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 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.
Matthew has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountant’s in Australia since 1990, having graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Economics. Matthew has had extensive senior executive experience within the corporate and government sectors and has over five years’ experience in the not-for-profit medical sector. Prior to joining Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), Matthew was Chief Operating Officer and then Acting Chief Executive Officer of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, founded by Professor Charlie Teo. Matthew commenced with MIA in early 2017 as Chief Financial Officer & Company Secretary before moving into the role of Chief Executive Officer following the retirement of MIA’s inaugural CEO in April 2018.
Professor Georgina Long - BSc, PhD, MBBS, FRACP
Professor Georgina Long is Co-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. She 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 Premiers Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research. In 2018, she was awarded the Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year, 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. She is the author of over 180 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 130 occasions. She is President for the prestigious international Society for Melanoma Research (President from 2018), is member (2015-2017) and Chair (2016) of the ASCO Scientific Committee for Melanoma/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 her Executive Assistant at EAlong@melanoma.org.au
Professor Richard Scolyer - BMedSci, MBBS, MD, FRCPA, FRCPath, FAHMS
Professor Richard Scolyer is Co-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
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
Professor Scolyer is 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/
Professor Scolyer is Immediate Past President of the Australasian Division of the International Academy of Pathology. Together with other MIA colleagues, he is
To get in touch with Professor Richard Scolyer, please email Kara
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 and breast cancer. Andrew is a senior VMO surgeon at the Mater North Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital and North Shore Private Hospitals. Andrew is a Faculty Member of Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and chair of the Clinical Committee at MIA and a member of the Executive of the Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group (ANZMTG). He is immediate past President of Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand Inc. (BreastSurgANZ), a member of the Breast Cancer Trials (formerly ANZBCTG) Scientific Advisory Committee and BCT Breast Surgery Craft Group Lead, as well as Breast sub-editor for the ANZ Journal of Surgery, skin oncology editorial board member of Annals of Surgical Oncology and the Journal of Surgical Oncology and founding co-director of the University of Sydney’s Graduate Certificate in Breast Surgery.
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 heavily involved in clinical and translational research on aspects of melanoma and breast cancer. He is one of the leaders on the international primary melanoma width of margins study MelMART-2 that aims to determine the most appropriate surgical margins to maximise health outcomes whilst minimising morbidity. He is CIA for the EAGLE FM clinical trial, which aims to define the appropriate management of metastatic melanoma in the groin lymph nodes. He is a lead author and committee member for the new Cancer Council Australia Melanoma Guidelines. He has authored around 130 peer reviewed publications and co-authored 4 book chapters. He lectures and teaches junior doctors and students at the University of Sydney Northern Clinical School.
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 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 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.
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.
Associate Professor Alex Menzies - BSc(Med) MBBS (Hons) FRACP PhD
Alexander Menzies is a Medical Oncologist and Associate Professor of Melanoma Medical Oncology at Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), The University of Sydney, and Royal North Shore and Mater Hospitals.
He received his PhD in 2015 for research exploring the biology of BRAF-mutant melanoma and biomarkers of response and resistance to targeted therapy, and has an impressive track record for clinical and translational research for this early stage in his career. Since 2009 he has been an investigator on over 80 sponsored and investigator-led Phase I to III clinical trials of systemic therapies in melanoma, and in the last 5 years has over 85 publications with more than 2000 citations in journals such as Nature, Lancet Oncology, Nature Communications, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Oncology and Clinical Cancer Research.
Alexander conducts several investigator-led and sponsored clinical trials, manages the medical oncology clinical and biospecimen databases at MIA that underpin clinical and translational research, and serves as a faculty member and research committee member at MIA. He has co-established an international clinical research collaboration network between several major Australian, USA and European melanoma centres providing opportunities for junior research staff leading to high impact original research publications, and is a founding member of the international neoadjuvant melanoma consortium (INMC).
His main research interests are clinical trials of new systemic therapies for melanoma, biomarkers of response and resistance to systemic therapy, and immunotherapy-related toxicity.
Associate Professor 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.
