Speakers

Special Invited Guest

Olivia Newton-John AC OBE 

Founding Champion of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre

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Further details to be provided soon.

Invited International Speakers

Thomas E Merchant

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

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Professor Thomas Merchant is a pediatric radiation oncologist and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee where he has practiced since 1996. He pioneered the use of radiation therapy in very young children with brain tumors and as past Chair of the Radiation Oncology Discipline Committee for the Children’s Oncology Group worked to implement conformal photon and proton therapy guidelines for children enrolled on cooperative group protocols. Taking advantage of his experience as a nuclear engineer and extensive experience in medical imaging, Dr. Merchant, who holds a PhD, designed and developed the world’s first proton therapy center dedicated solely to the treatment of children with cancer.

Douglas Hanahan

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland

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Douglas Hanahan is Director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (Suisse de Recherche Expérimentale sur le Cancer, ISREC), Professor of Molecular Oncology in the School of Life Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL), and Co-Director of the new multi-institutional Swiss Cancer Center Lausanne. Hanahan received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard University, where he was elected a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows. He worked at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New
York first as a graduate student and then as a faculty member. Subsequently he spent twenty-one years as a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco before moving to EPFL in 2009. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a member of the US National Academies of Medicine and of Science, and of the European Molecular Biology Organization. Hanahan received an honorary degree from the University of Dundee (Scotland) in 2011, and was further honored by the exceptional invitation to present a lecture to the public in the University’s “Greatest Minds” series. In 2012, Hanahan received the annual award for distinguished cancer research from the Fondazione San Salvatore, in Lugano, Switzerland. In 2014, Hanahan was elected as a fellow of the Academy of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and honored with the AACR’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
In the mid-1980’s Hanahan helped pioneer the genetic engineering of mice that were heritably endowed to develop organ-specific cancers that mimicked human cancers. His research program has centered ever since on using such mouse models of human cancer first to investigate the mechanisms by which tumors develop, and then to identify and flight test targeted therapies aimed at disrupting key functions inside tumors and thereby prevent disease progression; a strategic goal is to incentivize and guide clinical trials of new drugs and regimens with promise to improve the treatment of human cancers. He discovered, in collaboration with the late Judah Folkman of Harvard, the
‘angiogenic switch’, which is activated to produce new blood vessels that are necessary for early stage pre-cancerous lesions to progress toward lethal tumors. He conceptualized, with Robert Weinberg of MIT, an organizing principle with which to rationalize the daunting complexity of human cancer types; their landmark publication in 2000, entitled ‘The Hallmarks of Cancer’, proposed that six distinctive functional capabilities were necessarily acquired in one way or another by most human cancers, a concept that is now widely accepted, and beginning to influence cancer therapy. This publication and an update published in 2011 are amongst the most highly cited publications in the history of cancer research.

Helen Heslop

Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA

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Helen Heslop is Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, and the Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital. She is also Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Dan L Duncan Cancer Comprehensive Center. Dr Heslop is a physician scientist engaged in translational research focusing on adoptive immunotherapy with gene-modified effector cells, to improve hemopoietic stem cell transplantation and cancer therapy. An additional focus in reconstituting antiviral immunity post transplant and she has led an NHLBI-funded multicenter trial of allogeneic multivirus specific T cells.  She therefore has extensive experience in developing and conducting transplant studies and cell and gene therapy studies and currently holds over 20 INDs. She was a Doris Duke distinguished clinical research scientist and is an elected member of the American Association of Physicians. She serves as Principal Investigator on several peer-reviewed research programs, including an NCI-funded program project grant (Enhancing T-Cell Therapy of Cancer) a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) award (Immunotherapy of Lymphoma), the Meg Vosberg Stand Up to Cancer Dream Team in T cell lymphoma and a SPORE in lymphoma from the NCI. She is also the principal investigator on an NHLBI-funded training grant in Cell and Gene Therapy and Chair-elect of the BMT-CTN. She is a past President of the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT), the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplant (ASBMT) and the Foundation for Accreditation of Cell Therapy (FACT).

Steve Baylin

Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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For over 30 years, Dr. Baylin has studied the role of epigenetic gene silencing in the initiation and progression of human cancer. He and his colleagues fostered the concept that DNA hypermethylation of gene promoters, and associated transcriptional silencing, can serve as an alternative to mutations for producing loss of tumor suppressor gene function. They have described some of the classic genes involved, invented approaches to randomly screen the cancer genome for such genes and to demonstrate their functional role in cancer progression, helped begin unravel the molecular mechanisms responsible for the initiation and maintenance of the gene silencing, and utilized all of their findings for translational purposes. For the latter activity, Dr. currently co-leads, with Peter Jones, the Van Andel Research Institute, Stand up to Cancer ( SU2C), Epigenetic Therapy Team. Baylin has authored or co-authored over 425 fulllength publications on the above and other areas of cancer biology.

Dr. Baylin is currently co- Chief of the Cancer Biology Program of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and is the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Chair in Cancer Research. Representative honors include: the 2003Jack Shultz Memorial Lecture in Genetics, Fox Chase Cancer Center; the 2004 National Investigator of the Year Award from the NCI SPORE program; the 2005 Shubitz Cancer Research Prize from the University of Chicago; the 2008 The David Workman Memorial Award (with Peter A. Jones, Ph.D.) from the Samuel Waxman Foundation; the 2009 Kirk A. Landon-AACR Prize for Basic Cancer Research, (with Peter A. Jones); the 14th NCI Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics; and the 2011 American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor. He has been elected as a Fellow of the AACR Academy, and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2017.

Bertalan Mesko 

The Medical Futurist and the Director of The Medical Futurist Institute, France 

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Dr. Bertalan Mesko, PhD is The Medical Futurist and the Director of The Medical Futurist Institute analyzing how science fiction technologies can become reality in medicine and healthcare. As a geek physician with a PhD in genomics, he is also an Amazon Top 100 author. He is also a Private Professor at Semmelweis Medical School, Budapest, Hungary.
With 500+ presentations including courses at Harvard, Stanford and Yale Universities, Singularity University’s Futuremed course at NASA Ames campus and organizations including the 10 biggest pharmaceutical companies, he is one of the top voices globally on healthcare technology.
Dr. Mesko was featured by dozens of top publications, including CNN, the World Health Organization, National Geographic, Forbes, TIME magazine, BBC, and the New York Times. He publishes his analyses regularly on medicalfuturist.com.

