Scientific Advisory Committee
The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) facilitates the development of new concepts, prioritisation and incorporation of key questions into active and proposed clinical trials, and includes the monitoring of ongoing trials as well as establishing research priorities. The SAC consists of a core group of ANZUP members representing the major disciplines relevant to ANZUP, nominated and appointed upon the recommendation of each subcommittee group.
Ian Davis, Chair
Professor Ian Davis is chair of the ANZUP Board and of its Scientific Advisory Committee. He is a medical oncologist and Professor of Medicine and Head of the Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University and Eastern Health, in Melbourne, Australia. He holds honorary appointments with the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and Austin Health, is an Associate Professor of the University of Melbourne, and Associate of the University of Sydney. His primary clinical interests are in urologic cancers, and his primary research interests are in cancer immunology and the biology of urologic cancers. Prof Davis is a member of the Medical & Scientific Committee and of the Standing Subcommittee on Research for the Cancer Council Victoria. He founded the Urologic Oncology Group of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA), is a member of COSA Council, and was previously a COSA Board director.
Scott Williams, Deputy Chair
Professor Scott Williams is a consultant Radiation Oncologist and Professor with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Uro-Oncology service in Melbourne where he has a special interest practice made up almost exclusively of prostate cancer patients. He is heavily involved in research, managing several national and international randomised trials in prostate cancer and is a member of PeterMac ethics as well as several national research and advisory committees. He holds a USA prostate cancer foundation creativity award, their highest individual honour for innovative research ideas. This award relates to novel translational research, while he is also a collaborator on active research grants for work ranging from clinical trials to functional imaging to mathematical modelling to genetics, with national and international collaborations.
Associate Professor Arun Azad is an internationally recognised medical oncologist and translational researcher in urological cancers, with a particular focus on prostate cancer. After completing his medical training and a PhD at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, he undertook a Fellowship in a world-renowned prostate cancer clinical and research program in Vancouver, under the supervision of Professor Kim Chi. A/Prof Azad is now based at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where he leads clinical, translational and laboratory research focused on prostate cancer in his role as a clinician-scientist.
Dr Nick Buchan is a Urologist based in Christchurch, New Zealand and works in both public and private practice. Nicks practice focuses on the diagnosis and management of urological cancers. Nick gained his experience in medical trials while on fellowship at the Vancouver Prostate Centre. The Vancouver Prostate Centre is one of the largest research and clinical centres in the world that focuses on translational research into prostatic diseases, prostate cancer in particular. Currently Nick is director of the Canterbury Urology Research Trust (CURT). CURT is a trust that conducts urological trials for CROs as well as its own investigator lead trials in urological conditions with the main focus being urological oncology. Nick is also a director of a privately owned hospital in Christchurch, Forte Health and large Urology specialist practice, Urology Associates.
Professor Lisa Butler is a Cancer Council Principal Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide and heads the Prostate Cancer Research Group at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. She holds a Ph.D. in cancer biology from the University of Adelaide with postdoctoral training in preclinical drug development at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, and was most recently an ARC Future Fellow (2014-18). Prof Butler’s research focuses on novel approaches to target androgen signalling therapeutically in prostate cancer, and on biomarker discovery in drug development. Her specific goals are to develop and commercialise novel diagnostic/prognostic markers and therapies alongside innovative, non-invasive approaches to monitor them in clinical trials. She has established productive translational research programs that leverage her unique preclinical models involving primary clinical samples, prostate biobanking, proof-of-concept clinical trials and international collaborations. Currently, she leads a Movember Revolutionary Team to investigate the androgenic regulation of lipid metabolism in prostate cancer, and the potential for lipids and their regulatory enzymes to be utilised as new biomarkers of disease aggressiveness. The outcomes will enable more precise tailoring of new metabolic therapies to the patients who will benefit from them the most.
Associate Professor Haryana Dhillon (BSc MA PhD) is a Senior Research Fellow, who co-leads the Survivorship Research Group and is a Director of the Centre for Medical Psychology and Evidence-based Decision Making, School of Psychology, University of Sydney. Her research interests are broad encompassing cancer survivorship, health literacy, and interventions for survivorship, symptom management, and psycho-oncology. Haryana is active in several of the Australasian Cancer Cooperative Trials Groups, and is committed to the collaborative research process. She tweets for herself and a number of organisations. She is known for live tweeting conferences and events. Haryana is also the Chair of the ANZUP Quality of Life and Supportive Care Subcommittee.
