Luciano Dalla-Pozza ... to the tune of “Davy Crockett”.
Born on a mountain top in Northern Italy
Greatest land of cheese and spaghetti
Skied down the slopes when he was only three
Sailed in a boat and landed in Syd-en-ey
A Dragons, Dragons supporter, destined to suffer all year
Studied his craft at the Sydney Uni
Learned about kids and their medical needs
Went to St Jude in Memphis, Tennessee
Came back and worked at RAHC
A Dragons, Dragons supporter, a team which knows no fear
… which brings us up to speed with the current Head of Department.
Luciano Dalla-Pozza, known broadly as ‘Luce’, focuses his attention on managing acute leukaemia in children and adolescents, and increasing access to clinical trials and new therapies for his patients. He is currently involved in the design of the new Cancer Centre for Children as he considers modern medical facilities a vital component in providing advanced treatments, research and patient care.
And to relax … well, Luce collects … children’s books. He is close to having the entire Newbery Award winners in his possession. He’s also well on the way to collecting the Carnegie (CILIP)collection and the Caldecott winners.
He likes “grape juice” … but only a little ... and chocolate … and ice cream … and he really loves lamingtons.
Dr Caroline Bateman is a Staff Specialist with a particular interest in Leukaemia, Lymphoma and Immune Effector Cell therapies, including CAR-T cells.
Dr Bateman completed her clinical training in paediatric oncology and paediatric haematology in the UK, training at The Royal Marsden Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. She is a haemato-pathologist and a clinically-trained paediatric haematologist.
Dr Bateman gained her PhD after spending four years with Sir Professor Mel Greaves at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, generating insights into the molecular development of childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). She divides her time between a joint clinical role within the CCFC and her research position within the cell therapy group at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research.
Dr Bateman is the Study Chair of IVoCC; a biological study of immune reconstitution in children post blood and marrow transplantation and adaptive cellular therapy. She is the Deputy National Primary Investigator on the MyeChild 01 study - a phase III Clinical trial in Children with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia; and IntReALL 2010 - an international study for Treatment of SR Childhood Relapsed ALL 2010.
Dr Dinisha Govender is a staff specialist with a special interest in neuro-oncology, global health and survivorship.
Dr Govender completed her paediatric training with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, before moving to Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College Hospital, London, to complete a paediatric oncology fellowship.
Her current research interest focuses on improving quality of survival in patients with brain tumours. Dr Govender is actively involved in medical education in collaboration with The University of Sydney and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
Qualifications: MCChB, FRACP
Dr Stewart Kellie
Professor Stewart Kellie is a Paediatric Oncologist and Neuro-oncologist, and Clinical Professor with Child and Adolescent Health at The University of Sydney.
He has a particular interest in neuro-oncology in infants and children and completed his Doctorate of Medicine with The University of Sydney in 2005.
Professor Kellie has recently turned his research interest to expand the range of oncology and neuro-oncology services in developing nations in the Asian region. This includes training medical specialists from South Asia and South-East Asia.
Professor Kellie was the chairman of The University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee from 2001-2004, and the Chairman of the 16th International Symposium on Paediatric Neuro-Oncology (ISPNO) in 2014.
Importantly, Professor Kellie is an advisor to the Australian Government on the registration of prescription medicines, particularly in the fields of oncology and paediatrics for the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Associate Professor Geoffrey McCowage is a Senior Staff Specialist whose particular expertise is in solid tumours, particularly sarcomas and brain tumours. A/Prof McCowage’s research interests are in gene therapy, cancer immunotherapy, and clinical trials.
His podcasts, for people interested in understanding childhood cancer and its treatments, are available on Soundcloud and iTunes.
After completing his clinical training in paediatric haematology oncology at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, A/Prof McCowage then completed a combined clinical and research fellowship at Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina.
A/Prof McCowage’s research is in two main areas. He is head of a gene therapy program responsible for Australia’s first gene therapy trial, using vectors designed and constructed in Australia, and his second area of interest is in clinical trials, including early phase trials. As CEO of Australasian Children’s Cancer Trials, A/Prof McCowage coordinates a national effort in international trials collaboration.
Qualifications: MB, BS (Hons), FRACP
He is a self-confessed current affairs addict, enjoys slow smoked ribs and brisket, plays golf (badly), and violin (reasonably).
Dr Bhavna Padhye
Dr Bhavna Padhye is a Staff Specialist with expertise in treating children with hematolymphoid malignancy and solid tumours. She has a particular interest in clinical trials and genetic predisposition to childhood cancer.
Dr Padhye completed her clinical training in Paediatrics and Paediatric Oncology in India and Sydney, training in one of the largest oncology centres in the world, Tata Memorial Hospital, in Mumbai, India.
She has a master’s degree in Clinical Trials Research from The University of Sydney and completed her PhD looking at prevention of long-term bone complications in children and adolescents undergoing treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Lymphoma.