Invited Speakers

Sanchia Aranda, AM

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Professor Sanchia Aranda AM is CEO of Cancer Council Australia, the immediate Past President for Union for International Cancer Control. Sanchia is inaugural Board Chair, of the Cancer City Challenge Foundation..

With 40 years’ experience in cancer control as a clinician, researcher, educator and health-system administrator, Professor Aranda is a former Deputy CEO at the Cancer Institute NSW and a past-President of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care.

From her early career as a Registered Nurse in New Zealand she specialised in cancer treatment and palliative care, completing a Bachelor of Applied Science, a Master of Nursing and a doctoral thesis in the nurse-patient relationship and psychosocial issues in palliative care. She has extensive experience in health-system administration and most recently was Director of Cancer Services and Information and Deputy CEO at the Cancer Institute NSW.

Widely published in Australian and international health literature, Professor Aranda holds adjunct Professorial appointments at the School of Health Sciences, University of Melbourne. the Faculty of Nursing, University of Sydney, the School of Nursing, University of Technology Sydney and at Monash University.

In 2013 she was named the 4th Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Distinguished Fellow for her contributions to cancer nursing and in 2019 was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for her services to community health, particularly cancer control and nursing.

As CEO of Australia’s peak non-government cancer control organisation, Professor Aranda is a strong independent voice on evidence-based cancer control. She is engaged in all fields of cancer from prevention through to survivorship and has a particular professional interest in improved ways to care for and support people with cancer. Her passion is to ensure that all Australian’s achieve best possible outcomes from cancer.

Kate Burbury

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A/Professor Kate Burbury is a consultant haematologist and Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre.  She is the lead clinician for MPN/CML, as well as the haemostasis/ thrombosis service and peri-procedural optimisation, including prehabilitation, for all of our patients at PMac.  Kate is also the clinical and content lead for Digital health and the strategy for building our regional partnerships around Victoria and interstate.

Kate completed her training at Royal Hobart Hospital in Tasmania, John Radcliffe in Oxford (inc DPhil at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar) and PeterMac. 

Kate has an active translational research and clinical trial portfolio in MPN/CML, as well as haemostatic/endothelial dysfunction associated with malignancy.   She is actively involved in the development of expert guidelines and governance structures both for the institution as well national and international expert groups.

Kate has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, as well as being a member of the editorial board and an invited reviewer for numerous journals.  She has an extensive list of presented abstracts, as well as an invited expert speaker at national and international scientific meetings. 

Kirstyn Carey

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Coming soon.

Wendy Chapman

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Coming soon

Rachel Conyers

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Associate Professor Rachel Conyers is a Paediatric Oncologist who completed fellowships in Adolescent Young Adult Sarcoma, Bone Marrow Transplantation and Adolescent and Young Adult Haematology. A/Prof Conyers is the Lead of Malignant Bone Marrow Transplantation.  In 2016 Dr Conyers was awarded a Clinican Scientist Fellowship with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, a 5 year post that supports her research into Pharmacogenomics/genetics of Chemotherapy toxicity. In 2019, A/Prof Conyers commenced the Australian Cardio Oncology Registry and Biobank (ACOR), the first national registry in paediatric, adolescents and young adults aiming to improve cardiac health in this important population.

Bas Ebaid

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Bas is completing her PhD at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, as part of the Translational Genomics and Epigenomics Group. Her research extends into the study of cancer caused by epigenetic modifications of the genome, particularly DNA methylation, to identify novel targets for drug discovery and markers to predict disease risk. She is also currently undertaking an internship through APR.intern and the VCCC in Radiation Oncology clinical trials at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre.

Moritz Eissmann

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After receiving his PhD in Frankfurt (Germany) in 2012, he moved to Melbourne to work with Matthias Ernst on the impact of inflammation in gastro-intestinal cancer, currently at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (Heidelberg, Victoria). Dr Eissmann has developed a number of advanced mouse models of gastro-intestinal cancer (Cancer Res 2016, Dis Model Mech 2015, Genesis 2016 and 2017). Utilizing these unique pre-clinical models, his work aims to characterise the role of the cross talk between cytokines, tumour-associated immune cells and tumour cells for tumour formation, progression and therapy resistance. One of the cytokines of interest is interleukin 33. Dr Eissmann has established opposing function of IL-33 signalling in colorectal cancer, where it acts as tumour suppressor mechanism versus an oncogenic role in gastric cancer (Cancer Immunol Research 2018, Nature Comm 2019).

Emad El-Omar

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Professor El-Omar graduated in Medicine from Glasgow University, Scotland, and trained as a gastroenterologist. He worked as a Visiting Scholar/Scientist at Vanderbilt University, TN, and National Cancer Institute, MD, USA, and was Professor of Gastroenterology at Aberdeen University, Scotland, for 16 years before taking up the Chair of Medicine at St George & Sutherland Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He is the Editor in Chief of the journal Gut. His research interests include the gut microbiome, inflammation driven GI cancer and IBD. He is the Director of the Microbiome Research Centre at St George Hospital, Sydney.

Jon Emery

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Coming soon.

Helen Farrugia

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Helen is the recently retired Head of Victorian Cancer Registry and Victorian Cancer Biobank.  She has worked for more than 30 years in population based cancer control registries, these include the Victorian BreastScreen Registry, the Victorian Family Cancer Registry and the Victorian Cancer Registry (VCR). 

Helen has previously served on the Board of the International Association Cancer Registries (IACR) as the Oceania representative and as Chair of the Australasian Association Cancer Registries (AACR).  Helen has a background in Health Information Management and Information Technology.

During her time as Head of VCR, Helen was successful in obtaining a capital works grant to re-engineer VCR’s data handling procedures and successfully implemented technology that enabled secure electronic data capture and automated many data capture processes.  This was followed with further technological improvements utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve the quality and completeness of the VCR data collection.

Under Helen’s leadership, VCR is now known nationally and internationally as being among the most current registries in the world.  From 2011, VCR has routinely published its incidence data within 12 months of diagnosis. 

