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Please join with me in congratulating the Director of our Children’s Cancer Research Unit, Geraldine O’Neill on her recent University of Sydney promotion … she is now Professor of Cancer Biology. This is wonderful news and acknowledges not only her past endeavours in research, but also the expectation that her leadership in the area of cancer biology will play a major role in harnessing research initiatives on this campus, in NSW and in Australia.
Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza, Head of the Cancer Centre for Children
Research and roles
Geraldine’s research has helped illuminate how cancer cells interact with tissue and she has a special interest in developing pre-clinical models for brain cancer to help understand how these cancers behave. In developing improved treatments for brain cancer she has drawn on the latest advances in cell biology, tissue engineering and biophysics to enable research to be translated into new clinical therapies.
Under her direction, the Children’s Cancer Research Unit has programs that encompass basic cell biology, through to more complex clinical trials with in-house developed gene therapy vectors (also known as CAR T-cells in which a patient’s immune system is activated to fight cancer).
Her current projects include:
- Utilising laboratory created ‘mini-brains’ for brain cancer research
- New therapies to impede the spread of brain cancer
- Methods of sensing properties and behaviours of cells
- Exploiting cell behaviour and properties for new insights into brain cancer therapy and its responses
As well as contributing to highly regarded research publications, forming international and national collaborations and winning major grants to fund research, she has held key roles in national cancer societies, is the Deputy Director of Kids Cancer Alliance NSW, and has won prestigious awards such as for fellowships and the high quality of her teaching.