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Who's who in the Cancer Centre for Children

Senior clinical and research staff bios

Head, Cancer Centre for Children

Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza

Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza is Department Head and a Senior Staff Specialist of the Oncology Unit at The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

A member of the Children’s Medical Research Institute Board, Luciano is also an active member of numerous subspecialty societies focused on the care of children and adolescents with cancer including the Australian and New Zealand Children's Cancer Study Group, the Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group, the Children's Oncology Group (USA), and the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia.

Luciano’s interest and work has centred on the management of acute leukaemia in children and adolescents, the development of clinical trials in paediatric oncology and the development of basic research opportunities.

Luciano is the Study Chairperson of the ANZCHOG Acute lymphoblastic Leukaemia Study 8 Clinical trial and Co-chair of the Leukaemia-Lymphoma Committee of the Australian and New Zealand Children's Haematology-Oncology Group.

Paediatric Oncologists

Professor Stewart Kellie

Professor Stewart Kellie is a paediatric oncologist and neuro-oncologist at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Clinical Professor in the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney.

He is also an advisor to the Australian Federal Government on the registration of prescription medicines, particularly in the fields of oncology and paediatrics for the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

In addition, Stewart was the chairman of the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee and the NHMRC Clinical Trials Ethics Committee from 2001-2004, and Chairman of the 16th International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology hosted in Singapore in early July 2014.

He was awarded a Doctorate of Medicine for his thesis titled “Advances in Paediatric Neuro-Oncology” in 2005 from the University of Sydney.

With an ongoing interest in paediatric neuro-oncology, Stewart’s research currently addresses barriers to expanding the range and complexity of paediatric neuro-oncology services in developing nations in the Asian region, including training medical specialists from South Asia and South-East Asia.

I think the biggest change that I have seen in my professional career has been the incorporation of research – particularly clinical trials - into the frontline treatment of children - Prof Stewart Kellie

Professor Peter Shaw

Professor Peter Shaw is a senior clinician who established and leads the Paediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Team at The Children’s Hospital, Westmead. The development of such a team has allowed resources to be directed towards many different aspects that can improve the outcome of paediatric BMT recipients.

Dr Geoffrey McCowage

Dr Geoffrey McCowage is a Paediatric Oncologist at The Children's Hospital at Westmead and a member of Sydney Cell and Gene Therapy. He is a Principal Investigator for clinical trials within the Children's Oncology Group and has a particular clinical interest in neuro-oncology and sarcomas of bone and soft tissue. Geoff leads the clinical and translational research of the Cancer Gene Therapy group at the Kids Research Institute.

Staff specialists

Dr Steven Keogh

Dr Melissa Gabriel

Head, Children’s Cancer Research Unit

Associate Professor Jennifer Byrne

Associate Professor Jennifer Byrne has spent her scientific career analysing childhood and adult cancers at a molecular level, particularly focused on understanding the role of gene amplification and ultimately finding new ways of targeting these genes to stop tumours from spreading.

Jennifer’s PhD studies mapped loss of chromosome 11p15 loci in embryonal tumours, and she then identified a novel gene family during postdoctoral studies in France. She currently leads the Molecular Oncology Research team at the Kids Research Institute.

Jennifer is currently the Head of the Children’s Cancer Research Unit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and Associate Professor within the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney.

Research Team

Associate Professor Geraldine O’Neill

Associate Professor Geraldine O'Neill is Group Leader of the Focal Adhesion Biology group at the Cancer Centre for Children and holds a Conjoint Associate Professor appointment at the University of Sydney.

Geraldine and her team at the Cancer Centre for Children are committed to investigating the cell biology of cancer cell invasion, with a particular focus on brain tumours and neuroblastoma.

Throughout her career, Geraldine has attracted over $3.5 million in peer-reviewed funding from national (NHMRC), specialist (Cancer Council and Cancer Institute NSW) and local agencies, contributed highly cited research publications and formed international and national collaborations.

Major awards include an NHMRC Howard Florey Centenary Research Fellowship (2001 - 2002), NSW Cancer Council Career Development Fellowship (2003 - 2008) and AIPS Young Tall Poppy Award (2006).

Geraldine has delivered speaker presentations at national conferences and at international and national institutes, as well as undertaken leadership roles in major national conferences. She is a Principal Investigator of The Kid’s Cancer Project Childhood Cancer Cytoskeleton Consortium (C4) and of the recently established Brain Cancer Discovery Collaborative.

Geraldine was a member of the NHMRC grant review panels (2010-2012) and is involved in frequent grant reviewing for agencies including NHMRC, ARC, Cancer Council, Cure Cancer Australia, National Breast Cancer Foundation and Human Frontiers in Science Program, along with regular invitations to review manuscripts for international cancer and biochemistry journals.

Geraldine has also served as secretary, Australian and NZ Society for Cell and Developmental Biology. Her commitment to student mentoring is indicated by a teaching award in 2006, prizes awarded to her Honours and PhD students and appointment as Deputy Post-graduate coordinator.

Dr Belinda Kramer

Dr Belinda Kramer is a senior research scientist and leads laboratory research within the Cancer Gene Therapy Research team. She is also a member of Sydney Cell and Gene Therapy and highly experienced in gene transfer techniques and cell therapies.

Associate Professor Daniel Catchpoole

Associate Professor Daniel Catchpoole is head of the Tumour Bank and one of the founding members of the Australian Biospecimens Network.

He has 20 years fulltime laboratory research experience into the molecular basis of paediatric malignancies and extensive experience with the analysis of gene expression as well as cellular and molecular applications associated with research into acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

In particular, Daniel’s research focuses predominantly on improving data visualisation to advance cancer pers acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and neuroblastoma, as well as cancer-prone syndromes in children, namely Beckwith Wiedemann syndrome.

Dan also established microarray technology within the Children's Cancer Research Unit and continues to advance e-medicine approaches in cancer research and treatment.

Dr Loretta Lau

Dr Loretta Lau is a paediatric oncologist and Leader of the Neuroblastoma Research team at the Kids Research Institute. Loretta conducts research into how cancer cells achieve immortality by preserving the length of their telomeres, the structures that protect their DNA.


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