Invited Speakers

Professor Sanchia Aranda

Professor Sanchia Aranda was appointed as CEO of Cancer Council Australia in August 2015. In this role Sanchia leads cancer policy and advocacy development, ensuring a strong evidence base is used to inform cancer control in Australia. She also holds academic appointments with the University of Melbourne, University of Technology, Sydney and the University of Sydney. She has 38 years’ experience in cancer control and has held roles in healthcare, research, tertiary education and government prior to joining the not-for-profit sector. She has held significant leadership roles in Australian Cancer Control, including 8 years on the Advisory Council for Cancer Australia (2006-2015).

Sanchia also has extensive international cancer control experience, with 16 years on the board of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care, including 4 as President (2006-2010). She is the President for the Union for International Cancer Control and has been on the board of UICC for 6 years. She is also a board member for the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting and the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia. Her contributions to cancer control have been recognized nationally and internationally through awards and keynote speaker invitations. In 2013 she was named the 4th Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Distinguished Fellow for her contributions to Cancer Nursing and in 2016 received the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care Distinguished Merit award.


Professor Michael Boyer

Professor Michael Boyer AM is a medical oncologist at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and holds the position of Chief Clinical Officer of that organisation. He is also a Conjoint Professor of Medical Oncology (Thoracic Oncology) at the University of Sydney and Director of the Sydney Catalyst Translational Cancer Research Centre. He trained in medical oncology at Royal Prince Alfred and Westmead Hospitals, and has a PhD in cell biology from the University of Toronto. Previously, he was on the senior staff of the Sydney Cancer Centre and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital from 1993 to 2013. Professor Boyer has 25 years of experience in the management of thoracic malignancies and head and neck cancers. His major research interest is in clinical trials of new agents in the management of lung cancer, mesothelioma and head and neck cancers.

Professor Jennifer Byrne

Professor Jennifer Byrne is Head of the Children’s Cancer Research Unit at Kids Research at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Professor of Molecular Oncology in the University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine and Health, and Deputy Director of the Kids Cancer Alliance. Her research interests include fat storage in cancer cells, cancer predisposition genes and predictive biomarkers in childhood cancer patients, and improving the operations of human tissue biobanks. Professor Byrne was named as one of the journal Nature’s “10 people who mattered in 2017”, for identifying and reporting numerous flawed cancer research papers, some of which have been retracted from the literature.

Professor Karen Canfell, Cancer Council NSW

Professor Karen Canfell is Director of the Cancer Research Division at Cancer Council NSW and Adjunct Professor at Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. She holds a D.Phil. (PhD equivalent) in Epidemiology from the University of Oxford. Her work involves the evaluation and translation of new strategies for cancer screening. A focus has been the interplay between HPV vaccination and cervical screening in both high and low resource countries. She leads an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cervical Cancer Control (C4) which brings together researchers from Cancer Council NSW, the Victorian Cytology Service, The Kirby Institute UNSW and the University of Melbourne, and she has led economic evaluations of new cervical screening approaches for government agencies in Australia, New Zealand and England. She is a co-PI for a current National Cancer Institute (NCI) USA collaborative grant, CISNET-Cervical, which is evaluating options for cervical cancer prevention in the USA. Her group’s work underpins the current Renewal (review) of the National Cervical Screening Program in Australia – based on this body of work, in December 2017 the National Cervical Screening Program transitioned from 2-yearly cytology screening (Pap smears) to 5-yearly HPV DNA testing. In collaboration with the Victorian Cytology Service, she initiated Compass, Australian’s largest clinical trial, which is providing a sentinel experience of the new cervical screening program and is the first trial internationally to assess cervical screening in an HPV-vaccinated population. She is also co-chair of the Executive Scientific Committee for the International Papillomavirus Conference (IPVC2018) which will be held at the Sydney International Convention Centre in early October 2018. In 2015, Karen received the National Research Excellence Award for the highest-ranked Career Development Fellowship in Population Health and was nominated as one of ‘100 Women of Influence’ in the Westpac/Australian Financial Review national awards.

Professor David Currow

Professor David Currow, Chief Cancer Officer, NSW and Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Institute NSW, the NSW Government’s cancer control agency.

He was appointed to the position in March 2010.  Before that he was the foundation Chief Executive Officer of Cancer Australia, the Commonwealth’s cancer control agency.

