Speakers

Prof  Georgina Long

Convenor Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

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.

Professor Long leads an extensive clinical trials team and laboratory at MIA, with a focus on targeted therapies and immuno-oncology in melanoma. 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 Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research: In 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.

Professor Long is the author of over 135 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 120 occasions. She is President-elect for the prestigious international Society for Melanoma Research (President from 2018), is Chair of the ASCO Scientific Committee for melanoma and 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.

Dr Michael A. Postow

International Speaker

Biography

Michael Postow, MD, is a medical oncologist on faculty at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  He sees patients with advanced melanoma and conducts clinical trials of new immunotherapy approaches.  He was directly involved with the development of the combination of ipilimumab and nivolumab for patients with advanced melanoma and led the phase 2 trial which resulted in FDA approval of this combination.  His research describing the abscopal effect in a patient with melanoma has led to many ongoing clinical trials testing whether adding radiotherapy to immunotherapy improves outcomes and has been supported by several research grants from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

He has published over 100 manuscripts on melanoma and immunotherapy and has first or senior author manuscripts in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Lancet Oncology.  He enjoys traveling around the country and internationally to speak about topics related to immunotherapy research and treatment of advanced melanoma. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and friends, playing guitar and piano, sailing, and skiing. 

Prof  Ben Solomon

Planning Committee – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Professor Ben Solomon is a medical oncologist in the Lung Service and the Head & Neck service. He is the Group Leader of the Molecular Therapeutics and Biomarkers Laboratory in the Research Division. He has an interest in translational lung cancer research and completed a PhD investigating the mechanisms by which EGFR inhibition enhance the effects of radiation, and subsequent postdoctoral studies at the University of Colorado investigating novel predictive markers for therapy with EGFR inhibitors.

A / Prof  Tom John

Planning Committee – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Associate Professor Thomas John is a medical oncologist specialising in Thoracic malignancies and genetics. He received his medical degree from Monash University and PhD from University of Melbourne in 2008. He underwent post-doctoral research using PDX models of NSCLC under the guidance of Prof Ming Tsao and Frances Shepherd in Toronto. He has received awards from the American Society of Clinical Oncology as well as the American Association for Cancer Research for his research into lung cancer and melanoma. He leads a laboratory group researching both lung cancer and mesothelioma with an interest in immunology, methylation and novel targets. He is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Cancer Council of Australia.

His research includes studying the immune microenvironment in lung cancer, mesothelioma and neuroendocrine tumours. In addition his laboratory group are investigating novel therapies and targets in mesothelioma. Currently his group are using mouse models to investigate new antibody drug conjugates and anti-apoptotic therapies in mesothelioma.

He has collaborations with other mesothelioma researchers across Australia, the Swiss Oncology group (SAKK), Prof Ming-Sound Tsao in Toronto, Canada and Prof Dean Fennel in the UK.

Dr Peter Savas

Planning Committee – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Dr Peter Savas is a medical oncologist currently completing a PhD in breast cancer genomics at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. His work is focussed on understanding cancer heterogeneity and implementation of a pilot study of personalised medicine for advanced breast cancer. He has applied genomic technologies to studying the evolution of breast cancer into advanced, lethal disease. He has also studied the immune microenvironment of breast cancer with a focus on novel T cell populations identified using single cell sequencing.

Dr  Adnan Nagrial

Planning Committee – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Adnan Nagrial is a medical oncologist and clinical researcher at Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals. He has a PhD in exploring biomarkers in pancreatic cancer and continues to be involved with pre-clinical research through the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. His clinical interest is in gastrointestinal and thoracic malignancies and he is involved in both early and late phase clinical trials in these areas. He is a clinical senior lecturer at the University of Sydney and he supervises both MD/PhD students and clinical trainees.

Prof  Howard Gurney

Planning Committee – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Professor Howard Gurney is the Director of Clinical Trials for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University. 

Dr Gurney has a firm background in clinical research and has subspecialty interests in uro-genital cancers including prostate, bladder, testis and kidney cancer. 

He has been the principal investigator for over 100 clinical trials and has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in journals and book chapters.  Current research interests include the pharmacogenomics and therapeutic monitoring of chemotherapy and targeted therapies and he has published widely in this area.  He is regarded as a leading authority on mechanisms for safe dosing of anticancer agents and has held research grants and has written a number of invited editorials on these topics.

Prof   Michael Millward

Planning Committee – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Professor Millward is the foundation Chair of Clinical Cancer Research, University of Western Australia and Head of Medical Oncology at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Australia. He has a strong track record in delivering clinical trial outcomes, particularly with novel therapeutics and phase I/II studies. He is an international expert on thoracic malignancies and melanoma.

Since November 2008 he has been the President of the Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group. He has published >100 original papers and >200 abstracts at International meetings.

Dr  Matteo Carlino

Planning Committee – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Matteo Carlino is a Medical Oncologist at Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals. 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 the Melanoma Institute Australia 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.

A/Prof  Wendy Cooper

Regional Speaker – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Wendy Cooper is an anatomical and molecular pathologist who works at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia. She is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and Conjoint Associate Professor at the University of Western Sydney. Wendy is also a Visiting Scientist at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

After graduating from Medicine at the University of Sydney with First Class Honours in 1998, she obtained her Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Pathologists in 2004. In 2008 she obtained a PhD from the University of Sydney with a thesis titled “Molecular makers of prognosis in early stage non-small cell lung cancer” for which she received the prestigious Peter Bancroft Prize.

