AIMA NZ Conference 2020 Speakers

We are delighted to present a host of highly-acclaimed speakers at AIMA Conference 2020.  Please find the profiles of each below in alphabetical order.

Rachel Arthur (AUS) – BHSc BNat (Hons 1st)

Rachel Arthur is a respected and widely published naturopath and registered nutritionist specialising in integrative nutrition, with a special interest in diagnostics. With over 20 years’ experience in both the clinic and the classroom, Rachel is considered a leading nutritional educator, delivering post-graduate training and mentoring to naturopaths, doctors and allied health care professionals alike.  She has contributed work to authoritative texts, including all 4 editions of the award-winning:  Herbs & Natural Supplements – An Evidence Based Guide (Elsevier). She delivers a popular monthly podcast Update in Under 30 and a post-graduate mentoring program for clinicians working with nutrition.  Rachel’s ongoing enthusiasm for integrative health and for education make her presentations practical and empowering experiences for attendees.


Dr. Jude Currivan (UK)

Jude Currivan is a cosmologist, futurist, author and co-founder of WholeWorld-View.  She has a Master’s degree in Physics from Oxford University specialising in quantum physics and cosmology, and a Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Reading researching ancient cosmologies.  She is a life-long researcher into the scientific and experiential understanding of the nature of reality, integrating leading-edge science, research into consciousness and universal wisdom teachings into a wholistic worldview.  During a highly successful business career, she obtained extensive experience in merging her intuitive gifts into practical and creative approaches for managing organisational and cultural change. Her corporate career culminated in her being the Group Finance Director of two major international companies and to her being, in the early 1990s, the most senior businesswoman in Britain.

Jude is the author of six books, most recently the Nautilus award-winning The Cosmic Hologram which presents a foundation and practical perspectives towards problem-solving upon which we can shift our individual and collective values and behaviours to be aligned, and in harmony, with the natural world.

Jude’s presentation at the conference is sponsored by The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust.

Dr. Denise Furness (AUS) – Ph.D. BSc(Hons) RNutr

Denise Furness, Ph.D. is a molecular geneticist and nutritionist. She is a pioneer in the field of nutrigenomics and personalised health with over 15 years’ experience in the area. She began her career as a research scientist focusing on folate nutrigenomics, methylation and DNA damage in relation to pregnancy health. Over the years her research expanded covering vitamin D, inflammation and oxidative stress. She has published her work in peer-reviewed journals and has won numerous awards for her research and conference presentations. In addition, Denise provides education for health practitioners drawing on her own clinical trials as well as the latest evidence-based research, government and peak health body guidelines in relation to nutrigenomics, methylation, and personalised health.

In 2012 she founded Your Genes and Nutrition and began applying her knowledge in private practice. Furthermore, Denise has 10 years’ experience in the fitness industry. Combining these unique skills she aims to help patients overcome health challenges, improve quality of life and reduce the burden of disease.


Sandeep Gupta is a vocationally registered general practitioner who runs an integrative medicine clinic on the Sunshine Coast, QLD.  He is passionate about uncovering the underlying causes of chronic illness and in personalising treatments.  Sandeep graduated from medical school at the University of Queensland 1999. He has received specialised training in integrative medicine and was awarded a Fellowship of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine in 2008 and a Fellowship of the Australian College of General Practitioners in 2010. He also has a physician training certification with Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker in biotoxin illness and Masters of Nutrition with Dr. Gabriel Cousens in diabetes and living food nutrition. He is currently a board member of the Australian Chronic Infectious & Inflammatory Disease Society (ACIIDS) and also the International Society for Acquired Environmental Illness (ISEAI). He has a broad range of interests including environmental medicine, management of cardiology and cancer cases and mast cell activation syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, and management of chronic infections.

Dr. Christine Houghton (AUS) –  PhD., BSc., R.Nutr.