Helen’s strong advocacy to make VCR data available to support cancer control efforts has resulted in an increase in research requests using VCR data.  In addition, Helen implemented VCR’s online data kiosk to enable users to customise their own data reports, VCR was the first Australian cancer registry to implement an on-line data kiosk.

Afaf Girgis, AM

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Professor Afaf Girgis AM, is Director of the Psycho-oncology Research Group and a Chief Investigator in the Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation (CONCERT), Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, South Western Sydney Clinical School, UNSW. She also holds a number of Conjoint Professor appointments (University of Western Sydney, University of Queensland, Griffith University and the BC Cancer Agency Socio-behavioural Research Centre).

Prof Girgis has worked for over 27 years as a Behavioural Scientist in cancer control and psycho-oncology. She has extensively researched and published in areas including prevention and early detection of cancer, development and psychometric testing of measures to assess cancer patients’, caregivers’ and health care professionals’ unmet needs, developed and evaluated strategies for improving psychosocial outcomes in clinical practice using rigorous research designs, and undertaken research and teaching in communication skills of health professionals. Her national and international standing in behavioural science and psycho-oncology was acknowledged in 2012 with the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) Inaugural Psycho-oncology Award, in 2015 with the Lady Mary Fairfax Distinguished Researcher Award, and in 2017, with 4 distinguished awards: South West Sydney Research Hub annual prize, UNSW in the South West Distinguished Research Prize, the South Western Sydney Local Health District Translational Research Award, and the South Western Sydney Local Health District Board Award. Her collaborative research was also awarded the Best of ASCO Abstract Award in 2017; Best Poster Award, Cancer Nurses Society of Australia (CNSA) Annual Congress 2016; Liverpool Catholic Club Best Community Paper prize in 2017, and Paper of the Year in both 2013 and 2014 – Health Services and Epidemiological, South Western Sydney Clinical School, UNSW Medicine. Her significant service to medicine, and to medical education, in the field of cancer control and psycho-oncology was recognised when she was made a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in 2019.

Sean Grimmond

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Professor Sean Grimmond is the University of Melbourne Bertalli Chair in Cancer Medicine, Director of the Centre for Cancer Research and Head, Department of Clinical Pathology.

He holds a Genetics degree from University of New England and a PhD in Pathology from the University of Queensland and became a Founding Scientific Fellow in The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2011. He has pioneered whole genome analysis of cancer patients at scale and led Australia’s International Cancer Genome Consortium efforts into both Pancreatic and Ovarian cancers. His current research is firmly focused on real-time omic analysis of recalcitrant cancers, testing the value of personalizing therapies and further cancer genome discovery.

Suzanne Garland, AO

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MBBS, MD, FRCPA, FRANZCOG Ad Eundem, FAChSHM, FASM, FFSc(RCPA), FACOG Hon

Professor Garland is an internationally recognized clinical microbiologist and sexual health physician, with particular expertise in infectious diseases related to reproductive health and the neonate. Her undergraduate degree was obtained at the University of Melbourne, with postgraduate training in UK public health system and in US Harvard University.  

With her team, Prof Garland, has been a leader in patient self-collected genital sampling using molecular techniques (PCR) for diagnosis of reproductive tract infections, [predating diagnostic commercial assays]. She has published extensively on clinical epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections in Australia.

Specifically in HPV research, she led phase 3 clinical trials of prophylactic HPV vaccines, findings from which were instrumental in the Australian government adopting a national immunisation program.

She also led the genoprevalence of HPV in Australian women pre-HPV vaccination program in Australia and which has provided baseline data from which post vaccination effectiveness and impact are being defined.

She is a regular Advisor to WHO, and published more than 650 in peer-reviewed journals.  She is the Inaugural and Past President of AOGIN (Asian Oceania Research Organization on Genital Infection and Neoplasia).

In 2018 she was awarded the prestigious Officer of the Order of Australia [AO] and also elected Vice president of IPVS.

In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship to the American College of Obstetricians Gynecologists (FACOG).

Michael Hofman

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Professor Michael Hofman is a nuclear medicine physician at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne with an honorary co-appointment at the University of Melbourne. He previously completed a fellowship at Guy’s & St Thomas’ hospital in London. He has particular interest in novel PET radiotracers, and theranostic applications. Currently, he research is focussed on novel imaging and theranostics for prostate cancer. He is the principal investigator of the “proPSMA Study”, a 10-site randomised trial of PSMA PET for staging high risk prostate cancer. He also led the first prospective study on Lu-177-PSMA therapy and is chair of the “TheraP Study”, a multi-centre randomised trial of Lu-177-PSMA versus cabazitaxel chemotherapy. He has authored or co-authored over 130 peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters. He serves as a scientific member for the Australasian Radiopharmaceutical Trials Network (ARTnet) and an associate editor for several journals including International Associated Editor of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Gabrielle Haeusler

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Coming soon.

Maarten IJzerman

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Professor Maarten J. IJzerman is the VCCC professor and head of Cancer Health Services Research in the University of Melbourne, Centre for Cancer Research and Centre for Health Policy. He also holds a fractional appointment as a professor of Health Technology Assessment in the University of Twente in the Netherlands. He is leading a global research program focused on the health economics and service delivery of precision medicine, in particular oncology. The research program includes the use of real-world (linked) data for health services research, the use of decision modelling methods for biomarker development, patient-preferences research and dynamic treatment sequencing.

His team is internationally recognised for his work on early-stage Health Technology Assessment supporting the translation of research findings to health services. He is a co-investigator in several large research programs in the European Union, Canada and Australia with a main interest in understanding patient value of new biomarker and treatments across clinical pathways. He is a member of several professional societies and a global leader in the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).

Maarten has had leadership roles as the CEO of a rehabilitation research institute (2000-2007), director and vice-dean for Health & Biomedical Technology (2014-2017) in the University of Twente and as a board member in two hospitals (Màxima Medisch Centrum and Radiotherapie groep) in the Netherlands responsible for innovation and technology (2011-2019). In Australia, he is a member of the Biogrid business advisory board and the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH) Health Services and Clinical Informatics Committee. Maarten is co-chairing the VCCC data-driven cancer health services research program.