Mr Joe Esposito is a Melbourne based director who has recently established a business consultancy practice, Grumentum Capital Pty Ltd. For 8 years until 2020, he owned and operated a BOQ (Bank of Queensland) branch in the inner city suburb of Collingwood. He has had over 20 years experience in corporate banking in Australia and New Zealand. Between 2003 and 2006 he was the CEO of ASX listed Jetset Travelworld Limited.
Mr Esposito has a close affinity with the objectives of ANZUP and the needs of cancer consumers. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce, a Master of Applied Finance and a Diploma in Finance and Mortgage Management. He is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Associate Professor Craig Gedye is a medical oncologist and cancer researcher. He works for people with melanoma, brain, prostate, bladder and kidney cancers at the Calvary Mater Newcastle, and is the Director of the HMRI Clinical Trials Unit. His research focuses on complexity and heterogeneity in cancer – why are cancers different between different people; why are cancers cells different to each other; what does this mean for each person’s treatment? This challenging problem spans projects across the research spectrum, from patient experience, through clinical trials, translational biomarkers and questions in basic science. Craig is privileged to lead several national cancer clinical trials for the ANZUP and COGNO cancer trials groups, chairs the ANZUP Renal Cell Cancer Subcommittee, is a member of the Mark Hughes Scientific Advisory Committee, HNEHLD Clinical Trials Ethics Subcommittee, COGNO Scientific Advisory Committee and ANZUP Cancer Trials Scientific Advisory Committee.
Dr Fritha Hanning was born in Auckland and is a graduate of Auckland Medical School, having studied at Otago University for her preclinical medical years. During her advanced training she worked extensively in the United Kingdom at the Royal London and St Bartholomew's hospitals, the Royal Free Hospital London, and at Cancer Research UK in Oxford. While in the United Kingdom she completed a certificate in palliative care and symptom management from the University of Wales.Although her main focus is genitourinary cancer, Fritha treats patients with a number of different cancers including gastrointestinal. Fritha has dual appointments, in addition to her role at Auckland City Hospital, she is a director of Canopy Cancer Care, and an Honorary Lecturer at the university of Auckland medical school. Fritha is the chairperson and initiator of the Genitourinary Special Interest Group for New Zealand. She is a key contributor to on-going scientific research in genitourinary cancer, with involvement in current trials and as a New Zealand representative on the Australia New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer scientific committee.
Professor Dickon Hayne is a clinical academic who leads urological research and undergraduate education in urology, at the University of Western Australia. He works as consultant urological surgeon and is the Head of Urology for the South Metropolitan Health Service, WA. He is Chair of the Bladder, Urothelial and Penile (BUP) Cancer Sub-committee of the Australian & New Zealand Urogenital & Prostate Cancer Trials Group (ANZUP), an SAC member, Operations Executive member, leads the BCGMM trial and is widely engaged in other sub-committees, trials and activities of ANZUP. He is lead clinician for the Urological Tumour Collaborative of the WA Cancer and Palliative care Network (WACPCN). His major clinical and research interests are urological cancer, in particular bladder cancer.
Professor Lisa Horvath is the Director of Research at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. She completed medical school at the University of Sydney and trained in medical oncology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where she was appointed to the senior staff in 2003. She completed her PhD in translational research at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in 2004. Lisa’s research interest is predominantly in the field of prostate cancer in particular biomarkers, prostate cancer biology and clinical trials.
Lisa holds academic appointments at both the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales and is the Head of Advanced Prostate Cancer research group at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre/Garvan Institute of Medical Research. She is the Conjoint Chair of Medical Oncology (Genitourinary Cancers) at Lifehouse. She has published more than 100 original research papers in peer-reviewed journals in the last 20 years. She has presented extensively at national and international meetings both peer-reviewed and invited presentations. Lisa is an ANZUP Board Director, a member of the ANZUP Scientific Advisory Committee and is Chair of the ANZUP Prostate Cancer Subcommittee.
