Keynote and Invited Speakers

We are very proud to announce our confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Professor Carlos Caldas

Carlos Photo croppedProfessor Caldas holds the Chair of Cancer Medicine at the University of Cambridge since 2002. He heads the Breast Cancer Functional Genomics Laboratory at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. He is an Honorary Consultant Medical Oncologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Lead of the Cambridge Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, Co-Lead of the Cancer Theme at the NIHR Cambridge BRC and Director of the Cambridge Breast Cancer Research Unit. He is Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Pathologists and the Society of Biology. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Medical Sciences in 2004 and a Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences in 2010. He was selected as an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2012. He was elected as an EMBO Member in May 2015.

His research focus is in the functional genomics of breast cancer and its biological and clinical implications. He has published over 300 papers. His laboratory recently completed the analysis of the largest genomic and transcriptomic study of breast cancers and redefined the molecular taxonomy of the disease, revealing novel subtypes and their respective drivers [Curtis et al, Nature 2012, Dawson et al, EMBO J 2013], and subsequently robustly validated this new breast cancer molecular taxonomy [Ali et al, Genome Biology 2014].


Professor Caroline Dive

photo crppedProfessor Caroline Dive, BPharm., PhD., FMedSci is internationally renowned for advancing circulating biomarker research, with a strong focus on circulating tumour cells (CTCs), particularly in lung cancer. She is the deputy director of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute where she leads the world-class Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology group (60 staff), coordinating activities of scientists, bioinformaticians and clinicians. She has transformed the field of biomarker research and early clinical trial activities in the UK. She developed unique xenotransplantation models using CTCs enriched from small cell lung cancer patients’ blood samples, providing a fully tractable system for therapy testing and understanding drug resistance mechanisms, a landmark development in the field. Within CRUK-funded TRACERx consortium, she directs the CTC analysis within the consortium and is developing the first NSCLC CTC Biobank worldwide. Dive has received recognition in terms of international prizes, most notably the CRUK Translational Research Prize in 2011 and the Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier International Prize in 2012 for minimally invasive biomarkers to aid management of cancer patients. She is chairman of the British Association for Cancer Research. She was made a Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences in 2011, a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society in 2012 and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015.


Professor Colleen McBride

Colleen McBride cropped1

Dr. Colleen McBride is the Grace Crum Rollins Professor and Chair of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. McBride is a behavioral epidemiologist and an expert in the development and evaluation of behavior change interventions for public health settings aimed to prevent cancer and chronic disease. Her research has focused on motivation to reduce risk behaviors from tobacco cessation to safe sex behaviors and most recently to use of appropriate footwear in rural Ethiopia. Over the past two decades she has conducted rigorous research to evaluate applications of genomic discovery to improve the effectiveness of behavioral interventions. Most of this research has been conducted in primary care and community clinics and considered the “real world” care delivery challenges present in these settings. She has over 150 publications and numerous invited editorials and book chapters.


Invited Speakers

Professor Minoti Apte, UNSW Australia

Prof Minoti Apte photo_croppedProfessor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales; Director, Pancreatic Research Group, South Western Sydney Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales. Editor-in-Chief, Pancreatology.

Professor Apte is internationally acknowledged as a leading researcher in the fields of alcohol-induced pancreatic injury, pancreatic fibrogenesis and stromal-tumour interactions in pancreatic cancer. She was the first in the world to develop a method to isolate and culture pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs), a technique which provided a much needed research tool for studying the pathogenesis of pancreatic fibrosis, For the past 15 years, the Pancreatic Research Group has been at the forefront of studies on the biology of PSCs and their critical roles in chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Professor Apte’s publications have received over 4000 citations and she is regularly invited to speak at national and international scientific meetings. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Pancreatology and serves on the Editorial Boards of several prominent gastroenterology journals.

Professor Leslie Burnett, The University of Sydney

Prof Leslie Burnett photo_croppedProfessor Leslie Burnett is Staff Specialist in Genetic Pathology at SEALS Genetics, Prince of Wales Hospital Randwick and Medical Director at the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
Dr Burnett holds qualifications in Medicine, Science, Information Technology and Management. His current interests are in the areas of genomic pathology, genetic biochemistry, genetic screening in at-risk communities, and bioinformatic modelling of population genetics and cell biology processes.
Leslie pioneered the development of a number of pathology and genetics initiatives, including founding Australia’s first Community Genetics program, which today have become mainstream healthcare programs. He has served as Ministerial appointee, Chairman, or President of a number of National and International roles in pathology and genetics.
Professor Burnett is Honorary Professor in Pathology and Genetic Medicine in the Sydney Medical School, Conjoint Professor in the School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Australia, and Honorary Associate of the School of Information Technologies, at the University of Sydney. He has authored more than 100 publications.