Mark Jenkins

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Professor, Director, Centre for Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Population & Global Health and Centre for Cancer Research, The University of Melbourne

Mark Jenkins heads the Colorectal Cancer Epidemiology Group in the Centre for Cancer Research, and he is the Director of the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the University of Melbourne. He is a cancer epidemiologist specialising in colorectal cancer. His research has been focussed on inherited genetic risk factors (in particular Lynch syndrome), genomic risk, family history as a risk factor, and most recently, precision prevention including targeted screening effectiveness and participation.

He is the lead PI of the Colon Cancer Family Registry Cohort (42,000 participants from 13,000 families) which has been funded by the NIH for 25 years; he is the PI of the International Mismatch Repair Consortium (6,000 Lynch syndrome families) and leads the Colorectal Cancer Unit of the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He is also a member of the Clinical Advisory Group of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Alison Jones

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In April 2009 Alison, a full time Maths and Science Teacher with five school aged children, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma.

Following Alison’s diagnosis her community rallied around her family, delivering evening meals each night for the first year of her treatment. So moved by this experience, Alison wanted to share her story as a way of honouring the community support. Vowing to do more now with her life, not less, in 2014  Alison completed the Professional Writing and Editing degree at RMIT University and began writing her memoir ‘The Jones Family Food Roster,’ which is threaded with some of the recipes from these meals. It is a story of personal challenge and hope, insight and opportunity, support and family. A major theme of the book is that communities are transformative, changing lives and improving health and wellbeing outcomes.

Certain that cancer research saved her life, Alison plans to raise $1 million for cancer research and to date has raised over $250,000. All author royalties from the sale of her book are being directed to the Peter MacCallum Foundation. http://alisonjonesgifts.everydayhero.do/

Prior to teaching Alison worked as a Social Worker, Director of Professional Services of a health organisation and in marketing and sales. Her qualifications include B.Sc., B.S.W. (Hons) and Dip Ed from Monash University and an M.B.A. from The University of Melbourne

Gemma Kelly

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Dr Gemma Kelly is a Victorian Cancer Agency mid-career Fellow and Laboratory Head within the Blood cells and Blood Cancer Division at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI). She has a long-standing interest in virus-associated cancers which dates back to her PhD studies at the Cancer Research UK Institute at The University of Birmingham, UK where she investigated Epstein-Barr virus-associated cancers. She joined the Division of Professor Andreas Strasser at the WEHI following the award of a Kay Kendall Intermediate Fellowship in 2009 and has established two main streams of research. She has retained an interest in how cellular and viral factors complement one another during lymphoma development. Additionally her research focuses on understanding the role of cell death pathways in lymphoma development and sustained growth, with the aim of finding new targets for cancer therapy.

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Oliver Klein

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Dr Oliver Klein is a medical oncologist with a clinical and scientific expertise in cancer immunotherapy and melanoma. He has undertaken training in Medical Oncology and Clinical Haematology in Germany before coming to Australia to join the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the Austin Hospital. He has worked for several years as a postdoctoral and clinical research fellow being actively involved in melanoma and cancer immunotherapy research. Dr Klein is holding an appointment at the Olivia Newton John Cancer Centre at the Austin Hospital where he is the clinical lead for immuno-oncology. He is also a Senior Research Fellow of the Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Institute with a research interest in identifying biomarkers that predict response to immunotherapy.

Katherine Lane

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Katherine is the Head of Cancer Information and Support Services at Cancer Council Victoria. An oncology nurse by background, Katherine has worked across various hospitals and cancer settings over the past 13 years, including acute inpatient and outpatient settings. Over the last five years, Katherine has specialised in the delivery of supportive care and leads a team 19 experienced staff and oncology nurses to deliver first line support to almost 11,000 people affected by cancer every year via phone, email and face-to-face visits. Katherine and her team are responsible for providing social, emotional and practical support via Cancer Council programs to those who use the service as well as triaging people back to local services within the community. A key focus of Katherine’s role involves the implementation and delivery of supportive care in cancer program initiatives and partnering strategically to design and deliver supportive care services that improve the experience of people affected by cancer. Katherine holds key roles as Chair of the National 13 11 20 Information and Support Line Sub-Committee and Vice-President of the International Cancer Information Services Group, who are responsible for the delivery of best-practice standards and streamlined services nationally and internationally to drive the development of innovative and responsive service delivery.

Email: Katherine.Lane@cancervic.org.au
Twitter: @KatherineLane86
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/katherine-lane-32103295/

Brian Le

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Brian is the director of Palliative Care at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, including the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is a specialist in both Palliative Medicine and Medical Oncology, and is an Associate Professor of the University of Melbourne.
Brian is the immediate past Chair of the Training Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, responsible for training of all palliative medicine specialists in Australia and New Zealand. Brian is involved with many other Commonwealth and State governmental and not-for-profit organisations concerning Palliative Care, and is a past chairman of Palliative Care Victoria.

Brian has published over 75 peer reviewed scientific papers and book chapters, is involved with research in the areas of palliative and supportive care, including clinical trials of novel therapies, and research into palliative care integration and benefits for patients and carers.

Belinda Lee

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Dr Belinda Lee is a Medical Oncologist at the Northern Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. She is also the Hemstritch Centenary Research Fellow at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI). She leads the PURPLE Pancreatic cancer Translational Registry, which is a collaborative effort incorporating pancreatic cancer data from 27 institutes across Australia, Singapore and New Zealand, with translational research in pancreatic organoids, circulating tumour DNA and genomic sequencing. Dr Lee is also the Chief Investigator and Co-chair for the DYNAMIC-Pancreas circulating tumour DNA clinical trial.

