Prof David Thomas

Prof David Thomas

I am an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Head of the Cancer Division of the Garvan Institute in NSW. I undertook my medical training at the University of Melbourne (1982-88), followed by post-graduate training as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College o
Director - The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Division Head - Cancer, Lab Head - Genomic Cancer Medicine

I am an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Head of the Cancer Division of the Garvan Institute in NSW.

I undertook my medical training at the University of Melbourne (1982-88), followed by post-graduate training as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in medical Oncology (awarded 1997). I undertook my doctoral studies at the University of Melbourne, and was awarded my PhD in 1997.

I undertook post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School (1998-2000), before moving back to Melbourne to set up my own laboratory, initially at St Vincent’s Hospital (2001-3), then at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (2002-2014).

I was the founding Chair and board member of the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group (2007-18). I was the Director of the adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer program, onTrac@PeterMac (2005-10). In 2018, I was the President of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society.

In 2018, I established the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre, and am currently the Chief Executive Officer.

Research Interests

Precision Oncology and clinical trials
Somatic and germline cancer genomics, with a focus on sarcomas and cancer in young adults
Animal models of osteosarcoma
Cancer evolution and drug resistance

Awards and Honours

2018- President, Connective Tissue Oncology Society
2016- NHMRC Principal Research Fellow
2012- NHMRC Senior Research Fellow Level B
2011- Victorian Cancer Agency, Clinician Researcher Fellowship
2009- NHMRC Ten of the Best. Fellowship elected as one of the 10 best NHMRC investments for 2009
2008- Sam Sciacca Visiting Fellow, Queensland Cancer Council
2007- Victorian Cancer Agency, Clinician Researcher Fellowship
2006- Edna and Murray Dunn Award
2003- Puzey fellowship, University of Melbourne
2003- RD Wright NHMRC Career Development Award
2002- Arnott Fellowship, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
2000- John Taplin Fellow, Harvard Medical School
1998- Neil Hamilton Fairley National Health and Medical Research Council Fellowship


1997 - Doctorate of Philosophy (University of Melbourne)
1997 - Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians
1988 - Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (University of Melbourne)

Selected Publications

Thavaneswaran S, Sebastian L, Ballinger ML, Best M, Hess D, Lee C, Sjoquist K, Hague W, Butow P, Simes J, Thomas DM. 2018 The Cancer Molecular Screening and Therapeutics Program (MoST) - A master protocol for multiple, parallel, signal-seeking clinical sub-studies. Med J Aust, 209:354-355.

Gounder MM, Thomas DM, Tap WD. 2018 Locally aggressive Connective Tissue Tumors. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 36: 202-9.

Thomas DM. 2017 Is Li-Fraumeni Syndrome really much more common? Human Mutation, 38: 1619.

Ballinger ML, Ferris NJ, Moodie K, Mitchell G, Shanley S, James PA*, Thomas DM*. Surveillance in germline TP53 mutation carriers utilizing whole body magnetic resonance imaging. JAMA Oncology, 2017 Dec 1;3(12):1735-1736.

Ballinger ML*, Best A*, Mai PL, Khincha PP, Loud JT, Peters JA, Achatz MI, Chojniak R, Balieiro da Costa A, Santiago KM, Garber J, O'Neill A, Eeles RA, Evans G, Bleiker E, Sonke GS, Ruijs M, Loo C, Schiffman J, Naumer A, Kohlmann W, Strong LC, Bojadzieva J, Malkin D, Rednam SP, Stoffel EM, Koeppe E, Weitzel JN, Slavin TP, Nehoray B, Robson M, Walsh M, Manelli L, Villani A, Thomas DM*, Savage SA*. Baseline surveillance in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome using whole body magnetic resonance imaging: A Meta-Analysis. JAMA Oncology,  2017 Dec 1;3(12):1634-1639.

Takeda K, Nakayama M, Hayakawa Y, Kojima Y, Ikeda H, Imai N, Ogasawara K, Okumura L, Thomas DM and Smyth MJ. IFNγ- is required for cytotoxic T cell-dependent cancer genome immunoediting. Nat Commun 2017; 8:14607.

McBride KA, Ballinger ML, Schlub TE, Young MA, Tattersall MH, Kirk J, Eeles R, Killick E, Walker LG, Shanley S, Thomas DM and Mitchell G. Psychosocial morbidity in TP53 mutation carriers: is whole-body cancer screening beneficial? Fam Cancer 2017; 10.1007/s10689-10016-19964-10687.

