Professor Pablo Fernandez-Peñas

MD, PhD, FACD

Background

Pablo Fernández-Peñas is Professor in Dermatology at the University of Sydney, Head of the Department of Dermatology at Westmead Hospital, Head of Research at the Skin and Cancer Foundation Australia in Sydney, and Director of the Centre for Translational Skin Research.

Research Interest

Previously, he was Staff Specialist (Dermatology) at Hospital Universitario de la Princesa and Clinical Professor at the Universidad Autonoma, both in Madrid, Spain. Since moving to Sydney in 2007, Pablo has expanded dermatological services, and research and education opportunities in Western Sydney. He opened the Dermatology Comprehensive Clinical Centre at Westmead Hospital with clinics for Severe Psoriasis, Severe Eczema, Hidradenitis Suppurativa, Cutaneous Lymphoma, Graft versus Host Disease, Oncodermatology and High-Risk Melanoma. He set up the Dermatology Clinical Trials and Research Unit, participating in 40+ clinical trials for melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, cutaneous lymphoma, hidradenitis and psoriasis. His main fields of interest are oncodermatology, immunology, quality of life, and information technologies, and has 160+ publications in peer review journals. He is a passionate teacher and researcher.

Role in the CRE

He established the High-Risk Melanoma Clinic study at Westmead, will co-lead the ongoing clinical research agenda of Core 1, and mentor and supervise dermatology clinical fellows involved in that core

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Pascale Guitera

MD, PhD, FACD

Associate Professor Guitera is Director of the Sydney Melanoma Diagnostic Centre at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the Dermatology Department at Melanoma Institute Australia.

Research Interests

Since 2008, she has achieved global recognition as one of the top 10 researchers of in vivo confocal microscopy with 15 publications (5 of them being the largest series ever published and 4 of them been published in the Journal of Investigating Dermatology (highest impact factor dermatology journal). She was awarded the 2013 Wildfire Premier's award for outstanding cancer research and has been invited speaker, and chair of sessions in every continent. She organizes annual courses in imagery for the diagnosis of skin cancer. Dr Guitera has been instrumental in founding the first multidisciplinary Lentigo Maligna clinic in Australia, and she is lead investigator on the Cancer Australia funded trial 'ANZMTG 02.12 A Phase III trial of imiquimod topical treatment versus radiotherapy for LM". She has been involved almost continuously in the melanoma High-Risk Clinic studies.

Role in the Centre of Research Excellence in Melanoma

Associate Professor Guitera is a co-lead of the CRE Core 1: mentor and supervise dermatology clinical fellows involved in that core.

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David Gyorki

MBBS, MD FRACS

Mr David Gyorki is a Consultant Surgeon in the Division of Cancer Surgery, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Austin Health, Melbourne.

He is also the Research and Education Lead in Melanoma and Skin Cancer at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Research Interests

David Gyorki is a surgical oncologist with clinical expertise in the management of patients with melanoma. David completed general surgical training in Australia after which he pursued further specialist training in Surgical Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, USA. David completed a doctorate at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research studying the interaction of breast stem cells and the immune system, for which he was awarded the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Basic Science Scholarship.

David is now investigating the role of the immune system in the management of melanoma and he has secured a competitive research grant to study the immune environment in resected melanoma metastases. These studies have been undertaken through an affiliation with the Immune Innovation Laboratory at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. David is widely published in the field of melanoma research in both clinical and translational research studies. He is actively involved in supervising postgraduate research students and mentoring clinical trainees.

David is a member of the NHMRC melanoma guidelines working group and a committee member of the Surgical Oncology Section of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Role in the Centre of Research Excellence in Melanoma

David Gyorki will co-lead the surgical components of core 2.

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Angela Hong

MBBS MMed FRANZCR PhD

Research Interests

Dr Angela Hong is a radiation oncologist at the Melanoma Institute Australia and Clinical Professor at the University of Sydney. She is a principle investigator on several radiation therapy trials in adjuvant and metastatic melanoma to generate evidence based use of radiation therapy. Her research interests are in the application of new radiation technology in the management of melanoma and integrating radiation therapy with new systemic therapy.

Role in CRE

Dr Hong will supervise and mentor radiation oncology trainees working in core 3 and 4, and co-lead analysis of outcomes arising from the WBRT trial.

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Nadine Kasparian

Dr Kasparian is a Senior Research Fellow in Medicine at The University of NSW and Head of Psychology at the Heart Centre for Children, The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. She has been awarded a Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice from the Commonwealth Fund to spend 12 months at Harvard Medical School in Boston until September 2019.

 

Research Interests

Associate Prof Kasparian has an international reputation in medical psychology. She leads numerous national and international research collaborations, with a focus on discovering the factors that contribute to psychological risk and resilience in medical settings, and the development, trial and implementation of clinical interventions to improve patient and family health and well-being. This includes a highly successful history of work with CIs Mann, Cust and Morton, developing and trialling psychological and psycho-educational interventions for people with, or at high risk of, melanoma. She has received numerous research and clinical awards, including the International Psycho-Oncology Society Hiroomi Kawano New Investigator Award. She is an Executive Member of the National Psycho- Oncology Clinical Trials Group (PoCoG), and a practicing psychologist and clinical supervisor with extensive teaching experience.

Role in the Centre of Research Excellence in Melanoma

Dr Kasparian is a co-lead of the CRE core 3: Psychosocial care, survivorship and patient experience

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Professor Georgina Long

BSc PhD MBBS FRACP

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.