Nicolas Lee

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Nick is a corporate health expert and Chairman of the Jodi Lee Foundation. He is also a Co-director and partner in Healthy Minds Enterprises. With a beautiful family and working as a Director of multi-national consumer goods company, Nick Lee had good reason to be happy and optimistic about his future. That changed in an instant when his wife Jodi was diagnosed with stage IV bowel cancer at the age of 39. After battling with the disease for 2 years, Jodi passed away in 2010. We all face critical hurdles in our lives, but when we do it is how we react that determines our future health and happiness. After Jodi’s death Nick made the brave decision to leave his job and use his experience to do all he could to stop others suffering a similar experience. He established the Jodi Lee Foundation to inspire others to protect themselves against bowel cancer and make positive choices to improve their health. The work of the Foundation has saved many Australian lives. As the Founder and CEO of the Jodi Lee Foundation, Nick developed a passion for corporate health and a strong desire to improve the health of ordinary Australians. Joining Tom Nehmy at Health Minds presented a perfect opportunity for Nick to fuel his passion. Nick has a wealth of corporate experience and is an accomplished speaker using his powerful story to motivate and inspire others to take action to improve their health. Nick is able to relate his own personal experience to current thinking about mental health, coping with stress and making the right choices when confronted with critical hurdles in our lives. Nick was a 2015 SA Australian of the Year finalist, and was awarded the 2013 Social Entrepreneur of the Year (Central Region) by Ernst and Young.

Sherene Loi

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I am a Medical Oncologist specialized in breast cancer treatment as well as clinician scientist with expertise in genomics, immunology and drug development. My work is focused on developing new therapeutic approaches that may improve outcomes of breast cancer patients.

After completing Medical Oncology specialist clinical training in 2003 I undertook a PhD and postdoctoral studies at the Institut Jules Bordet in Brussels, Belgium (2003-2012). In 2013, I returned to head the newly created Translational Breast Cancer Genomics and Therapeutics laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, as well as Consultant Medical Oncologist in the Breast Service and head of the Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Unit. I am recognised internationally as a leading clinician scientist whose work has led to new insights into the immunology field in breast cancer. As a result of my research, I lead a number of international breast cancer clinical trials in immunotherapy.

Over my career to date I have published over 180 peer-reviewed research articles with a lifetime H index of 57. My recent work has been highly influential with 18,789 total citations and 13,404 (71%) within the past 5 years (Google Scholar). I am on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Australia New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group (BCT Australia/NZ), which is the largest breast cancer clinical trials cooperative group in Australia. I also co-chair the Translational Working Group of the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG) based in Bern, Switzerland which conducts academic global breast cancer clinical trials in over 16 countries world-wide. I am the current holder of the inaugural National Breast Cancer Foundation of Australia Endowed Chair. I am a research fellow of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), New York and I am on the Scientific Committee for Breast Cancer for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Nicole O’Leary

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Nicole O’Leary is the CAR T-Cell Nurse Consultant at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Nicole manages commercial patients undergoing CAR T-cell therapy and has been heavily involved in preparing the CAR T-cell clinical service. The commercial CAR T-cell service operates via an outpatient model of care and Nicole runs an outpatient nurse led clinic.   

Nicole graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing from Australian Catholic University in 201. She has completed a Graduate Diploma in Cancer and Palliative Care at the University of Melbourne. She has a background in transplant haematology, was an associated nurse unit manager and since 2017 has worked as a haematology nurse consultant.

Andrea Maier

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Prof. Andrea Maier graduated in Medicine at the Medical University Lübeck (Germany, 2003) and registered as a specialist Internal Medicine-Geriatrics at the Leiden University Medical Centre (The Netherlands, 2009). Her research is driven by her passion to unravel ageing mechanisms and the interaction of ageing and age-related diseases, with a particular focus on sarcopenia.

In 2013, she was appointed as full Professor of Gerontology at the VU University Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Since February 2016 she is Divisional Director of Medicine and Community Care at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Professor of Medicine and Aged Care at the University of Melbourne (Australia). During the last 10 years she conducted multiple national and European observational studies as well as clinical trials and published more than 220 peer reviewed articles in international journals. Her innovative, multidisciplinary @Age research team works in the Netherlands (@AgeAmsterdam) and in Australia (@AgeMelbourne).

She is an invited member of several international academic and health policy committees and the President-elect of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research to increase the visibility, quantity and quality of translational ageing research.

John Mariadason

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Prof. John Mariadason is head of the division of gastrointestinal cancers at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute.  He received his Ph.D in 1998 from the University of Melbourne and undertook his post-doctoral training at Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, NY, studying pathways that drive proliferation and maturation of colon cancer cells. In 2001, he was appointed as Assistant Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein, and Associate Professor in 2008.  Dr. Mariadason joined the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Melbourne in 2008 as a Laboratory Head, and is a founding member of its successor, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, created in 2015, and holds honorary Professorial appointments in the School of Cancer Medicine at La Trobe University and the Department of Medicine, Austin Health, at the University of Melbourne. His laboratory investigates the transcription factors, epigenome modifying molecules and signaling pathways which regulate the differentiation status of biliary, gastric and colorectal cancers. His laboratory also investigates new therapies for treating colon cancer, particularly epigenome-modifying drugs, and biomarkers for predicting drug response. Dr. Mariadason has published over a 120 papers, and is an NHMRC senior Research Fellow. 

Grant McArthur

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Professor Grant McArthur is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and holds a Ph.D. in Medical Biology.  He is the Executive Director of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre; inaugural Lorenzo Galli Chair of Melanoma and Skin Cancers at the University of Melbourne and Senior Principal Research Fellow (NHMRC). He is also Head, Molecular Oncology Laboratory – Cancer Research, and Senior Consultant Medical Oncologist – Cancer Medicine, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Professor McArthur was the inaugural winner of the Translational Research Award of the Foundation Nelia et Amadeo Barletta, held the Sir Edward Dunlop Clinical Cancer Research Fellowship of the Cancer Council of Victoria, won the inaugural Martin Lackmann medal for translational research, and in 2017 he received the Medical Oncology Group of Australia, Novartis Oncology Cancer Achievement Award. He is national and international study co-chair of a number of clinical trials of targeted therapies. His research interests include discovery of novel drug targets in cancer, targeting oncogenes, clinical trials of targeted therapeutics, personalised medicine, melanoma, cell cycle control, metabolism and protein synthesis in cancer, and functional imaging.  Professor McArthur is on the editorial boards of Annals of Oncology, Anti-Cancer Drugs, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the Open Clinical Cancer Journal, Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology and the Journal of Personalised Medicine. He has published over 200 papers including senior or first author publications in the following journals: New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lancet Oncology, Cancer Discovery, Cancer Cell, Nature Cell Biology, Blood and EMBO.

