National Speakers

Below is the list of confirmed national invited speakers for NDLR 2022.
To view international speakers click here.

Prof Susan Branford (SA)

Centre for Cancer Biology and SA Pathology and University of South Australia

Professor Susan Branford is a Section Leader at the Centre for Cancer Biology and Head of the Leukaemia Laboratory in the Department of Genetics and Molecular Pathology at SA Pathology. Her research is focused on understanding the factors that predict for response to tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy and the mechanisms of drug resistance for patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia. Dr Branford leads the International Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia Genomics Alliance. Among their aims is to establish a genomically based risk classification system. Dr Branford has received a number of international prizes for her research, including the 2021 International Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia Foundation Rowley Prize for significant contribution to the understanding of the biology of chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Dr Claudia Bruedigam (QLD)

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Dr Claudia Bruedigam graduated in Biochemistry from University of Potsdam, Germany, and subsequently undertook training as Marie Curie early-stage researcher within the European Research Training network “NucSys” with a focus on nuclear receptor systems biology in aging-related diseases. Claudia obtained her PhD in Molecular Medicine from Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in 2015, and is currently developing her research program, funded by an NHMRC New Investigator project grant, in the Gordon and Jessie Gilmour Leukaemia Research Laboratory, headed by A/Prof Steven Lane, at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia. Her current research focuses on the development of a comprehensive, representative AML PDX resource in conjunction with biomarker discovery, pre-clinical testing and optimisation of novel therapeutic agents, with a strong focus on the first-in-class telomerase inhibitor imetelstat.

A/Prof Emily Blyth (NSW)

Westmead Hospital

Associate Professor Blyth is the Clinical Lead for Immune Effector Cells at Westmead Hospital in NSW. She is a haematologist, bone marrow transplant and cell therapy physician and a post-doctoral research fellow at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research at the University of Sydney. She is a Research Lead in the Westmead Cell Therapies Group’s clinical trial program and a member of the Sydney Cell and Gene Therapy Strategic Committee which is focused on bringing cell and gene therapy technologies to patients in clinical trials at the Westmead Campus. A/Prof Blyth’s works clinically in blood stem cell transplant and cellular therapies. Her research interests are in the use of cellular therapy to improve quality of life and survival in patients with blood cancers and those undergoing blood stem cell transplantation.

Dr Catherine Carmichael (VIC)

Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Dr Catherine Carmichael is a group leader in the Centre for Cancer Research at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, and adjunct Senior Research Fellow within the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University. She completed her PhD and initial postdoctoral training at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute before moving to the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases at Monash University in 2014. In early 2022 Dr Carmichael moved her laboratory to the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, where her research focuses on gaining an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that drive malignant transformation of the myeloid lineage; with the ultimate goal of identifying novel therapeutic strategies for the poorest outcome subtypes of AML.

Prof David Curtis (VIC)

Australian Centre for Blood Diseases

Prof David Curtis is head of the Division of Blood Cancer Research at the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases.

Dr Lev Kats (VIC)

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Dr Lev Kats is a group leader within the Cancer Biology and Therapeutics Program at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. He was awarded his PhD in 2009 from Monash University and completed his post-doctoral training at Beth Israel Deaconess Centre/Harvard Medical School. Dr Kats is interested in epigenetic regulation of haematopoiesis and leukaemia and his laboratory uses mouse models to understand how specific genes contribute to leukaemia initiation and maintenance.

 

Dr Colm Keane (QLD)

Mater Research, University of Queensland

Colm is a haematologist and researcher at Mater Research, University of Queensland and the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. He obtained his PhD from Griffith University in Lymphoma Biology in 2015, completed an MBA also at Griffith University in 2012 and an MSc. in Haemato-pathology from the University of York in the same year. His research interests relate to how the immune system responds to lymphoma. This is with a particular focus on the commonest aggressive lymphoma DLBCL and rarer forms of DLBCL like those occurring solely in the brain or in the setting of immunosuppression. His work has been published in Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lancet Haematology and Clinical Cancer Research. He is a current NHMRC ECF holder.

 

Prof Hang Quach (VIC)

St Vincent’s Hospital

Professor Hang Quach is the director of Clinical Haematology and Clinical Haematology Research at St.Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, and is a professor of haematology at the University of Melbourne. She is a member of the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) and deputy-chair  of the Myeloma Scientific Advisory Group (MSAG) for Myeloma Australia, where she leads the development and biennial update of the Australian National Treatment Guideline for Multiple Myeloma. In addition, Prof. Quach is the co-chair of the Myeloma Working Group of the ALLG (Australasian Lymphoma Leukaemia Group). Her clinical and translational research focuses on novel therapeutics and their impact on the immunology and the microenvironment in multiple myeloma. Through competitive grants, industry collaborations, and philanthropy, she has secured research funding of more than $15 million towards myeloma research and is highly published in the field of in multiple myeloma.