Professor Phyllis Butow, The University of Sydney

Prof Phyllis Butow photo_croppedProfessor Phyllis Butow (BA(Hons), MPH, MClinPsych, PhD) is Professor, and NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney. She is Chair of the Australian Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG) and a co-director of the Centre for Medical Psychology and Evidence-based Decision-making (CeMPED). Prof Butow has worked for over 20 years in the areas of doctor-patient communication and Psycho-Oncology. She has won many awards, including the International Psycho-Oncology Society Bernard Fox award for outstanding contribution to Psycho-Oncology research in 2009 and the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia Tom Reeve award for outstanding contribution to cancer care in 2011, and was named NSW Cancer Researcher of the year in 2012. Prof Butow has conducted a large body of research on patient and family support, patient involvement in cancer consultations and decision-making, and disparities in outcomes and needs of immigrants with cancer.

A/Professor Phillip Darcy, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Phillip Darcy photo_croppedA/Professor Phillip Darcy is currently a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Group Leader at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. His work has focused on developing novel T cell based immunotherapy approaches for cancer in preclinical mouse models and translating this into patients. His most recent studies have involved the development of combination immune based therapies which is showing tremendous promise. Phil has received project support from numerous national and international funding bodies to support his work and has published his work in premier cancer journals.

Professor Elizabeth Eakin Price, The University of Queensland

Elizabeth Eakin Price photo_croppedProfessor Eakin is Head of the Division of Disease Prevention and Control and Director of the Cancer Prevention Research Centre in the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland and a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. She is a behavioural scientist with extensive experience in the conduct of randomised controlled trials of interventions to promote healthy lifestyles among cancer survivors. Her most recent work is focused on how we can translate this evidence into the routine care of cancer survivors.

Dr Stacey Edwards, QIMR Medical Research Institute

Stacey Edwards photo_croppedDr Stacey Edwards is Head of the Functional Cancer Genomics Laboratory at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. She received her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Queensland (UQ). Her postdoctoral training was carried out at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre in London, funded by an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship. She returned to UQ in 2010 and was awarded a National Breast Cancer Foundation Early Career Fellowship to identify new mutation targets in breast cancer susceptibility genes. She was recruited to QIMR Berghofer in 2013, where the principal focus of her research program is to understand how genetic variation contributes to breast cancer risk and progression.

Dr Luke Hesson, UNSW Australia

Luke Hesson photo_croppedDr Luke Hesson is a Senior Lecturer at UNSW Australia and leads the Colorectal Cancer group at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre, specialising in bowel cancers and their precursor lesions. He has published over 50 papers describing the genetic and epigenetic basis of sporadic and hereditary cancers. Over a six year period his group has collected the world’s largest biobank of large preinvasive lesions of the colorectum (adenomas).

Professor Hubert Hondermarck, The University of Newcastle

Hubert Hondermarck photoProfessor Hubert Hondermarck is a biochemist specialised in cancer neurobiology. He received a PhD in neurobiochemistry from the University of Lille in France and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California Irvine where he worked on neuronal cell signaling. He was first to discover the role of neurotrophic growth factors in breast tumours and was head a cancer research unit of the French National Institute of Health for 10 years. In 2011 he moved to the University of Newcastle to start a new laboratory dedicated to the study of the crosstalk between nerves and cancer cells in the tumour microenvironment. This research aims at defining the role of the nervous system and related molecules in cancer and translating it into innovative new strategies for cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.

Professor Ricky Johnstone, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Ricky Johnstone photo_croppedProfessor Phyllis Butow (BA(Hons), MPH, MClinPsych, PhD) is Professor, and NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney. She is Chair of the Australian Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG) and a co-director of the Centre for Medical Psychology and Evidence-based Decision-making (CeMPED). Prof Butow has worked for over 20 years in the areas of doctor-patient communication and Psycho-Oncology. She has won many awards, including the International Psycho-Oncology Society Bernard Fox award for outstanding contribution to Psycho-Oncology research in 2009 and the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia Tom Reeve award for outstanding contribution to cancer care in 2011, and was named NSW Cancer Researcher of the year in 2012. Prof Butow has conducted a large body of research on patient and family support, patient involvement in cancer consultations and decision-making, and disparities in outcomes and needs of immigrants with cancer.

