Our people

Black and white photo of a stethescope


The governance of the UNSW Medicine & Health Cancer Theme is provided by the UNSW Cancer Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). 

The Cancer Theme Lead, Professor Elgene Lim, chairs the SAC. The committee members represent all cancer research focus areas across UNSW and affiliated institutions and campuses including: the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD), the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD), St Vincent’s precinct, the Garvan Institute and The George Institute for Global Health. 

The SAC objectives are to represent the UNSW cancer community, facilitate research outputs, initiatives, internal and external collaborations, and attract and train the next generation of cancer researchers in UNSW.

UNSW Cancer Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) members

Elgene Lim

Principal Theme Lead, Cancer

Laboratory Head, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Professor Elgene Lim is a medical oncologist and researcher with a focus on breast cancer research and treatment, the Principal Cancer Theme Lead at the Faculty of Medicine & Health, UNSW, and the inaugural National Breast Cancer Foundation Endowed Chair. He completed his doctoral research, medical and oncology training in Melbourne. Findings from his PhD research, under the mentorship of Geoffrey Lindeman and Jane Visvader at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, had a major impact on the identification of the culprit cells in carriers of the BRCA1 mutant gene, a hereditary breast cancer syndrome. He furthered his research and clinical training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School through fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, NHMRC of Australia, and Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Elgene oversees the breast oncology unit at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, and heads the Connie Johnson breast cancer research laboratory at the Garvan Institute. Their research is funded through Cancer Australia, NHMRC, Cancer Council NSW, and the National Breast Cancer, Love Your Sister, White Butterfly, Balnaves, Curran Foundation and Garvan Research Foundation.

Elgene also seeks to improve healthcare more globally. He volunteered as a physician to asylum seekers without access to Medicare and currently works with the Asha Kiran Hospital, India, on a longer-term strategy of expertise transfer and partnership with local doctors.

Barbara Waddell

Research Development Manager, Faculty of Medicine and Health, UNSW

Barbara Waddell specialises in delivering both operational and strategic research support to cancer researchers within UNSW’s Faculty of Medicine and Health. As a professional with 10 years’ experience in project management, including financial oversight and stakeholder management within the health industry, Barbara is well-equipped to navigate stakeholder relationships and expectations. Barbara is a strategic thinker, passionate about identifying opportunities to create value for all parties involved. As the Cancer Theme Research Development Manager, she plays a vital role in supporting early and mid-career cancer researchers, managing grants and scholarships, facilitating people with lived experiences’ involvement in cancer research within the faculty, as well as managing cancer related events with a focus on fostering collaboration between researchers.

Anthony Joshua

Associate Professor and Medical Oncologist at St Vincent’s Hospital

Dr Anthony Joshua completed his medical oncology training at the Royal Prince Alfred hospital in Sydney, Australia before moving to Toronto, Canada to complete a PhD under the supervision of Dr Jeremy Squire in prostatic carcinogenesis, and a clinical Fellowship under Dr Ian Tannock.

He joined the Department of Medical Oncology at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto as a staff oncologist in late 2008, specialising in genito-urinary malignancy and melanoma with research interests in circulating tumour DNA, tumour heterogeneity, mechanisms of enzalutamide resistance and autophagy.

He returned to Australia, joining the Kinghorn Cancer Centre and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in late 2015. He is currently a conjoint Associate Professor with the University of New South Wales.

Carole Harris

Medical Oncologist at St George Hospital

Dr Carole Harris is medical oncologist physician with a special interest in breast and genitourinary cancers. In 2002, Dr Harris graduated from medicine from the University of Sydney with honours and received her fellowship in Medical Oncology from the Royal Australian College of Physicians in 2009.  She went on to complete a Masters of Medicine by Research at UNSW. This research focused on targeted cancer therapies in breast cancer where her work has been published and presented locally and internationally and she still has an interest in pharmacoepidemiology of cancer treatments.

