Meet the Leadership Team

With an average of 21 years of industry experience and knowledge across all therapeutic areas.

Chief Executive Officer

Yvonne Lungershausen

Yvonne began her career in academic “bench” research with Adelaide University and CSIRO. Yvonne then moved into clinical trials research at a dedicated Phase I unit where she was one of the first in Australia to test a new chemical entity in healthy volunteers, giving rise to what is now a strong Phase 1 sector in Australia.

Yvonne also spent time in the biotech world as Clinical Development Manager then moved into senior Contract Research Organisation (CRO) roles.

With 25+ years of clinical trial experience gained across most therapeutic areas, Yvonne brings a deep understanding of all phases of the drug development process. With a passion for exceeding client expectations, Yvonne is highly regarded within the industry for her expertise and ability to solve complex clinical trial issues.

In 2009 Yvonne Lungershausen became a Founding Member of CPR Pharma Services (CPR) as it spun out from the University of South Australia. As a key member of the CPR Senior Management Team she was responsible for the clinical operations side of the business.

Then in January 2019 CPR Pharma Services split into two separate service companies, analytical services (Agilex BioLabs) and clinical services (Avance Clinical).

Yvonne was appointed as CEO of Avance Clinical and has since rapidly built the company into Australia’s leading CRO for biotechs – attracting innovative biotech clients from USA, EU and Asia and winning awards for quality and service.

Chief Scientific Officer

Gabriel Kremmidiotis

Gabriel has 26 years’ experience in medical research and drug development. He has devoted most of his career to the biotechnology industry, managing drug development programs from early discovery to completion of phase II proof of concept clinical trials and subsequent commercial drug licensing deals.
He has been part of the CPR Pharma Services team since 2015 managing the department of clinical operations and offering drug development advice to biotechnology companies seeking to enter clinical trials in Australia. In 2019, Gabriel was appointed Chief Scientific Officer of Avance Clinical where he currently leads the Department of Scientific and Medical affairs offering Medical Writing, Drug safety monitoring and reporting and early phase clinical drug development and regulatory advice services.
Prior to joining CPR Pharma Services, Gabriel was the Vice President Research & Development of the Australian ASX listed company Bionomics limited where over several years led teams in discovery and progression of cancer therapeutics through to completion of several phase I and Phase II clinical trials in Australia and the US.
Gabriel’s 26 years in medical research also includes appointments with the Cancer Therapeutics CRC, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide University, the Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
With primary expertise in oncology, Gabriel has a diverse scientific background spanning the fields of Clinical Development, Drug Discovery, Cancer Biology, Molecular Genetics, Bioinformatics and Immunology. He has a PhD and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Flinders University and a Bachelor of Science from The University of Melbourne. He has published research findings in 29 international scientific papers and has several patent inventions on cancer genes and small molecule anti-cancer therapeutics. Gabriel is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and ARCS Australia.
Chief Strategy Officer

Ben Edwards

Chief Strategy Officer; working closely with the CEO to lead growth of the business and align the organisations operations with its future goals. With 24+ years of industry experience, including 19+ years within in CROs, Ben has gained a depth of knowledge that has allowed him to successfully support clients internationally and in the Asia Pacific region to gain market registration for their new pharmaceutical drug products. This includes product approvals by the US FDA, in Europe, the Japan PMDA and Chinese CFDA.

As an accomplished leader of teams with significant experience in directing large multi-function teams across all continents Ben values an action oriented work ethic, high ethical standards, personal integrity and accountability as well as the power of a ‘team first’ culture. These values have been the guiding force for delivering value to clients and ensuring patients get the treatment they need.

Director Clinical Operations

Jemma Lawson

Director Clinical Operations
Jemma brings to Avance Clinical in-depth experience in Clinical Operations supported by 17+ years’ experience working in the clinical research and biotechnology industries, including 12+ years dedicated to various roles in Contract Research Organisations (CROs). Her comprehensive knowledge draws from working with both small Australian-based CROs and large multinational (including Top 5) CROs, with a particular focus on early phase Healthy Volunteer and Oncology clinical development.
Highly developed people management expertise, demonstrated accountability for a project delivery, thorough clinical project financial management experience, and an innate love for process improvement and development/implementation, provide her with a solid foundation to deliver on the continued growth and development of the Avance Clinical Operations department.
Director Business Development Operations