Professor Paul Keall, The University of Sydney

Paul Keall photo_croppedPaul Keall is a Professor in the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney and an NHMRC Senior Professorial Research Fellow. He graduated with his B.Sc. from the University of Waikato, and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide. His career has taken him to positions at Queensland University of Technology, Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to his current role, he was the Director of the Radiation Physics Division at Stanford University.

At the University of Sydney Prof. Keall and his team of 20 scientists have the mission to create, share and apply novel cancer imaging and targeted radiotherapy methods that improve human health. His team have achieved significant bench-to-bedside clinical translational milestones in 4D imaging, real-time tumour position localisation, real-time adaptive radiotherapy, CT ventilation imaging and audiovisual biofeedback. Additional programs include the research and development of the Australian MRI-Linear accelerator, and the Nano-X cancer radiotherapy system.

Prof. Keall’s research is funded by over $10M of competitive government grant funding. The scientific work has resulted in over 250 articles with a high number of citations (h-index 45). He is regularly invited to speak at large international meetings. The cutting edge technological nature of the research has resulted in a number of patents, licenses and industrial engagement, including founding two companies.

Prof. Keall is engaged professionally in several roles within the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the American Society for Radiation Oncology. Outside of work, he enjoys time with his family, and all forms of sport.

Dr Peter Kelly, The University of Wollongong

Peter Kelly photo_croppedDr. Pete Kelly is a Senior Lecturer and clinical psychologist based in the School of Psychology at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Dr Kelly holds a number of research grants that focus on the development and implementation of behavioural interventions to improve health outcomes for people living with severe mental illness or substance abuse problems. He was previously the recipient of the Excellence in Research award at the Australian National Drug and Alcohol Awards and was a Cancer Institute NSW Early Career Research Fellow.

Professor Costas Koumenis , The University of Pennsylvania

Costas Koumenis photo_croppedDr. Koumenis is a Professor of Radiation Oncology, Research Division Director and Vice-Chair in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Dr. Koumenis’ research goals are twofold: (a) To understand the molecular mechanisms that promote adaptation of tumor cells to stresses present in the tumor microenvironment that ultimately leads to tumor aggressiveness and metastasis, and (b) To target cell signaling pathways responsible for tumor radioresistance using small molecule inhibitors and gene therapy-based approaches. His research has been continuously funded by the National Cancer Institute since 2001, and he has published extensively in the above mentioned fields. Dr. Koumenis has been the co-Leader of the Radiobiology and Imaging Program at the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn since 2009.

Dr. Koumenis received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Houston, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Cancer Biology at Stanford University. Prior to moving to the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Koumenis was an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Biology and Neurosurgery at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina, USA.

A/Prof Guillaume Lessene, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

photo and bio coming soon…

Professor Graham Mann, University of Sydney

Photo and biography coming soon…

Professor Jennifer Martin, The University of Newcastle

Prof Jenny Martin photo_CroppedProfessor Jennifer (Jenny) Martin is the Chair of Clinical Pharmacology at School of Medicine and Public Health at The University of Newcastle, and is a Conjoint Senior Specialist in Internal Medicine at Calvary Mater Hospital in Newcastle. She was previously Head of the Princess Alexandra Hospital Southside Clinical School, and is a dual trained clinical pharmacologist and practicing general physician.

Jenny has studied politics and health economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and has used this experience to serve on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, the Economic Subcommittee of the PBAC and other Government and Statewide committees examining appropriate allocation, regulation, safety and efficacy in pharmaceuticals. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors). Her PhD (Monash) examined innate immunity in Type 2 diabetes and subsequent postdoctoral work at the Walter and Eliza Hall focused on the function of macrophages in diabetes. Her recent research is in the area of clinical development of both novel and old drugs in cancer, and in using therapeutic drug monitoring to better predict phenotype in cancer drug response.

