The University of Sydney
Voting opens soon
Thank you to everyone who nominated for the Cancer Research Network Council. We have a very strong list of candidates and voting will soon open to select the Council.

Please keep an eye on your inbox for further details and don’t forget to vote.
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EOI for Postgraduate Student Representative
The Breast Cancer Special Interest Group (BCSIG), hosted by the Cancer Research Network, is seeking an enthusiastic postgraduate student representative to join the BCSIG Steering Committee.

The student representative will be expected to attend BCSIG Steering Committee meetings (held every 1-2 months) and BCSIG events (2-3 each year).

In cooperation with the BCSIG Steering Committee and BCSIG Chair (Prof Patrick Brennan), he or she will:

  • facilitate student interests through the identification of issues and activities of importance to postgraduate students carrying out breast cancer research;
  • work with the Steering Committee to develop networking, mentoring and collaborative opportunities for postgraduate breast cancer researchers;
  • contribute to the activities of the BCSIG with special emphasis on representing the interests of student members.
To self-nominate*, please email the following information to Merilyn Heuschkel ( by 5pm on Tuesday 18 December 2012:
  • Name:
  • Affiliation:
  • A paragraph describing the nature of the nominee’s research (approx. 150 words):
  • A paragraph describing how he or she would contribute to the Breast Cancer Special Interest Group (approx. 200 words):
*The nominee must be a member of the Cancer Research Network and currently undertaking postgraduate research (Masters or PhD) focusing on breast cancer research.

The BCSIG student representative will be selected by the BCSIG Chair, Prof Patrick Brennan, and members of the Steering Committee. The representative will serve a one-year term and may be re-elected for a further year.

If you have any queries, please contact Merilyn Heuschkel (
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Submit a proposal
2012 has seen the formation of two vibrant Special Interest Groups (SIG); Breast Cancer and Comparative-Oncology. Thank you to Prof Patrick Brennan and Dr Beata Ujvari for leading these groups.

Our other currently active SIGs are; Health Data Linkage (led by Dr Camille Raynes-Greenow & Sam Lain) and Metabolism & Microenvironment (led by A/Prof Jenny Byrne).

The CRN has a budget and administrative capacity to support the proposed activities of SIGs. If you would like to establish a SIG, please send a proposal to Prof Graham Mann ( Specific guidelines about establishing a SIG are available online

For general enquiries or assistance to prepare a SIG proposal, please contact Merilyn Heuschkel (
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 12 DEC    |  
Register now
All cancer researchers are invited to the Comparative Oncology Special Interest Group (CO-SIG) Seminar:

5.30 – 7.00pm (light supper from 5.30pm, presentations from 6.00pm)  
New Law School Seminar Room 020, The University of Sydney, Camperdown campus

Hear from two outstanding cancer researchers:

Dr Peter Bennett
BVSc, FACVSc (Canine Medicine), Dip. ACVIM (Small Animal Medicine, Oncology) Faculty of Veterinary Sciences & NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, The University of Sydney
“Canine lymphoma in the comparative setting” 

Dr Tanya Stephens
MANZCVSC in Animal Welfare; Vice-president of Australian Veterinarians for Animal Welfare and Ethics; Member of the University of Sydney Animal Ethics Committee and the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal
“Veterinary Ethics, Strengthening Ethical Practices”

Registration is free, but please email
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The fourth annual Postgraduate Symposium was held on 27 November in the New Law Building and was attended by almost 100 delegates. The meeting opened with a fascinating address by Professor Ian Olver, CEO Cancer Council Australia, and was followed by presentations by 37 postgraduate students.

For the first time, we moved away from the normal program grouping of 'basic biomedical', 'clinical and public health' and 'psychosocial' research together. Instead sessions focused on cancer types in order to give people the opportunity to learn about research outside of their area of focus.

Congratulations to the following people who were awarded the prize of most outstanding presenter in each of the sessions:
  • Cancer treatments - Julia Norman
  • Melanoma & reproductive cancers - Jaesung Choi
  • Pediatric & haematological cancers - Robin Gasiorowski
  • Biomarkers & diagnosis - Samuel Blake
  • Breast & prostate cancers - Vicki Velonas
  • Genetics & oncogenes - Carina Rubio
Finally, we’d like to thank the wonderful organising committee, led by Elizabeth Dylke and Ben Smith.

