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The National Endometriosis Clinical and Scientific Trials (NECST) Network

The Australian Government is investing in health and medical research to support emerging priorities and fill gaps in research efforts through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) - Accelerated Research Investment.

The Government's aim of this funding is to:

  • improve patient outcomes
  • increase opportunities for patients to take part in clinical trials
  • increase collaboration between peak health organisations and researchers.

Jean Hailes for Women's Health has been provided with $2.5 million for research priorities identified under the National Action Plan for Endometriosis.

Endometriosis has a significant impact on a woman's life and affects 1 in 10 women worldwide. More research is necessary to better treat and manage the condition. For further information on endometriosis click here.

Please also see our recent separately funded campaign to raise awareness around endometriosis #EndoWise.


The aim of this project is to build a national research platform that underpins a comprehensive national program of clinical, basic science and translational research relevant to the needs of Australian endometriosis sufferers, consistent with the research objectives in the National Action Plan for Endometriosis. Specific achievements will include:

(i) Development of a national Clinical Trials Network (CTN) that co-ordinates support for research organisations and conducts clinical trials for endometriosis treatments and services.

(ii) Development of an Australian Endometriosis Collaborative Research Framework to support co-ordinated patient recruitment, consistent data collection and a national database and bio-repository developed from clinical trials and research projects for national and international research projects specific to endometriosis.

(iii) Formation of a National Collaborative Network capable of responding to a targeted call for integrated endometriosis research focused on translational outcomes.

NECST program outline graphic16 9


The NECST Strategic Governance Committee is chaired by Professor Kate Leslie and will ensure the MRFF endometriosis funding is managed and acquitted in accordance with MRFF Funding Principles and with research governance best practice. They will also review and approve funding decisions on allocation of funding to specific activities, in light of the grant's project plan and MRFF funding principles.

NECST Strategic Governance Committee Members

Chair: Prof Kate Leslie AO FAHMS

Specialist Anaesthetist and Head of Research, Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management, Royal Melbourne Hospital

Prof Leslie is an honorary professional fellow in the Centre for Integrated Critical Care, Melbourne Medical School, and Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Melbourne. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Monash University. She is a director of the Australian Medical Council and chairs its Specialist Education Accreditation Committee. Prof Leslie's research interests include depth of anaesthesia and awareness, sedation for gastrointestinal endoscopy and large trials in perioperative medicine. She was the recipient of the AMA Woman in Medicine Award for 2014 and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Melbourne in 2017. Prof Leslie was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2016 for her distinguished services in medicine for anaesthesia and pain management practice and research.

Associate Prof M. Louise Hull BSc MBChB, PhD, FRANZCOG, CREI

Research Program Leader, Endometriosis Research Group, Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Robinson Research Institute, AHMS Building

Staff specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist, Women & Children's Hospital

Fertility Specialist, O&G

Melissa Parker RN RM MNurs(Research)

Endometriosis Coordinator and Researcher, Canberra Endometriosis Centre, Centenary Hospital for Women and Children


Obstetrician and gynaecologist in private practice at North Shore Private Hospital and the Mater Hospital and a public practice at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.

Dr Roach is President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and lectures at the University of Sydney. He is also the former Chairman of the Gidget Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation promoting the importance of emotional wellbeing among expectant and new parents.

Patient Community Representatives

  • Lesley Freedman (EndoActive, NSW)
  • Jessica Taylor (ACE and Qendo, QLD)
  • Megan Thomson (VIC)

Clinical Trials Manager

Dr Cecilia HM Ng

Cecilia is responsible for setting up and managing the National Endometriosis Science and Clinical Trials (NESCT) Network.

Prior to joining Jean Hailes for Women's Health, Cecilia worked in clinical coding of medical records at Royal North Shore Hospital, scientific and clinical research within the Department of Radiation Oncology and Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and The University of Sydney and as a Medical Science Liaison at Vifor Pharma.

Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Science, with majors in biochemistry and physiology and a Masters in Health Information Management. She completed her PhD and a post-doctoral fellowship with the Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology at The University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, characterising molecular pathways involved in the pathophysiology of endometriosis.

Cecilia has published in the areas of endometriosis and women's health. She continues to maintain a strong interest in developing research that will help educate and improve the health of women.

Chief Investigators

Prof Jason Abbott B Med (Hons) FRANZCOG FRCOG PhD: Professor of Gynaecological Surgery School of Women's and Children's Health, UNSW Medicine

Prof Gita Mishra: Head of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division and Professor of Life Course Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of Queensland (UQ). She is also Director of the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women's Health (ALSWH).

Prof Grant Montgomery: Professorial Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland

Prof Peter AW Rogers: Professor of Women's Health Research, University of Melbourne Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Research Director Royal Women's Hospital


Funding will be offered to support specific activities for clinical trials and research that contributes to the Australian Endometriosis Collaborative Research Framework. Funding requests will be evaluated by the NESCT Strategic Governance Committee and must be accordance with the aims of the NESCT MRFF grant and MRFF funding principles.

The funding distribution process will be overseen by the Committee and will be informed by consultation with stakeholders ensuring that the aims of the NECST MRFF grant are achieved.

For more information about funding or to submit an expression of interest please contact Dr Cecilia Ng ([email protected]).

MRFF Targeted Call

Requests to access data from the NECST Registry for the MRFF Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative: 2019 Endometriosis Research Grant Opportunity or to work with the NECST Network on collaborative endometriosis research are welcomed.

For data access, please include Direct Research Costs for access to the resource (eg $150/hour for de-identified data extractions) and liaise with Dr Cecilia Ng ([email protected]) prior to submission of your grant.

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