Cancer researchers elected to Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

Thursday, 28 Oct 2021


Three oncology and cancer researchers are among 29 of the nation’s top medical and health researchers elected as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS) in recognition of their outstanding contributions to health and medical research in Australia.

Prof Danny Rischin

Professor Danny Rischin, Director of the Division of Cancer Medicine and Head of the Department of Medical Oncology at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, is cited as a highly productive clinician‐researcher, who has made significant and sustained contributions to advancing knowledge and in developing new therapies for head and neck cancer and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.

“Professor Rischin is an international leader in head and neck cancer, with his work having had a significant impact on clinical practice,” the Academy says. “In his leadership roles in co-operative clinical trials groups and as the director of a pre-eminent medical oncology department he has mentored and supervised many successful clinician-researchers.”

Professor Penny Webb of the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, is elected  in recognition of her work and global leadership in the epidemiology of ovarian and endometrial cancer. The Academy notes she is on the steering committee of the international Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC) and is the lead author of an epidemiology textbook that has sold more than 35,000 copies worldwide. Previously, she conducted seminal research into the role of Helicobacter pylori in gastric cancer.

Also elected to the Academy is Professor Alicia Oshlack, Co-Head of the Computational Biology Program at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Professor Oshlack has developed a range of widely used bioinformatics analysis methods that underly many of the genomic technologies used today. Her extensive analytical and computational skills and research contributions are now part of the standard approaches for the analysis of RNA sequencing and human methylation investigations, the Academy notes.

“Professor Oshlack’s work has contributed to the areas of cancer, rare disease and development, and has provided better analytical methods for thousands of other research projects worldwide,” it says.

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