Wendy now specialises in pulmonary pathology and has a particular interest in lung cancer and genetic testing of cancers for personalised medicine. She is a member of Multidisciplinary working party revising Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Management of Lung Cancer for Cancer Council Australia. She is also a member of Lung Expert Group for development of Lung Cancer Structured Reporting Protocol for the RCPA and Cancer Institute of NSW. Wendy is Chair of the Lung Club for the Australasian Division of the International Academy of Pathology. She is a member of the Australian Lung cancer Trials Group. Her major research interest is in prognostic and predictive biomarkers in lung cancer.

Prof Eva Segelov

Regional Speaker – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Professor Eva Segelov MBBS (Hons1) PhD FRACP was appointed as the Professor and Director of Oncology at Monash Health and Monash University in February 2017. She is an Honorary Associate of the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, Sydney Medical School and Honorary Professor at Shanghai Jiatong University; previously Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales and Senior Medical Oncologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. She is recognised national and international expert in the fields of gastrointestinal cancer, including neuroendocrine tumours, and breast cancer, with a 20 year history of management of patients in a multidisciplinary setting.

Prof Segelov has led multiple national and international oncology clinical trials, including investigator-initiated studies. Her research interests relate to translational studies of targeted therapies in defined subpopulations to increase benefit and reduce toxicity of cancer treatments. She has published over 70 articles, expert reviews and book chapters and is frequent invited speaker at national and international conferences. Professor Segelov has a particular interest in professional development using innovative learning techniques and has developed the Seminal Advances Preceptorship in Cancer courses, now being run through Monash University. She was awarded the UNSW Vice Chancellors award for Teaching Excellence in 2006

A/Prof Angela Hong

Regional Speaker – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

A/Prof Hong graduated from the University of Sydney and completed her internship in Sydney before travelling abroad. She first gained experience in radiobiology research at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York and at the University of California, Davis before returning to Australia to start her specialist training in radiation oncology. She acquired fundamental molecular biology and cell culture knowledge during her Master and PhD candidatures at the University of Sydney. She continues to apply this knowledge to advancing the field of clinical radiation oncology.

A/Prof Victoria Atkinson

Regional Speaker – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Associate Professor Victoria Atkinson attended the University of Queensland graduating in 1998. Her internship was undertaken at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, where she successfully completing her training and later completion of her Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in Medical Oncology in 2006.  

In 2007 Associate Professor Victoria Atkinson was appointed as a Staff Specialist at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, where she continues to work and is a Senior Staff Specialist. Since October 2011 Associate Professor Victoria Atkinson has been a Visiting Medical Oncologist at Greenslopes Private Hospital.

Associate Professor Atkinson is affiliated with the University of Queensland Clinical School of Medicine and was appointed as an Associate Professor in 2016. She is also involved with the Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group and joined the Executive Board in 2016 and has been on the Executive Board of Melanoma Patients Australia

Associate Professor Victoria Atkinson’s interests are in the field of Melanoma Oncology, and she has extensive experience in the newer targeted agent and immunotherapies. Associate Professor Victoria Atkinson participates as a Principal Investigator for trials in the adjuvant and metastatic setting at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and Greenslopes Private Hospital (in collaboration with Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation).
Associate Professor Victoria Atkinson is passionate about trying to improve outcome for all patients with advanced melanoma.

Professor Geogory Crawford

Regional Speaker – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Professor Greg Crawford is a practicing palliative medicine physician and was awarded a Doctorate of Medicine by thesis from Flinders University in 2008. He has clinical responsibilities with Northern Adelaide Palliative Service at Modbury and Lyell McEwin Hospitals. His thesis was “Depression in palliative care in Australia: identification and assessment.”

Prof Crawford’s major research activities are into the psychological issues for people and their carers, as the end of life approaches, as well as clinicians. He has particular interest in not only end-stage cancer, but also the issues for people with non-malignant disease. He has recently lead an NHMRC funded study into the end of life issues for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and is involved in research about heart failure, neurological disease and end-stage renal disease at the end of life. Current PhD students have projects considering explanatory models of depression in psychiatrists, palliative medicine physicians and patients; the way that medical specialists deal with death and dying when their patients die; the role of the health system in chronic disease management and the transition to end of life; and the meaning of suffering in palliative care. These PhD studies and previously funded NHMRC studies have provided Professor Crawford with skills in running research projects both with quantitative and qualitative components.

Dr Rachel Roberts-Thomson

Regional Speaker – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Rachel Roberts-Thomson completed her undergraduate medical training at the University of Adelaide in 2000. Following an intern year at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Rachel proceeded to work in Melbourne gaining her Medical Oncology specialisation. A research year was spent at Cork University Hospital, Ireland.

Rachel returned to Adelaide in 2011 and commenced a position as a Medical Oncologist at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital followed by joining the North Adelaide Oncology team.

Rachel has for a number of years been on the Scientific Advisory Committee for The Queen Elizabeth Hospital ethics board as well as being on the Advanced Training Committee (ATC) in Medical Oncology with the Royal Australian College of Physicians.  Both of these roles she views as “important and rewarding”.

Rachel has a particular interest in melanoma and lung cancer and enjoys teaching and actively being involved in clinical trials to pave the way forward for better treatments for her patients.

Dr Rob Zeilinski

Regional Speaker – Immuno-Oncology Forum

Biography

Dr Rob Zielinski is an early career consultant in medical oncology currently practicing in regional NSW at the Central West Cancer Care Centre, Orange NSW.

Rob’s sub-specialty interests are in genitourinary, skin, brain and lung malignancies but he remains a general oncologist at heart. Rob’s passion is improving the disparity in cancer outcomes between rural and metropolitan patients and has a particular passion for opening up clinical trials to rural patients.

Rob is the Director of the Clinical Trials Unit which received the NSW Premiers Award for Outstanding NSW Trials Unit 2017. He is also deputy chair of the Regional and Rural Cancer COSA committee and would strongly encourage and support cancer professionals to start a career in the country.