Professor Peter O’Leary, Curtin University

Peter O'Leary photo_croppedProfessor Peter O’Leary leads a research program in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University. His early career in clinical biochemistry led to interests in both population genetic screening and health policy. In 2001, he was appointed as the inaugural Director of the Office of Population Health Genomics in the West Australian Department of Health where he managed the development of policies on prenatal and newborn screening as well as cancer genetics and biobanking. In 2011, he joined Curtin University where is supported by the Cancer Council of WA Capacity Building and Collaboration Grant to investigate the application of genetics to integrate personalised genomics into risk stratification models to screen for bowel cancer.

A/Professor Geraldine O’Neill , The University of Sydney

Geraldine O'Neill photo_croppedA/Professor Geraldine O’Neill is Group Leader in the Children’s Cancer Research Unit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Conjoint Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. She has an internationally recognized program of research on cancer cell migration and invasion. Her work has attracted funding from NHMRC, ARC and NSW Cancer Council and the value of her research to the community is recognized by substantial support from philanthropic organizations. Her awards include an NHMRC Howard Florey post-doctoral fellowship, the inaugural NSW Cancer Council Career Development Fellowship, a NSW/ACT Australian Institute of Policy and Science Young Tall Poppy award and awards for excellence in student supervision. Her research aims to demonstrate how cells coordinate the dynamics of focal adhesions and actin filaments which respectively form the “wheels and chassis” that drive the spread of cancer cells.

Dr Marina Paijic, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Marina Pajic photoDr Pajic has extensive expertise (>13 years) in the pre-clinical testing arena and generation of in vivo models of cancer, further nurtured during her PhD studies (Children’s Cancer Institute Australia, UNSW) and subsequent post doc (Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam). Dr Pajic is a CINSW research fellow and is also supported by project grant funding from the NHMRC, Cancer Australia, The Avner Nahmani Pancreatic Cancer Foundation and CCNSW.

Professor Marie Ranson, University of Wollongong

Prof Marie Ranson photo_croppedProfessor Marie Ranson (PhD, University of Sydney, 1990) is a tenured Teaching and Research Academic at the University of Wollongong. She has has made major and internationally recognised contributions to the field of the urokinase plasminogen activation system in cancer invasion and metastasis and she leads several cancer drug discovery/development projects related, but not limited, to this field. Prof Ranson has published over 75 peer-reviewed journal articles, attracted several national competitive grants totalling over $10,000,000, and has been granted patents in her drug development portfolio. In particular, she led the preclinical development of chemotherapy agent Deflexifol, which has been licenced to FivePhusion Pty Ltd who are completing Phase 1 human trials. Prof Ranson is also the Illawarra area lead and CI of the CINSW-funded CONCERT Translational Cancer Research Centre to build research capacity in targeted therapies and is a member of a number of professional societies and committees including the Federal Government’s Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee (GTTAC).

Professor Helen Rizos, Macquarie University

photo and bio coming soon…

Professor Pam Russell, Queensland University of Technology
APCRC Staff Profiles

APCRC Staff Profiles

Professor Pam Russell currently works in the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Qld, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation , Queensland University of Technology, within the Translational Research Centre, Qld. She initiated cyclophosphamide therapy for autoimmune disease and is internationally recognized for generating urological cancer models for study. She directed the Oncology Research Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney for 17 years, has published over 200 papers, patents, procured $35M in grants and mentored postgraduates and 31 postdoctoral fellows. Discoveries include antibodies to diagnose and image prostate cancer, now being further developed by Minomic International Ltd and the subject of an NHMRC Discovery grant, as well as innovative targeted gene therapy for prostate cancer. Current work focuses on the use of theranostics for diagnosis, imaging and therapy of prostate, and on studies of bony metastases from prostate cancer. Prof Russell is regularly invited to collaborate, present worldwide, contribute book chapters, edit specialist journals, review and join global scientific committees; she also founded the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australian, interacting with public groups and was an inaugural director. She was a Director/Secretary of the Australian and New Zealand Urological and Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Group, Ltd (ANZUP), and now on their Scientific Advisory Committee.

She was a member of the scientific committee for Movember Global Action Plan and now a member of their Research Advisory Committee. In 2015, she was awarded Women in Technology Life Sciences Outstanding Achievement Award, University of Canberra Alumni Excellence Award in Health and made a Fellow, Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science, Ltd. Other awards include Member of the Order of Australia (AM), 2003, for contributions to bladder and prostate cancer. She regularly presents to the media (radio and TV) and to prostate cancer support groups.

