At Melanoma Institute Australia every clinician is also a researcher. Their efforts are multiplied by the corps of dedicated researchers across several campuses. The management team and board look after the institute’s business functions, managing the clinical trials, the BioSpecimen Bank and research information. You can read a bit about all of them here.
- The Poche Centre
- Concord Repatriation General Hospital
- Kolling Institute of Medical Research
- Lake Macquarie Private Hospital
- Macquarie University
- Nowra Outpatient Clinics
- QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
- Royal North Shore Hospital
- Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
- Skin and Cancer Foundation Australia
- Strathfield Private Hospital
- St Vincents and Mater Health
- Sydney Adventist Hospital
- Sydney Day Surgery
- The University of Sydney
- The University of Newcastle
- Westmead Hospital
- Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research
Grant King was appointed Chairman of Melanoma Institute Australia on 28 February 2017. He was the former Managing Director of Origin Energy Limited where he worked for 17 years. Grant has extensive experience in the Australian oil and gas industry, as the former Managing Director of Boral Energy and General Manager of AGL Gas Companies.
Grant has a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of New South Wales and a Masters of Management from the University of Wollongong. He is a Fellow of Australian Institute of Company Directors.
He was recently elected President of the Business Council of Australia and is involved in a number of community and philanthropic activities. He is a member of the UNSW Foundation and the Origin Energy Foundation and supports the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Friends of the Mater.
Carole Renouf - MA Hons, Dip Ed, MAICD
Carole Renouf was appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of MIA in 2016. Carole has dedicated most of her career to the not-for-profit sector, specialising initially in health education, consumer advocacy, marketing, communications and fundraising before transitioning to senior executive management and leadership roles. Some of the organisations Carole has worked for include NSW Health, the Consumers’ Association (CHOICE), WWF Australia and UNSW. She was CEO of Garvan Research Foundation 2005-2010 and this was the beginning of her reputation with major gifts to medical research. During her tenure, the Foundation’s annual revenue increased from $2.5 million to $15 million and Carole also ran the capital campaign to raise $40 million in philanthropy to build the Kinghorn Cancer Centre. Carole was CEO of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) 2011-2015, successfully raising its profile, fundraising revenue and research grant disbursements so that NBCF became ranked as the fourth most respected charity in Australia. Prior to taking up her position at MIA, Carole spent a year leading the capital campaign for redevelopment of St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney, raising $27.5 million.
Professor Richard Scolyer - BMedSci, MBBS, MD, FRCPA, FRCPath, FAHMS
Professor Richard Scolyer is Conjoint Medical Director and Consultant Pathologist at Melanoma Institute Australia; Senior Staff Specialist, Tissue Pathology and Diagnostic Oncology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney; and Clinical Professor, The University of Sydney.
Professor Scolyer studied medicine at the University of Tasmania. After completing clinical training in Australia and overseas, he undertook pathology training at the Canberra Hospital and at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital leading to Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. He provides a clinical consultation service for the diagnosis of difficult pigmented lesions and receives more 2000 cases for opinion from Australasia and beyond annually.
Professor Scolyer effectively integrates his clinical practice with leading an award-winning translational melanoma research laboratory. His record includes co-authoring more than 500 publications including in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Nature, Cell, Nature Genetics, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Discovery. Richard has presented on more than 300 occasions at conferences throughout the world.
In 2006, Professor Scolyer was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine by The University of Sydney for his thesis of publications on melanocytic pathology. He received NSW Premier's Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research in 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and the Thomson Reuters 2015 Citation Award in the Clinical Medicine category. His publications have received most highly cited awards on five other occasions. According to Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Knowledge, Professor Scolyer is the highest ever published scientist in the world in the field of melanoma pathology and he also has the highest H index in this field. The Fame Report (2011) published by Medical Experts International ranked him the 6th leading melanoma expert in any field or discipline worldwide and the highest ranked melanoma pathologist worldwide. In November 2016, he was ranked the world’s 11th leading melanoma expert in any field or discipline and the world’s leading melanoma pathologist.
In 2016, Professor Scolyer was appointed an editor of the 4th Edition of the World Health Organisation Classification of Tumours Skin Tumours volume in which he was the responsible editor for 3 of the 6 sections and authored/co-authored more than 30 chapters. He is also Vice Chair of the Melanoma Expert Panel of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) for the 8th edition of AJCC Cancer Staging System, co-leads the Australian Melanoma Genome Project (part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium) (Nature 2017), was lead pathologist for the NIH funded The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Melanoma Project (Cell, 2015), chairs the Melanoma Expert Panel for the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting, and lead pathologist/member of the overseeing Management Committee, Multidisciplinary Working Party and Author for the Australian Melanoma Clinical Practice Guidelines and an author of the College of American Pathologists Melanoma Reporting protocol. He is also an editorial board member of the American Journal of Surgical Pathology, a member of the International Editorial Advisory Board of Histopathology and Senior Associate Editor of Pathology and a number of other international journals. Professor Scolyer is the current Immediate Past President of the Australasian Division of the International Academy of Pathology. Together with other MIA colleagues, he is chief investigator on a 5-year NHMRC program grant and has a personal Fellowship from the NHMRC.
To get in touch with Professor Scolyer, please email Melita Lazaris, Executive Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Georgina Long - BSc, PhD, MBBS, FRACP
Professor Georgina Long is Conjoint Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), and Chair of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Translational Research at MIA and Royal North Shore Hospital, The University of Sydney.
Professor Long leads an extensive clinical trials team and laboratory at MIA, with a focus on targeted therapies and immuno-oncology in melanoma. She is principal investigator on Phase I, II and III clinical trials in adjuvant and metastatic melanoma, including trials in patients with active brain metastases. She is the chief investigator on NHMRC-funded research into the molecular biology of melanoma, with a particular interest in clinical and tissue biomarker correlates of systemic therapy sensitivity and resistance.
In recognition of her ground-breaking research, Professor Long has received a number of awards, including the prestigious Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund Prize for Discovery in Medical Research in 2016, and a number of recent CINSW Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research: In 2014, she was awarded the Wildfire Award for the most highly-cited, original, peer-reviewed article published in 2011; and in 2013 she was named the Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow.
Professor Long is the author of over 135 peer-reviewed publications in clinical and translational research in melanoma since 2011, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Cancer Discovery. Professor Long has presented her work at international conferences and meetings on more than 120 occasions. She is President-elect for the prestigious international Society for Melanoma Research (President from 2018), is Chair of the ASCO Scientific Committee for melanoma and skin cancer, is medical oncology lead for the Australian Melanoma Management Guidelines Committee, is on the editorial boards of several high-impact journals, and is a member of the Melanoma Expert Panel for AJCC Cancer Staging System 8th edition.
Professor Long was awarded the University Medal in Organic Chemistry. She subsequently completed her PhD in Chemistry in the field of anti-cancer agents and their binding to DNA. She then moved to the USA to take up a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship at Scripps Research Institute, exploring nanotechnology in cancer treatment, before returning to Australia to complete her MBBS (Hons). Professor Long became a Fellow of the Australasian College of Physicians in January 2008, specialising in medical oncology.
To get in touch with Professor Georgina Long, please email Corinne Akhurst, Executive Assistant at EAlong@melanoma.org.au
Associate Professor Jonathan Stretch - AM D.Phil (Oxon) FRACS
Jonathan Stretch has been the Deputy Director of MIA since its evolution in 2007 from the Sydney Melanoma Unit. He was one of the founding Board of Directors at that time. A/Prof Stretch undertook his surgical training in Sydney becoming a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (Plastic Surgery) in 1987. Thereafter he was Overseas Fellow at the Radcliffe Infirmary and Research Fellow in the Nuffield Department of Surgery, Oxford. His doctoral research investigated the local dissemination of melanoma. He was appointed to Royal North Shore Hospital in 1991 and the Sydney Melanoma Unit and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in 2002. He is Associate Professor of Melanoma and Skin Oncology at The University of Sydney. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.
