The University of Sydney Cancer Research Network

About the Cancer Research Network

The Cancer Research Network, established in 2006, is a cross-Faculty initiative of the University of Sydney.

The Network has been established to link cancer researchers in the University of Sydney and its teaching hospitals and affiliated research institutes and institutions, and thereby help build high quality cancer research capacity and achieve international cancer research excellence in areas of strength.

The Network fosters communication with and among members to facilitate research collaboration, with an emphasis on research translation. Translational medicine, often known as bench to bedside, focuses on moving research discoveries from the laboratory into clinical practice to diagnose and treat patients.

One of the main aims of the network is to increase awareness of, and capacity for, multidisciplinary collaboration across groups. In the process, this will build a sense of community among cancer researchers across discipline and geographical boundaries.

Specifically, the Network aims to:

  • network researchers throughout the University of Sydney and its affiliated institutes and institutions, building a sense of community across discipline and geographical barriers;
  • increase awareness of, and capacity for, collaboration across disciplines;
  • encourage more high quality cancer research;
  • have a strong emphasis on research translation;
  • build research infrastructure and assets;
  • increase internal and external research funding;
  • build research capacity in areas of need or priority, with a focus on achieving international excellence in areas of strength;
  • foster networking and the establishment of mentoring relationships with experienced researchers; and
  • showcase cancer research at the University of Sydney, communicating achievements to the University, Government and the people.

The Network will adapt and respond to the needs of cancer researchers in the Network, and through its activities will stimulate knowledge transfer within the Network, the University and to the Government and public. This may extend to promotion of cancer research with other centres in Australia and overseas, and with the wider community both in Australia and internationally.

Governance of the Cancer Research Network


The Network is a cross-Faculty Network established within the University of Sydney and consists of the Chair, CRN Steering Committee, and the Members.


Membership is open to employees of the University of Sydney, people employed by teaching hospitals and Institutes of the University of Sydney, or people holding an academic title award from the University of Sydney, who have a current or potential research interest in the problem of cancer.

Membership is also open to postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate research students enrolled at the University of Sydney who have a current or potential research interest in the problem of cancer.


Financial responsibility for the Network’s activities shall be vested in the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). The Network’s funds shall be held in an account maintained by Sydney Medical School. Normally, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) will exercise their financial responsibility by approving budgets for the Network, prepared by the Committee, and by exercising broad oversight of budgetary performance. Day to day administration of finances will normally be entrusted to the Chair who will manage the finances within the agreed budget.

The Network may seek sponsorship from government and non-government sources to fund its activities, and may enter into such arrangements as are approved by the Steering Committee. All such arrangements shall be governed by a Memorandum of Understanding or a similar form of agreement between Sydney Medical School and the sponsoring body.

Proceedings and Powers of the Steering Committee

The Steering Committee may meet, adjourn and otherwise regulate its meetings as it sees fit, but shall meet at least once in every period of six months. One half of the Steering Committee shall constitute a quorum. Meetings of the Steering Committee may be held by conference call, or other electronic link, or may use telephone or electronic links to supplement personal attendance, as long as all members participating in a meeting have the opportunity to hear the interventions of the other participating members.

Annual Plan and Annual Report

At the beginning of each reporting period, the Network shall prepare a Business Plan for the following year that shall include: an operational plan, a proposed budget and a number of milestones that will measure the Network’s performance against the plan.

In preparing the annual business plan, the Chair and Steering Committee of the Network will have regard to the University’s research plan and the current plans of the Faculties of Medicine and Science. The Chair of the Network shall submit an Annual Report to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), the Deans of Sydney Medical School and Science, and all Members (and any other body that, from time-to-time according to the Policies of the University, the Network is required to report to) that will; outline the Network’s success in achieving the milestones identified in its Business Plan; present an accounting of income and expenditure for the previous year, and; report on other relevant matters.

The Cancer Research Network Steering Committee

The management of the business and affairs of the Network is vested in the Steering Committee of the Cancer Research Network. The Committee reflects the geographic and disciplinary breadth of the University's cancer researchers.

Current members of the Steering Committee are:

  • Professor Graham Mann (Chair)
  • Professor Alan Boddy
  • Professor Patrick Brennan
  • Professor Phyllis Butow
  • Dr Kellie Charles
  • Professor Stephen Clarke
  • A/Professor Teresa Davis
  • Professor Anna deFazio
  • Dr Haryana Dhillon
  • A/Professor Alexander Engel
  • Professor Dagan Feng
  • Professor Trevor Hambley
  • Professor Paul Harnett
  • Dr Jolyn Hersch
  • A/Professor Mark Krockenberger
  • Professor Deborah Marsh
  • Professor Roger Reddel
  • Professor Tim Shaw
  • Professor John Simes
  • Professor Kate White
  • A/Professor Peter Williamson
  • A/Professor Jean Yang
  • Professor Jane Young
  • Professor Hans Zoellner
  • Ms Merilyn Heuschkel (ex officio member)
  • Dr Cathy Barnett (ex officio member)

The term of membership is three years. Members may be re-elected or re-appointed for any number of consecutive terms. The Chair will be appointed for a term of three years by consensus of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and the Deans of Medicine and Science. In the case of a casual vacancy caused by the resignation, retirement, or other cause of an elected Member, a meeting of the Steering Committee may appoint a person who is a Member of the Network to fill that vacancy.

About the Network Chair, Professor Graham Mann

Graham Mann is a Professor in Medicine at the University of Sydney at the Westmead Millennium Institute and Melanoma Institute Australia. He helps lead a multidisciplinary melanoma research program funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and Cancer Institute NSW, with teams across the University of Sydney and at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. These programs are engaged in all aspects of melanoma control, from population-based studies of genetic and environmental susceptibility to melanoma, and psychosocial aspects of melanoma risk, to molecular markers of diagnosis, prognosis and response to treatment. Recent successes have included the discovery of novel genetic risk factors in the Australian population, and of novel biomarkers of prognosis in melanoma.

Cancer Research Network funding

The University of Sydney Cancer Research Network is supported by The University of Sydney Cancer Research Fund.

How to work with us

The generation of new research ideas is a core value of The University of Sydney Cancer Research Network, and collaboration is at the heart of every project.

Investigators outside the Cancer Research Network who are interested in initiating collaboration with members of The University of Sydney Cancer Research Network should contact the Network Office by .