Centre leadership

The Charles Perkins Centre leadership team

Our leadership comprises a team of pre-eminent researchers and scholars led by Professor Stephen Simpson. 

Academic Director

Professor Stephen Simpson

Stephen Simpson is leading the development of the Charles Perkins Centre's research and education strategies.

He is a world-renowned biologist whose research on nutrition is changing the way we look at diets.

Simpson’s academic journey to date crosses the globe. Having completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Queensland, he then acquired a PhD from the University of London. After 22 years at Oxford, Stephen returned to Australia in 2005 as an Australian Research Council (ARC) Federation Fellow.

In 2007, Stephen was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and in 2008 was awarded the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research. In 2009, he was named NSW Scientist of the Year and was later named the Wigglesworth Medallist by the Royal Entomological Society of London.

In 2013, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society and awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Entomological Society.

Director of Educational Development

Professor Marie Carroll

Marie Carroll was the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) at the University of Sydney until 2015. Her responsibilities centred on curriculum, graduate studies and higher degrees by research strategy, and teaching and learning.

Marie received her PhD in cognitive psychology from University of Otago in New Zealand. Her research career has focused on experimental psychology in memory and metamemory, applied in particular to formal learning settings. She has worked in eight Australian universities in a variety of senior posts including Foundation Head of Psychology, Chair of the Academic Board, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Canberra, and Director of Quality Enhancement at the Australian National University. 

She has recently taken a part-time appointment as Director of Educational Development at the Charles Perkins Centre. In this role she will oversee all interdisciplinary educational activities associated with the Centre, including HDR and early-career support, award courses, non-award short courses, seminars and workshops, and engagement and outreach.

Susan McColl, Chief Operating Officer, Charles Perkins Centre

Chief Operating Officer

Susan McColl

Susan McColl joined Charles Perkins Centre in April 2020. Previously, she was Director, Operations within The Division of Enterprise at the University of NSW. She joined the new Division in 2016, specifically to support its growth and development, providing a focal point for impact and engagement. 

Susan has a BA in Business Law from the University of Stirling, Scotland, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has had extensive experience across the Higher Education and Hospitality sectors in both the UK and Australia and has gained wide experience in delivering Government support services that facilitate business growth in small and medium enterprises.

Professor Luigi Fontana, Academic Scientific Director

Academic Scientific Director

Professor Luigi Fontana MD, PhD, FRACP

  • Professor of Medicine and Nutrition
  • Leonard P. Ullman Chair in Translational Metabolic  Health
  • Director of the Healthy Longevity Research and Clinical Program
  • Academic Scientific Director, Charles Perkins Centre Royal Prince Alfred Clinic (CPC RPA Clinic)
  • Clinical Academic, Department of Endocrinology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Professor Luigi Fontana is an internationally-recognised physician scientist and one of the world’s leaders in the field of nutrition and healthy longevity in humans. His pioneering clinical studies on the effects of dietary restriction have opened a new area of nutrition-related research that holds tremendous promise for the prevention of age-related chronic diseases.

Professor Fontana's research has delivered a paradigm shift in the understanding of how dietary restriction and physical exercise slow the accumulation of metabolic and molecular damage, and influence the initiation, progression, and prognosis of many common clinical conditions, ranging from obesity to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Associate Professor Samantha Hocking, Academic Medical Director

Academic Medical Director

Associate Professor Samantha Hocking

  • Academic Medical Director, Charles Perkins Centre Royal Prince Alfred Clinic (CPC RPA Clinic)

Associate Professor Hocking is an endocrinologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and a clinical academic at the University of Sydney. Associate Professor Hocking graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Sydney in 1999. She undertook her training in endocrinology, diabetes and obestiy at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital under the mentorship of Professors Dennis Yue, Stephen Twigg and Ian Caterson. In 2005 she became a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physcians (Endocrinology) and completed a Masters degree in Medicine (Clinical Epidemiology). 

Associate Professor Hocking joined the Diabetes Research Program at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in 2005 to undertake her PhD under the supervision of Professor David James during which she investigated the metabolic differences between visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue depots, and how the accumulation of the former is related to insulin resistance.