Associate Professor George Hruby completed a fellowship at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in 1999 and was awarded a clinical fellowship at the University of Toronto. He spent 13 months in Toronto at a high volume academic centre focused on genito-urinary cancers. In Dec 2000 he commenced as Staff Specialist in Radiation Oncology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, (now Lifehouse). Clinical milestones have included the establishment of the High Dose Rate brachytherapy program at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital with over 300 implants performed since inception in 2002. Whilst at RPA, George was instrumental in leading the introduction of more sophisticated techniques for the treatment of prostate cancer such as image guided radiation treatment (IGRT) in 2007, IMRT (intensity modulated radiation treatment) for anal cancer in 2009, and for prostate cancer in 2010. In 2014 the first prostate cancer patients were treated with SABR (stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy) for oligo-metastatic disease. He has mentored and taught radiation oncology registrars as well as medical students, presented at many scientific meetings and co-authored over 75 peer reviewed publications. He currently works at Royal North Shore Hospital.
Ms Belinda Jago has worked predominantly in the human resources field after completing a Bach of Business in 1981. She had 12 years with ANZ where she held a variety of operational and strategic HR roles. After a short career break Belinda returned to work in 1999 in various HR management roles within the Finance and IT sector. Currently Belinda is the HR Director at Active Display Group, a national manufacturing business specialising in point of sale material. She joined the group in 2004 with a special interest in acquisitions and restructuring. Belinda’s interest in ANZUP stems from her role as a carer for her daughter who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2006 at the early age of 13. Volunteering with ANZUP is an opportunity for Belinda to share the knowledge and skills she has acquired during her own experience and to pursue her passion for assisting cancer patients, their carer’s and families with a particular interest in kidney and AYA cancers.
Professor James Kench is Local Pathology Director at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, a Clinical Professor of the University of Sydney, and a senior Visiting Scientist at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre/Garvan Institute of Medical Research. He has internationally recognised expertise in prostate cancer pathology and a major research interest in diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. He has published over 190 peer reviewed journal articles and is a member of key international and Australasian organisations relating to genitourinary cancers, including the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR) Dataset Steering Committee and Board, the RCPA National Structured Pathology Reporting of Cancer Program, the Cancer Australia Intercollegiate Advisory Group, and chairs the ICCR Prostate Cancer Dataset Authoring Committee.
Associate Professor Andrew James Martin (PhD) is Senior Lecturer in Biostatistics at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre University of Sydney. Andrew has over 15 years experience in clinical trials research gained from senior roles within research-based pharmaceutical organisations and the University of Sydney. His specific interest is in the application of optimal study designs and analysis methods to the development and evaluation of health interventions. He is responsible for the provision of statistical leadership to clinical trial networks in a variety of disease areas to design, undertake, analyse and report on clinical trials.
Margaret McJannett, CEO Ex-officio
Ms Margaret McJannett is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for ANZUP Cancer Trials Group Ltd. Her professional background is in nursing with a post-graduate certificate in oncology nursing. Margaret worked as a clinical nurse consultant at The Sydney Melanoma Unit, research coordinator in the Medical Psychology Research Unit, Sydney University and project officer at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane. Ms McJannett more recently was the EO of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA) and Cancer Council Australia before taking up her role with ANZUP. She has facilitated and contributed to COSA's and CCA's expert committees, the national Cancer Co-operative Clinical Trials Groups and COSA's collaborative role with key stakeholders including other NGO's Cancer Voices, Government agencies and Industry partners.
Ms Kath Schubach is a GU Nurse Practitioner working in private practice in metropolitan Melbourne and rural Victoria. Drawing on qualifications and experience across two core areas, cancer and urology, her practice specialises in individual care that promotes optimal patient outcomes. Kath has expertise in managing sexual dysfunction for oncology/urology patients. She is a PhD candidature, has a master in Nursing Science and postgraduate qualifications in oncology, urology and continence, nursing. She is currently President of Australian & New Zealand Urology Nurses , member of Victorian Urological Nurses Society and is a member of the ANZUP Scientific Advisory Committee.