Dr Harris is a staff specialist at St George Public Hospital and Sutherland Hospital and a VMO at St George Private Hospital and Southside Cancer Care Centre, Miranda. She is principal investigator on several clinical trials and chair of the St George Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Team. In addition, Dr Harris is a clinical academic at the University of New South Wales, based at the St George and Sutherland Clinical School where she oversees the oncology teaching programme to undergraduate students.  She is a clinical examiner with both UNSW and the Royal Australian College of Physicians and is a member of several professional bodies including the Medical Oncology group of Australia, American Society of Clinical Oncology, ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group and ANZ Urological and Prostate Trials Group.

David Ziegler

Senior Staff Specialist in the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital

Professor David Ziegler is an NHMRC Investigator and paediatric oncologist at the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. He trained as a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Medical School. He is Head of the Neuro-Oncology program and the Cancer Clinical Trials program at SCH. He is the Group Leader of the Brain Tumour Group at the Children’s Cancer Institute, Australia, and Conjoint Professor at the University of New South Wales. He leads Australia’s national childhood cancer personalised medicine trials through the ZERO program. He has won multiple awards including the 2023 Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences Jian Zhou Medal, awarded to a rising star of Australian health and medical science.

Geoff Delaney

Director of Cancer Services for the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD)

Director of Liverpool Cancer Centre

Professor Geoff Delaney is a Senior Staff Specialist at Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia in Radiation Oncology. He is also Professor at the South-western Sydney Clinical School, UNSW and is Lead of the Cancer Academic Group for Maridulu Budyari Gamal - SPHERE, a translation research conglomeration of NSW, Western Sydney Universities, University of Technology; South-Western and South-Eastern Health Districts, St Vincent’s Hospital, Children’s Cancer Institute, Garvan and Ingham Research Institute, George Institute. Professor Delaney has had significant involvement in service planning and policy through committee responsibilities at National and International levels including European Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology Radiation Safety and Quality Committee, NSW Cancer Institute, NSW Department of Health, Federal Dept of Health and Ageing, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists. He has 35 years research and clinical experience in oncology, health services planning, cancer survivorship and e-Health implementation. His clinical interest is breast cancer radiotherapy. His interests outside oncology include cryptic crosswords, historical fiction, golf and baseball.

Jeff Holst

Director of Engagement and Industry Partnerships, School of Biomedical Sciences at UNSW

Director of the Adult Cancer Program

Professor Jeff Holst leads the Translational Cancer Metabolism Laboratory. He is Director of Engagement and Industry Partnerships in the School of Biomedical Sciences at UNSW Sydney, and Director of the Adult Cancer Program at UNSW Sydney. Jeff completed his PhD in 2003 at St Vincent’s Hospital/UNSW Sydney and undertook postdoctoral studies at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis TN in immunology. He returned to Australia in 2006, starting a lab at the Centenary Institute focusing on the role of nutrient metabolism in cancer. In 2018, he was recruited to UNSW Sydney where he continues to study new ways to target metabolic pathways in melanoma, glioblastoma, breast and prostate cancer, with a particular focus on nutrient metabolism. His research experience includes fundamental lab experiments, forming a spin out company (MetabloQ), developing preclinical assays and set up of clinical trials.

Mei Ling Yap


Associate Professor Mei Ling Yap is a radiation oncologist and clinician researcher based in South-Western Sydney Local Health District. She is the Head of the Cancer Program at the George Institute for Global Health, UNSW and Lead of the Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes, Research and Evaluation (CCORE), South-West Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales.  A/Prof Yap’s research focus is on equity in cancer control, and she is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Investigator Grant (2023-2027). She co-leads projects supporting education and research capacity building in low-and middle-income countries in the Asia-Pacific as an Executive Member of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) Global Oncology Group and Lead Country Coordinator of an IAEA Technical Cooperation Project RAS6108. A/Prof Yap currently serves on the Editorial Board of JCO Global Oncology.