Prof Andreas Strasser (VIC) - Metcalf Oration

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

I am a cancer researcher trained in cell biology, immunology and molecular oncology. I have made major contributions to the discoveries that defects in cell death can cause cancer, autoimmune disease and impair the response of cancers to chemotherapy. My current work aims to reach a detailed understanding of the molecular control of programmed cell death. My team is exploiting this knowledge to develop novel treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases that directly activate the cell death machinery.

Prof Andrew Spencer (VIC)

Alfred Health, Monash University

Professor Andrew Spencer is Head of the Malignant Haematology and Stem Cell Transplantation Service at The Alfred Hospital, Professor of Haematology at Monash University, Head of the Myeloma Research Group and Co-Director of the ACRF Blood Cancer Therapeutics Centre at the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, all in Melbourne, Australia.

Prof Spencer completed his medical training in clinical and laboratory haematology in Brisbane and Sydney in 1992. He then was awarded a LRF (UK) Fellowship and spent 3 years at The Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, United Kingdom where he undertook research into B-cell clonality in chronic myeloid leukemia and was awarded a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of London. Subsequently he moved to The Alfred Hospital where he established an independent translational research program. He was appointed Head of Malignant Haematology and Stem Cell Transplantation Services in 2007 and established a first-in-human and early phase haematology clinical research unit at the hospital in 2009.

Dr Rachel Thijssen (VIC)

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Dr Rachel Thijssen is a senior Postdoctoral Fellow at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI). She completed her PhD within the Immuno-Hematology department of the Academic Medical Center (AMC), Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Based on her outstanding achievements during her PhD studies and the highly promising nature of her proposed work, she was awarded a prestigious Fellowship from the US Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in 2017, which has enabled her to move to Australia and undertake postdoctoral training at the WEHI. Her research focuses on unravelling how haematopoietic cancer cells evade cell death, with a focus on venetoclax relapse in leukaemias and lymphomas using state-of-the-art single-cell technologies such as single-cell RNA-seq (CITE-seq) and Full-Length Transcriptome sequencing (FLT-seq). This work was granted a Cure Cancer and Cancer Australia Grant starting in 2020.

A/Prof Daniel Thomas (SA)

University of Adelaide & SAHMRI

Daniel Thomas is a clinical haematologist and pathologist who leads the Myeloid Metabolism Lab at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute as an Associate Professor of Medicine, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide.  Dan trained with Professor Ravindra Majeti in the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute at Stanford University before recently returning to Australia  as a CSL Centenary Fellow. The over-arching goal of Dan’s research is to find novel mutation-specific drug targets for somatic mutations, especially in poor prognosis and difficult to treat cancer types, using acute myeloid leukemia as a test bed by integrating bioinformatic tools and mass spectrometry in humanized in vivo models. Dan is a passionate educator at the bench and bedside in molecular medicine.

Prof Judith Trotman (NSW)

University of Sydney

Professor Judith Trotman (University of Sydney) is a haematologist and Australian lymphoma clinician researcher who leads a number of international trials collaborations and provides global leadership in charting the role of PET scanning in lymphoma.  She is committed to embedding research into clinical care as the founding Director of the Concord Repatriation General Hospital Haematology Clinical Research Unit, NSW Australia, as the current Head of the Haematology Department and as a Board member of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. She is also committed to the implementation of research findings into practice, as evidenced by her successful MBS listing of PET for indolent lymphomas. She has developed a number of digital practice and research initiatives in collaboration with colleagues and patients, including the first published Haematology MDT SOP, the ClinTrial Refer smartphone Application and the WhiMSICAL study. She has published extensively in leading journals including NEJM, Blood, Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology and The Lancet Haematology.

A/Prof Andrew Wei (VIC)

Alfred Health, Monash University

A/Prof Andrew Wei is a haematologist and the head of leukaemia research at The Alfred. A/Prof Wei is also Chairperson AML disease group Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group, Victorian Cancer Agency Research Fellow and Adjunct Associate Professor, Australian Centre for Blood Diseases.

After completing doctoral studies at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in 2005, A/Prof Wei joined The Alfred in 2008 to develop the Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) research program. He has been the AML disease group chairperson for Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group since 2009 and has led multiple nationwide cooperative group studies as chief investigator.

Equity in Science Forum Speaker

A/Prof Nada Hamad

St, Vincent’s Hopsital

Associate Professor Nada Hamad is a clinical and laboratory haematologist specialising in cellular therapies including bone marrow transplants at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. Nada is president of ANZTCT, director of the hematology clinical trials unit at St Vincent’s Hospital, Chair of the ACI NSW BMT network and Chair of ALLG BMTCT working group. Nada is an intersectional feminist, and an advocate for gender equity, diversity, and inclusion in medicine.