research experience in many clinical areas and has been NZACREs member since 2004 in the variety of roles.

Living in the Hutt Valley allows her to enjoy the combination of suburban and a semirural life style with her husband, kids and animals.

Marina Dzhelali

Zoe Breeze


I have spent the last 20 years in a variety of clinical research roles within the Pharmaceutical and CRO industry, from monitoring local clinical trials to global study lead roles. Over this time I have developed a passion for the quality aspects of clinical research and started my move into this area 10 years ago.
In my current role as Quality Manager (GCP/GVP) for Roche New Zealand, I am able to further expand this interest and passion whilst still remaining close to our clinical trials.
I have previously volunteered and have served as an executive committee member from 2016 to 2017 and in 2019. I believe that through volunteering and committing to NZACRes, we can change and improve the research environment for all.
I am originally from the UK and love to travel. I have been lucky enough to live and work in 4 different countries including, of course New Zealand. Since moving here in 2010, my husband and I have adopted ex-racing greyhounds which keep us busy and ensure we continue to enjoy the great outdoors that New Zealand has to offer.
Zoe Breeze

Michelle Sullivan


My name is Marie-Michelle Sullivan. I have more than 25 years of experience in research administration, having worked overseas and in New Zealand.
I am a member of NZACRes and the Society of Research Administrators International. I am presently employed by the University of Otago, Dunedin School of Medicine, where I hold two half-time positions. I am the research administrator for the Gastroenterology Research Unit and administrative assistant for Health Research South. My work experience allows me to have a broad knowledge of all the processes in implementing research trials. I am a strong believer in the importance of training and supporting all staff involved in clinical trials to strengthen the research environment. Thank you for allowing me to share my vast experience in supporting our association and its membership.
Michelle Sullivan

Scott Bannan

Currently Scott is working as a Senior Clinical Operations Manager with MSD, where he manages a team across ANZ who are primarily responsible for study start-up and ongoing clinical trial operations. Scott began his career in research as a clinical trial coordinator and then progressed through a range of other clinical research roles such as CRA and Project Manager with CROs, pharmaceutical and biotech companies prior to his current role with MSD
Scott Bannan