After practicing Nutritional Medicine for 3 decades and holding a Ph.D. in Nutrigenomics, Christine has built on her extensive clinical experience to research, develop and teach other clinicians clinically-relevant strategies associated with nutrigenomically-active phytochemicals.  Sulforaphane, derived from broccoli sprouts was the focus of her Ph.D. thesis and her company Cell-Logic Pty Ltd now produces the world’s highest sulforaphane-yielding whole broccoli sprout ingredient.  Delving into the many functions of sulforaphane was her stimulus to revisit and revise some of the clinical strategies she had used when in day-to-day practice.  It was then that she realised that some of the accepted and long-standing principles for correcting biochemical abnormalities in human cells were flawed.

Her recent research has culminated in the development of the G.E.M.M. Protocol (Gut Ecology & Metabolic Modulation), an approach that mimics the processes used by Nature to re-establish homeostasis within the gut and with consequent enhancement of cardiometabolic health and reduction of a range of processes that contribute to chronic disease.

Christine’s presentation at the conference is sponsored by Nutrisearch.

Dr. Mark Hyman (USA)

Mark Hyman will give a pre-recorded presentation at AIMA NZ Conference 2020. Mark Hyman is a practicing family physician and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in the field of Functional Medicine. He is the founder and director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, an eleven-time New York Times best-selling author, and Board President for Clinical Affairs for The Institute for Functional Medicine.

He is the host of one of the leading health podcasts, The Doctor’s Farmacy. Mark is a regular medical contributor to several television shows and networks, including CBS This Morning, Today, Good Morning America, The View, and CNN. He is also an advisor and guest co-host on The Dr. Oz Show.

Mark’s presentation at the conference is sponsored by The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust.

Dr. Kamal Karl (NZ) – MB.BS, FACNEM, FRNZCGP

Kamal Karl specialises in treating chronic illness with an integrative, personalised and regenerative medicine approach.

He is a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine.

He is the founder-director of Functional Medicine Doctors in Auckland, New Zealand, current VP of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, Co-Chairman of New Zealand Society of Integrative Medicine, and Co-Chairman of the Indian Nutritional Medical Association.

Kamal is an invited speaker and educator regularly at conferences in New Zealand and internationally, as well as corporate wellness seminars.

Dr. Robin Kelly (NZ) – FRNZCGP

Robin Kelly is an Auckland family doctor and author whose practice embraces western, eastern and modern mindbody philosophies of health.

He has a specific interest in complex post-traumatic stress disorder(C-PTSD). Over the past three years, he has researched the health consequences of human exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) and the current roll-out of the next-generation 5G.

Robin has been interviewed many times on radio both locally and internationally about this issue, spoken at public forums, and communicated directly with leading scientists, politicians and industry advocates.


Kiran Krishnan (USA)

Kiran Krishnan is a Chicago-based Research Microbiologist and has been involved in the dietary supplement and nutrition market for the past 18 years. He comes from a strict research background having spent several years with hands-on R&D in the fields of molecular medicine and microbiology at the University of Iowa. Kiran established a Clinical Research Organization where he designed and conducted dozens of human clinical trials in human nutrition. Kiran is also a co-founder and partner in Nu Science Trading, LLC.; a nutritional technology development and research company. Kiran is also a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Microbiome Labs.

In his career, he has developed over 50 private label nutritional products for small to large brands in the global market. He is a frequent lecturer on the Human Microbiome at Medical and Nutrition Conferences. He conducts a very popular Microbiome Series educational Webinar, is an expert guest on National and Satellite radio, has appeared in several international documentaries and has been a guest speaker on several International Health Summits as a microbiome expert.

He is currently involved in 10 novel human clinical trials on probiotics and the human microbiome. Kiran is also on the Scientific Advisory Board or a Science Advisor for 7 other companies in the industry.

Kiran’s presentation at the conference is sponsored by FxMed.

Dr. Morella Lascurain (NZ)

Morella Lascurain graduated Magna Cum Laude from medical school in 1993 and continued on to train in orthopedic surgery.

