NSW Fellow Forum 2023

The Cancer Institute NSW proudly hosted the 2023 Fellow Forum. Find more details on speakers, the program and a gallery of key highlights.

The 2023 Fellows’ Forum was held on Wednesday, 31 May 2023 at The Mint, Sydney. The central theme of the day was collaboration.  

Aunty Joan Bell from the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council opened the program with a heartfelt Welcome to Country, which was followed by an opening welcome by Professor Tracey O’Brien with a reflection of her own experiences throughout her early research career.  

The first presentation was delivered by Professor Nikola Bowden, who discussed what collaboration means in the research context, why it is important, and shared her own experiences with local, national, and international collaborations. She highlighted the importance of collaboration with consumers in all research design and implementation, and drew on her experiences of working with consumer advocacy groups in her work.

Professor Tri Phan and Professor Paul Timpson delivered the keynote address, sharing key aspects of the ground-breaking work they are currently undertaking at the ACRF INCITe Centre. They touched on key streams of work being led by Fellows in their teams and emphasised the importance of their collaborators in propelling their work to the international stage.

The afternoon workshop was moderated by Dr Narelle Tunstall who guided the Fellows through reflective exercises around stakeholder planning for career development to help identify career goals and milestones, current strengths, gaps and opportunities, and stakeholders who can help them achieve success. 

Afterwards, attendees engaged in further networking by catching up with familiar faces and meeting new ones.


Forum Gallery Highlights

The Program


Program and Presenter



Morning Tea and Networking11.00amNetwork with your peers
Welcome to Country11:40amMetropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council
Opening Welcome11:50amProfessor Tracey O’Brien, Cancer Institute NSW
Presentation – Professor Nikola Bowden12:00pmProfessor Bowden will share her experiences in building collaborations at local, state, national and international levels. She will discuss differences in undertaking research in regional and metro locations.
Keynote Address – Professor Paul Timpson and Professor Tri Phan12:25pmProfessor Timpson and Professor Phan will share their experiences and advice on partnerships and collaboration in research.
Workshop – Dr Narelle Tunstall2:00pmThis workshop aims to empower attendees to articulate their research goals and identify and prioritise stakeholders who can help them on their journey.

Our speakers


Professor Paul Timpson

Professor Paul Timpson, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

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

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s), Conjoint Senior Lecturer, St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Australia.

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. (Show more)


Professor Phi Tran

Professor Tri Phan, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Professor Tri Phan co-leads the Precision Immunology Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research. He co-leads the ACRF INCITe Centre for Intravital Microscopy and heads the Intravital Microscopy and Gene Expression (IMAGE) Lab. He is clinical immunologist at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney. His lab uses clinical genomics, single cell multi-omics, CRISPR gene editing, genetic mouse models and intravital microscopy to look into the dark spaces of cancers.


Professor Nikola Bowden

Professor Nikola Bowden, The University of Newcastle

Professor Nikola Bowden is Co-Director of the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute Centre for Drug Repurposing and Medicines Research and the Vanessa McGuigan HMRI Fellow in Ovarian Cancer Research. She was recently appointed as the Chief Investigator of the NSW Regional Cancer Research Network, a Cancer Institute NSW Translational Cancer Research Capacity Building Grant. (Show more)


Dr Narelle Tunstall

Dr Narelle Tunstall, Empirical Research Development

Narelle is passionate about supporting researchers. She is an experienced Research Manager and accredited Career Development Practitioner, with a love of great grant writing!

Narelle’s research management and grants experience extends across numerous Australian Universities.(Show more)