Jennifer Elliott - BA LLB (Hons) MA FAICD
Jennifer Elliott was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Melanoma Institute of Australia in 22nd of August 2012, and as Chair of the Finance Committee in 19th of March, 2013. Jennifer has broad Australian and international experience in the financial services industry, with a particular focus on business strategy, corporate governance and regulation, and human resources.
Jennifer previously held various roles within Moody's Corporation for 20 years, including Regional Head - Asia Pacific for Moody's Investors Service, and Chief Human Resources Officer for the global Moody's Corporation.
Prior to joining Moody's, Jennifer worked as a banking and finance lawyer in Sydney. She has degrees in English Literature and Law from Sydney University, and a Master in Asian Business Studies from SOAS at London University.
In addition to her roles at the Institute, Jennifer is a Non-Executive Director of the Clarius Group and a Volunteer Ethics Teacher for Primary Ethics NSW.
Sally was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Melanoma Institute Australia in March 2016. Sally co-founded the investment firm CP2 along with her late husband Peter Doherty and Professor Robert Officer in 1997. She held the position of Managing Director from 2012 to 2015, and has been Chair of the Board from 2007. Sally has 25 years’ experience in investment execution and managing investment portfolios for long-term investors. Through that time, Sally has helped navigate and keep CP2 focused despite difficult market conditions and the personal loss of her husband.
Reg Richardson - AM FCPA FCIS FGIA Dip CM
Reg Richardson served as Chair of MIA from 2007 to 2017. Throughout his career he has owned and managed diverse businesses predominantly involved in service industries. Reg has had a long experience with not for profit entities and is involved with a number of philanthropic organisations including MIA, the Poche Centre of Indigenous Health at The University of Sydney, Flinders University, Melbourne University and University of Western Australia. He is a director of the Poche Centre of Indigenous Health at the University of Queensland and a member of the NSW Advisory Board of St Vincents Hospital Australia and a Patron of Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative.
Previously, Reg has served on the Boards of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of NSW Foundation, the Mercy Foundation, the Ted Noffs Foundation and the Friends of the Mater Foundation. He has raised over $130 million for charitable purposes. In 2007 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the visual arts and for supporting a range of social welfare and medical research organisations. In 2013 Reg was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sydney. In 2014 Arts NSW named Reg their NSW Volunteer of the Year for his contribution to the arts in his local community.
Professor Graham Mann - PhD
Professor Graham Mann is the Chair of the Research Committee at MIA, and Co-Director of the Centre for Cancer Research, The Westmead Institute for Medical Research.
He leads a translational research program on melanoma with the support of NHMRC, and Cancer Council NSW. This program is engaged in all aspects of melanoma control, from the genetics of melanoma risk and its environmental and psychological aspects, to the use of molecular markers and targets to improve the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma.
He is Chair of The University of Sydney Cancer Research Network and the Scientific Steering
Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Associate Professor Robyn Saw - MBBS, FRACS, MS
Robyn Saw is an Associate Professor in Surgery at The University of Sydney. She is a Surgical Oncologist with MIA and also a General Surgeon at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Robyn has a specific interest in the surgical management of melanoma and other skin cancers.
Research that can translate into clinical benefit for patients is the focus for her research activity. This includes a research interest in the development of lymphoedema (swelling of a limb) following lymph node surgery. As the Principal Investigator for a study looking at lymphoedema following axillary and groin sentinel node biopsy (supported by the NSW Cancer Council in 2005-2007 for 3 years for $180,000), the findings were presented at the 7th World Congress of Melanoma in Vienna 2009. A further paper has been published looking at lymphoedema following groin dissection in association with Prof Andrew Spillane.
A current project aims to establish an innovative stage III melanoma pre- and post-lymph node dissection clinic that combines physiotherapy, clinical nurse consultants and surgical consultants (with associated research opportunities to study patients preoperatively and postoperatively). This has the potential to improve the quality of care of all Stage III melanoma patients, and hopefully subsequently the quality of life of patients.
Currently, she is involved as Principal Investigator for an investigator led trial of “High Dose Vitamin D in High Risk Melanoma Patients” RPM Saw, B Armstrong, R Mason. R Morton (recruitment started Dec 2010). Involvement from the start with development of the trial protocol, and currently active in recruitment of patients, coordination of resources, supervision of trials staff, managing trial complications and advertising the trial has required commitment and significant time resources. This trial has generated significant international interest.
Intense involvement in the MIA BioSpecimen Bank and contributing patients for various clinical projects has also been on the agenda. She has also initiated banking of serial serum for all stage III melanoma patients in the future hope of development of serum biomarkers for assessment of prognosis and identifying early stage IV melanoma.
A range of students and junior medical staff have been supervised for research projects, including honours students for MBBS, interns interested in research and surgical trainees undertaking research projects as part of their Masters of Surgery research requirement.
Professor Andrew Spillane - MD FRACS BM BS
Andrew Spillane is Professor of Surgical Oncology at The University of Sydney, Northern Clinical School. He specialises in the surgical management of melanoma, breast cancer and soft tissue tumours. Andrew is currently a senior surgeon with MIA and a VMO at the Mater, Royal North Shore and North Shore Private Hospitals.
Andrew’s current research interests investigate issues around quality assurance in surgery, safe introduction of new surgical techniques and promoting clinical trial involvement by surgeons. He is involved in clinical and translational research on aspects of melanoma and breast cancer. He has authored 95 peer reviewed publications and co-authored 2 book chapters. Andrew is on the Executive of the Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group. He is President of Breast Surgeons Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc., a member of the Australian and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group Locoregional Management Subcommittee and Chair of the Breast and Endocrine Surgical Group at the Mater Hospital. He lectures and teaches students at The University of Sydney’s, Northern Clinical School.
Dr Matteo Carlino - BMedSc, MBBS, FRACP
Matteo Carlino is a Medical Oncologist at Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals, a Clinical Senior Lecturer at The University of Sydney, and a Faculty Member at MIA. He has recently completed a PhD examining predictors of response and mechanisms of resistance to BRAF and MEK inhibitor treated melanoma.
He continues to be involved in the translational research program based at MIA and the Westmead Institute for Cancer Research. He is an investigator on multiple Phase I,II and III clinical trials in melanoma targeted and immunotherapy.
Associate Professor Pascale Guitera - FACD PhD
Pascale completed her dermatology training and fellowship at Hospital Saint-Louis in Paris. She was awarded the Australasian College of Dermatologist Fellowship in 2007. She completed a PhD in collaboration with the Curie Institute in Paris (one of Europe’s leading scientific institutions) and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. This work focused on novel imaging techniques for non-invasive diagnosis of skin tumours including in vivo reflectance confocal microscopy, high frequency ultrasound and multiphoton microscopy.
Pascale is a world expert in in vivo confocal microscopy and has been awarded the NSW Premier’s Award for outstanding research on lentigo maligna and confocal microscopy. Her areas of expertise are amelanotic melanoma, lentigo maligna and early diagnosis of melanoma in high risk individuals.
Pascale is Director of the Sydney Melanoma Diagnostic Centre at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the Dermatology Department at Melanoma Institute Australia. She is a senior researcher at The University of Sydney and supervises several PhD and Masters students.
Associate Professor Alex Guminski
Associate Professor Alex Guminski trained in medical oncology and completed a PhD in Sydney followed by post-doctoral research in the UK. He currently works at Royal North Shore and Mater Hospitals and Melanoma Institute Australia. He has interests in advanced melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and head and neck cancers.