Professor Andrew Scott is Director, Department of Molecular Imaging and Therapy, Austin Health; leads the Tumour Targeting Program at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute; and Professor, University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, and Monash University. His clinical and research interests are focused on molecular imaging particularly oncology applications of PET in cancer, and developing innovative strategies for targeted therapy of cancer with monoclonal antibodies, as well as global advocacy of Nuclear Medicine. His laboratory has been involved in the preclinical development and first-in-man trials of numerous recombinant antibodies in cancer patients, and seven antibodies developed in his laboratory have been licenced to Biotech and Pharma companies. He is an Executive Council member of the World Federation of Nuclear Medicine and Biology, is on the Board of ANSTO, is Chair of the Board of Cancer Trials Australia, a member of the Scientific Committee of ARTnet, and Federal Council member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine.
Professor Shomik Sengupta is Professor of Surgery and deputy Head of School at the Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University and a consultant urologist and Uro-Oncology lead at the Department of Urology, Eastern Health. Shomik has a practice with a urooncology subspecialty interest – including open, laparoscopic and robotic cancer surgery. Shomik also has a strong interest in urologic research, including involvement in clinical trials through the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital & Prostate (ANZUP) Cancer Trials Group, where he is a member of the Board and the Scientific Advisory Committee. Shomik has more than 100 original publications to date and has been an invited speaker, session chair and convenor at numerous scientific meetings.
Professor Martin Stockler is Director of Oncology at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and its Clinical Lead for ANZUP. He is Professor of Oncology and Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Sydney, and a consultant medical oncologist at the Concord Repatriation General Hospital and at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse RPA. Research interests include: the design, execution, analysis and synthesis of cancer clinical trials; the assessment of quality of life and preferences; evidence-based medicine in clinical practice and medical education; patient-doctor communication; prognostication; and, the management of genitourinary, lung, gynaecologic, and advanced cancers. The aim of Martin’s research has been to improve survival time, quality of life, prognostication, communication and decision-making for people affected by cancer. Research highlights include pivotal studies establishing the benefits of: chemotherapy and targeted drugs for cancers of the prostate, testis, kidney, lung, breast and ovary; presenting information about prognosis as best, worst and typical scenarios for survival time; and, preference studies documenting the benefits patients judge necessary to make adjuvant therapy worthwhile in breast, lung, colorectal, endometrial, and kidney cancers.
Professor Christopher Sweeney, is a Medical Oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-ACRIN, Alliance and the American Association for Cancer Research. Dr. Sweeney’s primary research interest is drug discovery and development. His academic focus is management of genitourinary malignancies, with a focus on prostate and testicular cancer. Dr. Sweeney is a highly active contributor to his field, having served on the Editorial Board for ASCO’s Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Program and Cancer Education Committees of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He has received peer reviewed funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. Dr. Sweeney is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of biotech companies in the United States and Australia. Dr. Sweeney received his medical degree from the University of Adelaide, South Australia in 1992 and completed an internship at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He did residency in internal medicine at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse, Wisconsin and a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at Indiana University Medical Center, where he was later appointed Associate Director for Clinical Research for the Simon Cancer Center. Dr. Sweeney joined the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at DFCI and Harvard Medical School in 2009.
Professor Bertrand Tombal is Chairman of the Division of Surgery and Professor of Urology at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium. Professor Tombal is a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium. He is the current President of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), the leading European academic research organization in the field of cancer. Professor Tombal’s primary clinical interest is the treatment of advanced stages of prostate cancer, and particularly hormonal treatment and development of new biological agents. In addition, Professor Tombal has authored many published papers, books, and book chapters. He has presented at numerous national and international conferences and has been the recipient of various awards for his research in the field of urology, including the European Association of Urology thesis award, which he received in 2003. Professor Tombal is also a member of the Skeletal Care Academy, and member of the Scientific Office of European Association of Urology.
Associate Professor Ben Tran is an Associate Professor within the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology at The University of Melbourne and a Medical Oncologist at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. He also holds a Clinician Scientist appointment at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. His clinical focus lies entirely within the genitourinary (GU) tumour stream, in particular, testicular cancers. Following his medical oncology training in Australia, Ben completed an overseas Fellowship in Drug Development and Urological cancers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada. There he gained extensive experience in treating GU cancers, conducting Phase I clinical trials, implementing a large scale molecular profiling program and managing large multi-centre databases containing real world patient data. These experiences have allowed him to establish himself as a leader in GU cancers, Early Drug Development and RWD. Ben currently leads the GU clinical trials program at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and is Chair of the GU Tumour Group within Cancer Trials Australia, and Chair of the ANZUP Germ Cell Subcommittee.