Confirmed International Speakers


Peter Campbell M.D. PhD - Head of Cancer Genetics and Genomics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK

Dr Peter Campbell is Head of Cancer Genetics and Genomics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, having started a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellowship in 2010. He completed specialist training in Haematology in New Zealand and Australia in 2002. Following this, he completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge in the molecular pathogenesis of myeloproliferative disorders. Since 2007, Dr Campbell has been employed at the Cancer Genome Project, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

His major interest is cancer genomics, and in particular genome-wide analyses of somatic mutations in tumours. The four major areas of interest have been:

  • the discovery of new cancer genes;
  • the identification of somatic mutation processes operative in tumours;
  • the characterisation of patterns of cancer evolution; and
  • the translation of these fundamental insights about cancer biology into better management of patients.

Further details are available at: http://www.sanger.ac.uk/research/faculty/pcampbell/

Razelle Kurzrock.jpg

Dr Razelle Kurzrock, M.D. - Chief, Division of Hematology & Oncology, University of California San Diego School of Medicine; Senior Deputy Director, Director, Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy; Director, Clinical Trials Office, University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center, USA

Dr. Razelle Kurzrock is known for developing the largest Phase 1 clinical trials department in the nation/world while at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. A central theme of that program was the personalized medicine strategy, embodied in a protocol called PREDICT for Profile-related Evidence Determining Individualized Cancer Therapy. This approach utilized advanced molecular technologies to match patients with targeted cancer treatment that is more likely to work for their individual tumors.

At Moores Cancer Center, Dr. Kurzrock’s charge is broad, including not just growing and innovating the center’s clinical trials program, but also heading its newly established Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy. This center focuses on precision medicine trials, using the most innovative genomically-targeted drugs and/or agents that arm the immune system. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Kurzrock brings extraordinary expertise and experience in clinical research, business operations, regulatory operations, financial and budget planning, and administrative oversight, in addition to her world-recognized work in translational science. Dr. Kurzrock is also Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the UC San Diego School of Medicine.   Dr. Kurzrock received her MD degree from the University of Toronto and has almost 700 peer-reviewed publications and a uniquely strong record of competitive grant funding within the setting of Phase I program building.

Dr. Kurzrock also has a strong history of building outstanding education/training programs.  At University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, she founded and directed the MS/PhD program (degree granting) in Human Biology and Patient-Based Research, as well as the Fellowship in Investigational Cancer Therapeutics.  At UCSD Moores Cancer, she founded and directs the Fellowship in Personalized Cancer Therapy.

Dr. Kurzrock has four children and lives with her husband, Dr. Philip Cohen, a dermatologist, in San Diego, CA.


Separating Line thin

Confirmed National Speakers


Professor Stephen Fox - Director: Pathology; Group Leader, Tumour Angiogenesis & Microenvironment Program, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre 

Stephen Fox is Director of Pathology at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Stephen took an Honours degree and Medical degree at the University of Bristol, UK before completing Pathology training in Oxford. He holds a DPhil in Medicine at the University of Oxford, has Fellowships of both the Royal College of Pathologists Australasia (RCPA) and UK and is also a Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Science (RCPA). He is an NHMRC Practioner Fellow and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. He is the Chair of kConFab and sits on the Scientific Advisory Board, Breast and Genetics groups to the Cancer Council of Victoria His current focus is development of diagnostic predictive markers of response to therapies in several tumour types using protein and DNA-based assays.


Prof Michael Brown - Director, Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital Cancer Centre · Head, Translational Oncology Laboratory, Centre for Cancer Biology. 

Prof. Brown is Director of the Cancer Clinical Trials Unit at Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), Adelaide Australia, and Professor of Medical Oncology, University of Adelaide. His tumour subspecialty interests are in melanoma and lung cancer. He chairs the fortnightly RAH melanoma multidisciplinary meeting. His major research interests are in preclinical and clinical development of chimeric antigen receptor technology and therapeutic arming and targeting of monoclonal antibodies. He trained originally as a dual-diploma clinical and laboratory immunologist before becoming a consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital Cancer Centre in 1998. His PhD was in gene therapy and cancer immunotherapy. His laboratory is situated in the Centre for Cancer Biology, SA Pathology and University of South Australia.


Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson - Group Leader, Translational Haematology Program, Cancer Therapeutics Program, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson is a clinician-scientist. She obtained her
medical degree from the University of Melbourne in 1998, and trained as a medical
oncologist in Melbourne, Australia. She completed her PhD at the University of
Cambridge, UK. Following postdoctoral studies at the Cancer Research UK
Cambridge Institute, she returned to Melbourne in 2014 to head the Molecular
Biomarkers and Translational Genomics Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum
Cancer Centre. Her current research interests are focused on the development of
noninvasive blood-based biomarkers ('liquid biopsies') for clinical application,
including early detection, risk stratification and disease monitoring in cancer


Professor Michelle Haber - Executive Director, Children's Cancer Institute

Professor Michelle Haber is Executive Director of Children’s Cancer Institute, and Head of the Experimental Therapeutics Program. She is internationally recognised for her world-class research into the treatment of neuroblastoma and ALL in children, working towards more effective treatments for individual childhood cancers by identifying molecular targets that drive the growth and development of cancer in children, developing new drugs to inhibit the action of these targets, and combining existing and new drug treatments into novel therapeutic approaches that can be rapidly translated into national and international clinical trials. In 2014 she was awarded the Cancer Institute NSW Premier’s Award for Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year and in 2015 was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. In 2017, she was one of three Finalists for the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science. She has a long and continuous record of peer-reviewed grant funding and an excellent track record with 180 journal publications. She is currently leading the Zero Childhood Cancer national child cancer personalised medicine program, which will enable all newly-diagnosed, high-risk childhood cancer patients in Australia, and all children who relapse following treatment, to have their therapy tailored to the specific genetic and biological characteristics of their individual tumour.


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

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


Associate Professor Paul James - Director, Parkville Familial Cancer Centre (Royal Melbourne Hospital & Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre); Head of Clinical Genetics Department of Genomic Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital

Assoc Prof Paul A James is a Clinical Geneticist from Melbourne. He is the director of the Parkville Familial Cancer Centre (Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre) and Head of Clinical Genetics in the Department of Genomic Medicine (RMH). He leads a program of clinical research including discovery and translational projects emphasising familial cancer and the genetics of inherited cardiac disorders, and is a group leader in Familial Cancer research at Peter MacCallum.

Paul trained in Clinical Genetics in Auckland and Melbourne. He is a past recipient of the Nuffield Medical Scholarship and completed a doctorate at St John's College in Oxford, working at the newly formed Oxford Centre for Gene Function. He returned to Melbourne in 2007 and as well as his clinical role, has developed a program of research involving familial disorders, supported by the Victoria Cancer Agency, Cancer Australia, Cancer Council NSW, the National Heart Foundation and the NHMRC.


Dr Shahneen Sandhu - Medical Oncologist and Clinician Researcher,
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Dr. Sandhu is a medical oncologist and an early-career researcher and with a full time appointment in uro-oncology and melanoma units at the Peter MacCallum Centre, Melbourne. She trained at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trusts/Institute of Cancer Research Drug Development Unit, and was responsible for designing, implementing and supervising early phase adaptive, biomarker driven trials. Over the course of her research career, Dr. Sandhu has made important original contributions to cancer research, particularly in the development and application of clinical biomarkers. She continues to undertake clinical and translational research in immune-oncology in melanoma and prostate cancer.


Professor Clare Scott - Consultant Medical Onologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Royal Melbourne and Royal Women's Hospitals; Head - Ovarian and Rare Cancers Laboratory, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Clare Scott is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Royal Melbourne and Royal Women’s Hospitals and is Head of the Ovarian and Rare Cancers Laboratory at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. She has 20 years’ experience in treating breast and ovarian cancer and in clinical cancer genetics in Familial Cancer Clinics. Clare has been Principal Investigator for more than ten ovarian cancer clinical trials of targeted therapy leading to high impact publications. In the lab, Clare has developed new ovarian cancer pre-clinical models and is using genomics to study targeted drug combinations to combat drug resistance. Clare has established a rare cancer research program to improve access to targeted treatments for patients diagnosed with a rare cancer. Clare was awarded the Sir Edward Dunlop Cancer Research Fellowship from Cancer Council Victoria (2012) and a Clinical Research Fellowship from the Victorian Cancer Agency (2017). She leads the COSA Rare Cancer group and is a member of the International Rare Cancer Initiative Board and Co-Chair of the Gynaecologic Cancer Intergroup (GCIG) Rare Tumour Committee.


Professor Hamish Scott - Head, Department of Genetics and Molecular Pathology, Centre for Cancer Biology, SA Pathology & University of South Australia

Hamish S Scott’s PhD and first post-doc were at the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Australia, followed by 5 years at the University of Geneva Medical School, Switzerland where he progressed to faculty. He returned to Australia, in 2000 as a lab head at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) in Melbourne. Since 2008 he has been head of the Department of Genetics and Molecular Pathology, Centre for Cancer Biology, an alliance between SA Pathology & the University of South Australia. His interest is in the application of genetic and genomic technologies to understand diseases processes to improve diagnoses and treatment.