We look forward to organising the Postgraduate Cancer Research Symposium in 2013 and hope to see you there.
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Congratulations Jaesung (Peter) Choi
The Margaret Taylor Scholarship of $2500 has been awarded to Jaesung (Peter) Choi from the Sydney Medical School. Peter, who started his PhD in February this year, is conducting a research project on the 'Role of androgens via AR in PTEN inactivation induced female reproductive pathology'. Supervised by Dr Ulla Simaninen, Peter will use the scholarship to attend the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) at Bryant University USA in mid 2013. 

The CRN would like to thank the donor of the Margaret Taylor Scholarship which will top up Peter's Australian Rotary Health Funding Partner PhD Scholarship. We’d also like to thank the Sydney Medical School Foundation team for administrating the donation.
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New collaboration to fight breast cancer
Physiotherapists, oncologists, psychologists, physiologists and experts in breast surgery and public health have joined forces in a new multidisciplinary research group dedicated to improving the future outcomes and overall quality of life of breast cancer sufferers. Read more.
Treating childhood cancer in developing countries less expensive than believed
The assumption that childhood cancer in developing countries is prohibitively expensive to treat is challenged by new research contributed to by the University of Sydney. Read more.
New weapons in the fight against cervical cancer
Vinegar, liquid nitrogen and mobile phones are among the weapons being used by medical researchers in the fight against cervical cancer in India. Read more.
Screening the sun
Covering up and staying out of the sun for prolonged periods of time, especially in the middle of the day, is still the best way to protect ourselves from damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation, claims a University of Sydney researcher. Read more.
Epigenetics a factor in Tasmanian devil disease
Genes in the tumours of Devil Facial Tumour Disease gradually 'switch off' over time, say researchers at the University of Sydney. Read more.
The case for creating a smoker's licence
A smoker's licence designed to limit access to tobacco products and encourage quitting has been proposed by Professor Simon Chapman, from the University of Sydney. Read more.
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The University of Sydney, 27 & 28 May 2013
Are you interested in learning about PROMIS (the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System) from PROMIS developers?  Would you like to network with other Australian researchers who are using or interested in using PROMIS?

The Quality of Life Office is calling for expressions of interest to attend a one-day educational workshop followed by the inaugural Australian PROMIS User’s Colloquium from 27-28 May 2013, at the University of Sydney. This meeting will cater to researchers with varying levels of exposure to PROMIS and its online data collection platform, Assessment Center.  It is also a unique opportunity to consult with a PROMIS expert about your project.

For more information about the proposed workshop and colloquium, including proposed registration costs, please visit the PoCoG website

If you intend to register for this workshop, please contact by 7 January 2013. If more than 25 participants express serious interest in this workshop, the workshop will proceed and you will receive information on how to register. 

If you are currently using PROMIS in your research (or Practice) and are interested in presenting at the Colloquium on 28 May 2013, please contact
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CRN Council
Breast Cancer SIG
Establish a new Special Interest Group
Comparative Oncology SIG Seminar
Postgraduate Cancer Research Symposium
Margaret Taylor Scholarship
Introductory PROMIS Workshop & Australian PROMIS User’s Colloquium
NHMRC grant outcomes
University's research contribution recognised by ERA
Follow us
More than one hundred University of Sydney research projects have been recognised this year, sharing a total of $66.7 million for grants, fellowships, equipment and international collaborations.

University of Sydney cancer researchers performed particularly well, receiving 16% of all University funding (at a value of almost $10 million).

One particular highlight is that of Professor Paul Keall and colleagues who received $5,705,380 over 5 years for the Australian MRI-Linac Program.

To view a list of the cancer researchers who received NHMRC funding, visit the CRN website.
The world-class standard of University of Sydney research has been confirmed in the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluations announced yesterday.

Cancer researchers performed exceptionally well, with the division of “oncology & carcinogenesis” being ranked well above the world standard (receiving a maximum score of 5). Congratulations to all. Read more.
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