Stephen Laughton

Stephen Laughton


Dr Stephen Laughton works at Starship Blood and Cancer Centre (Auckland) and has been involved in the clinical care of children with cancer since 2000. His specific area of interest and expertise is the management of children with brain tumours.


Stephen completed his initial medical and paediatric training in Auckland and as the inaugural recipient of the Joshua Holland Leukaemia Fund Fellowship in Paediatric Haematology/Oncology Clinical Research, spent three years at the Centre for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders, Sydney Children’s Hospital, and the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia. He then went on to train in paediatric neuro-oncology at one of the world’s leading children’s cancer institutions – St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, returning to New Zealand in 2007.


Dr Laughton is the Starship Children’s Hospital Principal Investigator for the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). In addition to being an appointed member of the Starship Clinical Excellence Governance Committee, Stephen is also the Health Professional Representative on the Board of the Child Cancer Foundation.

Elizabeth Ryan

Elizabeth Ryan (ADHB)


Elizabeth has substantial experience in the health industry and the public sector more broadly, focussing on project management roles in the areas of workforce development, Allied Health, and patient experience. She has a Masters degree (First Class Honours) in Economics, a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Management Studies/Labour Relations (University of Auckland), and a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership (Waikato University).


From 2006-2017 she worked as a project manager at Counties Manukau Health, and has also worked for the Ministry of Health in the Public Health Group.


Elizabeth has worked across government, NGO and the private sector and has a range of experience bringing together individuals and organisations to achieve common goals. Elizabeth is passionate about improving the patient journey and improving health care outcomes for all, with a particular interest in health equity.


Amanda Lyver


Amanda trained in New Zealand and Canada and completed her FRACP in Paediatric Oncology in 2008. She completed a post-graduate Diploma in Paediatric Palliative Care in 2010 and has been a member of the South Island Palliative Care Alliance and the National Paediatric Palliative Care Reference Group.

Amanda has been involved as a Health Professional Representative with the Child Cancer Foundation for a number of years. In 2013 Amanda became Clinical Director of the Child Cancer Services based out of CHOC in Christchurch.

Dr Gemma Pugh

Gemma Pugh


Dr Gemma Pugh joined NCCN in April 2021 as the Research Lead, managing the New Zealand Children’s Cancer Registry as well as other NCCN-related research.


Gemma has worked as an academic researcher for the last six years, mainly in the UK. She has a PhD in Behavioural Science and is most recently worked as a Research Programme Manager at the Liggins Institute. She has led various quantitative and qualitative studies to investigate young people’s experiences of cancer survival, which has helped inform intervention development.