Professor Peter Hersey - MBBS, FRACP, D.Phil (Oxon)
Professor Peter Hersey is a graduate of the University of Adelaide where he completed his clinical training as a physician. He completed his scientific training in the University of Oxford as a Nuffield Dominion Fellow in Tumour Immunology. He has held positions as a Staff Specialist in Immunology in Sydney Hospital and the Calvary Mater Hospital in Newcastle where he also held the positions of research director at the Newcastle Melanoma Unit and Conjoint Professor of Oncology in the University of Newcastle. In 2010 he was appointed to the inaugural chair of Melanoma Biology in The University of Sydney and there has established a translational research laboratory working on melanoma in the Kolling Medical Research Institute based in the Royal North Shore Hospital. He continues his melanoma clinic in Melanoma Institute Australia and at the Lake Macquarie Private Hospital in Newcastle.
Since taking up the staff specialist position in Sydney Hospital he has carried out research on melanoma. The translational research activities have involved Phase I-III trials in melanoma such as the conduct of a large phase III trial of immunotherapy in melanoma, use of modified peptide antigens and other melanoma vaccine initiative such as use of dendritic cell vaccines. He has taken a leading role in studies on properties of melanoma cells that make them resistant to treatment and new treatment approaches to overcome these properties.
Professor Hersey is generally recognised as a pioneer of immunotherapy for melanoma in Australia and in focusing on properties of melanoma cells that make them resistant to therapies. He has held a number of consulting positions for pharmaceutical companies developing new treatments for melanoma and has held peer-reviewed funding for melanoma research throughout his career. He has authored over 340 peer reviewed publications on melanoma and has been involved in conduct of over 50 clinical trials in melanoma.
Professor Angela Hong - MBBS MMed FRANZCR PhD
Professor Angela Hong is a Radiation Oncologist at MIA. She has been an active investigator on several radiation therapy trials with the aim to advance the treatment of melanoma. She is also a keen advocate in applying new technology in the management for advanced melanoma.
Professor Richard Kefford - AM MB BS PhD FRACP
Richard Kefford is Professor of Cancer Medicine at Macquarie University and a Consultant Medical Oncologist at Westmead Hospital. He is Co-Director of Research at Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and an Honorary Professor in Medicine at The University of Sydney. He is Chief Investigator on NHMRC and CINSW Program Grants researching the molecular biology of melanoma, with particular focus on melanoma genomics and MAPK inhibitors.
Prof Rick Kefford has been an investigator on over 50 phase I, II ,III and adjuvant clinical trials in melanoma, including the recent development of targeted therapies and immunotherapy. He has authored over 340 peer-reviewed journal articles. He was Professor of Medicine at Westmead Hospital from 1998-2014. He has served as a member of the Australian NHMRC Academy, Research Committee, and Project and Program Research Committees and is a Member of the Ethics Committee of the Medical Oncology Group of Australia (MOGA) and the Board of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. He has served as a consultant to multiple biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies on melanoma drug development and clinical trials. He was awarded Member of the Order of Australia in 2009 for services to medicine in the area of oncology research, to professional organisations, and as an educator. In 2016, Prof Kefford was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. In 2017, he was named Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year in the Cancer Institute NSW Premier Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research.
A/Prof Alex Menzies - BSc(Med) MBBS (Hons) FRACP PhD
A/Prof Alex Menzies is a Medical Oncologist and Senior Research Fellow at Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney and Royal North Shore and Mater Hospitals. He specialises in melanoma and breast cancer. He graduated with honours from the University of New South Wales in 2003 and completed specialist training in medical oncology in 2011.
After completing a fellowship in melanoma clinical trials, A/Prof Menzies received his PhD from The University of Sydney in 2015 for research exploring the biology of BRAF-mutant melanoma and biomarkers of response and resistance to targeted therapy. He is an investigator on Phase I to III clinical trials of systemic therapies in melanoma and breast cancer, has published several original research and review articles, and is a regular invited speaker at national and international meetings. His main research interests are the biology of melanoma and biomarkers of response and resistance to systemic therapy.
Professor Omgo E. Nieweg - MD, PhD
Omgo E. Nieweg received his medical (1976) and PhD (1983) degrees at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He undertook training in nuclear medicine and surgery at the University Hospital Groningen. He completed his surgical oncology fellowship at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas in 1991. He was a staff member in the Department of Surgery, The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam from 1992 to 2013. He joined the Melanoma Institute Australia in 2013 and was appointed to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney Day Surgery and The Mater Hospital in 2014. He is Professor at The University of Sydney.
Professor Helen Rizos - BSc (Hon) PhD
Professor Helen Rizos is a cancer cell biologist with an international reputation in the field of melanoma senescence, tumour suppressor proteins and oncoproteins. Her work combines genetic analyses of melanoma tumours with functional molecular and cell biology in order to understand the role and regulation of genes and cellular pathways that influence the development and therapeutic response of melanoma.
Professor Rizos is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and recently moved to Macquarie University (January 2014) with her research team and Professor Kefford. Her research will continue to focus on melanoma cell biology and Macquarie University has all the required facilities and infrastructure. In 2017, Professor Rizos and her team won the Wildfire Highly Cited Publication Award from Cancer Institute NSW's Premier Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research.
Dr Kerwin Shannon
Dr Kerwin Shannon specialises in Head and Neck surgery and received his first clinical appointment to the Sydney Melanoma Unit in 1996. He subsequently undertook a 12-month Fellowship in Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Hong Kong, followed by a 2 year Fellowship in Head and Neck Oncology at the University of Tennessee, under the auspices of the American Head and Neck Society. Returning in mid 1999, Dr Shannon was appointed to the Department of Head and Neck Surgery of the Central Sydney Area Health Service and also resumed his association with the Sydney Melanoma Unit.
Research interests include organ preservation protocols, the use of regional chemotherapy for advanced head and neck cancers and sentinel node biopsy for melanoma of the head and neck.
Professor John Thompson - AO, BSc(Med), MBBS, MD (Syd), DSc (Hon), FRACS, FACS (Hon), FAHMS
Professor John Thompson is Professor of Melanoma and Surgical Oncology at The University of Sydney. He was the Director of Sydney Melanoma Unit from 1998 and thereafter Executive Director of Melanoma Institute Australia until the end of 2016. He was a member of the Board of Directors on inception of the company in 2007 until December 2016. He is author of over 700 peer-reviewed scientific articles and holds positions on the editorial boards of several international journals.
Prof Thompson is a past President of the International Sentinel Node Society, and was Chairman of the Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group for 15 years. He is a member of the Melanoma Staging Committee of the American Joint Committee on Cancer, and chairs the Working Group that is updating the Australian Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Cutaneous Melanoma. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Surgical Association and the American College of Surgeons, and was made an Inaugural Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2015.
Dr James Wilmott - Bsc(Hons) PhD
Dr Wilmott has worked at Melanoma Institute Australia since 2008, where he joined the BioSpecimen Banking team. He went onto complete his PhD in 2013 which was entitled "Biology and biomarkers of BRAF mutant, BRAF inhibitor treated metastatic melanoma". He has published over 30 manuscripts which have been cited over 364 times, 245 citations were in 2013 alone (H-index 13). His research interests are biomarker studies of patients treated with targeted therapies and he is currently working as the project manager for the Australian Melanoma Genome Project.
Associate Professor Sydney Ch'ng - MBBS, PhD, FRACS
Dr Sydney Ch’ng was jointly appointed to the Departments of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Head & Neck Surgery, and Surgical Oncology and Melanoma at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Cancer Centre in 2013 upon her return from post-FRACS training overseas. She is also an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney.
Dr Ch’ng received her medical degree from the University of Melbourne. She undertook General Surgery training before specialising in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. During her training, she participated in the Surgeon Scientist Programme of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and completed a PhD in the molecular biology of advanced skin cancers. Upon qualification as a Board certified Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, she undertook fellowship training in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in 2011. Her further sub-specialty training took her overseas to Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan for experience in adult facial trauma, and subsequently to Houston, Texas. She was a Microsurgery Fellow at M D Anderson Cancer Center from July 2012 – July 2013 as part of the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery fellowship programme.
