Our Board

Our board members bring extensive experience across the Australian healthcare and medical sector, and biotechnology industry.

Matt O’Keefe

Matt O’Keefe
Matt O’Keefe is a Board Director of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Chairman of the Finance Committee.

Mr O’Keefe is a Partner and the ASPAC Cyber Leader at KPMG. With more than 25 years’ technology, finance and assurance experience, Mr O’Keefe specialises in technology advisory and provides a range of services across technology governance and risk, project management, IT strategy and performance, and information security.

Mr O’Keefe has contributed to community organisations, including Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA), over more than 10 years, and holds a position of Chairman of the Victorian Association for The Care & Resettlement of Offenders (VACRO).

Ms Siegi Schmidmaier

Ms Siegi Schmidmaier
Ms Siegi Schmidmaier is an executive with Silver Chain Group, a national provider of home based health and aged care. Siegi leads the strategy portfolio that includes innovation, digital futures, communications, and partnerships. She has held a number of executive leadership roles including the Executive Director of Strategy at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where she sponsored pathology and led the clinical and academic team in conceptualising the national Centre of Excellence in Cell Therapies.

Ms Schmidmaier has a strong interest in creating new projects and business units that introduce new technology, innovation and a commercial focus to the traditional clinical and medical technology setting.

Previously, Ms Schmidmaier held roles with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Victorian Minister for Health, Victorian Department of Health and Ageing, and an international consulting firm.

Ms Schmidmaier is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has a Master of Science (Public Health), a Bachelor of Nursing, and Graduate Diploma of Project Management

Deirdre Blythe

Since 2015 Deirdre has been Chief Operating Officer at Arts Centre Melbourne, Australia’s largest and busiest performing arts centre where her responsibilities include Finance, IT and digital, Facilities Management, Strategic Planning, Risk Management, Legal and Governance.

Prior to joining ACM, Deirdre has held executive roles in health and financial services for more than 25 years in the private, public and not for profit sectors in Australia and overseas, mainly in large, complex multi-site organisations.

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant Deirdre built a commercially focused finance career, primarily at BUPA where she was CFO of the expatriate health insurance business before relocating to Melbourne to create and lead the Finance function of BUPA Australia.

Deirdre was Executive Director Finance at Alfred Health from 2009-12. As CFO and Acting CEO, Deirdre then led Ansvar Insurance during a major transformation and performance turnaround.

Deirdre has particular interests in strategic leadership and transformation, risk management and governance and in values-based commercial sustainability.

Deirdre has held a number of Board roles, and was a member of Cancer Council Victoria’s Finance, Risk Management, Audit and Compliance Committee from 2012 to 2018.

In 2017 Deirdre was appointed to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Board She is also Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee and is a member of the Community Advisory and Remuneration Committees.

Michelle Burke
Non-Executive Director
Michelle Burke has extensive Board and Executive experience in the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector. She has served for nine years as Non-Executive Director and recently as Chair of AusBiotech Ltd, the peak industry body supporting global growth of Australian life sciences organisations. She is a member of Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), an independent expert body appointed by the Australian Government, and of the Strategic Advisory Group of the Australian Brain Cancer Mission established with the support of the Medical Research Future Fund.

Michelle is a significant contributor and industry advisor to cross-sectoral groups through her leadership of Indigo Advisory, an independent consultancy serving life sciences companies, academia and government, and which specialises in policy engagement, innovation and commercialisation strategy. Previous executive experience includes more than two decades as a director with multinational pharmaceutical companies, most recently with Bristol-Myers Squibb spanning commercial, market access and advocacy leadership.

Michelle is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in pharmacology.

Behind the Scenes

Cell Therapies is led and supported by an extensive team of experts from across the medical, healthcare and scientific communities to drive the development and commercialization of groundbreaking cell and gene therapies.

Leadership Team

Dedicated and experienced cell and gene therapy experts driving your product from clinical trial to commercial supply

Scientific Advisors

Expertise and knowledge across cell and gene therapies as well as the health and medical sector