Alliance for Vascular Access Teaching And Research

Our Team

The AVATAR Group, established and led by Professor Claire Rickard, consists of more than 100 nurses, doctors and other health researchers from a range of medical specialties who are all passionate about preventing IV complications. Numerous hospitals and universities are involved in the group's research work. Our administrative base is the Menzies Health Institute Queensland at Griffith University.

Based in Australia, the AVATAR Group is active throughout the world and has significant influence on hospital and home based care for adult and paediatric patients. Its research shapes healthcare and infection prevention guidelines globally.

Core Researchers

Professor Claire Rickard - Director

Professor Marie Cooke - Griffith University - Co-Director

Professor Samantha Keogh - Queensland University of Technology - Director

Professor Marianne Wallis - The University of Sunshine Coast - Director

Associate Professor Andrew Bulmer - XLabS - Director

Associate Professor Amanda Ullman - Paediatric and Neonates Director

Dr Gillian Ray-Barruel - Joint Senior Research Fellow (Griffith University/Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital)

Dr Nicole Marsh - Clinical Trials Director, Joint Research Fellow (Griffith University/Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital)

Victoria Gibson - Clinical Trial Liaison (Paediatrics)

Emily Larsen - Clinical Trial Liaison (Adults)

Jessica Schults - Joint Research Fellow (Griffith University/Queensland Children's Hospital)

Tricia Kleidon - Nurse Practitioner and Research Fellow (Queensland Children's Hospital)


Clinical Nurse Specialists (Vascular Access)
Dr Evan Alexandrou
Tricia Kleidon
Kerrie Curtis
Nicholas Mifflin
Vanno Sou
Tracey Vidler
Barbara Hewer
Gavin Jackson


Research Support Staff
Julie Flynn
Emily Larsen
Victoria Gibson
Paula Cattanach
Anna Dean
Jodie Genzel
Chelsea Gosden
Sarah Lepelaar
India Lye
Sarah Northfield
Colleen Pitts
Tara Williams
Julieta Woosley
Melissa Arneil
Christine Woods
Mari Takashima
Grace Xu
Deanne August
Erin Brown
Ally Hawthorne


Statistical Support
Dr Matthew McGrail
Gabor Mihala 
Dr Steven Frost
Prof Adrian Esterman
Prof Robert Ware


Health Economists
Prof Paul Scuffham
Dr Haitham Tuffaha
Dr Cindy Jones
Dr Joshua Byrnes


PhD Scholars
Amanda Corley
Julie Flynn
Nicole Gavin
Nicole Marsh
Matthew Mason
Bronwyn Pearse
Karen Slater
Emily Larsen

Masters Students
Marlena Kussrow 
India Lye
Calvin Quirk
Ryan McKinnon

Administrative team
Rita Nemeth
Joanne Wright


Griffith University
Australia 4111