ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC MEETING 2017

AUSTRALIAN SPEAKERS

Professor Fran Boyle AM

Professor Fran Boyle AM 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. Professor Boyle 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. Professor Boyle Chairs the Board of Directors of the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group, and is a founding Director of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. She was honored with Membership of the Order of Australia in 2008 for services to cancer research, advocacy, policy development and professional education.


Associate Professor Prue Cormie


Associate Professor Cormie is an accredited Exercise Physiologist at the Institute for Health and Ageing, Australian Catholic University whose research and clinical work focuses on the role of exercise in the management of cancer. Her track record includes around $3 million in competitive research grant funding and over 60 refereed publications and book chapters. She has produced influential research exploring the efficacy of targeted exercise prescriptions in counteracting significant side effects of cancer and cancer treatments. Her work has been recognised with awards including the Cancer Council WA Early Career Cancer Researcher of the Year Award and the WA Young Tall Poppy of the Year Science Award from the Australian Institute for Policy and Science. Associate Professor Cormie is the inaugural Chair of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Exercise Cancer Group and leads the Exercise and Sports Science Australia Cancer Special Interest Group. A core component of her work is invested to translating research into practice for meaningful improvements in health care services for people with cancer.


Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson

Associate Professor Dawson is a clinician-scientist. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Melbourne, and trained as an oncologist in Melbourne. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK. Following postdoctoral studies at the Cambridge Research Institute, she returned to Melbourne in 2014 to head the newly formed Molecular Biomarkers and Translational Genomics Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Her current research interests lie in understanding the genomic evolution of cancer and using this information to develop noninvasive molecular biomarkers for clinical application, including early detection, risk stratification and disease monitoring. The major focus of her research is the development of blood-based biomarkers ('liquid biopsies') through the use of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) and circulating tumour cells (CTC)) to enable personalised disease monitoring and facilitate therapeutic decisions in both solid and haematological malignancies.


Dr Justin Dwyer

Dr Dwyer is the Medical Director of Psychosocial Cancer Care at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, and head of consultation liaison psychiatry at Epworth Hospital. He is a psychiatrist with further training in the care of the medically ill, and the provision of psychotherapy. He has previously worked at PeterMac, The Royal Womens Hospital and at St Mary’s in London, and has clinical experience across a broad range of medical settings. His particular area of interest is working with psychologically and medically complex patients who cross multiple health care settings. His team focus on patient and family experience, and this is at the core of their clinical work, research and teaching. Dr Dwyer has lead a research collaboration with the Coroners Court of Victoria examining cancer and suicide in Victoria. 


Associate Professor Elgene Lim

Associate Professor Lim is a clinician-scientist in the field of breast cancer, and holds an endowed Chair with the National Breast Cancer Foundation. He completed his medical and oncology training in Melbourne, and doctoral research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Associate Professor Lim furthered his research and clinical training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. He currently oversees the Breast Oncology Services at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, and heads the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Research Laboratory at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. His laboratory performs clinically focused laboratory research, evaluating novel therapeutic strategies preclinically, and has a major focus on hormone receptor signalling and endocrine resistance. Associate Professor Lim leads a number of clinical trials nationally, including those stemming from research from his group and collaborators. His research is funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council, Cancer Australia, Cancer Council of NSW, the National Breast Cancer, Love Your Sister, and Garvan Foundations.

Associate Professor Sherene Loi

Associate Professor Loi is a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of breast cancer. She also leads a lab that focuses on genomics and novel therapeutics in breast cancer, particularly understanding the genomic and immune interface in breast cancer patients. Her interest is also the development of novel therapeutics in the preclinical and clinical space. In preclinical models, Associate Professor Loi and colleagues have shown that combination immunotherapy with anti-HER2 therapy is synergistic and effective and as a result, a phase II trial testing the efficacy of immunotherapy with trastuzumab is currently ongoing. 
Associate Professor Loi completed her medical oncology training in Melbourne, Australia. She worked in Brussels, Belgium at the Breast International Group clinical trials headquarters for nearly 8 years before returning to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, where her breast cancer practice and laboratory are located. She is also an active member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Australian and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group (ANZBCTG) and co-chairs the Translational Working Group of the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG). She is the current holder of the Cancer Council Victoria John Colebatch Clinical Fellowship and a research fellow of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) based in New York, one of only two Australians to have been recognized for their research by this US-based organization.  
 


Associate Professor Natasha Michael 

Associate Professor Michael is Director of Palliative Medicine at Cabrini Health, Head of Palliative Medicine at the University of Notre Dame and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University. She has trained and worked internationally in palliative care in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Singapore, and was previously at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.  She is frequently invited to speak and comment around potential legislation of euthanasia and assisted dying. Associate Professor Michael is a clinician researcher and heads Cabrini Health’s Palliative and Supportive Care Research Department with an interest in psycho-social research, bioethics and end of life decision making. 