Minoti Apte, OAM

Director of the Pancreatic Research Group, The Ingham Institute

Minoti Apte is currently a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Pancreatic Research Group based at the Ingham Institute, Liverpool. She also serves as Director of Research Strategy at the South Western Sydney Clinical Campuses, UNSW.  She is internationally acknowledged as a leading researcher in pancreatic pathophysiology and is particularly recognised for her pioneering work in pancreatic fibrogenesis. Her research spans the pathophysiology of acute and chronic pancreatitis as well as pancreatic cancer, with the latter focusing on stromal-tumour interactions in cancer.  Her editorial experience includes serving as Editor-in-Chief of Pancreatology for 8 years, and currently as the first Australian Associate Editor of Gastroenterology and as a member of the Editorial Boards of several other journals. Minoti has received numerous prestigious awards in recognition of her work including a Medal of the Order of Australia, being elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science and being awarded the George E Palade Prize by the International Association of Pancreatology (IAP) for her outstanding contributions to the field. She is President-Elect of the IAP and will serve as the Association’s President in 2025.

Natalie Taylor

Director of Research, School of Population Health at UNSW 

Natalie is an implementation scientist at the University of NSW. She has 15 years of experience in developing, applying, and advancing methodologies to study optimal ways to translate evidence into practice, primarily in healthcare settings. Natalie delivers international behaviour change workshops, toolkits, and coaching for healthcare professionals to test the impact of implementation.

Paul Timpson

Strategic Program Co-lead Tumour Ecosystems and Laboratory Head (Faculty) - Invasion and Metastasis, Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Paul completed his PhD with Prof Margaret Frame at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, UK in 2002 where he assessed the interplay between Src family kinases and the actin cytoskeleton during cancer cell invasion, focusing on the role of Rho family GTPases. He then moved to the Garvan Institute in 2003 to work with Professor Roger Daly investigating the role of the actin-binding protein cortactin in growth factor receptor trafficking in breast cancer and head and neck cancers.

Paul was awarded an AstraZeneca Postdoctoral Research Fellowship allowing him to return to the UK in 2007, to work with Professor Kurt Anderson in collaboration with AstraZeneca Advanced Technology Laboratories. This ongoing work has focused upon the development of novel multi-disciplinary live imaging techniques to investigate molecular dynamics of cancer cells in vivo.

Returning to Australia to establish a research group in November 2012 within the Cancer Program, Paul aims to understand pancreatic cancer in the context of the surrounding environment using cutting edge imaging technology. Pinpointing the molecular drivers of cancer progression and the environmental cues that cause resistance to current systemic therapy are the focus of his research.

Sallie Pearson

Director of the NHMRC Medicines Intelligence Centre of Research Excellence (MI-CRE)

Sallie Pearson is the Professor of Health Systems in the School of Population Health and Theme Principal for Health Systems Research. She is also the Director of the Centre of Research Excellence in Medicines Intelligence. Sallie is a leading authority in the conduct of population-based research using routinely collected data and has led national and international studies generating real-world evidence on the use, benefits and safety of prescribed medicines. She has a long-standing research interest in the use and outcomes of cancer therapies in routine clinical care.

Ursula Sansom-Daly

Director of the Behavioural Sciences Unit, Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital

Dr Ursula Sansom-Daly is a Cancer Institute NSW Senior Research Fellow, and Director of the Behavioural Sciences Unit, UNSW Medicine & Health, the largest research group dedicated to studying the psychosocial, ethical and behavioural aspects of child/adolescent cancer in Australia. She is also a Clinical Psychologist at Sydney Youth Cancer Service, a large multidisciplinary service specialising in the care of adolescents and young adults aged 15-25 with cancer. Dr Sansom-Daly’s research spans the cancer trajectory, from diagnosis through to survivorship and end-of-life. A strong emphasis of her research program is the development of evidence-based resources and interventions to improve the cancer experience for patients, families, and health-professionals. Dr Sansom-Daly has received 20 awards in her career to date, including the Australian Institute of Policy and Science NSW Tall Poppy Award (2023), for her work addressing the psychological impact of cancer for young people and their families.