Meet Our People

Our Team

Our team is made up of passionate people committed to driving research towards a world free of Sanfilippo syndrome.

Kerren Hosking, CEO
As an experienced executive leader in the health sector, Kerren has spent most of her career as a steward of reputation and relationships, helping organisations connect and meaningfully engage with audiences and stakeholders. With deep expertise in building collaborative partnerships with communities, government and stakeholders, Kerren combines her skills in business leadership with great energy and a genuine passion for making a difference.

When she is not at work Kerren hones her logistical abilities by juggling the various, often competing activities of her four sports-mad kids

Dr Lisa Melton, Head of Research

Dr Melton has more than 20 years’ experience in research management and research communication. She has a PhD in Neuroscience from Newcastle University in the UK.

Dr Melton was Head of Research at MS Research Australia for eight years before pursuing an opportunity in the higher education sector as the Institute Manager for the UNSW Ageing Futures Institute. She has supported national and international research collaborations and has worked with stakeholders from diverse sectors, including industry, government, NGOs and community.

More on Lisa’s passion for our cause here

Erene Keriakos, Bookkeeper

Erene, aka ‘EK’ or ‘Smiley’, is our Foundation’s bookkeeper. She is an accountant by trade with over 15 years experience in company accounting for small to medium business. Erene worked alongside our Foundation’s founder, Megan Donnell, ‘pre-Sanfilippo’ and was involved with the Foundation as a supporter and volunteer before joining the team. She works at the Foundation 2 days per week and also does bookkeeping for the Fragile X Association of Australia.

When Erene is not crunching numbers, she spends time with her husband and three children. A quiet achiever and long-time supporter, EK is a much-valued member of our team.

More on Erene’s passion for our cause here

Danielle Cini, Research Program Coordinator

Dani administers all aspects of our grant program and assists with all science communications. She has completed a Biomedical Science/Science double degree at Monash University, with Honours in Biochemistry, where she achieved first class honours!

After this she worked as a Research Assistant at the Biomedicine Discovery Institute and has volunteered for the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul Society. 

When Dani isn’t learning all she possibly can about Sanfilippo, she dabbles in digital painting, coding and writing.

More on Dani's passion for our cause here 

Mark Lee, Relationship Executive

Originally from New Jersey in the USA, Mark started off his career as a Navy nuke and then jumped into computer hardware back in the early days of tech. Mark chose to leave the corporate world after 25 years for a more fulfilling career in non-profit. He has spent the past two decades providing community-wide support and advocating for youth. His work includes helping create My Friends’ Place, a teen homeless shelter, and working for the Washington State Youth Suicide Prevention Program. He has also been involved in other projects such as CCYJ’s eQuality Project - investigating disparities in the treatment of LGBT+ youth across Washington State. 

He has dedicated himself to creating positive change and making a difference in the world. 

Having now been in Australia for 4 years, Mark enjoys exploring all Sydney has to offer and hosting dinner parties. The team's favourite game is teaching him to speak like an Australian!

More on Mark's passion for our cause here 

Jillian O'Grady, Family Ambassador

Jillian is mum to three gorgeous, bubbly and fun children. Rory 9, Anna 6 and Juliet 18mths old. 

Sadly, in 2019, both Rory and Anna were diagnosed with Sanfilippo Type A (attenuated), marking the beginning of a very different life journey than the one she and her husband had imagined. 

Since then, Jillian has navigated the uncertainty of this condition and its potential treatment opportunities. Her lived experience, knowledge and understanding of the research, and passion to find a cure not only for Anna and Rory but for all children with Sanfilippo, makes her an inspiring Family Ambassador. 

The purpose of this voluntary role is to be the representative of the collective family voice when needed and to be a reassuring point of contact for families wanting to connect with others who "just get it". 

Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors bring a wealth of energy, enthusiasm and expertise to our cause.

Our Board provide all expertise pro-bono and receive no remuneration.

Megan Maack, Founder

Megan founded the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation in 2013. She held the position of Executive Director for 7 years looking after all the day to day running of the foundation before moving to stategic leadership role on the Board. This move allowed her to create a new organisation, Childhood Dementia Initiative, focused on driving innovative and collaborative research into the disorders that present with childhood dementia. 

Megan lives on the Northern beaches of Sydney and is the mother of two children, Isla and Jude, who both have Sanfilippo syndrome.

Prior to making the Sanfilippo movement her life’s work, Megan’s occupation was a management consultant, specialising in large-scale IT project management and organisational change management.

Angeline Veeneman

Angeline's professional background is in management consulting. She runs her own consulting company, providing specialist project management and Information Technology services to non-profit and commercial organisations.

She is a French national married to a Dutch man with twin girls born in Switzerland (and logically calls Australia home).

More on Angeline’s passion for our cause here

Mark Arnold

Mark is responsible for strategy and governance of the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation. He has been a Board member since its inception.

His key activities include defining organisational strategy; developing a strategic plan; and establishing processes to facilitate compliance with governance and regulatory requirements. Mark is a seasoned entrepreneur who has owned and managed a successful consulting practice and several start-ups including an insurance company.  

He is also the father of three beautiful girls, finding himself somewhat outnumbered.

More on Mark’s passion for our cause here

Dr Alison Butt

Dr Alison Butt is the Director, Research Strategy Office at University of NSW. Alison has had over twenty years’ experience in cancer research as both an active researcher and more recently, in a strategic leadership role as the Senior Scientific Officer at Cancer Australia. 

Her previous roles have included Director, Research Investment at the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), Group Leader in the Cancer Research Program at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and a conjoint appointment in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of NSW.

In 2005, Alison was elected to the Board of Directors of the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR), serving as ASMR President in 2010 and served as a Director on the board of Research Australia, from 2011 to 2018.

Alison enjoys living close to the beach in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney with her USA-born/surfing obsessed husband and two daughters. 

More on Alison's passion for our cause here

Our Scientific Advisory Board

The current members of our Advisory Board include.

Our SAB provide all expertise pro-bono and receive no remuneration.

Professor Kim Hemsley

Professor Kim Hemsley BAppSci (Med. Lab. Sci), PhD, is a neuroscientist and is the Head of Childhood Dementia Research Group, College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders Health & Medical Research Institute, Flinders University. 

Read Prof. Hemsley's bio

Dr Nicholas Smith

Dr. Nicholas Smith MBBS (Hon), DCH, FRACP, PhD (Cantab) currently heads the Department of Paediatric Neurology at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide.  

Read Dr Nick Smith's bio

Associate Professor Sarah Spencer

Associate Professor Sarah Spencer is a Principal Research Fellow at the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University in Melbourne.

Read Associate Professor Spencer's bio 

Dr Michel Tchan

Dr. Michel Tchan BMedSc, MBSS, PhD, FRACP is a Clinical and Metabolic Geneticist and Head of Department, Genetic Medicine at Westmead Hospital in Sydney. He is also the Deputy Chair of the Sanfilippo Children's Foundation Scientific Advisory Board.

Read Dr. Tchan's bio