Delphine Merino

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Dr Delphine Merino received her PhD in 2008 at the University of Burgundy, in France, studying the molecular mechanisms involved in the extrinsic pathway of apoptosis, in particular TRAIL-mediated cell death. In 2008, she joined the Molecular Genetics of Cancer Division at WEHI as postdoctoral fellow to study the role of the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis in immune homeostasis and cancer progression. Her work was extended to the study of BH3 mimetics, small molecules that inhibit pro-survival proteins. She studied the role of various BH3 mimetic (including venetoclax) in normal and malignant lymphoid cells. In 2012, she joined the Stem Cells and Cancer Division (WEHI), to study the effect of BH3 mimetics on various breast cancer subtypes. Altogether these pre-clinical studies have contributed / will contribute to the clinical development of this new class of drugs for the treatment of both leukaemia and breast cancer.

Since April 2017, Dr Merino is a laboratory head at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. Her group focuses on tumour progression and heterogeneity. She is identifying the survival pathways responsible for the spread of cancer cells to different organs. This work will be useful not only to understand cancer progression, but also to identify new therapies for the treatment of advanced disease.

Raghav Murali-Ganesh

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Dr Raghav Murali-Ganesh is the Co-Founder & President of CancerAid. Completing his Medical Training at Nottingham University, UK, Raghav moved to Sydney, Australia and undertook training in Radiation Oncology at RPA hospital, having completed his specialist qualifications in Radiation Oncology in 2016. Raghav has the ambition of improving healthcare outcomes with the use of digital tools and was drawn towards developing CancerAid. Combining oncological knowledge, entrepreneurial skills and a vision for technology solutions, CancerAid has become the number 1 Cancer App in Australia, the US and the UK. Having received prestigious honours including an appearance on Shark Tank 2017, Emerging Company of the year 2017 (AusBiotech / Johnson & Johnson), Best Global Startup (Sir Richard Branson), Best Startup creating Social impact (Steve Wozniak) and the EY Accelerating Entrepreneur award for recognition towards the initiative in creating CancerAid as an innovative healthcare solution to change cancer care on a global scale.

Niles Nelson

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I am a current Molecular Haematology Fellow at the VCCC.

Andrew Roberts

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Andrew Roberts is Cancer Theme Leader at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, a clinical haematologistat the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Hematology Research and Education Lead at Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and the inaugural Metcalf Chair of Leukaemia Research at the University of Melbourne. 

He was President of the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand & Chair of the Board of CancerCouncil Victoria (2013-17). Currently, he is a Director of the Australia Leukaemia & Lymphoma group (ALLG; the national clinical trials co-operative for blood cancers) and an Associate Editor of Blood (the leading journal internationally for blood cancers). 

He was recently appointed Chair of the Life Saving Drugs Program Committee advising the Australian Government and previously served on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee from 2007-2018.

In 2015, he was the first non-North American to serve as Scientific Co-Chair of the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting. His major research interests are the development of new treatments for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma through translational and clinical research. He has been an academic leader in the clinical development of the novel targeted anti-cancer drug, venetoclax, from the research laboratory through clinical trials to FDA & TGA approval and PBS listing for use in treatment of patients with CLL.

Mark Rosenthal

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Professor Mark Rosenthal trained as a Medical Oncologist in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. He was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy for a thesis examining the molecular genetics of colon cancer conducted at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. (1992-1996). He completed post-graduate training at New York University Medical Centre, New York, USA (1996-98) was a Senior Staff Specialist in the Department of Medical Oncology, Royal Melbourne Hospital (1998-2016) and Professor Director of the Department from 2006-2016. 

He was Chairman and Chief Medical Officer of Cancer Trials Australia (2006-2016) and was Chairman of the Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO) from 2007-16. In 2016 he was appointed as: Senior Staff Specialist in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Director of the Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit and Clinical Trials Lead for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. His major interests include: neuro-oncology and early phase clinical trials. 

Bethany Russell

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Dr Russell is a palliative care physician with a passion for good research. Her clinical role is in inpatient palliative care at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. Her research interests are diverse and include mixed methods projects investigating the needs and experiences of people caring for patients living longer with malignant glioma, novel approaches to the management of peripheral oedema and developing an evidence-based clinical tool for palliative care triage. She was raised and trained in Adelaide and now calls Melbourne home, but will remain forever loyal to South Australian shiraz.

Eva Segelov

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Eva Segelov is Professor and Director of Oncology at Monash University and Monash Health, Melbourne, Victoria. She has a Medical Oncologist with specialist interest in the diagnosis and management of upper and lower gastrointestinal cancers, particularly colorectal cancer, neuroendocrine tumours and anal cancer. Prof Segelov is the international lead on the investigator initiated ICECREAM and ASCOLT academic international trials and is the Australian lead for many other clinical and translational trials. She has published over 150 articles, expert reviews and book chapters and is a frequent invited speaker at national and international conferences. Eva heads a translational research laboratory at Monash University, School of Clinical Sciences. She is a European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) faculty member for the Gastro-intestinal Group and the CUP, Endocrine Tumours and Others Group and a member of the Endocrine cancers Track Organising Committee for ESMO 2019 and 2020, having been Track co-Chair, Gastrointestinal Cancer, ESMO Asia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017. Eva is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Global Oncology (ASCO). In 2015 she co-founded the international research collaborative group CommNETS (Commonwealth Neuroendocrine Tumour Society). She was awarded the UNSW Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence for developing flagship Preceptorship programs in multiple cancer subtypes, teaching the advent of modern cancer treatments through the understanding seminal research papers. Eva is a Board member of the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) and the Chair of Gastrointestinal Cancer of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA). She serves on the L’oreal For Women in Cancer jury panel for Australasia.

Melissa Sheldon

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Melissa Sheldon is a melanoma patient who has lived through 10 years of cancer treatments including immunotherapy. A passionate believer in the power of science, research, education and the multidisciplinary approach needed to treat cancer, Melissa shares her story hoping to improve outcomes and experiences for patients and their families.

