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

Organisation

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

Membership

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 are active in the area of cancer research.

Membership is also open to postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate research students enrolled at the University of Sydney who are doing research in the area of cancer.

Finance

Financial responsibility for the Network’s activities shall be vested in the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), and the Deans of the Faculties of Medicine and Science. The Network’s funds shall be held in an account maintained by Sydney Medical School. Normally, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Deans of the Faculties of Medicine and Science will exercise their financial responsibility by approving budgets for the Network, prepared by the Council, 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 Management 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 Management Committee

The Management 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 Management Committee shall constitute a quorum. Meetings of the Management 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 Management 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 Management Committee

The management of the business and affairs of the Network shall be vested in the Management Committee of the Network.

The Management Committee shall comprise the following:

  • The Chair of the committee;
  • The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or his or her nominee;
  • The Dean of Sydney Medical School or his or her nominee;
  • The Dean of the Faculty of Science or his or her nominee;
  • Four ordinary members who are members of the Network elected by the members of the Network, two of whom will engage in basic research on cancer, and one each of whom will engage in clinical research on cancer and other research on cancer; and
  • One postgraduate student representative who is enrolled in a PhD or MPhil (in a cancer-related field) at the University of Sydney.

The Deans of Medicine and Science, and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) will, in making their nominations, take into account the degree to which the Committee's membership successfully reflects the geographic and disciplinary breadth of the University's cancer researchers.

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 Management Committee may appoint a person who is a Member of the Network to fill that vacancy.

Current members of the Management Committee are:

  • Professor Graham Mann, Chair of the Management Committee;
  • Professor Jill Trewhella, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research);
  • Professor Stephen Clarke, Representative of the Dean of Sydney Medical School;
  • Professor Trevor Hambley, Representative of the Dean of the Faculty of Science;
  • Professor Phyllis Butow (ordinary member, working in the area of 'other' cancer research);
  • A/Professor Debbie Marsh (ordinary member, working in the area of basic biomedical cancer research);
  • Dr Nick Pavlakis (ordinary member, working in the area of clinical cancer research);
  • Ms Krystal Lester (Student representative);
  • Vacant (ordinary member, working in the area of public health cancer research); and
  • Ms Merilyn Heuschkel (ex officio member, Executive Officer, Cancer Research Network).

The term of membership is three years. Members may be re-elected or re-appointed for any number of consecutive terms. The Chair is appointed for a term of three years by consensus of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and the Deans of Medicine and Science.

About the Network Chair, Professor Graham Mann

Graham Mann is a Professor in Medicine at the University of Sydney, Associate Dean (Research) in Sydney Medical School and Chair of the University of Sydney Cancer Research Network. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cancer Council NSW and of its Cancer Research and Governance Committees.

He helps lead melanoma research programs of the National Health and Medical Research Council and Cancer Institute NSW, with teams in the Westmead Millennium Institute and Melanoma Institute Australia. 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.

A founding and Executive member of the Kathleen Cuningham Consortium for Research in Familial Breast Cancer (kConFab), he chaired its Data and Analysis Subcommittee until 2008. He is a founding member and principal investigator of the international Melanoma Genetics Consortium (GenoMEL). He was President of the Australian Society for Medical Research in 1996.

Cancer Research Network funding

The University of Sydney Cancer Research Network is supported by The University of Sydney Cancer Research Fund and the Faculties of Medicine and Science.

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 .