Professor George is a renowned liver specialist and research scientist delivering high-impact research on liver cancer, the diseases that lead to it, and clinical cancer care.
Liver cancer is the second fastest growing cancer type in Australia and the fastest growing cause of cancer deaths by percentage. Two-thirds of people diagnosed with liver cancer have viral hepatitis, which can be treated to reduce the risk of liver cancer developing.
Professor George is based at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research’s Storr Liver Centre, which is a leading centre for research on the biology, prevention and treatment of liver cancer, and the liver diseases that lead to cancer. He is also the Robert W. Storr Chair of Hepatic Medicine at The University of Sydney.
"I would like to thank the Institute for considering me for this award, which ultimately is recognition of the importance it places on transforming and improving the lives of people who are at risk of or are suffering from liver cancer,” Professor George says.
“This award is for the team and for the many others who have translated an idea to a meaningful outcome that impacts patients.”
Making a difference in liver cancer control
Professor George is making pioneering contributions to the development of a whole-of-system approach to liver cancer control, including reducing variations in care, using the Cancer Institute NSW model of research translation. These include:
- generating new population-level insights into the link between viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer, in western Sydney
- testing and implementing a shared-care model of HCC surveillance, and trialing its efficacy and effectiveness
- disseminating research insights to promote system-wide change.
"Professor George has supported hepatitis B control in western Sydney from the ground up,” says Maria Mury, Cancer Institute NSW Director of Strategic Research Investment.
“Through a primary care-based model of disease detection and management, 1,500 people with hepatitis B have been linked with GPs and specialists to receive treatment. This may prevent these community members from developing liver cancer down the track.”
Demonstrating the feasibility of this model supports the delivery of optimal care at a broader population level, beyond western Sydney. The models have been widely adopted in Australia.
"Clinical medicine and clinical research are all about the journey to improve the health outcomes of our patients," Professor George explains. "Liver cancer is a very poor prognosis cancer but one with well-defined risk factors that can be targeted or primary prevention."
We congratulate Professor George for his positive impact on liver cancer control and management in NSW, nationally and internationally.
The researcher of the year receives a prize of $50,000 from the Cancer Institute NSW.