Sandrien Louwaars

Sandrien has 15+ years’ experience in the industry. Sandrien comes from an operations background having started her career in Data Management. Working for leading global CROs across Europe Sandrien has gained expertise in Oracle Clinical™, Clintrial, Medrio, and SAS®. She has a keen eye for detail, which supports the strong relationship between Business Development and Operations to always ensure delivery to clients.
Sandrien has significant experience in senior managerial roles, currently serving as Director Business Development Operations supporting clients across the United States.
Head of Business Development

Liahna Toy

Liahna has more than 11 years of industry experience working across local and global CROs in various proposal management and business development roles. Liahna’s experience to date has had a focus on the placement of early phase trials into Australia and the Asia Pacific region. As the Head of Business Development, Liahna works closely with our business development and leadership team to establish and maintain client relationships and strategic partnerships, providing our clients with optimal solutions to execute their clinical development programs. Liahna has completed her Master of Business Administration (MBA).
CFO

Greg Vella

Greg is a Chartered Accountant with an MBA from Imperial College in London. He has over 20 years’ experience within Big 4 Accounting and Industry based companies, in a mix of different roles including Accounting, Finance, Strategy & M&A. Greg has lived and worked around the world, 10+ years living and working outside of Australia.

Greg is a hands-on, results-oriented executive that loves the dynamics and challenges of innovative and fast-growing companies. His philosophy of being an effective CFO is about partnering with his colleagues and providing the tools, information and analysis that empower each of them to drive exceptional performance. A commercially focused, results driven finance leader with experience in building and leading diverse teams across the globe.

Director Compliance & Training

Lisa Eglinton

Lisa Eglinton is Director Compliance and Training, responsible for driving the delivery and management of training programs and clinical compliance with internal processes and global regulations. Lisa has worked within the Contract Research Organization industry for almost 20 years, building on 10 years of experience within a pharmaceutical company and within a Phase I clinical trials unit. She has a strong background in Phase I clinical research and a wide breadth of experience across many facets of clinical research. Lisa’s strong passion for training and sharing knowledge enables her to effectively promote compliance to achieve high quality outcomes for clients.
Executive VP North American Operations

Ron Carozza, PharmD

Ron joined Avance Clinical in 2022 following the acquisition of C3 Research. Prior to co-founding C3 Research in 2008, Ron held various positions in academic institutions, large pharma and biotechnology companies. He has over 25 years of clinical operations experience focused primarily on oncology, neurology, women’s health, hematology and clinical pharmacology studies. At C3 Ron is responsible for leading C3 Research’s business and clinical operations as well as growing its brand and geographic reach. Ron plays an instrumental role in designing and implementing a vision and strategic direction that has resulted in C3 Research emerging as a reputable and quality driven performance CRO. Ron has made significant contributions to nearly a hundred studies spanning a broad therapeutic range and phase of development and has played an integral role supporting numerous FDA approvals.
Director Quality Assurance

Priyanka Chamoli

Priyanka has extensive experience in Clinical Research and holds a Post-graduate degree in Clinical Research.
Priyanka has worked in Pharma, Multinational and small to mid-sized CROs during her career.
She has extensive experience auditing Investigator sites and vendors across multiple regions including Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and the USA covering many therapeutic areas.
At Avance Clinical Priyanka is responsible for quality systems and auditing for Clinical Operations, Data Management, Medical Writing and Statistics.
Director of Human Resources

Elizabeth (Liz) Hawes

Liz has over 15 years of Human Resources experience working within healthcare, including 7+ years in Clinical Research and 10+ years at a leadership level. Liz has a track record of developing high-performing HR teams and ‘people’ processes from scratch, affecting positive change in the organisations where she has worked both locally and globally. Her strengths lie in understanding people, supporting business strategy and success through periods of rapid growth including mergers and acquisitions, and creating an employee experience that enables people and organisations to thrive. As Director of Human Resource for Avance Clinical, Liz is responsible for overseeing all aspects of human resources management including leadership of our growing Human Resources team. At Avance we understand that our people and our customers are everything to our business and for this reason are constantly striving to be a great place to work. Liz and her team drive initiatives to support us in this endeavour and importantly help our incredible people and culture to be the best they can be.
Director of Biometrics

Paul Donnelly

Paul Donnelly is a dedicated professional with 30 years’ experience in the clinical research area, working for large pharmaceutical companies, global Clinical Research Organisations, and Academic Research Organisations in Europe and Asia Pacific. Performed in a variety of roles including Data Management, Project Management, and senior management roles overseeing DM, Biostatistics and Project System teams based in several Asia Pacific locations.