Associate Professor Louise Emmett
Associate Professor Louise Emmett is Nuclear Medicine Physician with a specialty interest in the PET imaging of prostate Cancer (actually, all PET imaging). She undertook her medical undergraduate training in Auckland, New Zealand, prior to completing her specialty training in Nuclear Medicine in Sydney, and a post specialty fellowship in Toronto, Canada in 2001.
A/Prof Emmett has a strong interest in research, having completed a Doctorate of Medicine in 2012. She worked as Director of PET at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney in 2012- 2015, and has since initiated radiopharmacy production of both F18 fluoromethyl Choline and Ga68 PSMA on the St Vincent’s campus for evaluation of metastatic prostate cancer. She is heavily involved in multidisciplinary prostate cancer research in Australia, including both imaging and therapy.
Professor Gerald Fogarty - BSc, MBBS, FRANZCR
Professor Gerald Fogarty is the Director of Radiation Oncology at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. He trained at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and his PhD was titled “Advances in the Radiotherapy treatment of Skin Cancer”.
Prof Fogarty has over 70 publications and is a board member of the Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group. He is honoured to be a senior radiation oncologist with Melanoma Institute Australia and the Skin and Cancer Foundation. He is the chief investigator of an International Phase III Trial with over $2 million in funding in the radiotherapy of melanoma. He also is currently the Master of Warrane College, UNSW.
Dr Julie Howle - MBBS (Hons I), MS, FRACS, FACS
Dr Julie Howle is a surgical oncologist who operates at Westmead Hospital, Westmead Private Hospital and Mt Druitt Hospital.
She studied medicine at The University of Sydney, graduating with First Class Honours, and subsequently completed training in General Surgery and a Masters degree in Surgery. She completed two years of subspecialty training in surgical oncology at Westmead Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital, and has been a consultant surgeon at Westmead since 2008.
Her practice is centred around the management of melanoma and non melanoma skin cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, and thyroid and parathyroid disease. She is the lead clinician of the Melanoma and Sarcoma MDTs at Westmead Hospital and is involved in clinical and translational research in melanoma and Merkel Cell Carcinoma. She is also interested in surgical education, and was the Chair of the NSW Training Committee in General Surgery and a member of the Board in General Surgery from 2015-2017, and is a Clinical Senior Lecturer at The University of Sydney.
Associate Professor T. Michael D Hughes - MB BS (Hons 1), FRACS
Associate Professor Hughes is a surgical oncologist (a surgeon specialising in the management of tumours both benign and malignant) having trained as a general surgeon with subspecialty training in surgical oncology. His expertise includes the management of breast cancer as well as benign breast disease, melanoma as well as advanced and rare non-melanoma skin cancers, soft tissue tumours benign and sarcoma, salivary gland tumours and lymph node malignancy (neck, axilla and groin).
Dr Louise Jackett - MBBS, BMedSci
Dr Louise Jackett is a staff specialist with MIA and is currently based in the department of Tissue Pathology and Diagnostic Oncology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
She graduated from medicine at the University of Tasmania with first class honours in 2007 and undertook training in Anatomical Pathology in Victoria at the Alfred Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital. She obtained fellowship with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2015.
Louise was the recipient of the 2016 Jani Haenke Melanoma Pathology Fellowship at MIA. In this position she developed her skills in diagnostic melanoma pathology and hopes to contribute to the important work of the institute through new research activities.
Associate Professor Anthony Joshua
Dr Anthony Joshua completed his medical oncology training at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia before moving to Toronto, Canada at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre to complete a PhD and a clinical Fellowship. He joined the Department of Medical Oncology thereafter as a staff oncologist in late 2008, specialising in genito-urinary malignancy and melanoma with research interests in circulating tumour DNA, tumour heterogeneity, BRAF inhibitor resistance, immunotherapy and autophagy.
He returned to Australia, joining the Kinghorn Cancer Centre and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in late 2015 where is set up the Phase 1 trials unit that explores novel treatments across a number of cancers. He is currently a conjoint Associate Professor with the University of New South Wales.
Dr Rony R Kapoor - BSc (Med), MBBS, FRANZCR
Dr Rony Kapoor studied medicine at the University of NSW, graduating in 1996 with both a BSc (Med) and MBBS and completed his residency at RNSH.
Dr Kapoor under took radiology training at the Canberra Hospital and was the senior registrar at RPAH in 2005. He was a staff specialist radiologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital from 2006 to 2016. He has worked with Partner Alfred Imaging Group from 2006 and has been the Director of Radiology Mater Imaging at Mater Hospital since 2016.
Dr Kenneth Lee - MBBS FRACS
Dr Kenneth Lee is a graduate of The University of Sydney and completed his Plastic Surgery training in Adelaide. He undertook a Fellowship at the Canniesburn Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland specialising in Head and Neck Cancer Surgery and free flap reconstruction. Subsequently, he finished a clinical and research micro surgical Fellowship at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in the United States. He returned to Sydney and has been appointed as a Visiting Plastic Surgeon at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
Kenneth’s interest is in the micro surgical composite tissue reconstruction for patients following trauma and tumour excision. His other interest is in the training of Plastic Surgeons for the RACS and has been a Supervisor in Plastic Surgery Training at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for over 20 years.
Kenneth joined MIA in 2012. He is at present the Supervisor for Plastic Surgery Training in Melanoma and Surgical Oncology at MIA.
Dr Muzib Abdul Razak - MBBS, FRCSE, FRACS, MCh (Surgical Oncology)
Dr Abdul Razak is a Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon and Surgical Oncologist at Westmead Public Hospital and is a Clinical Lecturer with The University of Sydney.
Dr Abdul Razak graduated from Madras Medical College in 1995 and went to the UK to complete his FRCS from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1999. His passion for Surgical Oncology made him return to India to complete his General Surgical training (DNB-General Surgery) and pursue a career in Surgical Oncology. Dr Abdul Razak completed three more years of sub-specialty training in surgical oncology and was awarded the MCh in Surgical Oncology in 2004.
Dr Abdul Razak migrated to Australia in 2004 and was assessed by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He underwent further training and was awarded FRACS in General Surgery. During that time he spent two years as a Fellow in Department of Head & Neck surgery and Surgical Oncology at the Westmead Hospital. He is trained in major head and neck oncologic resections, thyroid and parathyroid surgery, salivary gland procedures, and advanced skin cancer including lymph node dissections. His special interests include treating patients with melanoma (including sentinel lymph node biopsies) and soft tissue tumours including sarcomas.
Dr Abdul Razak has been affiliated with MIA and is involved with the multidisciplanary team process, Biospecimen Bank and in melanoma trials. He is currently pursuing a PhD through The University of Sydney based on his research on sentinel lymph node biopsy in Head and Neck cancer.
Dr Brindha Shivalingam - MBBS, FRACS
Dr Shivalingam is a Neurosurgeon with over 10 years of experience dedicated to brain tumour surgery. She has appointments at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, The Mater Hospital and The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. She is a graduate of The University of Sydney and completed her Neurosurgical training in 2006. Her post fellowship training neuro oncology and skull base surgery was in Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, UK.
The focus of her practice lies in Neuro oncology and skull base surgery. Dr Shivalingam has a special neuro oncology and research interest in melanoma surgery and is an associate of Melanoma Institute Australia. Her skull base surgery involves close collaboration with ENT surgeons and focuses on acoustic neuroma surgery and anterior endoscopic surgery.