 

Research Interests

Professor Long is an international key-opinion leader in the field of melanoma medical oncology and translational research, with a focus on the biology of response and resistance to novel drug therapies.

Professor Long leads the medical oncology clinical trials unit at MIA (phase 1/2/3 trials) and co-leads a translational research laboratory with a focus on the clinical and tissue biomarker correlates of drug therapy sensitivity and resistance in melanoma.

She spear-headed the TEAM (Treat Excise Analyse Melanoma) translational platform and has written more than 6 investigator-led trial protocols, including for the novel neoadjuvant translational assessment of drug activity in human melanoma, attracting greater than AUD$3.5 mill in support.

She is also President for the prestigious International Society for Melanoma Research, is member (2015-2017) and Chair (2016) of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Scientific Committee for Melanoma/Skin cancer, European Society of Medical Oncology (Chair 2020, ESMO Asia Chair 2019), and the 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. Her vision is to produce high impact results that improve outcomes for people with cancer, and prevent it.

Role in the Centre of Research Excellence in Melanoma

Professor Long is co-medical director at Melanoma Institute Australia and oversees the MIA Research Program. She also provides specific advice for patients receiving drug therapies (stage III) and survivorship issues.


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Associate Professor Victoria Mar

MBBS, PhD, FACD

Associate Professor Mar is a Dermatologist,  Director of the Victorian Melanoma Service at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and a Lecturer in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University.

Research Interests

Associate Professor Mar completed her PhD at Monash University/VMS and Peter MacCallum entitled 'Clinical and molecular characteristics of aggressive melanoma' (2014). Her main interest is in early detection and follow-up of high risk patients. She runs the high-risk follow up clinic at VMS and supervises doctoral students in clinical and translational research projects. She is a board member of the Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group and the Skin and Cancer Foundation. She has authored and co-authored a number of chapters for the Cancer Council Australia Melanoma Guidelines and is Clinical Lead for the Melanoma Clinical Outcomes Registry.

Role in the Centre of Research Excellence in Melanoma

Associate Professor Mar is involved in clinical aspects of CRE Core 1: Identifying and managing people at high risk of developing melanoma as well as CRE Core 2.

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Donna Milne

R.N., M.N.(Res), PhD Dr Milne

Associate Investigator Donna Milne has a dual role at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. She is a Clinical Nurse Consultant in the melanoma and skin service and a clinical nurse researcher in the Department of Cancer Experiences Research.

Research Interests

Donna has experience in mixed methods research and her research activities span all stages of melanoma. Her research is informed by her clinical role and as a result has a particular interest in the patient experience and supportive care needs of patients with stage 4 melanoma and those receiving targeted and immune therapies. She is head of a recently established Cancer Nursing Research Program at Peter Mac and is involved in supervision of higher degree students and teaching. Donna has had several publications in peer-reviewed journals and has led or been involved in research projects worth over $1.5 million. She is the first nurse to be appointed to the executive of the Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group and sits on national and international nursing advisory boards that advise on the educational and support requirements of patients with melanoma. She sits on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Psycho-Oncology Clinical Trials Group (PoCoG).

Role in the Centre of Research Excellence in Melanoma

Dr Milne is a co-lead of the CRE core 3: Psychosocial care, survivorship and patient experience

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Professor Helen Rizos

BSc (Hon I) PhD

Head, Department of Biomedical Sciences. NHMRC Senior Research Fellow

Research Interests

Helen Rizos is cancer cell biologist interested tumour suppressor proteins, oncoproteins and tumour signaling. Her work combines genetic analyses of melanoma tumours with functional molecular and cell biology in order to understand the role and regulation of genes and cellular pathways that influence the development and therapeutic response and resistance in melanoma. She is also working on the utility of liquid biospies, including circulating tumour DNA in predicting response and resistance to targeted treatments and immunotherapies.

Innovations that she has developed include a rapid PCR-based genetic screen for known BRAF inhibitor resistance mechanisms in melanoma tumours progressing on BRAF and MEK inhibitors, and implementation of a translational research program for the extraction, expansion and screening of patient tumour specimens and blood samples across several sites. She will work with CIs Yang, Scolyer and Mann to evaluate novel biomarkers of clinical outcome.

Role in the Centre of Research Excellence in Melanoma

Prof Rizos will work with Jean Yang, Prof Scolyer and Prof Mann to evaluate novel biomarkers of clinical outcome.

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Anh Tran

PhD, MPH, PharmD

Dr Tran is an early career researcher, health economist at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, The University of Sydney, with a strong track record in dynamic statistical and economic modelling for health economic evaluation. From PhD and postdoctoral projects, she has high level skills in quantitative research methods relating to: study design, implementing data linkage for administrative data, analysis, interpretation, reporting, and dissemination of results to inform health policy and practice.

Dr Tran has excellent technical skills in decision analytic modelling, dynamic compartmental modelling, static modelling, hierarchical/multilevel and longitudinal modelling, survival analysis, structural equation modelling, and meta-analysis to investigate the epidemiological trends, and trajectories of health and disease outcomes as well as evaluation of the effects of individual and environmental factors on the health of a population.

She currently collaborates on the health economic evaluation of two trials, including Cancer Australia-funded whole-brain radiotherapy for brain metastases and NHMRC-funded Canadian-Australasian Randomised trial of Screening Kidney transplant recipients for coronary artery disease (CARSK study).

Role in the Centre of Research Excellence in Melanoma

Dr Tran will work with A/Prof Morton on CRE Core 4: Health Economics and Policy

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