Keynote Speakers

The ABNA Committee are pleased to announce the following keynote speakers confirmed for the ABNA 2015 Conference:

  • Dr Francisco de Luna, Centro Nacional de Investigacions Oncologicas, Madrid, Spain
  • Dr Craig Gedye, Hunter Cancer Research Alliance, NSW
  • Prof Ian Campbell, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Vic
  • Emma Raymond, Wesley Research Institute, Qld
  • Pamela Saunders, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, SA
  • Dr Nikolajs Zeps, St John of God Health Care, WA
  • A/Prof Dan Catchpoole, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, NSW
  • Amanda Vining, Second Road, NSW
  • Prof Val Wilson, Nursing Research and Practice Development, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, NSW
  • Chris White, Nursing Research and Practice Development, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, NSW
  • Dr Kerry Chant (Opening Oration), NSW Chief Medical Officer
  • Dr Antonio Penna, Office for Health and Medical Research, NSW
  • A/Prof Mary Haines, The Cancer Institute NSW

pacoDr Francisco de Luna, Centro Nacional de Investigacions Oncologicas, Madrid, Spain
Francisco de Luna is currently the deputy coordinator of the Spanish Biobank Platform, a project funded by the Spanish Research Council, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, that integrates 52 centres from all around Spain. PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Medical School, Madrid Autonomous University in 2009, and Master Degree in biobanking and use of human samples in biomedical research at the Valencia Catholic University, 2012.

Francisco worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Stem Cell Research, University of Edinburgh, UK; completed his PhD on stem cell research and cardiac regeneration at the Spanish National Cardiovascular Research Centre, CNIC and worked as scientific attaché at the British Embassy in Madrid before joining in 2011 the Spanish National Biobank Network, coordinated from the node of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, CNIO, as Deputy coordinator.

Ian photo

Professor Ian Campbell, Victorian Cancer Biobank

Professor Campbell is co-Head of the Cancer Genomics and Genetics Program at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Professor in the Department of Pathology and the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology at the University of Melbourne.

Peter is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow with a 24 years track record of research in cancer genomics encompassing two broad areas – genomics and genetics of ovarian cancer, particular with respect to aetiolgy and driver gene discovery, and familial ovarian and breast cancer.

His first post-doctoral position was at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, London (Now Cancer Research UK) and in 1999 he was recruited as a group leader in cancer genetics and genomics at the the Peter Mac.

Professor Campbell has over 160 career publications and over 5800 citations with 54 publications in the last 5 years. He has extensive experiencing in cancer bio-banking and cohort studies. In particular he is Principal Investigator of Lifepool ( which is a unique partnership with BreastScreen Victoria that has recruited over 53,000 Victorian women attending Breast Screening services.

He contributes to the international Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium through contribution of biospecimens and data from the Southampton Ovarian Cancer Study. He is an investigator on the ICCon partnership (Inherited Cancer Connect Partnership), which is a multidisciplinary group of clinicians and scientists who are focused on improving the outcomes of people with rare inherited cancer syndromes.

He is a member of the kConFab (Kathleen Cuningham Foundation Consortium for research into Familial Breast cancer) executive and chair of the kConFab biospecimen committee. He is a member and former Chair of the Victorian Cancer Biobank Board, which is a state-wide entity responsible for collection and distribution of cancer tissues throughout the world and has an annual budget of over $2 million.

Kerry ChantDr Kerry ChantDeputy Secretary, Population and Public Health and Chief Health Officer

Dr Kerry Chant leads the Population and Public Health Division which has accountabilities for a broad portfolio of issues, including tobacco control, reduction of risk drinking and obesity, the promotion of physical activity, end of life care and organ donation.  She has a particular interest in the response to HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B and Aboriginal Health.





Associate Professor Daniel Catchpoole, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network

A/Prof Catchpoole’s research experience throughout his career has focused on the molecular basis of paediatric malignancies in which he has extensive experience with the analysis of gene expression. Since completing his undergraduate degree he has been involved with research into childhood malignancy as well as cancer prone syndromes in children, gaining valuable post-doctoral experience investigating genomic imprinting disorders such as Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome at Cambridge University, UK.

In 2001 he was appointed Head of the Tumour Bank at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, where he has established the Biospecimens Research Group within the Children’s Cancer Research Unit of The Kids Research Institute.