Meet the Client Development Team

A highly experienced business development team supporting our global clients.

Head of Business Development

Liahna Toy

Liahna has more than 11 years of industry experience working across local and global CROs in various proposal management and business development roles. Liahna’s experience to date has had a focus on the placement of early phase trials into Australia and the Asia Pacific region. As the Head of Business Development, Liahna works closely with our business development and leadership team to establish and maintain client relationships and strategic partnerships, providing our clients with optimal solutions to execute their clinical development programs. Liahna has completed her Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Business Development Manager

Sarah Powell

Experienced clinical research professional, with over 16 years of industry experience, specialising in the Early Phase Clinical Research space. Experience within a diagnostic laboratory environment before jumping into the clinical research world.

Worked across a variety of positions in clinical trial coordination, project management, laboratory management, SOP writing/review, business development, clinical trial budgets and proposals, contract drafting and key client negotiations, legal counsel liaison, implementation of new systems and supporting the growth of a small start-up company of 3 employees as a foundation employee, to an SME of over 250 employees.

I enjoy working with a team open to big ideas and finding new and innovative ways to improve processes and workflows, but my favourite part is watching my teammates grow and flourish in their roles, seeing that “aha!” moment and knowing that I had a small part to play in guiding their success.

Vice President, North America Business Development

George Merino

George joined Avance Clinical in 2022 following the acquisition of C3 Research.
Prior to that George joined C3 Research in 2017. He has over 20 years of transaction experience, of which over a decade has been devoted to the practice of business development and clinical operations within the clinical development industry. Since joining industry, he has held executive leadership responsibilities across early and late phase CRO providers. Since joining the C3 Research team, George has played an instrumental role in contributing to the growth of the company. He brings with him a unique vision that places the individual needs of every client, central to all the division’s business practices. His day-to-day contributions are grounded in a simple yet profound idea — good and proper business development lends itself to a strong foundation for dynamic and comprehensive solutions and a tailored approach to meeting biotech and pharmaceutical development challenges.
Business Development Director - U.S.

Mike Watson

Mike is an experienced business development consultant, residing in North Carolina, US. Mike has been in the clinical space for over 13 years with experience in preclinical and clinical (Phase I-IV). Mike also has a thorough understanding of the Australian R & D Tax Incentive as well as the regulatory pathway for conducting clinical trials in Australia.
Director Business Development Operations

Sandrien Louwaars

Sandrien has 15+ years’ experience in the industry. Sandrien comes from an operations background having started her career in Data Management. Working for leading global CROs across Europe Sandrien has gained expertise in Oracle Clinical™, Clintrial, Medrio, and SAS®. She has a keen eye for detail, which supports the strong relationship between Business Development and Operations to always ensure delivery to clients.
Sandrien has significant experience in senior managerial roles, currently serving as Director Business Development Operations supporting clients across the United States.
Business Development Manager - APAC

Andy Hu

Andy has 5+ years industry experience building a successful rapport and optimising client experience through an account management journey. Andy is multilingual, being fluent in English, Mandarin and Korean. He has completed both a Bachelor of Korean Language and Culture as well as a Master of Translation and Interpreting. Andy is responsible for developing business across the APAC region to better serve our clients operating in the region.
“Clients select Avance Clinical in Australia because the data is accepted by the FDA, and it gives them a rapid pathway for international licensing, investment and ultimately drug approvals.”
Proposals Manager

Krystal Feng

Krystal has 3+ years industry experience working in business development at one of the largest Phase I units in Australia. Krystal has supported numerous sponsors with initiating their clinical programs in both Australia and New Zealand. Krystal understands the importance of fast quality data and has a strong passion for finding efficient and cost-effective solutions for clients without comprising quality. Krystal currently supports Avance clients from around the world, in particular the US region. Krystal holds a Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences (Advanced), majoring in Clinical Trials.

Meet the Board

A highly experienced business and investor team

Board Chair

Errol Katz

Board Member

Nick Speer

Board Member

Daniel Spasic

Board Member

Stuart Baxter

Board Member

Kevin Xu