Scientific Committee - 2019

G-I-N & JBI 2019 Scientific Committee

Professor Ian Olver - Scientific Committee Chair

Associate Professor Zachary MunnScientific Committee Vice Chair

Stephanie Chang

Yaolong Chen

John Kinsella

Ton Kuijpers

Tracy Merlin

Rintaro Mori

Monika Nothacker

Patrick Okwen

Holger Schunemann

Marcela Torres

Julian Elliott

Ian OlverProfessor Ian Olver - Scientific Committee Chair

Ian Olver is a medical oncologist, bioethicist and researcher. He is currently a Professor of Translational Cancer Research, and Director, at the University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute where he heads a psycho-oncology research team. He is the immediate past President of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer and chairs the Medical Oncology Group of Australia Ethics Committee.  



Zach Munn

Associate Professor Zachary Munn - Vice Chair 

Associate Professor Munn is an advocate for evidence-based healthcare and ensuring patients receive the best care possible based on the best available evidence. He is the director of the Transfer Science program of the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) and a systematic review and guideline development methodologist.

JBI is an evidence-based healthcare research institute working towards a vision of the world in which the best available evidence is used to inform decision making at the point of care globally. JBI hosts the Joanna Briggs Collaboration, a network of 80 centres and groups with thousands of people contributing to this vision across the globe.

Zachary is an active member of the G-I-N Australia & New Zealand regional steering group and the G-I-N Tech group. He is also the Director of the JBI Adelaide GRADE Centre, the first in Australia. 

In his role as a G-I-N Tech steering group member and as a product owner of JBI software (JBI SUMARI), A/Prof Munn is very familiar with the various tools available for systematic review and clinical guideline development and has been involved in the development of these tools. He understands how they can contribute to trustworthy clinical guideline development whilst still maintaining relevancy and currency, and where their use can optimise a digital and trustworthy evidence ecosystem.  

Stephanie ChangStephanie Chang, MD, MPH

Stephanie Chang is the Director of the Evidence-based Practice Centre  (EPC) Program at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which produces systematic reviews and other evidence synthesis products in support of guidelines, policies, and research agendas.  Over the past 10 years, she has worked on and led efforts to make reliable evidence available for use for decision-making.  These efforts have included work on systematic review methods (e.g. medical test review methods, updating reviews, comparative effectiveness reviews, reviews on complex interventions), supporting tools to improve efficiency and update of systematic reviews, and improving the utility of systematic reviews.  Recent efforts include exploring the dissemination, use, and implementation of evidence into practice, particularly through the learning health system.

Stephanie currently serves on the G-I-N Board of Trustees and chairs the Membership Committee.  Her background prior to working at AHRQ includes a medical degree from the University of Michigan, residency training in Internal Medicine/Paediatrics at the University of Minnesota, and fellowship training in General Internal Medicine and an MPH at Johns Hopkins University. 

Yaolong Chen

Professor Yaolong Cheng 

Professor Chen is a guideline methodologist at the Evidence Based Medicine Centre of Lanzhou University. He is the founding director of  the Chinese GRADE Centre (the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations, GRADE) and co-director of WHO Collaborating Centre for Guideline Implementation and Knowledge Translation.

He is also one of the founders of GIN Asia .  He received his Bachelor degree on clinical medicine in Lanzhou University, his Masters degree on evidence based medicine at the Chinese Cochrane Centre, and a PhD degree on Integrative Medicine at Lanzhou University. He studied guideline development at McMaster University between September 2010 and March 2011 as a visiting research fellow and worked for the WHO Guidelines Review Committee between September 2013 and March 2014 as a volunteer.

Dr. Chen is the co-founder and co-chair of RIGHT (Reporting Items for Practice Guidelines in healthcare) working group. He is the co-founder of Practice Guideline Register Platform ( He has authored and co-authored more than 100 peer reviewed articles on evidence based medicine, GRADE and practice guidelines. He has been invited to give numerous presentations in Cochrane colloquiums, GIN conferences and other national and international symposiums. He was involved in the development of more than 30 practice guidelines over the last five years. He is also an editor of TTi ( Chinese. 