Ballinger ML, Goode DL, Ray-Coquard I, James PA, Mitchell G, Niedermayr E, Puri A, Schiffman JD, Dite GS, Cipponi A, Maki RG, Brohl AS, Myklebost O, Stratford EW, Lorenz S, Ahn S-M, Ahn J-H, Kim JE, Shanley S, Beshay V, Lor Randall R, Judson I, Seddon B, Campbell IG, Young M-A, Sarin R, Blay J-Y, O'Donoghue SI, Thomas DM for the International Sarcoma Kindred Study. Monogenic and polygenic determinants of sarcoma risk: an international genetic study. Lancet Oncol 2016; 17:1261-1271.

Thomas DM, James PA and Ballinger ML. Clinical implications of genomics for cancer risk genetics. Lancet Oncol 2015; 16:e303-308.

Thomas DM and Ballinger ML. Etiologic, environmental and inherited risk factors in sarcomas. J Surg Oncol 2015; 111:490-495.

Thomas DM. The growing problem of benign connective tissue tumours. Lancet Oncol 2015; 16:879-880.

Ballinger ML, Mitchell G and Thomas DM. Surveillance recommendations for patients with germline TP53 mutations. Curr Opin Oncol 2015; 27:332-337.

McBride KA, Ballinger ML, Killick E, Kirk J, Tattersall MH, Eeles RA, Thomas DM and Mitchell G. Li-Fraumeni syndrome: cancer risk assessment and clinical management. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2014; 11:260-271.

Lewin J, Khamly K, Young R, Mitchell C, Hicks R, Toner G, Ngan S, Chander S, Powell G, Herschtal A, te Marvelde L, Desai J, Choong P, Stacker S, Achen M, Ferris N, Fox S, Slavin J, Binko J and Thomas DM. A phase Ib/II translational study of sunitinib with neoadjuvant radiotherapy in soft-tissue sarcoma. Br J Cancer 2014; 111:2254-2261.

Kansara M, Teng M, Smyth MJ and Thomas DM. Translational biology of osteosarcoma. Nat Rev Cancer 2014; 14:722-735.

Garsed DW, Marshall OJ, Corbin VDA, Hsu A, Di Stefano L, Schröder J, Li J, Feng Z-P, Kim BW, Kowarsky M, Lansdell B, Brookwell R, Myklebost O, Meza-Zepeda L, Holloway AJ, Pedeutour F, Choo KHA, Damore MA, Deans AJ, Papenfuss AT and Thomas DM. The architecture and evolution of cancer neochromosomes. Cancer Cell 2014; 26:653-667.

Kansara M, Leong HS, Lin DM, Popkiss S, Pang T, Garsed D, Walkley C, Cullinane C, Ellul J, Hicks R, Haynes N, Kuijjer M, Cleton-Jansen AM, Hinds PW, Smyth MJ, Thomas DM. Immune response to RB1-regulated senescence radiation-induced osteosarcoma formation. J Clin Invest 2013; 123:5351-5360.

Kansara M, Tsang M, Kodjabachian L, Sims NA, Trivett MK, Ehrich M, Dobrovic A, Slavin J, Choong PF, Simmons PJ, Dawid IB and Thomas DM. Wnt inhibitory factor 1 is epigenetically silenced in human osteosarcoma, and targeted disruption accelerates osteosarcomagenesis in mice. J Clin Invest 2009; 119:837-851.

Bleyer A, Barr R, Hayes-Lattin B, Thomas D, Ellis C, Anderson B, Biology, Clinical Trials Subgroups of the USNCIPRGiA and Young Adult O. The distinctive biology of cancer in adolescents and young adults. Nat Rev Cancer 2008; 8:288-298.

Thomas DM, Johnson SA, Sims NA, Trivett MK, Slavin JL, Rubin BP, Waring P, McArthur GA, Walkley CR, Holloway AJ, Diyagama D, Grim JE, Clurman BE, Bowtell DD, Lee JS, Gutierrez GM, Piscopo DM, Carty SA and Hinds PW. Terminal osteoblast differentiation, mediated by runx2 and p27KIP1, is disrupted in osteosarcoma. J Cell Biol 2004; 167:925-934.

Thomas DM, Carty SA, Piscopo DM, Lee JS, Wang WF, Forrester WC and Hinds PW. The retinoblastoma protein acts as a transcriptional coactivator required for osteogenic differentiation. Mol Cell 2001; 8:303-316.