Throughout my career I have maintained a commitment to the academic aspects of surgical practice as well as clinical care of patients. My major research themes are Upper GI malignancy, melanoma and soft tissue sarcoma. My academic interests have encompassed the areas of 1) clinical research, including randomised controlled clinical trials, 2) laboratory based research, including molecular biology pertinent to upper gastrointestinal disease and melanoma, 3) translational research integrating the laboratory and clinical domains.
As a clinical researcher, I have been active in the conduct of clinical trials at Phase I, II and III levels. This has culminated in the development of a randomised phase II trial of preoperative chemotherapy or chemo-radiotherapy based on poor early response to standard chemotherapy for resectable oesophageal cancer (DOCTOR trial, NHMRC APP #1011782) as CIA. I am also the principal investigator on an investigator initiated, AGITG-sponsored phase II clinical trial of pre-operative chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer (GAP trial). Both of these national trials include biological substudies with tumour tissue and blood banking and subsequent molecular analyses aimed at answering specific questions, including the identification of biomarkers of response to therapy. The GAP translational study (GAP-T) is funded by NHMRC (APP#1026563).
As a translational researcher at the School of Medicine, PAH, University of Queensland, I am the head of Surgical Oncology Lab at the School of Medicine. My research has focused on using genomic, epigenomic and expression data to classify oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) and identify biomarkers of outcome (Cancer Council Queensland Project Grant #631544). We will be undertaking a comprehensive genomic study of OAC, including next generation sequencing, commencing in 2012 (APP#1021403). These studies are focussed on the large number of well curated tumour tissue bank OAC specimens with accompanying clinical data available at the PAH. As a result, I have expertise in the analysis of cancer using cDNA microarrays and SNP arrays.
Detailed information about my research is available in my curriculm vitae.