John KinsellaProfessor John Kinsella

John Kinsella MB BS (Newcastle), MD (Glasgow), FRCA, FFICM holds the University of Glasgow Chair of Anaesthesia, Pain and Critical Care, based at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where he is also a Consultant in Critical Care Medicine. He trained in Newcastle, Sheffield, Birmingham, Stoke Mandeville and Glasgow and was a Research Fellow at University of Glasgow and the Burns Unit at Glasgow Royal.

He was an Intensive Care Society Travelling Fellow to the USA and was the first Advanced Trainee in Critical Care in Scotland. He was a Consultant in Critical Care and Anaesthesia before becoming a Senior Lecturer and then Professor in 2007. He was formerly the Lead Clinician for Critical Care at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Regional Advisor in Intensive Care Medicine. Professor Kinsella was a FRCA examiner from 2001 to 2011 and has been an external examiner in Dundee, Edinburgh and Hull-York Universities.

He is currently Lead Clinician for the National Managed Clinical Network (MCN) in Burn Care and is currently, (since Jan 2014) Chair of the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN), having previously been Vice-Chair of SIGN Council and Chair of the Strategy Committee.

Professor Kinsella has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications. His research is currently funded by CRUK, BMA, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Better Together, Tenovus, National Institute for Academic Anaesthesia, European Society of Regional Anaesthesia, Medical Research Scotland, The CSO and the Health Foundation. 

Ton Kuijpers

Ton Kuijpers, PhD

Ton Kuijpers is an epidemiologist and senior scientific staff member of the Department of Research and Guideline Development at the Dutch College of General Practitioners. He has been involved in clinical guideline development for 15 years and is currently focused on primary care. His main interest is in the methods of guideline development (e.g. GRADE), prognostic research, and how innovative technology could make our life easier. He is a member of the GRADE working group and founded and is co-chairing the Dutch GRADE Network. He acted as a GRADE-consultant for the National Health Care Institute and led workshops on GRADE to varying audiences.

He is chairing GINtech, this aims to find solutions to prevent duplication of effort and reduce cost and avoid waste. He has an interest in the digital presentation and communication of guidelines to health care professionals aiming to maximise user friendliness. He is involved in the Rapid Recommendations initiative, in which all his interests merge nicely.


Tracy Merlin

Professor Tracy Merlin, BA(Hons), MPH, PhD

Tracy Merlin is a Professor of Health Technology Assessment in the School of Public Health, University of Adelaide, South Australia and the Managing Director and co-founder of Adelaide Health Technology Assessment (AHTA), one of the largest health technology assessment (HTA) agencies in Australia.

 AHTA undertake multi-million dollar applied research and evaluation activities on behalf of various government and non-government agencies. Tracy is a methodologist and has developed a number of approaches used in guideline development and in HTA.  This work has directly informed health policy and clinical practice in Australia.

In addition to evidence synthesis and health technology assessment, Tracy has been involved in guideline development since 2001. This has predominantly included developing clinical practice and public health guidelines for the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and advising on the methods that are used in evidence-based guideline development.

Tracy is currently Vice Chair of the Board of the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) and Chair of the English Editorial Board of the international HTA Glossary. She has been a member of G-I-N since 2013.

Rintaro Mori

Rintaro Mori, MD

Dr Mori is Director at the Department of Health Policy, National Centre for Child Health and Development in Japan. After paediatric training in Japan, he practiced in Australia, Nepal and the UK as a senior paediatrician and studied epidemiology/public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine before involved in guideline development for NICE, UK.

He has also actively been involved in research/aid-works in Madagascar, Bangladesh and Mongolia, as well as research in health systems and women’s and children’s health at the both national and global level. He is Director of Cochrane Japan, and Visiting Professor of Kyoto University, involved in many WHO guideline developments. 