Her current professional memberships include Neurosurgical Society of Australasia, ANZMTG , COGNO, SNO and AMA. Through her hospital appointments, she is also actively involved in the teaching and training of medical students, junior medical officers and senior Neurosurgical registrars.
Dr Alex Varey
Dr Alex Varey is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who trained in the UK before undertaking a Poche Fellowship in Surgical Oncology at Melanoma Institute Australia in 2014-2015. Dr Varey is now a Staff Specialist at Westmead Hospital and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at The University of Sydney, where he is very involved in the management and reconstruction of surgical oncology patients.
During Dr Varey’s training in the UK, he undertook a PhD at the University of Bristol on ‘The role of endogenous antiangiogenic VEGF in cancer’, for which he received several awards and grants, including the title of ‘Hunterian Professor’ by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Currently, Dr Varey’s main research focus is on melanoma, with significant involvement in several projects. Additionally, Dr Varey is continuing to work closely with A/Prof Stretch as an Editor and Publisher of the two Melanoma Institute Australia textbooks that have been published on the iBooks platform in 2015 and 2016 and are currently being revised for second editions.
Dr Tim Wang
Dr Tim Wang graduated from the University of New South Wales in 2001. After completion of Radiation Oncology training in Australia, he undertook a clinical fellowship at Westmead Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada. He is currently appointed as a staff specialists in radiation oncology at Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre Westmead and Nepean Cancer Care Centre.
Dr Wang is currently appointed as a clinical senior lecturer for The University of Sydney, and clinical lecturer for Macquarie University. He has particular clinical interest in advanced radiation therapy technique such as stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiotherapy, and their potential synergy with systemic targeted therapy and immunotherapy.
Professor William McCarthy - AM
Professor McCarthy is Emeritus Professor of Surgery (Melanoma and Skin Oncology) at the University of Sydney. He was former Executive Director of the Sydney Melanoma Unit, and continues as a director of the Melanoma Foundation. A world leader in melanoma treatment and research, Professor McCarthy's contribution to the field was recognised in 1993 by Membership in the Order of Australia (Australia's highest community award).
Associate Professor Rachael Morton - PhD, MScMED (Clin Epi) (Hons)
A/Prof Rachael Morton is a Health Economist, specialising in within-trial and modelled economic evaluation, and elicitation of patient preferences using discrete choice experiments. She is the MIA Research Theme leader for Society, Policy and Economics. Rachael is a member of the MIA Research Committee and Executive Member of the Australian Clinical Outcomes Register for Melanoma. She is currently leading a project to embed patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) into Clinical Quality Registries.
Rachael’s research incorporates patient-centred and economic outcomes in clinical trials of diagnostic tests (such as CT and PET/CT), new treatments and models of care to facilitate policy decision-making on the basis of cost-effectiveness. Currently she is the lead health economist for several clinical trials in melanoma and other cancers, including Whole Brain Radiotherapy for brain metastases, EAGLE-FM, MEL-MART, Managing Your Risk (genomic risk in melanoma), Teledermatology, and Cannabis for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
Professor Fran Boyle - AM MBBS (QLD) FRACP PhD
Professor Boyle is a Medical Oncologist at North Sydney’s Mater Hospital, where she is Director of the Patricia Ritchie Centre for Cancer Care and Research, and Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Sydney. She is involved in the oncology teaching program of the Sydney Medical School and in communication skills training through the Pam McLean Centre.
Professor Boyle's clinical practice at the Poche Centre focuses on breast cancer and melanoma. Her current research interests include clinical trials of new cancer treatments, psychosocial and supportive care, and communication. Fran Chairs the Board of Directors of the ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group, and is a founding Director of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. She was honoured with Membership of the Order of Australia in 2008 for services to cancer research, advocacy, policy development and professional education.
Professor Diona Damian - PhD
Diona Damian is Professor of Dermatology at the University of Sydney, Clinical Academic at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Associate of the Melanoma Institute Australia. Her research focuses on the role of skin immunity and cellular energy in the causation, prevention and treatment of skin cancer. Current projects include skin cancer prevention and topical immunotherapy for recurrent melanoma.
Professor Nick Hayward - PhD
Nick is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and Senior Scientist at QIMRB, where he heads the Oncogenomics Laboratory. After graduating with a PhD from the University of Queensland in 1983 he joined QIMR and has studied the molecular genetics of melanoma for more than 30 years. He is a foundation member of the International Melanoma Genetics Consortium (GenoMEL) and the Society for Melanoma Research. His work focuses on identifying high and low penetrance melanoma predisposition genes through linkage and genome-wide association studies, positional cloning and candidate gene analysis, as well as whole-genome and exome sequencing. Additionally, a large part of his research program involves identification and characterization of somatic mutations, structural aberrations, or gene expression differences associated with melanoma development and progression.
Justine has a Bachelor of Business and has 25 years’ experience working Learning & Development and Human Resources. Her experience includes Head of Learning & Development for HSBC and HR Director with private wealth firm Ord Minnett. Justine also has experience leading high performing HR teams in the not for profit sector with a combined employee, volunteer and speaker populations of >4000. Justine heads Human Resources covering resourcing, development, performance, reward and recognition.
Jennifer has a BA Communications (Journalism) and has 25 years’ experience working in media and communications. In addition to being a radio and television journalist, her experience also includes Media Manager for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games where she managed national and international media covering the development of Homebush Bay and the staging of the ‘best Games ever’. She also has experience as a Ministerial Media Advisor and leading communications teams in the not for profit sector. Jennifer leads MIA’s communications team which covers consumer media, digital, science communications and community education.
Matthew has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants since 1990, and has performed in a variety of senior management roles for over 20 years. Matthew most recently was Chief Operating Officer & Company Secretary at Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, which was his first role within the NFP sector. Prior to this role, Matthew was a senior executive involved with the introduction of the Opal public transport ticketing system in NSW.
In Matthew’s role as CFO & Company Secretary at MIA, Matthew leads a small finance team responsible for the entire financial operations and financial reporting of MIA, including MIA’s many financial affiliations with other research institutions. As Company Secretary, Matthew provides ongoing governance and risk management support to the Board and Finance Committee and ensures MIA satisfies and complies with its various legislative requirements.
Ernie has over 30 years of experience working in IT for a wide range of industry verticals including education, mining, finance, health and not for profit. Prior to MIA, Ernie was with Royal Rehab, a not for profit health care provider, where he helped lead the technical design and fit out of their new hospital site, the implementation of their electronic patient record and also the roll out of clinical mobile devices.
Ernie has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science as well as formal project management and service management qualifications and has managed large projects with budgets in the tens of millions. Ernie is passionate about finding innovative ways to use technology in the improvement of people’s lives and is looking forward to furthering MIA’s mission by improving and integrating our various clinical, research and other related information sources.
Shannon commenced his carpentry apprenticeship when he was 15 in the construction industry. It was at this time that his interest in building/structures began. Shannon gained valuable knowledge and had a keen desire to learn more. Having completed numerous courses including a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, Shannon progressed to Facilities Management (FM). Shannon has 15 years’ experience in FM and has worked in a variety of facility environments including Commercial, Research and Health Facilities.
In his role at MIA, Shannon is responsible for the day-to-day running of the building, which includes Contractor Management, Project Management, WHS and Security, while creating and sustaining a safe and productive environment for MIA staff, visitors and patients.
Dr Erin Mullan - BSc Md FRCPC FAAD FACD
Erin is a Canadian trained dermatologist who is also certified by the American Board of Dermatologists. She has also been invited to join the Australian College of Dermatologists after completing her fellowship at the Skin Hospital in Westmead. Erin is particularly interested in the management of skin cancers and dermatological surgery, but she also enjoys medical, paediatric and cosmetic dermatology.
