The NCPTS Training Coordination Team is a group of pathologists and scientists who work with an administrator to plan, develop and deliver NCPTS training programmes. All members are also active practitioners in their respective fields. Current members of the NCPTS Training Team are:  


Dr Margaret Sage, Cytopathologist, Training Team Coordinator

After training in cytology at the Victorian Cytology Service  in Melbourne, Margaret has worked  in both public and private sector laboratories in Auckland and in Christchurch. She has worked closely with the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) on a number of committees and working groups and now leads the Training Team of the NCPTS.


Contact: Dr Margaret Sage

Dr Margaret Sage MoH Photo cropped

Christl Kirstein, Cytoscientist, ThinPrep

Christl qualified as a medical laboratory scientist in Capetown South Africa, and lectured at Cape Technikon (equivalent of AUT). She emigrated to New Zealand in 1997 and was employed by Diagnostic Medlab as a senior cytoscientist. Christl has lectured at AUT since 2007 as well as setting papers and marking assessments in Medical Cytology, Clinical Training Medical Cytology and Histological Techniques. She is the educational coordinator in the cytology department at APS.


Contact: Christl Kirstein

Christl Kirstein

Ashika Bissoon, Cytoscientist, SurePath


Ashika qualified as a Medical Scientist in Durban, South Africa, with a National diploma in medical technology in 1992 and a Biomedical technology degree in 1998.  She was the teaching coordinator for the laboratory which involved the teaching of gynaecologic and non-gynaecologic cytology. Ashika has also been involved with setting papers and marking assessments in Medical Cytology.  She commenced employment with Pathlab Bay of Plenty in 2002 and assumed a charge scientist role since 2008. Ashika has been inovlved in organising teaching cases and discussing slide cases with registrars. Ashika has also had an active role in the NZ Cytoscientist workshops for the past 3 years. 


Contact: Ashika Bissoon


Melinda Paterson, Administrator

Melinda has considerable research laboratory experience including a PhD in molecular science. She brings her clerical skills and background in molecular science to her current role as the Administrator on the Training Coordination Team of the NCPTS.


Contact: Melinda Paterson