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The executive team in a meeting

External Advisory Group (EAG)

Meet the members of our External Advisory Group

The External Advisory Group (EAG) - also known as the Lambert Initiative Non-Executive Advisory Board - providies strategic guidance and external engagement opportunities.

The appointed members are influential in their fields and have a wealth of experience across a range of industries. The EAG is governed by Terms of Reference.

Duncan Ivison

Chair of the Advisory Board

Professor Duncan Ivison

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Professor of Political Philosophy, Duncan Ivison has research and teaching interests in contemporary political theory, the history of political thought and moral philosophy.

Prior to this role, he was Dean of the University of Sydney's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 2010. He has also held appointments at the University of Toronto and the University of York.

As DVC Research, Professor Ivison is responsible for helping to develop and deliver the University’s research strategy, and supporting the pursuit of outstanding fundamental and applied research across the institution. His portfolio is responsible for commercialising research and facilitating partnerships with industry as well as providing access to University expertise, ideas and technologies for research and development


Rhys Cohen

Rhys Cohen

Rhys Cohen is editor-at-large at Australian cannabis industry news site, Cannabiz. He is also a commercial consultant, patient advocate, and a recognised thought-leader in the industry. His analysis has been widely cited, including by Deloitte Access Economics and the Commonwealth Office of Drug Control. And his commentary has appeared in ABC News; The Australian Financial Review; and The Sydney Morning Herald. Rhys is a previous employee of the Lambert Initiative, and a graduate of the University of Sydney.

Dr Richard di Natale

Dr Richard di Natale is a former Australian politician who was a federal senator for Victoria. Richard was elected to the Senate in the 2010 federal election and was federal leader of the Australian Greens from 2015 to 2020, leading the Greens during the 2016 and 2019 federal elections . 

During his time in the Senate Richard campaigned strongly for a regulated, evidence based framework to access medicinal cannabis. He introduced legislation for an independent medicinal cannabis regulator and launched a senate inquiry examining the barriers to access to medicinal cannabis. 

Prior to entering parliament, Richard was a general practitioner and public health specialist. He worked in Aboriginal health in the Northern Territory, on HIV prevention in India and in the drug and alcohol sector.

Dr Richard Di Natale is now a public health advisor in the community health sector and is the inaugural chair of the newly established Medicinal Cannabis Healthcare Practitioner/Patient Advisory Council.

Picture of Professor Michelle Glass

Professor Michelle Glass

Professor Michelle Glass is the Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. The molecular pharmacologist had most recently been working at the University of Auckland for 18 years where she was Head of the Department of Pharmacology and in 2017 appointed Professor of Pharmacology.

Professor Glass worked as a postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland for 18 months before moving on to work as a Visiting Fellow in the Laboratory of Cell Biology at the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communications Disorders in Rockville, Maryland. She returned to New Zealand in 2000 and took up a role as a Lecturer within the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Auckland.

Currently, Professor Glass is a member of the Medical Cannabis Research Collaborative (NZ), which aims to ensure robust clinical research of medical cannabis products in New Zealand is undertaken. 

Carole Ireland

Carol Ireland

Carol Ireland is CEO and Managing Director of Epilepsy Action Australia. She has an extensive background spanning 35 years in the not-for-profit human services sector and has held a variety of executive positions in operations, service delivery, marketing and fundraising.

Carol currently serves on the Australian Advisory Council for the Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Steering Committee for the NSW government’s Paediatric Epilepsy Trials (Medicinal Cannabis Research). She is also a founding Director of the newly constituted Medicinal Cannabis Council.

In her role at Epilepsy Action she has had significant contact with many individuals and families who are faced with managing very challenging forms of medication resistant epilepsy, with few or no options left in the conventional treatment bucket.

Carol has heard and seen the changes in people’s lives, including reduction in the severity and frequency of seizures, resulting from use of medicinal cannabis. She is a strong and active advocate for people living with epilepsy. 

Barry Lambert

Barry Lambert

Barry Lambert is a business man, medicinal cannabis advocate and philanthropist.

The Lambert Initiative is the outcome of an unprecedented pledge of $33.7 million by Barry and Joy Lambert to the University of Sydney in order to fund long-term research into the medicinal potential of the cannabis plant.

Barry is the Chairman of Ecofibre Limited which owns leading USA based Nutraceutical and Hemp producer Ananda Hemp.

Michael and Katelyn Lambert

Michael Lambert

Michael Lambert is the son of Barry and Joy Lambert, and the father of Katelyn. Read more about the Lambert Family here.

Andrew McLachlan

Professor Andrew McLachlan 

Professor Andrew McLachlan is the Head of School and Dean of Pharmacy in the Sydney Pharmacy School (University of Sydney) and a Member of the Order of Australia.  He is the former Program Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Medicines and Ageing and previously Professor of Pharmacy (Aged Care) (2006-2018) in the then Faculty of Pharmacy and at Concord Hospital’s Centre for Education and Research on Ageing. He is a pharmacist, academic and researcher experienced in clinical pharmacology and research on the quality use of medicines. His research focuses on understanding the variability in response to medicines and how this can be managed to optimise patient care, particularly in special patient populations such as older people, the very young and the critically ill. He is interested in translating clinical pharmacology research and high quality clinical trial evidence into real-world practice.

Roger Pertwee

Professor Roger Pertwee

Professor Roger Pertwee’s research on cannabinoid pharmacology began in 1968 at Oxford University, and continued at Aberdeen University from 1974.

Professor Pertwee's achievements include the joint discovery of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin in cannabis, and of endocannabinoids, the discovery of a CB1 receptor allosteric site, and the pharmacological characterization of phytocannabinoids and notable synthetic cannabinoids.

Accolades include:

  • The ICRS 2002 Mechoulam Award
  • The BPS 2011 Wellcome Gold Medal
  • The 2013 IACM Special Award.

Professor Pertwee has served as IACM chairman, and twice as President of the ICRS.

Ryan Vandrey

Dr Ryan Vandrey 

Dr Ryan Vandrey, PhD is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the  Johns Hopkins University Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit.

Dr. Vandrey's research focuses primarily on the behavioral pharmacology of cannabis (marijuana) and includes controlled laboratory studies with adult research volunteers, clinical trials, web-based survey research, and natural history studies with patient populations using cannabis/cannabinoids for therapeutic purposes. He has also been engaged in research on nicotine and tobacco regulatory science and treatment. 

Kailing Wang

Dr Kailing Wang

Dr Kailing Wang is Business Development Manager for the Faculty of Medicine & Health at the University of Sydney. Prior to joining the university, she had held a number of senior executive management positions in biotech and biopharma industry with over 15 years of experience in managing R&D, business operations, IP management and commercialisation. She was a Business Development Manager from 2006 to 2011 at the University of Sydney where she was responsible for developing business and commercialisation opportunities as well as new ventures across research translation continuum in life science field.