Dr Sarah-Jane Schramm - PhD
Sarah-Jane is a early career post doc specialising in Cancer Systems Biology and Translational
Bioinformatics. Her focus is in melanoma, however she does extend her research to other
tumor types, such as breast and colon, in order to better understand the molecular behaviour of cancers generally.
Her work involves sifting through genomic information derived directly from tumor cells. The aims are to generate new biomarkers of melanoma prognosis that can help the clinician manage the disease and identify much-needed therapeutic strategies particularly in cases where the tumor has spread.
One part of her research is to analyse entire genomes. An exciting recent development has been IMAGO: a web-based software application that supports multidisciplinary oncology teams in their clinical decision-making.
Dr Hsien Herbert Chan - BMedSci (Hons) MBBS (Hons) DPhil (Oxon) FACD
Hsien completed his medical training at the University of Western Australia in 2005. Following his junior doctor training at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, he received funding from the General Sir John Monash Foundation to complete a DPhil (PhD equivalent) in Immunology at the Weatherall Institute, University of Oxford, under the supervision of Professor Graham Ogg.
Hsien’s subsequent clinical training in dermatology was undertaken in New South Wales. His particular clinical interests include the early diagnosis and management of skin cancers and the management of inflammatory skin conditions. He is also a Visiting Research Fellow in Professor Wolfgang Weninger’s lab at the Centenary Institute, University of Sydney, where he focuses on the role of immune cell subsets in the pathogenesis of inflammatory skin disorders.
Leonie White - B APP SC (PHYSIO) MHIM
Leonie White is a physiotherapist with over 30 years experience in a wide range of settings including both public and private hospitals and private practice. In 1995 she completed training as a lymphoedema therapist and commenced working at Mt Wilga Lymphoedema Clinic gaining experience in all aspects of Complex Physical Therapy.
Leonie has over 17 years experience in lymphoedema treatment and regularly attends continuing education sessions and conferences in both Australia and overseas to update knowledge. In 2012 Leonie visited the world renowned Foeldi Klinik in Hinterzarten, Germany as well as the University Hospital in Montpellier, France to participate in further lymphedema training.
Leonie joined the PhysioOncology team at the Poche Centre in 2015. Her special areas of interest are improving patient outcomes by early intervention and the use of low level laser therapy for lymphoedema.
Dr Linda Martin - BSc(Med) MBBS(Hons) MMed FACD
Linda graduated in Medicine with first class Honours from the University of New South Wales in 2003. She undertook her dermatology training in Sydney and completed her fellowship at St John's Institute for Diseases of the Skin in London. Linda is also a Staff Specialist Paediatric Dermatologist at Sydney Children's Hospital.
Linda is interested in the early diagnosis of melanoma in high risk individuals and skin care while on targeted and immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma. Her research focuses on moles and melanoma in pregnancy. Linda is committed to educating patients about skin cancer prevention.
Jane Freeman - BSc Grad Dip Diet & Nutr, MMgt, APD
Jane Freeman is an internationally regarded Accredited Practising Dietitian, Nutritionist and IOC qualified Sports Dietitian who specialises in advising individuals on the best dietary approaches to help support their cancer treatment and other health needs. She is known for her creative diet strategies to help manage side effects including appetite, weight and bowel function challenges. She also inspires with good food ideas, is a professionally trained cook and published author of “How To Eat Well When You Have Cancer”, that was highly acclaimed by cancer patient support groups and awarded a British Medical Association book prize.
Dr Annika Smith - MBBS (Hons 1), MPHTM, FRACP, FACD
Dr Annika Smith is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists and consultant dermatologist at several private clinics, including Melanoma Institute Australia and public hospitals in Sydney.
Annika graduated from medical school with first class honours. She completed her Physician’s training in general medicine at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Royal North Shore Hospital followed by her Dermatology training at Prince of Wales Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital and the Skin and Cancer Foundation Darlinghurst. She undertook a fellowship year in medical dermatology at the prestigious St John’s Institute of Dermatology London, followed by further sub-specialty training in New York. Annika has a special interest in medical dermatology along with skin cancer diagnostics, management and prevention. She has been published in local and international dermatology journals, has presented at national and international conferences and has co-authored several book chapters in the field of dermatology.
Michelle Avramidis - BSc
Michelle Avramidis is a professional medical photographer and research scientist. She has 18 years’ experience in total body photography and sequential dermoscopic imaging for melanocytic lesions. Her research focuses on dermoscopy for diagnosis of melanoma.
Dr Amit Roshan - MBBS, FHEA, PhD, FRCS (Plast)
Amit is one of our 2017 Poche Fellows. He is a qualified plastic surgeon from Cambridge, UK. Amit was awarded his PhD from Cambridge with highest honours on keratinocyte stem cell biology and has published in Nature Cell Biology and Science. He has been awarded the Paul Brand Gold Medal and the Helen Ramaswamy Gold Medal from the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India, and is a current elected Hunterian Lecturer at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
Amit has previously held Cancer Research UK and Royal College of Surgeons of England research funding, and has an active interest in translational stem cell biology applied to skin cancers.
Dr Erica Friedman - MD MS
Erica is a board-certified general surgeon (awarded by the American Board of Surgery). She completed her training in general surgery at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine. Through the NYU School of Medicine, Erica also completed a fellowship in Breast and Soft Tissue Oncology and was awarded her Master’s of Science in Clinical Investigation. She most recently worked as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at NYU. Erica has an interest in clinical melanoma research and is one of our Poche Fellows for 2017.
Dr Peter Ferguson - MB ChB, PhD, FRCPA
Peter is a qualified anatomical pathologist from Wellington, NZ. Peter undertook his PhD studies at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research where he applied novel magnetic nanoparticles to detect early cancer spread and monitor cancer vaccines. This work earned him the Gold Medal for the best publication in biological sciences from Victoria University. Peter is delighted to be working for MIA where his main research interest is to improve the diagnosis of early melanoma using histology combined with molecular techniques.
Dr Tristan Dodds - MBBS FRCPA
Tristan is recently qualified anatomical pathologist. He undertook medical school training at The University of Sydney and has undergone postgraduate training in anatomical pathology at Royal North Shore and St Vincent's Hospitals in Sydney. Tristan has a keen interest in dermatopathology and, in particular, melanocytic pathology.
Dr Michael Rtshiladze - FRACS(Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery), MS(Transplant Surgery), MBBS, BSc(med)
Michael was a recipient of the MIA Poche Fellowship in 2016. He is an Australian trained specialist plastic and reconstructive surgeon, gaining his qualifications in February 2016. Michael completed his advanced surgical training working across a number of major teaching hospitals in Sydney, including a 6 month appointment with MIA in 2014. He has a strong interest in surgical oncology, melanoma surgery and reconstructive surgery. His current focus with regards to melanoma research is the management of melanoma in-transit metastases and the emerging role of systemic therapies in their treatment.
Helen Schmid - RN, RM, DipAppSc, DipMgt, MPH
Helen has a background in general and midwifery nursing and a Masters in Public Health from The
University of Sydney. She has previously worked in Boston and New York on HIV and AIDS clinical
trials. She joined the melanoma research group at Westmead Institute for Medical Research in 1996
with Professor Graham Mann.
Her main role is managing and co-ordinating the cancer genetic epidemiology projects for the
Melanoma Research Program at Westmead and liaising with external and international research groups such as the GenoMEL consortium.
Dr Sarah Welsh - BSc PhD MBChB MRCP (Medical Oncology)
Dr Sarah Welsh is a post-doctoral fellow in Professor Helen Rizos’ research group. She is investigating the role of the immune system in determining response and resistance to melanoma therapy. She completed her PhD at The Institute of Cancer Research in London and a post-doctoral fellowship at Arizona Cancer Center in the USA prior to completing her undergraduate medical degree at The University of Oxford. She then trained as a Medical Oncologist at The University of Cambridge (Addenbrooke’s Hospital). She has authored publications in both clinical/translational and basic research and is a co-investigator on several clinical trials. She has also developed and patented 2 anti-cancer drugs, 1 of which has successfully completed Phase 1 clinical trials.