Dr Iris Bartula
Dr Iris Bartula is a Senior Lecturer at University of Sydney. She is a head of psychosocial research at Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), where she is leading the Support and Survivorship research theme. Dr Bartula is passionate about improving quality of life of melanoma patients, as well as integrating psychosocial support into a routine medical practice. To this end, she is leading the research at MIA that will: (1) create and disseminate knowledge; (2) translate the evidence; and (3) increase the capacity of psychological research at MIA.
Dr Bartula obtained Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) degree in 2003 from University of Sydney. She then practiced as a psychologist in a large state government department until 2011, when she returned to university to obtain her postgraduate degree. Dr Bartula completed Doctorate of Clinical Psychology / Masters of Philosophy at Macquarie University in 2015. Her research focused on the assessment of sexual dysfunction in women diagnosed with breast cancer. She was awarded Australian Psychological Society Clinical Psychologists Student Prize in 2016.
Dr Bartula is passionate about researching issues affecting people diagnosed with melanoma across their cancer journey – from diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, palliative care and end of life. In particular, her research interests include:
- Assessment of psychosocial functioning and quality of life
- Interventions targeting distress and psychological disorders
- Assessment and interventions implementation into routine practice
- Addressing the needs of oncology professionals
- Assessing quality of life impacts of medical treatments
Bartula, I., & Sherman, K. A. (2013). Screening for sexual dysfunction in women diagnosed with breast cancer: systematic review and recommendations. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 141(2), 173-185. doi:10.1007/s10549-013-2685-9
Bartula, I., & Sherman, K. A. (2015a). Development and validation of the Female Sexual Functioning Index adaptation for breast cancer patients (FSFI-BC). Breast Cancer Res Treat, 152, 477-488.
Bartula, I., & Sherman, K. A. (2015b). The Female Sexual Functioning Index (FSFI): evaluation of acceptability, reliability, and validity in women with breast cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer, 23(9), 2633-2641. doi:10.1007/s00520-015-2623-y
Dr Gideon Sandler
Dr Gideon Sandler is a Consultant Adult and Paediatric Head & Neck Surgeon and Surgical Oncologist at Westmead Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Westmead Private Hospital and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Sydney. He commenced specialist practice in 2017.
Dr Sandler achieved his medical degree with first class honours through the University of New South Wales in 2002. He went on to complete Adult and Paediatric General Surgical Fellowships through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. During this time, he completed a Master of Surgery and Diploma of Child Health through the University of Sydney. Following this he spent a year training in Adult Surgical Oncology and Head & Neck Surgery at Westmead Hospital in Sydney. Finally, Dr Sandler travelled Houston, Texas for a year’s training in Paediatric and Adult Surgical Oncology and Head & Neck Surgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Texas Children’s Hospital - two of the most renowned cancer centres in the world.
Dr Sandler is one of only a handful of surgeons who are fully engaged in the surgical treatment of cancer in both adults and children. He treats melanoma and advanced non-melanoma skin cancer, including sentinel lymph node biopsy and lymph node dissection. He is also trained in major oncological resections of the head & neck, thyroid and parathyroid tumours, salivary gland tumours, extremity and retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcoma, and solid organ malignancies of childhood.
Dr Sandler is actively engaged in the Melanoma Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) meetings at Westmead Hospital and the Melanoma Institute of Australia, the Head & Neck Cancer MDT at Westmead Hospital and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, the Sarcoma and Thyroid MDT at Westmead Hospital and the Paediatric Solid Organ Malignancy MDT at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
Dr Sandler has published and presented his research nationally and internationally. He has authored numerous scientific publications and book chapters in adult and paediatric cancer. He is engaged in ongoing research as part of a number of international teams, and is currently involved in supervising and writing the American College of Surgeons guidelines for operative cancer treatment in children.
Dr Sandler is passionate about patient-centred care, good functional outcomes and quality of life. He is a keen recreational pilot, ocean swimmer and surfer, and a poor guitarist. His greatest joy is to spend time with his wife and children which he does every chance he gets.
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.
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.