 APOS David Thomas.jpeg

Professor David Thomas - Head, Cancer Division, Garvan Institute of Medical Research; Director, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre

Prof Thomas is Head of the Cancer Division at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and Director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre.  He is a NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and medical oncologist whose focus is on the application of genomic technologies to the understanding and management of cancer.  Prof Thomas founded the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group, a national research organisation, and established Australia’s leading adolescent and young adult cancer unit at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.  Dr Thomas leads the International Sarcoma Kindred Study, now recruiting from 23 centres in 7 countries, and led the first international study of denosumab in Giant Cell Tumor of bone, leading to FDA and TGA approval.  He has over 150 research publications, including lead or senior author papers in Cancer Cell, Molecular Cell, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Lancet Oncology, JAMA Oncology, and Journal of Clinical Oncology. Since moving to NSW, he has established the Genomic Cancer Medicine Program, a multi-institutional precision medicine program for patients with rare and early onset cancers.  He is a member of Sydney Catalyst's Governing Council & Scientific Advisory Committees and in 2018, he became President of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, the peak international body in his field


Richard Vines - Chief Executive, Rare Cancers Australia

Richard attended University of Melbourne where he studied Maths and Statistics. He then trained as an Actuary but was inspired to join the fledging IT industry before qualifying. After several years working in software development, Richard formed his own software company which he then sold in 1990 before embarking on a second software venture in Europe. In 1996, Richard returned to Australia where he was retained by an American company to establish a sales channel in Australia. In 2001, Richard left IT to work in a number of not-for-profits associated with retail, politics and health. In 2012 Richard and his wife Kate established Rare Cancers Australia, a patient advocacy group, whose mission is to improve the lives and outcomes for rare cancer patients. Richard is now a highly sort after spokesperson for cancer patient advocacy issues.

 Nic Waddell crop2.jpg

Dr Nic Waddell - Head, Medical Genomics Group; Coordinator, Cancer Program, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Nic Waddell is head of the Medical Genomics group and coordinator of the cancer program at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia. She is a cancer researcher and bioinformatician who is an expert in the interpretation of next generation sequence data. She is a member of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and has played a key role in all three Australian ICGC projects (pancreatic, ovarian and melanoma). She also leads the genomic analysis of several other cancer genome projects including oesophageal and mesothelioma. She has published in high impact journals such as Nature, Nature Genetics and Nature Immunology. Her research focuses on the identification of the underlying germline cause of cancers, somatic mutational processes and therapeutic opportunity in cancer. She has a passion for seeing genomics implemented into the clinic and is cofounder of genomiQa, a spin out company from QIMR Berghofer.



Dr Michael Winlo - CEO, Linear Clinical Research Ltd.

Dr Winlo has led Linear Clinical Research since April 2016 and expanded Linear’s late-phase, oncology and haematology program, and business development in China. Linear earned a National Export Award in 2017 for excellence in Export Business Services. Linear was the first phase 1 site in Australia to implement eSource and Dr Winlo is also the conceptual founder of the Eliminate Cancer Initiative’s (ECI) Trials Network project bringing together three separate phase-1 cancer-trial institutions in three states to bring early phase trials closer to patients. This project also leverages an artificial-intelligence-driven patient-matching program to match patients to trials faster using electronic medical record data. ECI Trials Network is also coordinating the harmonisation of operations, ethics and governance to accelerate trial delivery. Dr Winlo previously led Palantir Technology’s (US) Health Team. He hold two patents in Computer-Implemented Methods and Systems for Analyzing Healthcare Data, one for analyzing healthcare-related entities in support of cohort matching.


Prof Graham Mann - Co-Director of the Centre for Cancer Research, Westmead Institute for Medical Research

Professor Graham Mann is co-Director of the Centre for Cancer Research at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research and a principal investigator at Melanoma Institute Australia. He helps lead a highly translational research program on melanoma supported by NHMRC Program and Centre for Research Excellence grants. 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, as co-PI of the Australian Melanoma Genome Project, is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC).


Svend Petersen - Managing Director, Roche Australia

Svend has led Roche’s Australian pharmaceutical affiliate as Managing Director since November 2013.  He has united the company under a five-year strategic vision, with special attention to policy alignment and engagement with external stakeholders in the areas of driving and valuing innovation and access to medicines.  Recently, Svend successfully relocated the company’s Australian headquarters to Sydney’s CBD in order to create a modern, vibrant and collaborative workspace for employees, and to improve accessibility and connectivity with a wide range of stakeholders.

In 1996, Svend started his career with Roche in its New Zealand affiliate.  There, he led a broad range of different functions including Market Access, Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs, Warehouse and Distribution Operations, and Clinical Research, culminating with his 5-year role as Managing Director.  In 2010, Svend transferred to Roche’s Korean affiliate where he was President for nearly four years before transferring to Australia.