Clare Slaney

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Clare is a senior research Fellow at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Her current research interests are in understanding the interaction between the immune system and cancer, and in the use of immunotherapy to treat cancer. These interests include the use of genetically modified T cells (CAR T cells) to treat solid cancers. Clare has published over 30 papers in high-impact journals including first and last authorships in Nature Medicine, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research and Cancer Discovery. She has obtained over $2M research funding, including 3 fellowships and 5 CIA project grants. Her accomplishments have been acknowledged with a number of awards including the Seymour and Vivian Milstein Young Investigator Award for notable contributions to basic and clinical research in Switzerland (2012), a Joseph Sambrook Award in Research Excellence (2014), and the respected Mavis Robertson Award (2018) that is given each year to a female principal investigator considered to exhibit the greatest promise as a leader in breast cancer research in Australia.

Renea Taylor

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Associate Professor Renea Taylor is a Research Fellow in the Department of Physiology, Monash University where she leads a Prostate Cancer Research Group and Deputy Head of the Cancer Program in the Biomedicine Discovery Institute. She holds a joint appointment at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in the Research Division. Renea graduated with a PhD in Reproductive Endocrinology in 2003 at Monash University and completed her postdoctoral training in Stem Cell Biology at the National Stem Cell Centre. She pursued her research interest in hormone-dependent cancer, specialising in prostate cancer. Her work focuses on dissecting appropriate cellular targets in cancer, including stem cells, and identifying novel therapeutic strategies to treat prostate cancer. Her team is internationally-recognised for expertise in patient-derived xenografts (PDXs), which in collaboration with her urology, pathology and oncology colleagues, provides a strong translational approach to address clinically relevant questions. More recently, her team has focused on elucidating the endocrine and metabolic changes that contribute to prostate cancer disease progression including fatty acid metabolism.

Robert Thomas

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Robert Thomas is Special Advisor on Health for the Victorian Government and is Deputy Chair of the Victorian Comprehensive cancer Centre. He is Chair of the Advisory Council of Cancer Australia and co-chair of the National Cancer Expert Reference group of the Australian Government. He has been heavily involved in the development of cancer reforms within Australia, has been past President of COSA, Chair of the National Committee creating the Colorectal Cancer Guidelines, and was a member of the Ministerial Taskforce on Cancer. He has published over 150 peer reviewed scientific papers and book chapters. His recent interests have been the encouragement of the Cancer Reform Agenda in Victoria, including issues such as the introduction of multidisciplinary care and psychosocial support of cancer patients.  His current research interests relate to health service delivery, outcomes research and quality of cancer care particularly related to the implementation of the optimal cancer care pathways across Australia.

Janette Vardy

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Prof Janette Vardy is a medical oncologist working as a clinician researcher at the Concord Cancer Centre and University of Sydney in Australia. After completing a Clinical Research Fellowship and a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto, with Professor Ian Tannock, she returned to Australia in 2007 and together with Dr Haryana Dhillon established the Survivorship Research Group at the University of Sydney. Her main areas of research are Survivorship and Quality of life, with a particular interest in cognitive function and physical activity in cancer survivors.

In 2013 she established the Sydney Survivorship Centre at Concord Cancer Centre. This includes a multidisciplinary survivorship clinic for adult cancer survivors, a Survivorship cottage, Survivorship gym, with research embedded into all aspects of the program.

Jane Visvader

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Jane Visvader is Joint Head of the Division of Cancer Biology and Stem Cells and the Breast Cancer Laboratory at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. She carried out PhD studies in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Adelaide, and held subsequent positions as a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute, San Diego, and Research Associate/Instructor at the Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston. In 1998, she made a transition to mammary gland development and breast cancer, with her appointment to the Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium as a Laboratory Head, based at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Findings by her breast cancer team include: the prospective isolation of both mouse and human mammary stem cells and their descendants; definition of transcriptional regulators of lineage commitment and differentiation; identification of luminal progenitors as the ‘cell of origin’ in BRCA1 mutation carriers; the in vivo tracking of mammary stem and progenitor cells as well as their neoplastic counterparts.

Melanie Wakefield AO

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Professor Melanie Wakefield AO is Director of the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at the Cancer Council Victoria, an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, and an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Her research has focussed on cancer prevention, especially tobacco control, where her rigorous population-based and experimental studies have demonstrated the beneficial outcomes of mass media campaigns and tobacco control policies on population smoking behaviour. Her research methods have informed the design of behavioural research studies in skin cancer prevention, obesity prevention, alcohol harm reduction and bowel cancer screening. She provides advice and input on cancer prevention policies and mass media campaigns to governments at state, national and international levels. She is a past recipient of NHMRC’s ‘Ten of the Best’ Research Projects, the American Cancer Society’s Luther Terry Award for Outstanding Research Contribution in Tobacco Control, the Public Health Association of Australia’s Mentor of the Year and a WHO Director-General’s Special Recognition Award for Tobacco Plain Packaging. In 2019, Professor Wakefield was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her service to medical research in the fields of population health and cancer prevention, and as a mentor.

Annabelle Wilson

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Annabelle has a deep personal connection to the brain cancer cause. Her husband Josh passed away from the disease after a ten year journey in November 2017, two months before the birth of their daughter Primrose.

In Annabelle’s role as Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s Head of Advocacy, she works with the tireless brain cancer community to lead impactful advocacy campaigns that deliver better options for brain cancer patients now and in the future.

Public Forum 

Natasha Mitchell

Presenter and science journalist, ABC Radio National

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Coming soon.