He leads a team of 200 people whose expertise and remit include prevention (tobacco control, ultraviolet light protection), screening (BreastScreen, Cervical Screening and Bowel Screening), service performance and development (including the population based cancer registry, Australia’s only population-based clinical cancer registry), eviQ – the world’s major evidence-based protocol website in oncology, and Canrefer, linking general practitioners and consumers with multidisciplinary teams in two clicks of a button), and strategic research and investment.  The role of the Cancer Institute NSW is to decrease the incidence of cancer, increase the survival for people who are diagnosed with cancer and improve the quality of care for people with cancer.

Professor Paul de Souza

Professor Paul de Souza trained in medical oncology at St George and Prince of Wales Hospitals, and was Research Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia (1994-1997). He is the Foundation Professor of Medical Oncology at University of Western Sydney and Liverpool Hospital, and the Director of CONCERT, a NSW Cancer Institute funded translational cancer research centre. He has sub-specialty clinical interests in genitourinary cancer, brain cancer and clinical trials. He runs a cancer research laboratory at the Ingham Institute, Liverpool Hospital, and the Phase I trials unit at Liverpool Hospital. His research interests include liquid biopsies, immune-oncology, and biomarkers.

Professor Ewa Goldys

Professor Ewa M. Goldys is Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Nanoscale Biophotonics ( and Professor at the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. She is Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering (ATSE), Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), the Optical Society and winner of the 2016 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for ‘Innovative Use of Technology’.

Her research spans the interface of ultrasensitive optical characterization, biotechnology, materials science and photonics. A portfolio of her works is centred on the development and understanding of luminescence emission in doped nanocrystals where she developed advanced methods of synthesis and characterisation of fluorescent nanoparticles for applications in fluorescence labelling. Her expertise in ultrasensitive optical characterisation and nanotechnology led to the development of novel approaches to biochemical and medical sensing and diagnostics. Current projects focus on label-free non-invasive high content cellular imaging and characterisation of cell subpopulations, on nanoparticle chemical sensors and theranostics.

Cheryl Grant

Cheryl Grant has had a long-standing, active and committed involvement in cancer care and research as both a consumer and patient advocate. She is currently a member of the National Breast Cancer Foundation Research Advisory Committee and its Consumer Advisory Panel.

This year she completed a 14 year term as a member of the Consumer Advisory Panel of Breast Cancer Trials. Ms Grant is currently Patient Representative on the Steering Committee of an international, phase III breast cancer trial (ALTTO; 2007-present), and a consumer member of the Breast Translational Oncology Program at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Sydney, NSW). She is a member of several cancer advocacy groups including Breast Cancer Action Group NSW, Cancer Voices NSW and Breast Cancer Network, Australia.

Recently retired from a forty year career as a librarian, Ms Grant authored several professional publications and was a key member of expert panels and professional committees throughout her career.

Dr Elin Gray, Edith Cowan University

Dr Elin Gray is a Cancer Research Trust Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Medical Sciences at Edith Cowan University. Dr Gray completed a BSc in Biochemistry at the University of Havana, Cuba, and obtained her PhD degree at University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She was a visiting Fogarty Fellow at the Vaccine Research Centre at the NIH, Maryland; and at Duke University, North Carolina, USA. Since, moving to Perth in 2011, her research has focused on identifying blood biomarkers for diagnosis of melanoma and to guide treatment decisions. Her team utilises and develops novel genetic analysis methodologies to interrogate biomarkers such as circulating tumour cells, circulating tumour DNA and exosomes, to provide information on the tumour evolution and cancer development. In addition, Elin is interested in identifying mechanisms of drug resistance and developing better treatment strategies. Dr Gray works in close collaboration with leading oncologists and pathologists to translate these results into clinical application.

Professor Paul Keall, The University of Sydney

Professor Paul Keall is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and the Director of the ACRF Image X Institute at the University of Sydney. His team of scientists, clinical partners and international collaborators create, share and apply novel cancer imaging and targeted radiotherapy methods. Several of these innovations have been translated to clinical practice for improved health care. Since being awarded his Ph.D. in 1996 he has risen to be in top tier of cancer imaging and radiotherapy researchers internationally. He was the Director of the Radiation Physics Division at Stanford University (2006-2010) and then was awarded an Australia fellowship to join the University of Sydney.