 Dr Gemma Bilkey.jpg

Dr Gemma Bilkey - Medical Advisor to the Office of Population Health Genomics (OPHG) and the Office of the Chief Health Officer; Public and Aboriginal Health Department; Western Australian Department of Health

Dr Gemma Bilkey is a medical advisor to the Office of Population Health Genomics (OPHG) and the Office of the Chief Health Officer; Public and Aboriginal Health Department; Western Australian Department of Health. Gemma has a keen interest in public health delivery, especially genomics technology and disaster preparedness and management.

The OPHG develops system-wide and evidence-based public policy, through stakeholder engagement and collaboration. The team provides strategic leadership, planning and direction for health system integration of genomics knowledge and technologies, and has a particular interest in rare diseases, including rare cancers. Their aim is to implement strategies to prevent disease and disability where possible, and to promote health and wellbeing. The Office has implemented the WA Rare Diseases Strategic Framework (2015-2018), provides key advice on the implementation of the National Health Genomics Policy Framework (2018-2021), and was integral in the development of the Newborn Bloodspot Screening National Policy Framework.

Gemma qualified as a speech pathologist before graduating with a Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery (with honours) from the University of Sydney. She also has a clinical background in paediatrics. Gemma is currently working towards attaining her fellowship with the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators. Additionally she is completing a Masters in both Health Management and Public Health.

Karl crop.jpg

Dr Karl Hausler - Oncology Biomarker and Translation Science Lead, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Karl completed a PhD at St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne focused on stromal and  immune factors in osteoclast formation.  He then did a post-doctoral fellowship as a molecular biologist investigating mechanisms of breast and prostate cancer growth in bone.  In 2008 Karl joined the pharmaceutical industry and has worked in medical affairs roles across a number of companies and therapeutic areas including diabetes, HIV, Hepatitis B&C, Cardiology, Immunology and Oncology.  Karl’s current role is the Oncology biomarker and translational science lead at BMS.  This role focusses on early phase oncology trials and biomarkers for immuno-oncology drugs.



A/Prof Anthony Joshua - Head, Medical Oncology, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre

Dr Anthony Joshua completed his medical oncology training at the Royal Prince Alfred hospital in Sydney, Australia before moving to Toronto, Canada to complete a PhD and a clinical Fellowship in prostate Genomics. 

He joined the Department of Medical Oncology at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto as a staff oncologist in late 2008, specialising in genito-urinary malignancy and melanoma with research interests in circulating tumour DNA, tumour heterogeneity, mechanisms of enzalutamide resistance and autophagy. 

He returned to Australia, joining the Kinghorn Cancer Centre and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in late 2015. He is currently the head of medical oncology at the Kinghorn Cancer centre and works in GU and Phase 1 oncology.


Prof Tony Papenfuss - Head, Computational Biology; Lab Head, Bioinformatics Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Tony is a computational biologist and bioinformatics researcher, who uses mathematics, statistics and computation to make sense of data from cancer (and occasionally other diseases). His research is focused on cancer evolution and the development of novel mathematical and computational methods, especially to detect genomic rearrangements in cancer genomes and to understand cancer evolution.

He is Head of the Centre for Computational Biology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research; Head of the Computational Cancer Biology Program at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; and holds joint lab head positions at these institutes. He is currently also President of the Australian Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Society

Luke Hesson.jpg

A/Prof Luke Hesson - Laboratory Director, Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics Core Facility, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Associate Professor Luke Hesson is Laboratory Director of the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics Core Facility, Head of Cancer Diagnostics at the Garvan Institute and Fellow of the Faculty of Science of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. As a cancer researcher, his expertise are in the genetic and epigenetic causes of cancer




Mandy Ballinger.jpg

Dr Mandy Ballinger - Group Leader, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Dr Mandy Ballinger is a Group Leader at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and holds a Fellowship from the Cancer Institute NSW.  She also has a Masters in Genetic Counselling.  Mandy oversees a program of work focused on defining heritable cancer risk and using research cohorts as vehicles for intervention to impact on clinical practice and improve outcomes for families



mark cowley.jpg

Dr Mark Cowley - Head, Tumour Genomics Program, Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Dr Mark Cowley is a bioinformatician, and Head of the Tumour Genomics Program at Garvan Institute’s KCCG. Mark’s research is highly translational, and focuses on developing bioinformatic approaches to analyse and interpret cancer genome data, usually from individual patients in a precision medicine context. He leads the genomics analysis teams for both the Molecular Screening and Therapeutics Program, and the Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project, which focus on rare adult and childhood cancer respectively