Associate Professor Kelly Phillips


Associate Professor Phillips is a consultant medical oncologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Deputy Director of Research with the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group, and an Australian National Breast Cancer Foundation Practitioner Fellow. She is focussed on reducing the burden of breast cancer for women and their families, through advancing and translating knowledge in breast cancer genetics, prevention and treatment. Associate Professor Phillips is recognised as an international expert in breast cancer prevention research and clinical practice and has published over 120 research papers in international journals. She has been the lead investigator on research grants worth over $8 million and has been national and international study chair on a number of global breast cancer studies. Associate Professor Phillips is committed to facilitating translation of important research findings into policy and practice.

Dr Andrew Redfern

Dr Redfern is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at Fiona Stanley Hospital, a translational cancer researcher with the University of Western Australia funded by the Cancer Council of WA and current clinical head of the Cancer Division at Harry Perkins Institute. He is also Medical Director of Linear Clinical Research, Western Australia’s early phase clinical trial center, and is the State Lead Clinical for Breast Cancer overseeing services across the state. Dr Redfern’s research interests are diverse, ranging from the in?uence of basic tumor biology on cancer outcomes to the delivery of tailored cancer screening. Ongoing biological areas of study include: mechanisms of chemotherapy and hormone therapy resistance in cancer, EMT, breast density biology and clinical utility, tumor-associated macrophages, novel cancer drivers in high-risk breast cancer subsets and clinical implications of nuclear receptor coregulators. Service delivery projects include: exploring the role of biology, treatment prescription and compliance in Indigenous outcomes, optimal structures of cancer follow-up, the role of mammographic and bone density in guiding adjuvant endocrine breast cancer therapy and using risk pro?le to tailor cancer screening. He is the principle investigator involved in the design and conduct of a range of clinical trials.

Associate Professor Jeanne Tie

Associate Professor Tie is a consultant medical oncologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Western Hospital, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. After completing her specialty training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, she undertook a laboratory-based postgraduate research study at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research focusing on understanding prognostic and predictive molecular biomarkers in colorectal cancer, where her work was recognised by several prestigious awards (ASCO Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award and the Bradley Stuart Beller Merit Award). Her more recent research focuses on the clinical applications of liquid biopsies in colorectal cancer, particularly the potential clinical utility of circulating tumour DNA in early stage disease. Supported by the Victorian Cancer Agency Research Fellowship, and in collaboration with Bert Vogelstein’s Lab at the Ludwig Center, Johns Hopkins, her group has initiated over 10 prospective multi-centre circulating tumour DNA biomarker studies. Her group’s recent work “Circulating tumour DNA analysis detects minimal residual disease and predicts recurrence in patients with stage II colon cancer”, published in Science Translational Medicine, has been selected by the American Society of Clinical Oncology as one of the year’s major achievements in clinical cancer research and care.

Professor Janette Vardy

Professor Vardy is a medical oncologist working as a clinician researcher at the Concord Cancer Centre, University of Sydney. After completing a Clinical Research Fellowship at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Professor Ian Tannock, Professor Vardy returned to Australia in 2007 and together with Dr Haryana Dhillon established the Survivorship Research Group (SuRG) at the University of Sydney.   Her main areas of research are Survivorship, Psycho-Oncology and Quality of Life, with a particular interest in cognitive function and physical activity in cancer survivors.  In 2013 she established the Sydney Survivorship Centre at Concord Cancer Centre.
  


Robyn Williams AM

Robyn Williams AM is a science journalist and presenter of Radio National's Ockham's Razor and The Science Show, one of the longest running programs on Australian radio. In 2015, The Science Show celebrated its 40th anniversary with Robyn at the helm. A fascinating and engaging presenter, he infuses his presentations with wit and humour - and has the enviable ability to make science interesting and fascinating for almost anyone.
Robyn Williams is as prominent on radio as he is on television, having narrated programs such as Nature of Australia and appeared on World Safari with David Attenborough. He has conducted countless interviews with scientists for ABC TV on programs such as Quantum and Catalyst and he hosted a link between leading scientists of Australia and the United Kingdom at the Grand Launch for the Royal Institution of Great Britain, attended by Sir David Attenborough and the Queen.
 


Dr Rachel Wong

Dr Wong completed her medical oncology training in Melbourne and her fellowship at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (Gastrointestinal cancers and Lymphoma Unit) in London. On her return to Australia, she took up a consultant position at Eastern Health and was subsequently appointed as Deputy Director of Medical Oncology. She is also a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Advanced Training Committee in Medical Oncology, Chair of the Victorian Medical Oncology Training Programme, an adjunct Senior Lecturer at Monash University and an honorary Clinical Research Fellow at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.