Chitra De Silva
Chitra has worked with Professor Peter Hersey for five years on the dendritic cell vaccine project. She then joined the melanoma biospecimen team collecting, processing & cryo-preserving specimens of melanoma tissue and blood, maintaining tumour bank database, overseeing quality control and record keeping while assisting with development of specimen collection protocols. She also participates as a member of the MIA research team to conduct clinical trials and major research programs. She has made major contributions to build up and maintain the Melanoma BioSpecimen bank and worked closely with research scientists and positively contributed towards several publications.
Gayathri St. George - Bmed.Sc, MSc.Med (RHHG)
Gayathri graduated with Bachelor of Medical Science and Master of Science in Medicine from The University of Sydney. She joined the Genetic Epidemiology group in 2007 and has been involved in various cancer genetic epidemiology projects for the Melanoma Program at Westmead. Her role entails data and sample collection, database management, obtaining biological samples, tumour banking, collating and updating epidemiologic, environmental risk factor, clinical and outcome information of study participants. She is currently completing her PhD with Professor Graham Mann looking at causes of early-onset non-melanoma skin cancers.
Caroline Watts - RN, RM, BA (Hons), MPH
Caroline has recently completed a Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine) at The University of Sydney. Her research found that it was cost effective from both the perspective of the NSW health system to manage individuals considered at high risk of melanoma in a specialised clinic.
She is involved in the budget impact analysis of the High Risk Clinic. The project will provide information for how high risk patients will be identified and managed in the health care system using both public and private health system pathways.
Judith Symmons - RN
Judy is a research nurse who is responsible for coordinating the extraction, annotation and recording of patient information from state cancer registries and the National Death Index.
Varsha Tembe - PhD
Varsha works part time as a tissue bank officer and part time as a post doctoral research associate on a translational project in a melanoma laboratory. Her bio-banking role involves collection and storage of tissues and bloods from patients seen in melanoma clinics at Westmead Hospital. Her research is investigating the use of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) from plasma as a liquid biopsy.
Ms Suzanah Boyd has worked with Prof Rizos in melanoma research since 2007. She is highly skilled in mammalian cell culture and the functional analysis of oncogenic signalling pathways. Suzanah has contributed to six research publications since 2010, and is currently involved in the genetic analyses of melanoma tumours progressing on targeted therapies.
Associate Professor Anne Cust - PhD, MPH(Hons), BSc, BA
Dr Anne Cust is an epidemiologist, leading the Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research group at the School of Public Health, The University of Sydney. She receives fellowship funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Institute NSW. Her research focuses on melanoma epidemiology, prevention, early detection and survivorship, with a strong emphasis on translational outcomes. Anne is an Investigator on a Centre for Research Excellence in Melanoma with colleagues from Melanoma Institute Australia and other inter-state melanoma centres, and collaborates on several international melanoma consortia (GenoMEL, GEM, InterMEL) focussed on improving melanoma outcomes. She is also the President of the Australasian Epidemiological Association.
Ms Carina Fung has worked with Prof Rizos in melanoma research since 2009, and is highly skilled in molecular and cellular biology. Carina has contributed to six research publications since 2010, and is involved in the functional analyses of melanoma-associated tumour suppressor proteins and oncoproteins.
Dr Stuart Gallagher - PhD
Stuart is a cell biologist who has worked in melanoma research since 2004. He is working in Professor Hersey's laboratory investigating the emerging field of epigenetics, which studies how DNA is structured. His work is focusing on how epigenetics can be used to treat melanoma or make existing treatments more effective. He is an expert in melanoma cell culture, cell death mechanisms and oncogenic signalling pathways.
Maria Gonzalez - BN BA M.Hlth.Sc
Maria earned her combined Bachelor degrees in Nursing/Arts and Masters of Health Science from The University of Sydney followed by nursing positions at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in the areas of cardiology and surgical oncology. A desire to be part of a cure for cancer lead Maria to pursue a career in clinical research and a further 10 years has been spent working in clinical trials.
In her current role as Clinical Trials Manager, she leads a team of trial nurses and science graduates who are responsible for the coordination of surgical, medical and radiation clinical trials at the Poche Centre and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She currently also works on the development of adjuvant systemic therapy trial protocols investigating the use of targeted and immunotherapy treatments following and preceding complete lymph node dissection for Stage III metastatic melanoma.
Georgia Cairns - Dip App Sc. Nursing, MNurs, Grad Cert, Cert 4 Assessment and Training
Georgia has been a registered nurse since 1989. Working in multiple specialty areas across all phases of care (acute, rehabilitation and primary care) as an educator, specialist, consultant and manager. Georgia holds a Masters degree in Acute Care Nursing from The University of Technology, Sydney, graduating in 2005.
Georgia’s decision to join the Institute resulted from her interest in skin health and nursing people with an alteration to their health due to skin breakdown. Prior to joining MIA, Georgia was working as the owner/operator of a small wound care practice looking after patients with skin breakdown. In the last 5 years, Georgia worked as a nursing consultant in reconstructive plastic surgery and a medical device company with a product range associated with rapid wound healing. Georgia has previously worked as a health manager for an NGO, where she was involved in creating multiple educational resources for patients and has also been instrumental in designing multiple continence assessment tools and a booklet titled ‘solving common bowel problems for people with a spinal cord injury’ available on the CFA website.
Georgia was appointed to the role of Clinical Nurse Consultant at MIA in November 2014.
Anna Hoadley - BA, MNurs, Grad Cert (Oncology)
Anna holds a Master of Nursing from Sydney University, graduating in 2007. Anna was appointed to the role of Clinical Nurse Consultant at the Melanoma Institute Australia in November 2013.
Anna holds a Graduate Certificate in Oncology Nursing and Australian Immunisation Certification.
Working in melanoma since 2009, she has experience in both medical and surgical oncology, complex wound and drain care, vascular access and chemotherapy.
Prior to her current role, Anna worked as the Ambulatory Care RN at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Melanoma Nursing Clinic for three years. Throughout 2013, she also worked as a Clinical Facilitator for Sydney University School of Nursing and Midwifery.
Anna’s earlier studies include a Bachelor of Arts from Auckland University in European languages, literature and music.
Lydia Visintin - R.N, MCaHaemN
Lydia is a highly experienced Registered Nurse and her career in cancer nursing began in 1990 at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where she gained an enormous amount of expertise in Medical Oncology. In 2014 Lydia completed her Masters in Cancer and Haematology Nursing at the University of Sydney. During her time in Cancer Services, Lydia has gained extensive experience in both clinical and management roles.
Since 2004 Lydia has worked as a Clinical Nurse Consultant in melanoma providing support and expert nursing knowledge in the care of patients with advanced melanoma. She has comprehensive knowledge about targeted therapies and immune – oncology treatments for melanoma. Her role includes complex care coordination, support and education of patients attending various clinics, which include RPAH, The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Melanoma Institute Australia and Westmead Hospital.
Natalie Foster - BSc-Psy, BN
Natalie has worked at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney since 2007. During this time she has worked on a range of surgical wards, obtaining a valuable amount of surgical nursing experience which led to her working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Surgical Oncology.
In her current role as the Melanoma Clinical Nurse Consultant at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Natalie provides expert clinical nursing support and education to both patients and their families whilst they are in hospital and then follows up on this care in the melanoma nursing clinic outpatient department. Natalie also coordinates the postoperative management of patients with complex wound and drain care by liaising with multiple community nursing services.
Natalie is currently undertaking further studies in a Masters of Cancer and Haematology Nursing at The University of Sydney and prior to commencing her nursing career completed a Bachelor of Science-Psychology at Macquarie University.
