Featured members of the Cancer Research Network
The combined expertise of the members belonging to the Cancer Research Network is reflected in the range of top quality cancer research conducted at The University of Sydney, its teaching hospitals, research institutes and institutions.
Listed here are a few members of the Cancer Research Network who are currently being featured on this website.
- Professor Robert Baxter
- Professor Simon Chapman
- Professor Rebecca Mason
- Professor Roger Reddel
- Professor John Thompson
- Professor Kate White
Sydney Medical School researcher Professor Robert Baxter, Director of the Kolling Institute of Medical Research is among the 250 most cited researchers in the world according to ISIHighly Cited.com.
Professor Baxter’s research has been into the somatomedins or insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), polypeptides structurally related to proinsulin, with both anabolic and mitogenic activities. These ubiquitous growth factors are essential for normal growth and also implicated in the aberrant growth of many cancers and other conditions of cellular dysfunction. Professor Baxter’s laboratory has pioneered biochemical, cell biology and endocrine studies on these proteins. He is among the international leaders in IGF binding protein research, with over 15,000 literature citations.
ISIHighlyCited.com is compiled by Thomson Scientific to identify and honour researchers whose publications have received the highest number of citations (as identified by ISI) across the past two decades. Citation is a measure of influence on the literature of a subject, and it is also a strong indicator of scientific contribution since it is derived from pattern of interaction among millions of published articles. When one researcher cites another's work, he/she is acknowledging the relevance of that work to the current study.
Simon Chapman is Professor in Public Health. He is a sociologist with a PhD on the semiotics of cigarette advertising, author of 11 books and major government reports and 192 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Professor Chapman’s main research interests are in tobacco control, media discourses on health and illness, and risk communication. He teaches annual courses in Public Health Advocacy and Tobacco Control in the University of Sydney's Master of Public Health program.
Simon’s expertise has been sought by international organisations and his contribution awarded by national and international bodies. From 1984-2002, Simon was a member of the World Health Organization's Expert Advisory Panel on Tobacco and Health. In 1997 he won the World Health Organization's 'World No Tobacco Day' Medal, and in 2003, his international peers voted him to receive the Terry Luther medal for outstanding individual leadership in tobacco control.
In 2005, Professor Chapman’s NH&MRC project was acknowledged by the Health Minister Tony Abbott after being chosen as one of 10 outstanding projects funded in recent years by the NHMRC. Professor Chapman's group was jointly funded by the NHMRC and the US National Cancer Institute to comb through over 40 million pages of previously internal tobacco industry documents on Australia and Asia, researching how the tobacco industry sought to ‘reassure' smokers that they need not be concerned about the health risks of smoking, how the industry denied that nicotine is addictive and that it was interested in the teenage market, and how it generally opposed all effective forms of tobacco control.
Professor Rebecca Mason is a leading Vitamin D researcher. Her research has taken a number of paths including the role of Vitamin D in protecting against ultraviolet or sun damage, and the role played by Vitamin D in protecting against cancer. Research findings have shown that making Vitamin D and its further metabolism in the skin contributes to protection from damage that ultraviolet does to the skin.
Professor Mason has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and on National Health and Medical Research Council Grant Review Panels for Endocrinology and Reproduction and Musculoskeletal diseases. She is a member of the Technical Committee of the Commission Internationale de L’Eclairage (International Commission of Illumination) on Sunlight, Health and Vitamin D. She serves on a committee updating Clinical Guidelines for melanoma prevention and management for the National Health and Medical Research Council. Professor Mason is Head of Physiology and acting Deputy Director of the Bosch Institute. For Sydney Medical School, she serves as Associate Dean (Curriculum) and Chair of the University of Sydney Medical Program Committee. She is a member of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Research Institute, a Council member of the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society and a Board member of Osteoporosis Australia.
Professor Roger Reddel is Lorimer Dods Professor and Director of the Children's Medical Research Institute. He also heads CMRI's Cancer Research Unit and is Director of CellBank Australia, a new facility established by a joint venture of Children's Medical Research Institute, Cure Cancer Australia Foundation, and National Breast Cancer Foundation, and by an NHMRC Enabling Grant.
Professor Reddel originally trained as a medical oncologist, before undertaking a PhD on the cell biology of breast cancer, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the US National Cancer Institute. He was the Carcinogenesis Fellow of the Cancer Council NSW from 1988 until 2003, and then was an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow from 2004 until he became CMRI Director in November 2007. In 2007 he was awarded the Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research.
Professor Reddel's research is focussed on the molecular genetics of immortalisation - the ability of cancer cells to divide an unlimited number of times - and he and his group are best known for discovering the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres mechanism. The goal of his work is to understand the immortalisation process in sufficient detail to make it possible to design treatments that specifically limit cancer cell proliferation.
Professor John Thompson is the Executive Director and Research Director of the Sydney Melanoma Unit, one of the world’s largest melanoma treatment and research centres.
He is the author of over 400 peer-reviewed scientific articles as well as numerous book chapters, review articles and monographs. His primary current research interests are in the fields of lymphatic mapping and sentinel node biopsy for melanoma, and regional chemotherapy techniques for limb tumours which cannot be treated surgically.
Professor Kate White has worked for over twenty years in clinical, education and research areas specialising in cancer and palliative care. She gained postgraduate qualifications in cancer nursing (NSW) and palliative care (UK). After establishing the first palliative care nursing position at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney, Professor White played a key role in the development of the first tertiary postgraduate palliative care program in Australia. She completed a Masters in Nursing (Research), focusing on ethical issues for nurses in palliative care. Her Doctor of Philosophy research, undertaken at the University of Sydney, explored the meaning of quality of life for individuals in the palliative care phase of a cancer illness.
Professor White has worked closely with cancer and palliative care organisations at both state and national levels. She has been a member of advisory panels for government and key non-government organisations, advising on issues related to palliative care, cancer, and education. In her previous role Kate was the Associate Professor Cancer and Palliative Care, at Edith Cowan University in WA. In addition, for the two years prior to taking up her current position Professor White was the Head, School of Nursing and Public Health.
Professor White is actively involved in the research and education activities to improve the care of women with breast cancer, palliative care patients, rural cancer patients and education of nurses in these areas.