Dr Padhye is involved in whole genome sequencing research to diagnose genetic predisposition to childhood cancer.
Dr Padhye is a Principal Investigator at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead for Children’s Oncology Group (COG) clinical trials. She is a Site Investigator for the implementation study There's no place like home: National scale up of the paediatric low risk febrile neutropenia program. She is also an investigator on PREDICT study: Assessment of the utility of family-based (trio) whole-genome sequencing for cancer predisposition testing in sequential newly diagnosed paediatric and adolescent cancer patients.
Qualifications: MBBS, MD, FRACP, MClinTRes (University of Sydney), PhD
Dr Jessica Ryan
Dr Jessica Ryan is a Staff Specialist Paediatric Oncologist and has a special interest in bone and soft tissue sarcomas and adolescent and young adult oncology.
Dr Ryan completed her clinical training in paediatric oncology at John Hunter Hospital, NSW, and The Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane. She undertook a three-year fellowship in Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology at the University College Hospital, London, where she developed a passion for improving outcomes for teenage and young adult patients.
Dr Ryan has a special interest in clinical pharmacology using research into novel agents for solid tumours, pharmacogenetics, and therapeutic drug monitoring to improve outcomes for patients.
She says, “I am committed to service improvement and am involved in projects which aim to empower adolescent patients, giving them more control over their treatment journey and an improved patient experience.”
Qualifications: BMed (Hons), FRACP
Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) and Cellular Therapy
Dr Melissa Gabriel
Dr Melissa Gabriel is a Staff Specialist who has two roles in the Cancer Centre. She is an integral part of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation team, along with Professor Peter Shaw and Dr Steven Keogh, and is the director of collections of stem cell products. Dr Gabriel is the head of the Oncology Long Term Follow Up Clinic.
Her interests range from transplantation for malignant and non-malignant disorders, the newly emerging cellular therapies, such as CAR T-cells, and the long-term impacts of these therapies, and in the quality of survivorship.
Dr Gabriel completed her clinical training in paediatric haematology and oncology in The Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, followed by six-months as the locum Head of Transplant Unit, before starting with the Cancer Centre for Children in 2008.
Dr Gabriel’s current research activities are as an Investigator in clinical trials conducted by the Transplant Service. These involve the investigation of new drugs and vaccines for post-transplant use, and in the treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). She is also interested in cellular therapy for viral infections and anti-leukaemic therapy.
She is the principle investigator of the NQOL study currently open at both Randwick and Westmead. The NQOL study investigates the neurocognitive, quality of life and sleep impacts in children undergoing bone marrow transplants for leukaemia. Dr Gabriel is a site investigator for a number of national studies looking at a variety of long-term complications in childhood cancer survivors.
Qualifications: MBBS, FRACP (General Paediatrics and Medical Oncology).
Dr Gabriel loves to laugh and is addicted to online shopping!
Dr Steven J Keogh
Dr Steven Keogh is a Staff Specialist and works in Blood and Marrow Transplantation with Professor Peter Shaw and Dr Melissa Gabriel. He is interested in transplantation for malignancies, metabolic diseases, osteopetrosis and primary immune deficiencies. Gene therapy is also of particular interest.
Dr Keogh completed his clinical training in paediatric haematology and oncology and paediatric haematology at The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne. He then worked as a Consultant Haematologist/Oncologist at John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, for six months before returning to Melbourne for a further three years.
In 2009, Dr Keogh spent 18 months as the BMT Clinical Fellow at United Hospitals Bristol, UK, where he trained in adult and paediatric transplantation. This was followed by time with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne before starting at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in 2012 where he works full-time in the Transplant Service.
He is currently an investigator on several clinical trials with the Transplant Service involving the investigation of new drugs and vaccines for post-transplant use, and in particular for the treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Others involve cellular therapy for viral infections and anti-leukaemic therapy.
Qualifications: MBBS (Hons), FRACP (General Paediatrics and Medical Oncology).
Dr Keogh enjoys spending time with his family and loves his Kelpie.
Professor Peter Shaw
Professor Peter Shaw is a senior clinician who established Paediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) as a stand-alone service. He is a world-wide expert on the use and toxicity of the drugs used to prepare the patient for transplant.
Peter trained in BMT at the Westminster Children’s Hospital in London, which did the first transplants in the world for children undergoing BMT with a range of rare diseases.
After completing his training in England, Scotland and Sydney, he sustained his interest in BMT when he returned to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in 1990. Under his direction, the Hospital has expanded the range of diseases that are offered transplants and, as new techniques emerge, a variety of other cell therapies.
Qualifications : MA (Cantab) MB BS (Lond) MRCP FRACP
As a senior member of the clinical transplant team Professor Shaw says that, “Sharing the journey of a child going through BMT with their family is a life-long privilege.”