Professor John Rasko AO

Medicine, Central Clinical School
Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine & Cell Biology

D06 - Blackburn Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

T: +61 2 9565 6100
F: +61 2 9565 6101
W: Related website

Biographical details

BSc(Med), MBBS(Hons), PhD, FRCPA, FRACP Director, Cell and Molecular Therapies, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Head, Gene & Stem Cell Therapy, Centenary Institute Professor, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney

Research interests

Professor Rasko is an Australian pioneer in the application of adult stem cells and genetic therapy. He directs the Department of Cell and Molecular Therapies at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and heads the Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program at the Centenary Institute, University of Sydney.

John Rasko is a clinical hematologist, pathologist and scientist with a productive track record in gene and stem cell therapy, experimental haematology and molecular biology. In over 140 publications he has made major contributions to the understanding of stem cells and haemopoiesis, gene transfer technologies, oncogenesis, human aminoacidurias and non-coding RNAs.

He serves on Hospital, state and national bodies including Chair of GTTAC, Office of the Gene Technology Regulator – responsible for regulating all genetically-modified organisms in Australia - and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Biologicals, Therapeutic Goods Administration. Contributions to scientific organisations include co-founding (2000) and past-President (2003-5) of the Australasian Gene Therapy Society; Vice President, International Society for Cellular Therapy (2008-12) and founder (2009) ISCT-Australia; Scientific Advisory Committees and Board member for philanthropic foundations; and several Ethics Committees. He is the recipient of national and international awards in recognition of his commitment to excellence in medical research, including appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Teaching areas

John Rasko supervises five doctoral students and has supervised well over a dozen successful postgraduate students, some of whom now head their own laboratories. He delivers regular lectures in the Faculties of Science and Medicine as well as a popular introductory lecture in Haematology for the Central Clinical School. He mentors postdoctoral researchers for career development, and Haematology trainees for the RACP/RCPA. He is a widely-sought speaker for seminars and the media in bringing research to a broader audience.

Current national competitive grants*


Designer DNA-binding proteins targeting methylated DNA for research and therapeutic purposes
Mackay J, Segal D, Rasko J
NHMRC Project Grants ($563,675 over 3 years)

Development of a treatment algorithm for kinase inhibitor therapy in CML
Rasko J
University of Adelaide Shared Research Support ($220,365 over 3 years)

* Grants administered through the University of Sydney