Dr Robert Rawson - MBBS (Hons), B.Com, FRCPA
Dr Robert Rawson is a medical graduate of the Australian National University and commenced his training in Pathology in 2011. He was based primarily at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney with rotations to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and St George Hospital before completing his Fellowship with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2016. He was appointed the Cameron Pathology Fellow at the Melanoma Institute of Australia and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for 2016. He took up a position as staff specialist at Royal Darwin Hospital before returning to Royal Prince Alfred in 2018.
His primary interests include dermatopathology, particularly melanocytic pathology, and gynaecological pathology.
He is involved in numerous research collaborations within the Melanoma Institute Australia Translational Research Group at Sydney University and was the winner of the Premier’s Award for Outstanding Cancer Research in 2016. He is also committed to medical education of pathology registrars and medical students.
Rob spends his spare time as a volunteer surf lifesaver and on the triathlon course, where he watches Professor Scolyer disappearing in the distance ahead of him.
Dr Peter Ferguson - MB ChB, PhD, FRCPA
Dr Peter Ferguson received his medical training at the University of Otago and worked as a junior doctor in Dunedin, Masterton and Wellington, New Zealand. He discovered a passion for research at Victoria University and the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research where he pursued his doctoral studies applying magnetic nanoparticles to improve early cancer detection. Dr Ferguson trained as an Anatomical Pathologist at Wellington Hospital and became a fellow of the RCPA in 2016.
His subspecialty interests include dermatopathology, with a particular interest in melanocytic lesions and Merkel cell carcinoma, and genitourinary pathology. He is an editorial board member of the Pathology
Dr Ferguson is an active researcher with local and international collaborations. His primary research interest is in the risk stratification of primary melanoma through the use of morphologic,
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.
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.
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.
Valerie Jakrot - RN BA MCom
Val oversees the collaborative research projects of MIA, their governance, reporting frameworks and funding (government and community grants).
With over 13
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.
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 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).
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.
Sally Doherty - BA, GAICD
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr Andrea Jopp-McKay
Andrea graduated at Sydney University in 1984 and became a Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists in 1994
Andrea has been in private practice since 1994 mainly in Mosman. She served rural areas for over a decade with regular clinics in Bathurst. In recent years she has also worked in Tasmania, both Launceston and Hobart.
She was the first dermatologist to join the Melanoma Institute of Australia in January 2009 to extend dermatology specialist services to its multidisciplinary framework.
Andrea aims to improve the early diagnosis of melanoma in high risk individuals, care for their other sun related skin problems and carefor patientss who may have skin conditions associated with treatment modalities for melanoma.
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.
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 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.
Dr Shivam Kapila - MBBS BSc(Med) MS FACD
Dr Shivam Kapila graduated from medical school from the University of New South Wales in 2006. He completed his dermatology training with the Australasian College of Dermatologists having worked at Royal North Shore Hospital, Concord General and Repatriation Hospital, Liverpool Hospital and the Skin and Cancer Foundation.
Beyond his Dermatology training, Dr Kapila has significant surgical experience. He has undertaken Plastic Surgical training at The Peter MacCullum Cancer Institute, Melbourne in the Skin Cancer and Melanoma Unit, has a Master of Surgery from the University of Sydney and has accredited General Surgical Training experience with the Royal Australasian College of Surgery including completion of the Part I Fellowship Exam. He is currently undertaking additional advanced subspecialty skin surgical training in Mohs Micrographic Surgery at the Skin Hospital, Sydney.
Dr Kapila's research interests include Lentigo Maligna, Confocal Microscopy and Mohs Micrographic Surgery in view to achieving margin control and skin sparing clearance of complex skin cancers.
Dr Kapila has special expertise in diagnosis and surgical management of melanoma and other skin cancers but engages an approach to dermatological disease with both a medical and surgical mindset in striving for best outcomes for his patients.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Dr April Wong - MBChB MS FRACS
Dr April Wong is the 2015 Melanoma Institute Australia Poche Fellow. She is a General Surgeon of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons with a specialty interest in breast surgery, melanoma and surgical oncology. She undertook general surgical training through the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital network. During this time she also achieved a Masters of Surgery with The University of Sydney. Dr Wong’s main area of melanoma research includes health related outcomes for quality of life after lymph node dissection in Stage III melanoma patients.
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 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.
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.