NZBRI Board Members

These are the current directors of New Zealand Brain Research Ltd, who serve voluntarily to provide guidance to the Institute.

Board Members

Mr Richard Sudell

Richard Sudell

Board Chair

Richard moved to Christchurch in 2013 with his wife Anthea and 3 boys. He provides commercial, capital works and transaction advisory services to both public and private sector clients. He was a founding director of Trinity MRI, a specialist neuro-MRI facility in Auckland, and FoodCap International, where he helped to commercialise the FoodCap System, a turn-key integrated supply chain solution for the processing and distribution of retail ready meat. He has worked with the Manukau Urban Maori Authority and was on the establishment committee for the Hone Tuwhare Charitable Trust, a charity dedicated to the preservation, promotion and celebration of the work of Hone Tuwhare. 

Simon Carey


Simon is an experienced Chartered Accountant and business adviser with expertise across private business, government and public interest entities in New Zealand and a track record in strategic planning, analysis, and business turnaround. Simon is supported by his wife and two children and is an avid golfer. In his spare time plays tennis and does mountain biking.

Professor Ivan Donaldson

Professor Ivan Donaldson

Independent Director - Owner Pegasus Bay Winery

Ivan was associate professor of medicine at the Christchurch School of Medicine (University of Otago) and head of the neurology Department at Christchurch Hospital. A noted expert on movement disorders, he was the first person in New Zealand to use botulinum toxin for the treatment of these. He was a driving force in establishing neurological research in Christchurch and has been a strong supporter of the Institute from before its inception. Ivan set up the Friends of the Brain Research Institute (FBI) to support and raise funds for the Institute. He and the Donaldson family were pioneers in establishing the now thriving viticultural industry in Canterbury. Ivan is chair of the board of directors of He Waka Tapu, the largest South Island NGO delivering medical and social services to Māori and Pasifika whanau.

Professor Ian Wright

Professor Ian Wright

Deputy Vice Chancellor - UC

Professor Ian Wright is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at University of Canterbury. He has extensive experience in research and technological leadership and management, having previously worked at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Wellington, and eight years at the National Oceanography Centre / University of Southampton in the UK.

Professor David Murdoch

Professor David Murdoch

Dean Otago Medical School, Christchurch

Professor David Murdoch is Dean and Head of Campus of the University of Otago, Christchurch. An infectious diseases expert, David was previously Head of the School’s Department of Pathology for 14 years and has been a Clinical Microbiologist for the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) since 2000.

Ms Virginia Spoors

Virginia Spoors

Board Member

Virginia has 25 years of experience within the health sector, in workforce development, quality and leadership roles. For the past eight years she has lead a not-for-profit service within the disability sector for people with high and complex physical and neurological needs. This has included expansion of services in the community for clients living with complex disabilities, a new 6 bed transitional rehabilitation unit for clients with stroke, spinal or brain injury, and the development of a new Rehabilitation and Therapy service for people with neurological conditions

Geoff Cranko

Board Member

Geoff has extensive commercial experience from small start-ups through to leading large multinational businesses. Working in a variety of sectors, including engineering, technology, medical, construction, and professional services, he has lived and worked across the world. He brings a diverse cultural and business perspective with a specific focus on holistic business strategy and marketing. With over 30 years of governance experience he provides clear thinking and offers straight talking advice. On a day to day basis Geoff is actively involved in Strategy, an international brand consultancy and NV Interactive, a national digital agency. He sits on several private company boards and has been actively involved in many Community Trusts and Clubs in Canterbury. He is a member of the Institute of Directors in both Australia and New Zealand. He is happily married to Andrea with two amazing daughters, Toni and Monique.