Since 2001, his scientific achievements and publications have primarily focused on the assessment of childhood tumours, with specific attention given to acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and neuroblastoma. A/Prof Catchpoole’s research focus has centred on translational research through gene expression profiling of paediatric tumours. Recent publications have dealt with the assessment of gene expression signatures proposed to identify cancer patients at risk of treatment failure. This work has lead to his current research developing a systems biology approach to the assessment of cancer patients which includes the implementation of the data-mining and visualization of complex multidimensional biomedical data derived from various high-throughput applications.



Professor Michael Eccles, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago

Following a PhD degree in Biochemistry at Otago University, Mike did a Postdoc in Molecular Biology at Princeton University. He then returned to Otago University as a Research Fellow working on Wilms tumour, a childhood kidney cancer, carrying out pioneering studies on genomic imprinting in Wilms tumour together with Tony Reeve. He established a research group to investigate developmental genes in cancer and diseases of disrupted growth and development. He was awarded a Royal Society of NZ James Cook Research Fellowship in 2000, and in 2006 became the Zealand Institute for Cancer Research Trust Chair in Cancer Pathology. Currently he heads the Developmental Genetics Laboratory in the Pathology Department, University of Otago, focusing on epigenetic mechanisms in cancer and diseases of abnormal growth and development.



Emma RaymondEmma Raymond, Wesley Research Institute

Ms. Emma Raymond is the ABB Tissue Bank Manager for the Wesley-St. Andrew’s Research Institute, which is Queensland’s largest medical research Tissue Bank.
Biological samples and data are collected to support over 25 Australian medical research projects from all over South East Queensland. Sites include The Wesley Hospital, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, Greenslopes Private Hospital, John Flynn Private Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Emma completed a Bachelor of Applied Sciences, majoring in Biological Sciences from Griffith University in 2007, and worked for Sullivan and Nicolaides Pathology in the Histology Department as a Supervising Scientist. Emma joined the Wesley-St Andrew’s Research Institute in 2011 the Manager of the ABB WSARI Tissue Bank, and was the Institute’s Workplace Health & Safety Manager from 2011-2014.

Emma established, and is the State Manager for the Queensland Brain Tumour Bank and the National Manager of the Australasian Skin Cancer Tissue Bank. She has been central in the development of the above Tissue Banks and their expansion and development. In 2015 she will manage the first Australian Autism Biobank, also based within the WSARI Tissue Bank, which will be collecting data and biological samples from all over Australia.

In 2014, Emma commenced in voluntary positions as a Biobanking Operations Expert & Steering Committee Member for a National Brain Cancer Biobanking Consortium (NBCBC), of which she is also a founding member, and Queensland University of Technology’s steering committee for the School of Biomedical Sciences as an industry leader and member. She also is a mentor in QUT’s Work-Integrated Learning Internships Program.

In her current research, Emma is an associate investigator on numerous research projects in the fields of Brain Oncology, Genetic Sequencing, and Haematology. She has supported over 30 Australian research projects with samples and services via the WSARI Tissue Bank, resulting in numerous publications. She is a member of the Wesley-St. Andrew’s Tissue Bank Management Committee Secretary (since 2011) and the Australasian Skin Cancer Tissue Bank Project Steering Committee (2015).

Emma has been a speaker and workshop presenter both nationally and internationally at scientific meetings and conferences, including the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) International Conference in 2013 and was a keynote speaker at the National Histopathology Conference in 2012 and was a keynote speaker at this year’s 2015 Australasian Skin Cancer Congress.

Emma is currently undertaking post graduate studies, studying a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Central Queensland University with a focus on innovation and change management.

Dr. Nik Zeps, St John of God Health Care, WA

Dr. Zeps is a PhD scientist involved in translational research in breast, gastrointestinal and gynecological malignancies. He is the Director of Research at SJGHC Subiaco Hospital and head of a translational research program that has established a biobank and clinical registry as a part of routine multidisciplinary cancer care.

He is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Health Sciences at Curtin University, the Centre for Comparative Genomics at Murdoch University and at Notre Dame Medical School. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Surgery and the School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Western Australia.
He was a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee from 2006-2012 and the Research Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia from 2009-2015.
He is the chair of the Cancer Biology Group of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia and a member of the Scientific advisory committee of the Australasian Gastro-intestinal Trials Group
He is the Australian representative on the Ethics and Policy Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium and of the Steering Committee of the Global Summit of National Ethics Committees (WHO/UNESCO).
His objective as Director of Research is to integrate clinical research and teaching into routine healthcare delivery to improve the lives of patients and their families.