Laureate Professor Rob Sanson-Fisher, The University of Newcastle

Rob Sanson Fisher photo_croppedLaureate Professor Rob Sanson-Fisher AO is Director of the Health Behaviour Research Group at the University of Newcastle, Australia and is internationally recognised as a leader in his field. He has published more than 460 peer review research papers (H Index = 51) and obtained numerous research grants, including 30 NHMRC grants, with a combined value of more than $30 million. L/Prof Sanson-Fisher is committed to improving outcomes for disadvantaged populations, completing the largest Australian trial in smoking cessation for pregnant Aboriginal women. The Supportive Care Needs Survey altered the way outcomes for cancer patients are perceived. Ground-breaking work led to international adoption of guidelines for breaking bad news. His current research interests include exploring health care provider behaviour and adoption of best evidence practice, and the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions to improve health outcomes for vulnerable population groups.

Dr Darren Saunders, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Darren Saunders photo_croppedDr Darren Saunders is a cancer biologist at the University of NSW and visiting fellow at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Garvan Institute. Dr Saunders was a founding member and deputy chair of the Australian Academy of Science Early-Mid Career Researcher Forum. He was awarded an Australian Leadership Award, and NSW Life Scientist Research Award and has held fellowships from the US Dept. of Defense and Cancer Institute NSW. Darren’s research is focused on proteostasis and metabolic reprogramming in cancer and neurodegeneration, and developing creative technology-based approaches to visualizing and communicating complex data. His work integrates various platforms to better understand genotype-phenotype relationships including proteomics, genomics, and metabolomics, and he has developed novel platforms for exploring interactome diversity in cell signalling.

Dr Jacqueline Savard, The University of Sydney

Jacqueline Savard photo_croppedJacqueline Savard is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM), the University of Sydney. Her research interests include the ethics of new genetic technologies, particularly direct-to-consumer personal genome testing, whole genome/exome sequencing in the clinical and commercial domains and the use and impact of genetic information in daily life. She is currently working as part of an international team on an Australian Research Council funded study of the Australian public’s understanding and perception of personal genomics.

A/Professor Penny Schofield, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Penny Schofield photo_croppedProfessor Penny Schofield, Professor of Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, Swinburne University of Technology and Honorary Principle Research Fellow, Department of Cancer Experiences Research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

I have extensive experience in behavioural, psycho-social, quality of life and supportive care research in cancer, particularly randomised controlled trials. My current research focus is to assess and improve the quality of life and other patient reported outcomes of patients undergoing and completing cancer treatment via the development and testing of evidence-based psycho-educational interventions that can be readily adopted into clinical practice.

A/Prof Kerry Sherman , Macquarie University

Staff Portraits, Psychology

Associate Professor Kerry Sherman, Associate Professor of Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University and Consultant Researcher at the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute.

Her research is concerned with the psychological and social aspects of the cancer experience, with a focus on the development and evaluation through randomised controlled trials of interventions designed to minimise distress and enhance wellbeing in individuals affected with cancer. Recent research projects include the development and evaluation of web-based interventions to facilitate surgical decision making in breast cancer patients, including women undergoing preventive mastectomy, and to address long-term body image concerns. A particular interest is to investigate whether the adoption of a self-compassionate approach can assist women with breast cancer manage ongoing psychological concerns in survivorship.

Dr Claire Wakefield, UNSW Australia

Claire Wakefield photo_croppedAssociate Professor Claire Wakefield is a Senior Researcher at the University of NSW and leads the Behavioural Sciences Unit in the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Australia. A/Prof Wakefield’s research aims to delineate how best to meet the needs of families affected by paediatric and adolescent cancer. Her focus is on developing strategies to prevent poor mental health outcomes in vulnerable groups using evidence-based interventions and novel technology. A/Prof Wakefield has been instrumental in leading several bi-national intervention studies. She has a particular interest in the psychological implications of cancer genetics in paediatric oncology. A/Prof Wakefield holds several key leadership roles, including being Deputy Chair of the Paediatrics Special Interest Group for the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS). She was also the founding Chair of the IPOS Early Career Professionals Committee. A/Prof Wakefield has been named as Chief Investigator on grants worth more than $11M and has more than 75 publications.

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Key Dates

Conference Dates:
22-23 September 2016
Abstracts Open:
1 March 2016
Abstracts Close:
1 May 2016
Early Bird Registration Close
9 July 2016

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