Melanie Doyle - RN
Melanie works in the Melanoma Nursing Clinic which includes assessment and management of complex wounds and drains, co-ordinating care with community nursing services, assisting in minor surgical procedures, providing education and support to patients and their family and carers. Prior to relocating to Sydney, Melanie was nursing at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, gaining valuable experience in both acute surgical and medical nursing care.
Elizabeth Holland - BSc
Liz has worked with the Melanoma Genetics and Epidemiology Group and Professor Graham Mann
since the early 1990’s. This group is part of a comprehensive research program focused on outcomes that will improve our understanding of melanoma and identify risk factors that will translate into better prevention strategies and treatments for patients. Liz's main role involves experimental design, database and biospecimen management, whole genome and exome sequencing, liaising with external and international research groups such as the GenoMEL consortium as a founding member.
Valerie Jakrot - RN BA MCOM
Val started out as a registered nurse and then completed a Computer Science degree at The University of Sydney. Working in IT research at Westpac, Val gained a passion for research and completed a Masters of Commerce. Eight years ago, Val commenced working at MIA combining her passion for research and medicine, firstly in clinical trials working mainly on the MSLT-II surgical trial and then for the last 4 years as the Biospecimen Bank Manager. Val manages a team of research staff across the Poche Centre and RPAH, and coordinates the consenting, collection and release of specimens (both blood and tissue) for research from patients seeing clinicians at MIA.
Ms Mal Irvine has worked with Prof Rizos in melanoma research since 2006. Mal brings significant technical expertise in mammalian cell culture and co-ordinates the Tissue Culture Facilities for our team. Mal has been involved in five recent research publications and is currently working on the therapeutic efficacy of ERK inhibitors in melanoma.
Dr Peter Johansson - PhD
Peter obtained his master's degree in 2001 and PhD in 2006 in Theoretical Physics at Lund University, Sweden. In his thesis he developed new algorithms for ‘omics’ data as well as used machine learning methods to dissect the molecular architecture of cancers such as melanoma and breast cancer. In 2007 he received an NCI Cancer Research Training Award and joined the Pediatric Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute within the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Peter has spent more than 10 years writing scientific software and analysing biological data. He has extensive experience with building statistical models to distil large ‘omics’ data sets and identify variations of interest. In 2012 he joined the Oncogenomics Laboratory at QIMR Berghofer where he has set up an analysis pipeline for whole-genome and exome sequencing data as well as developed novel tools for identification of structural variants, DNA copy number aberrations and allelic imbalances.
Dr Teresa Lee - PhD
Dr Teresa Lee is a physiotherapist who specialises in lymphoedema and musculoskeletal problems related to cancer care. She attained a PhD in physiotherapy rehabilitation of breast cancer patients in 2008. She is a Research Associate at The University of Sydney. She started the Lymphoedema Clinic at the Sydney Melanoma Unit in 2008 and was the NSW representative for the Australasian Lymphology Association 2012 - 2014.
Her clinical interest includes the use of bioimpedance to assess limb extracellular fluid impedance ratios before and after surgery and/or radiotherapy. Her aim is to improve the management of patients at risk of, or who have, lymphoedema secondary to melanoma treatment. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at oncology and physiotherapy conferences worldwide. She is an investigator in a number of Clinical Trials underway at the Melanoma Institute Australia.
Dr Serigne Lo - PhD
Dr Serigne Lo is a Senior Statistician and Senior Research Fellow in Biostatistics at the University of Sydney. He manages the R&BG and provides leadership in the conduct of cutting edge biostatistical methods and support across the institute. Prior to joining the MIA in February 2015, Dr Lo has accumulated 14 years of teaching/research experience including 8 years as biostatistician at the George Institute for Global Health – Australia.
Dr Lo has a strong background in quantitative analysis. He holds a Master in Econometrics (2002) and a PhD in Statistics/Econometrics from the University of Geneva (2006). He has worked across numerous disease areas and has been responsible for the design, the analysis and the reporting of health and medical studies for academic, drug regulatory agencies and government agencies. Dr Lo is interested in the development of new statistical methods. His personal research includes: Clinical trials, Adaptive design, Multistate modelling, and Joint-modelling.
Dr Lo is acting as Secretary on the MIA Research Committee, fielding project requests on the Melanoma Research Database (MRD), and is administering the review process.
Dr Elizabeth Liniker - MBBS BSc
Elizabeth was a recipient of the Medical Oncology Fellowship at MIA from 2014 to 2016 and is currently a part-time medical oncology fellow. She completed her medical training at the Royal Free and University College Medical School in 2007. Elizabeth completed two years of medical oncology training at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, UK. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Tumour Biology and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge.
Carol Morris - M Phty BSc Dip Sports Therapy
Carol Morris is a musculoskeletal physiotherapist who developed an interest in lymphoedema whilst working in the UK. After completing lymphoedema training in Austria, she continued treating patients both in the private and post-mastectomy hospital setting. Returning to Australia in 2007, Carol went on to complete her Masters of Physiotherapy. She also worked as a research assistant with the Breast Cancer Research Group at The University of Sydney and started working with Dr Teresa Lee at the Lymphoedema Clinic at Melanoma Institute Australia in 2012.
Carol's clinical interests include the effects of exercise and an active lifestyle on the affected limb after node removal surgeries and radiotherapy. Also working as a Sports Physiotherapist, Carol aims to provide patients with an integrated lymphoedema management approach to return patients to their pre-cancer activity levels.
Jane Palmer - RN
Jane is a research nurse with a career-long interest in melanoma who acts as the participant liaison. Her main role consists of recruiting participants, obtaining biological samples, and collating and updating genotype, epidemiologic, environmental risk factor, clinical and outcome information of study participants.
Svetlana Pianova - MSc
Svetlana has extensive experience in electron microscopy before she joined the Melanoma team at
Westmead. Svetlana has worked with the Melanoma Genetics and Epidemiology Group and Professor Graham Mann since 2009. This group is part of a comprehensive research program focused on outcomes that will improve our understanding of melanoma and identify risk factors that will translate into better prevention strategies and treatments for patients.
Svetlana's main role involves biospecimen management, biospecimen database management, whole genome and exome sequencing, DNA and RNA extractions for tumour and bloods and liasing with external researchers in genome projects.
Dr Antonia Pritchard - PhD, BMedSc
Antonia completed a BMedSc degree, followed by a PhD in genetics at Birmingham University, UK, before moving to Brisbane in 2005. Dr Pritchard's current research interests include tumour immunology and melanoma immunotherapy, in particular, the development of a new method to identify tumour specific vaccine and/or drug targets. Additionally, Dr Pritchard has continued her interest in genetics, to include familial susceptibility to melanoma, rare familial disorders and tumour genetics.
Dr Gullietta Pupo - PhD
Gulietta is part of the Melanoma Genetic and Epidemiology Group led by Professor Graham Mann. This group is part of a comprehensive research program focused on outcomes that will improve our understanding of melanoma and identify risk factors that will translate into better prevention strategies and treatments for patients.
Gulietta is involved in the genetic analyses of melanoma tumours progressing on targeted therapies, exploring biomarkers of response and resistance to targeted therapy, and exploring prognostic biomarkers in metastatic melanoma.
She has extensive experience with gene expression microarrays, DNA whole genome and exome sequencing, RNA sequencing, nanostring technologies and genome linkage analysis.
Freelance database developer since 1997 specialising in the FileMaker platform Database development on the Westmead campus since 1997. Ongoing development and support for the Cancer Genetic Epidemiology group, Storr Liver Unit, LECRR and Gynaecological Cancer.
Current clients at Westmead hospital include: Anaesthesia, Westmead Fertility, Gastroenterology and Dermatology departments.