Douglas Hanahan

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland

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Douglas Hanahan is Director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (Suisse de Recherche Expérimentale sur le Cancer, ISREC), Professor of Molecular Oncology in the School of Life Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL), and Co-Director of the new multi-institutional Swiss Cancer Center Lausanne. Hanahan received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard University, where he was elected a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows. He worked at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New
York first as a graduate student and then as a faculty member. Subsequently he spent twenty-one years as a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco before moving to EPFL in 2009. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a member of the US National Academies of Medicine and of Science, and of the European Molecular Biology Organization. Hanahan received an honorary degree from the University of Dundee (Scotland) in 2011, and was further honored by the exceptional invitation to present a lecture to the public in the University’s “Greatest Minds” series. In 2012, Hanahan received the annual award for distinguished cancer research from the Fondazione San Salvatore, in Lugano, Switzerland. In 2014, Hanahan was elected as a fellow of the Academy of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and honored with the AACR’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
In the mid-1980’s Hanahan helped pioneer the genetic engineering of mice that were heritably endowed to develop organ-specific cancers that mimicked human cancers. His research program has centered ever since on using such mouse models of human cancer first to investigate the mechanisms by which tumors develop, and then to identify and flight test targeted therapies aimed at disrupting key functions inside tumors and thereby prevent disease progression; a strategic goal is to incentivize and guide clinical trials of new drugs and regimens with promise to improve the treatment of human cancers. He discovered, in collaboration with the late Judah Folkman of Harvard, the
‘angiogenic switch’, which is activated to produce new blood vessels that are necessary for early stage pre-cancerous lesions to progress toward lethal tumors. He conceptualized, with Robert Weinberg of MIT, an organizing principle with which to rationalize the daunting complexity of human cancer types; their landmark publication in 2000, entitled ‘The Hallmarks of Cancer’, proposed that six distinctive functional capabilities were necessarily acquired in one way or another by most human cancers, a concept that is now widely accepted, and beginning to influence cancer therapy. This publication and an update published in 2011 are amongst the most highly cited publications in the history of cancer research.

Mei Krishnasamy

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Clare is a senior research Fellow at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Her current research interests are in understanding the interaction between the immune system and cancer, and in the use of immunotherapy to treat cancer. These interests include the use of genetically modified T cells (CAR T cells) to treat solid cancers. Clare has published over 30 papers in high-impact journals including first and last authorships in Nature Medicine, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research and Cancer Discovery. She has obtained over $2M research funding, including 3 fellowships and 5 CIA project grants. Her accomplishments have been acknowledged with a number of awards including the Seymour and Vivian Milstein Young Investigator Award for notable contributions to basic and clinical research in Switzerland (2012), a Joseph Sambrook Award in Research Excellence (2014), and the respected Mavis Robertson Award (2018) that is given each year to a female principal investigator considered to exhibit the greatest promise as a leader in breast cancer research in Australia.

Grant McArthur

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Professor Grant McArthur is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and holds a Ph.D. in Medical Biology.  He is the Executive Director of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre; inaugural Lorenzo Galli Chair of Melanoma and Skin Cancers at the University of Melbourne and Senior Principal Research Fellow (NHMRC). He is also Head, Molecular Oncology Laboratory – Cancer Research, and Senior Consultant Medical Oncologist – Cancer Medicine, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Professor McArthur was the inaugural winner of the Translational Research Award of the Foundation Nelia et Amadeo Barletta, held the Sir Edward Dunlop Clinical Cancer Research Fellowship of the Cancer Council of Victoria, won the inaugural Martin Lackmann medal for translational research, and in 2017 he received the Medical Oncology Group of Australia, Novartis Oncology Cancer Achievement Award. He is national and international study co-chair of a number of clinical trials of targeted therapies. His research interests include discovery of novel drug targets in cancer, targeting oncogenes, clinical trials of targeted therapeutics, personalised medicine, melanoma, cell cycle control, metabolism and protein synthesis in cancer, and functional imaging.  Professor McArthur is on the editorial boards of Annals of Oncology, Anti-Cancer Drugs, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the Open Clinical Cancer Journal, Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology and the Journal of Personalised Medicine. He has published over 200 papers including senior or first author publications in the following journals: New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lancet Oncology, Cancer Discovery, Cancer Cell, Nature Cell Biology, Blood and EMBO.

Robert Ramsay

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Professor Rob Ramsay, patient treated for prostate cancer and joint head-Gastrointestinal Cancer Program both at Peter Mac

Rob is a professor and laboratory head at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the largest dedicated cancer centre in Australia and Joint-Head of the GI (Gastrointestinal) cancer program. His group focuses on preclinical models of cancer and has strong clinical/research connections within the cancer hospital. He is the chair of the research translation committee for the Australasian Gastrointestinal Trials Group (AGITG) and vice president of the International Society of the study of Pleura and Peritoneum (ISSPP). Previous training includes a PhD at the Queensland Institute for Medical Research, Post Docs at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY and Ludwig Institute, Melbourne. Most recently, his group has concentrated on clinical issues that particularly influence the outcomes of our patients with GI cancer. This has led to a concerted effort to improve aspects of anaesthesia, colorectal surgery and biomarker discovery in close collaboration with surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists concerning peritoneal metastases. Rob has also been deeply involved in medical research advocacy and is a past president of the Australian Society of Medical Research and Life Member and recent past president of the National Association of Research Fellows. On the non-work side, he has a long-standing commitment to training and teaching karate along with creative interests in mosaics, pottery and woodworking.

Alison Jones

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In April 2009 Alison, a full time Maths and Science Teacher with five school aged children, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma.

Following Alison’s diagnosis her community rallied around her family, delivering evening meals each night for the first year of her treatment. So moved by this experience, Alison wanted to share her story as a way of honouring the community support. Vowing to do more now with her life, not less, in 2014  Alison completed the Professional Writing and Editing degree at RMIT University and began writing her memoir ‘The Jones Family Food Roster,’ which is threaded with some of the recipes from these meals. It is a story of personal challenge and hope, insight and opportunity, support and family. A major theme of the book is that communities are transformative, changing lives and improving health and wellbeing outcomes.

Certain that cancer research saved her life, Alison plans to raise $1 million for cancer research and to date has raised over $250,000. All author royalties from the sale of her book are being directed to the Peter MacCallum Foundation. http://alisonjonesgifts.everydayhero.do/

Prior to teaching Alison worked as a Social Worker, Director of Professional Services of a health organisation and in marketing and sales. Her qualifications include B.Sc., B.S.W. (Hons) and Dip Ed from Monash University and an M.B.A. from The University of Melbourne.

Cuong Do

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Dr Cuong Do, Consultant medical oncologist, Western Health.

Interest in improving participation and access to clinical trials for Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) patients. With particular interest in the Vietnamese speaking population in the Western suburbs of Victoria.

The son of Vietnamese refugees who came to Australia in 1980 by boat.

Graduated from the University of Melbourne Medical School where he also completed a PhD. He completed his specialist training in Melbourne and is currently consultant medical oncologist at Western Health. He has a special interest in treating patients with breast, lung and upper gastrointestinal cancer.

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