2017 Research Awards

The 2017 Premier's Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research were held on 3 November at the Four Seasons, Sydney.

Find out about the winners and discover their achievements in cancer research.

Jump to:

2017 award recipients

Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year Award

Professor Richard Kefford AM

Prof. Richard Kefford AM receiving his award for Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the year

Professor Richard Kefford is a world-leading researcher and clinician in the causes and treatment of melanoma.

His achievements have revolutionised the understanding of cancer biology and drastically improved therapies for people living with melanomas over the course of 30 years.

Professor Kefford has been a Principal Investigator on over 40 clinical trials exploring new immunotherapies that are transforming the treatment of melanoma.


Professor Rob Sutherland AO Make A Difference Award

Professor David Goldstein

Professor David Goldstein

Professor David Goldstein is a leading researcher and clinician in the field of pancreatic cancer.

His laboratory research has informed contemporary understanding of how the disease develops and spreads.

Professor Goldstein has been instrumental in raising the profile of pancreatic cancer within the medical, surgical and radiation oncology professions and the public.

Excellence in Translational Cancer Research Award

Professor Richard Scolyer and Professor Georgina Long – Melanoma Institute Australia

The work of Professors Richard Scolyer and Georgina Long is leading to major innovations and advances in melanoma prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

With the team at Melanoma Institute Australia, they have made key discoveries and transformed care for people with melanoma – from early stage disease to those with advanced stage disease.

Outstanding Cancer Clinical Trials Unit Award

Central West Cancer Care Centre

Central West Cancer Care Centre

Central West Cancer Centre in the Western NSW LHD has doubled the number of cancer clinical trials open for recruitment.

It has also seen a 60 per cent increase in the recruitment of cancer patients to interventional cancer clinical trials.

Wildfire Highly Cited Publication Award

Professor Helen Rizos – Melanoma Translational Research Team

Professor Rizos’ study is the first and largest to document the mechanisms of resistance in a large cohort of melanoma patients treated with the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib.

It has had 124 citations since publication on 1 April, 2014.

Title: BRAF inhibitor resistance mechanisms in metastatic melanoma: spectrum and clinical impact. Clinical Cancer Res 20, 1965-1977. see abstract and full text pdf

Rising Star PhD Candidate Award

Rebecca Poulos

Rebecca Poulos’ PhD research uses ‘big data’ to study DNA mutation and repair processes in regulatory regions of cancer genomes.

Her research output includes seven first-author publications, including publications in the journals ‘Nature’ and ‘Cell Reports’, together with a review article, invited editorial and invited book chapter.

Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow Award

Dr Marina Pajic

Dr Marina Pajic has been awarded two Career Development Fellowships from the Cancer Institute NSW for research into pancreatic cancer.

As part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium sequencing effort, Dr Pajic has established a unique personalised medicine project for pancreatic cancer, and leads the Personalised Cancer Therapeutics Group at the Garvan Institute for Medical Research.

Image gallery