Her interest in healing soon discovered new horizons in the world of natural therapies, as she experienced the impact of holistic approaches on her own health. Fifteen years ago, she co-founded Mother-Well Holistic Health, a multidisciplinary, integrative health centre in Auckland offering services ranging from conventional medicine to acupuncture and hypnotherapy. Around that time, she also discovered her deepest passion lay in the MindBody connection.

Having completed postgraduate studies in MindBody Healthcare at AUT University and trained in Clinical Hypnotherapy, Strategic Coaching and Ayurveda, she has specialised in MindBody healthcare since 2004. She is also an international speaker and an experienced educator.


Leila Masson is a consultant paediatrician who specialises in nutritional and environmental medicine for children’s health issues, including allergies, asthma, behaviour problems, autism spectrum disorders and ADHD. She has a busy clinic in Sydney where she sees children and mentors doctors in integrative paediatrics. She received her medical doctorate from the Free University of Berlin and did her paediatric specialist training at the University of California in San Francisco. She received her Master in Public Health from Harvard University and her Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is a fellow of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. Dr. Masson is a board member of AIMA. She is also on the board of professional advisors of La Leche League New Zealand.

Leila has worked in the US, Europe, New Zealand, and volunteered for 2 years setting up a rural clinic in Pakistan.  She is the author of Children’s Health A-Z a parent’s guide to natural therapies for common childhood ailments.

Professor Julia Rucklidge (NZ)

Julia is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing at the University of Canterbury, NZ and the Director of Te Puna Toiora, the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Calgary in clinical psychology, in 2000, she immigrated to New Zealand.

She has become well known for her research investigating the interface between nutrition and mental health, having published over a hundred empirical papers, being the recipient of numerous local and international awards and frequently featuring in the media on her work. Her 2014 TEDx talk has been viewed over 1.3 million times.

Having witnessed current conventional treatments failing so many people, Julia is passionate about helping people find alternative treatments for their psychiatric symptoms as well as the translation of research to practice and how to make nutritional interventions mainstream.

Dr. Teresa Towpik (AUS)

Teresa Towpik has been a General Practitioner in Australia since 1993 and an advocate of medicinal cannabis since the law was amended and cannabis was legalised for medicinal use. Since then she has been studying the therapeutic properties of cannabis, how it works in the human body and the potential applications in General Practice, especially in the management of chronic debilitating pain.

In 2016, Dr. Towpik founded MediHuanna, an organisation that provides science-based medicinal cannabis education for Health Professionals. In 2018, Dr Towpik became the Chief Medical Officer of Compass Lifestyle Clinics with a focus on an integrative approach to patient care, using cannabis in conjunction with other healing modalities. Dr. Towpik has been prescribing medicinal cannabis for various clinical conditions, including chronic pain, PTSD, autism, epilepsy, depression, anxiety since March 2018 and she has observed some very significant positive results.

Dr. Towpik sees cannabis as a therapeutic agent that has huge potential in General Practice. Her goal is to change the stigma of cannabis through education, enabling it to be seen as an important medicine that should be integrated into modern medicine.

Teresa’s presentation at the conference is sponsored by Medigrowth New Zealand.

Dr. Matthew Whitacre (USA)

Matthew Whitacre is a Board-Certified Family Physician and graduate from the University of Washington’s residency program in Spokane, USA. In addition, he is certified in Medical Acupuncture, Osteopathic treatment techniques, Biofeedback and Qi Gong.  He is passionate about health and wellness and furthered his education through the University of Arizona’s two-year fellowship in Integrative Medicine.  Through this program, additional training in nutrition, prevention, and other holistic modalities were studied.   He then went on to work with the Makah Nation to create and develop the award-winning “Makah Wellness Center” serving as Director of the Integrative Medical Division for three years.   Followed by two years working with the Lower Elwha Tribe as the Medical Director and building a dynamic Integrative team for the community.  Most recently, he has created a consultative practice, Pacific Integrative Healthcare, LLC.

Matthew considers health an ever-flowing journey—with many possible approaches to consider in helping one to achieve their personal health goals.   Integrative Medicine provides a wonderful patient-centered,  team-based approach ideal in restoring and maintaining one’s well being.