Professor Rajiv Khanna, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Prof. Rajiv Khanna obtained his doctorate degree from India and undertook his post-doctoral training at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), Brisbane Australia. He is the founding Director/Coordinator of Australian Centre for Vaccine Development (now named as QIMR Berghofer Centre for Immunotherapy and Vaccine Development). He holds Senior Principal Research Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and is also appointed as Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland and Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Prof. Khanna is a Fellow of Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and was awarded Order of Australia in 2017. He has extensive expertise in immunotherapy clinical trials, cancer immunology and vaccine development. Over the last two decades, his group has successfully translated his research towards the development of novel T cell-based immunotherapeutic strategies for the treatment of cancer patients and transplant recipients. Prof. Khanna has been appointed as a consultant to Atara Biotherapeutics (US), CSL Ltd, Cellestis Ltd and Oxford Immunotech (UK) for the development of novel immunotherapeutics, diagnostic technologies and vaccines. He is also appointed on Scientific Advisory Board of Atara Biotherapeutics. Prof. Khanna has been invited by International Transplant Society to participate in the development of guidelines for the clinical management of cytomegalovirus infection in solid organ transplant patients.

Jane Oliaro PhD

Dr Jane Oliaro obtained her BSc (Hons) degree from Monash University in Melbourne and PhD from Massey University in New Zealand, followed by an INSERM postdoctoral fellowship in Montpellier, France. She returned to her hometown Melbourne to undertake postdoctoral work at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and in 2015 became Head of the Immune Defence Laboratory at Peter Mac. Jane was awarded an Inaugural NHMRC Achievement Award and was the recipient of a grant included in the NHMRC ‘Ten of the Best Research Projects’ for 2010. Her laboratory focuses on the regulation of cytotoxic lymphocyte-tumour cell interactions and therapies that enhance anti-tumour immunity. 

Sir Lorimer Dods Professor Roger Reddel, Children's Medical Research Institute

Professor Roger Reddel is Director of Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) and Lorimer Dods Professor, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney. His training included medical degrees from the University of Sydney, clinical training in medical oncology, a PhD in cancer cell biology, and postdoctoral research at the US National Cancer Institute. His research at CMRI investigates the “immortalisation” of cancer cells, and he co-founded the ACRF International Centre for the Proteome of Human Cancer (ProCan). A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Roger has been awarded the Ramaciotti Medal, the NSW Premier’s Award for Outstanding Cancer Researcher, and the Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

A/Professor Patricia Valery, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

A/Prof Patricia Valery is a medical epidemiologist with extensive experience in public health and health service research. In her career she has made significant contributions in key areas: cancer epidemiology, translational research, and Indigenous health research. She is the principal investigator of a large program of work studying supportive care needs and patterns of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer. Improving the coordination and continuity of care from cancer diagnosis through to management of cancer is an important step for improvement in the health of the increasing numbers of Indigenous Australians with cancer. Gaps in the research exist about what happens to Indigenous people with a cancer when they complete treatment and are discharged from hospital. A/Prof Valery is currently studying the patterns of care of Indigenous cancer patients at the Primary Health Care setting.


Professor David Whiteman, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Professor David Whiteman is a cancer epidemiologist with a special interest in the causes, control and prevention of cancer. He received his medical degree from the University of Queensland in 1991, and his PhD in 1997. Professor Whiteman has an international reputation for research into cancers of the skin and gastrointestinal tract, and for his more recent work on cancer control.

In addition to his research activities, he is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine. He currently chairs the Barrett’s Neoplasia Guidelines Committee for Cancer Council Australia and the Breast Cancer Risk Factors Working Group for Cancer Australia.


Assoc. Prof. Ingrid Winkler

Assoc. Prof Ingrid Winkler leads the Stem Cells and Cancer group and is a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at Mater Research Institute – University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Dr Winkler’s research seeks to understand how normal and malignant Haematopoietic Stem Cells are regulated by their local microenvironments (niches) – basic research recognised as among ‘Ten of the best research projects in Australia’ by NHMRC (2013) and now basis for Phase I/II clinical trials with the goal of manipulating stem cell niches to alleviate side-effects of chemotherapy and to improve efficacy of therapy for leukaemia.

Registration Now Open

Key Dates

Conference Dates:
11 - 12 October 2018

Early Bird Registration Closed
Standard Registration Now Open
Abstract Submissions Now Closed

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