Monika NothackerMonika Nothacker, MD

Monika is deputy head of the German Association of the Scientific Medical Societies´ Institute of Medical Knowledge-Management (AWMF-IMWi) at Philipps-University, Marburg since 2012. AWMF-IMWi is the Clearinghouse of Clinical Practice Guidelines developed by the 180 German scientific medical societies organised under the umbrella of AWMF.  Monika serves as coordinator and methodological consultant for CPG development and related tools for guideline developers. She is co-chair of the Guideline Section of the German Network for Evidence Based Medicine and chair of the GIN Performance Measures Working Group.  Monika is a gynecologist and obestetrician with more than a decade of clinical experience and holds a master degree in public health. 

Patrick Okwen

Okwen Patrick Mbah, MD

Okwen Patrick Mbah is a Cameroonian medical doctor and health economist with an interest in improving global health outcomes and does public health research, systematic reviews with both Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations.

He currently works at the North West Regional Fund for Health Promotion. Affiliated to the Catholic University of Cameroon (CATUC) department of Health Economics and the Centre for the Development of Best Practices in Health (CDBPS-H), Patrick also works as a health consultant to several international development agencies and governments. Within G-I-N Patrick is the lead of the African G-I-N community.  

Holger Schünemann

Holger Schünemann, MD

As chair of the Department of Health Research, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University my research focuses on evidence synthesis and guideline development methodology.  My approach includes being actively involved in development and application of guidelines as (co-)chair of more than 40 guideline panels, many of them at WHO. I was one of three scientists providing key advice to WHO in 2006 on guideline development through a series of 16 articles published by Biomedcentral. The guidelines we helped develop are broad in nature ranging from clinical to public health topics.

I am a sought after chair of guideline panels and guideline workshops for my moderation and leadership skills in guideline panels which I consider one of my main contributions to the field. Our department hosts graduate programs with over 250 graduate students, many of them already highly skilled methodologists who we mentor and support into a successful research career. Some of the individuals I mentored became important contributors to WHO guideline development.  With the consortium represented here I have collaborated over many years and I am looking forward to working these colleagues on this exciting and important project for WHO.

At McMaster, I am the founder of the GRADE Centre and have made numerous contributions to the Guideline International Network (e.g. GIN-McMaster guideline development checklist) and the Cochrane Collaboration; I serve on the board of both organisations and am the Director of Cochrane Canada that will help bridge important links to support work at WHO.


Marcela Torres 

Marcela Torres has a Bachelor´s degree in Pharm D, a Master´s degree in clinical epidemiology and a PhD in public health. I have been working for the National University of Colombia in the development and implementation of clinical practice guidelines. I have coordinated the development of guidelines for the Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Scientific Societies, Panamerican Health Organisation and two teaching hospitals.  I have supported the Colombian Ministry of Health with the development of tools for guideline implementation such as the Manual for guideline implementation of health providers and algorithms for guideline adaptation and implementation. Also, I have facilitated workshops for health providers and governmental authorities of Colombia.

Marcella also works well with the Panamerican Health Organisation as a consultant for the Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health Department.  The work involved technical assistance to the governmental authorities with the aim of strengthening capacity building in guideline development and implementation. I facilitated workshops in Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Peru, Uruguay and El Salvador.  I provide methodological support for the development of clinical practice guidelines in Panama, Dominican Republic and the Latin American Centre of Perinatology, Women and Reproductive Health.  We developed a handbook for the strengthening of national guideline programs which is a tool for the countries that seek to create and improve their guidelines development and implementation process. 

I have been attending GIN conferences for several years and participated in the inception of the GIN Iberoamerican branch and supported its activities ever since. 

Picture of Julian ElliottJulian Elliott

Associate Professor Julian Elliott is Lead for Evidence Systems at Cochrane, Senior Research Fellow at Cochrane Australia and an infectious diseases physician and Research Group Leader in the Department of Infectious Diseases, Alfred Hospital and Monash University. His research is focussed on the use of new technology and systems to improve evidence synthesis and the use of evidence for health decision making. He is leading Cochrane’s development of new evidence systems, including co-leading Project Transform, a major Cochrane project that is using new software systems, artificial intelligence and citizen science to improve the production of systematic reviews.

He is also the co-founder and CEO of Covidence, a non-profit online platform for efficient systematic review production. Associate Professor Elliott was previously Chair of the Australasian HIV Guidelines Panel and was the 2017 recipient of the Australian Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research.

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