Prof Robyn Ward is Director of the Translational Cancer Reserch Network, and a Conjoint Professor in the Prince of Wales Clinical School, UNSW. From 2008-2014 she was Clinical Associate Dean at POW Clinical School, and Head of the Adult Cancer Program at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre.
As a researcher, she has pioneered the concept that epigenetic changes, like sequence changes in tumour suppressor genes can predispose to the development of cancer. Initial work (Nat Genet 2004 36:497-501) showed that some cases of apparent Lynch syndrome could be explained on the basis of constitutional epimutations (rather than sequence mutations) in the MLH1 gene. Follow-up studies in Gastroenterology (2005, 129:1392-99), New Engl J Med (2007, 356:697-705) and Cancer Cell (2011, 20:200-213) have demonstrated that intergenerational inheritance of an epigenetic defect in MLH1.
Research keywords: Gastrointestinal diseases, cancer, colorectal cancer, bowel cancer, molecular oncology, cancer genetics, carcinogenesis, colorectal neoplasia, epigenetics, microsatellite instability, MSI, CIMP, CpG island methylation, serrated neoplasia, BRAF, KRAS, genome analysis, clinical trials, clinical research, health services research, clinical genetics, hereditary cancer, familial cancer, cancer drug development, pharmacoeconomics, health technology assessment, targeted drugs.