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Dr James Harraway


Director – Genetics, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology

Dr James Harraway completed his medical training in Christchurch, New Zealand. In 2005, he was awarded a Nuffield Medical Fellowship to undertake a DPhil at Oxford University, examining the molecular pathogenesis of Cockayne Syndrome. In 2008, he became the first pathologist from New Zealand to obtain a FRCPA in genetic pathology.

Dr Harraway’s interested in Genetics stems back to high school in New Zealand when he was introduced to concepts such as round and wrinkled peas, and Punnet squares, which are used to determine the probability of an offspring having a particular genotype. With his naturally inquisitive scientific mind, he continued to develop these interests throughout medical school, with summer student projects and electives. A few years after working as a junior doctor, he learned about the (then) relatively new subspecialty of genetic pathology, and started his specialist training. Dr Harraway is interested in all areas of genetics, and has particular expertise in inherited and somatic (oncology) genetic testing, and molecular cytogenetics.

(07) 3377 8396

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Dr Melanie Galea

MBBS (Hons), BMedSc (Hons), FRCPA (Genetics)

Director - Genetics, Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology

Dr Melanie Galea is a graduate of the University of Sydney. She holds both Bachelor of Medical Science and Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery degrees with Honours. Dr Galea attained her Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) in Genetic Pathology in 2014. Her genetic pathology specialist training and practice has been in clinical public and private laboratories in New South Wales and Queensland, including NSW Health Pathology (Randwick), Pathology Queensland, Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology (DHM) and Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology. Dr Galea joined DHM as a Genetic Pathologist in 2018.

She has served on multiple professional and governmental advisory groups and committees throughout her pathology career. Notably, Dr Galea is a member of the RCPA Genetics Advisory Committee, and has served on the Evaluation Sub-Committee (ESC) of the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC). As an advocate for the discipline, she plays an active role in genetic pathology training and supervision and was the inaugural RCPA National Coordinator for Genetic Pathology Training. Dr Galea is an investigator on multiple research projects, focusing on the translation of genetic testing into clinical practice.

She has a special interest in the application of genetic technologies to clinical medicine, particularly in paediatric and reproductive medicine contexts.

(02) 9855 5369 

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Dr Marina Berbic

BMedSc, MBBS, MScMed (RHHG), PhD (Med), FRCPA (Genetics)

Deputy Director - Genetics, Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology

Dr Marina Berbic has undergone specialist training in Genetic Pathology at Prince of Wales Hospital and Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology. She attained Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2020 and joined DHM in 2021. In addition to a Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery, she holds a Bachelor of Medical Science, a Masters in Reproductive Health and Human Genetics and a PhD in Reproductive Medicine. She was a recipient of the Australian Postgraduate Award, the University of Sydney Dean’s Central Clinical School Scholarship and is an invited member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Dr Berbic is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Women’s and Children’s Health at the University of New South Wales, a member of the Mackenzie’s Mission (Reproductive Genetic Carrier Screening) Variant Review Committee, and a member of the Splice ACORD (Australasian Consortium for RNA Diagnostics) Committee. She has a particular interest in reproductive genomics and is passionate about integrating sequencing technologies in clinical decision-making and personalised patient care.

(02) 9855 5369

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Dr Samantha Sundercombe

MBBS (Hons), BSc (Adv), FRCPA (Genetics)

Special interests: Reproductive genomics, cancer genetics, massively parallel sequencing.

Dr Samantha Sundercombe graduated with First Class Honours in Medicine from the University of Sydney, as well as a Bachelor of Advanced Science, majoring in Genetics. She trained as a Genetic Pathologist at NSW Health Pathology (Prince of Wales and Royal Prince Alfred Hospitals) and Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology (DHM). Passionate about women’s health, Dr Sundercombe worked in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Liverpool Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, prior to her pathology training. She joined DHM in 2022.

Actively involved in genetic pathology at the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA), she was the 2021–2022 RCPA Genetics Trainee Representative and also a member of the RCPA Genetics Advisory Committee. Dr Sundercombe has published and presented research on the translation of genetic testing into clinical practice. She won the RCPA Quality Assurance Program trainee poster prize for a presentation about the implementation of high throughput exome sequencing.

Dr Sundercombe is interested in all aspects of genetics and is more than happy to assist doctors with any enquiries relating to genetic testing.

(02) 9855 5369

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Dr Lauren Akesson

MBBS (Hons), BMedSci (Hons), DCH, PhD, FRACP (Paediatrics, Clinical Genetics), FRCPA (Genetics)

Dr Lauren Akesson is a dual-trained genetic pathologist and clinical geneticist. She graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2006, before completing a PhD, establishing chest CT as a clinical trials endpoint in infants and young children with cystic fibrosis.

Dr Akesson underwent specialist physician training in paediatrics and clinical genetics in Perth, Darwin and Melbourne, before training in genetic pathology in Melbourne, Adelaide and the Netherlands. As a clinician, she has a special interest in reproductive genetics, including the management of high-risk reproductive carrier screening and non-invasive prenatal screening results, and hereditary predisposition to cancer.

Dr Akesson holds honorary positions at the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital. She continues to be a passionate clinician researcher, interested in bringing the latest evidence and technologies to patient care. Dr Akesson has a special interest in implementing new approaches to genetic testing, receiving the RCPA Foundation Melody Caramins Grant in 2021, which funded an extended laboratory visit to Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and she understands the importance of patient-centred care.

(03) 9287 7899