Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program

An Australian-first research initiative, the Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program, hopes to significantly improve treatment for childhood cancer patients with the greatest unmet clinical need – those diagnosed with brain cancers and solid tumours.

The program is established with investment from the Children’s Cancer Foundation. In its first two years, the program will focus on brain cancer and solid tumours such as Wilms tumours, with specific emphasis on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). DIPG is a devastating childhood brain cancer, with a median survival of only nine months.

In a collaborative program, scientists at Hudson Institute of Medical Research will establish a living biobank of paediatric brain tumours and solid cancers – including living organoids or lab-grown ‘mini-tumours’ – to trial and develop targeted treatments and improve clinical outcomes, survival rates and quality of life (limiting side-effects) for childhood cancer patients.

Innovation in the making  

The Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine program marks a significant investment in future clinical management and novel research discovery in childhood cancer. The program includes

The development of a living tumour biobank for paediatric solid tumours

At present, very few reliable patient-derived preclinical models are available to researchers. To bridge this gap, our program will establish and bank organoid, cell lines, and xenograft models directly from childhood tumour tissue. The establishment of a living biobank for paediatric solid tumours will provide a critical renewable resource for local, national and international researchers.

The establishment of a functional genomics pipeline

We capitalise on the living biobank tumour samples to integrate genomic data (next generation sequencing) with functional data obtained from high-throughput genetic (Cas9/CRISPR) and results from global pharmacological drug screens.

Translation of genomic data into targeted therapy

The comprehensive molecular analysis of individual patient tumours will help identify both new and existing therapies that can be rapidly implemented in the clinic. This approach will facilitate clinical implications of data from the functional genomics pipeline for individual paediatric patients.

Unique national and global collaborations

The establishment of a living biobank and functional genomic testing for paediatric solid tumours provides a critical resource for local, national and international researchers. Thus, a key element of the program includes national and international stakeholders’ involvement to build expertise, share resources and disseminate results that will advance the field of precision medicine for paediatric cancer patients For more information see the Affiliations and Partners section below.


Program leadership

A/Prof Ron Firestein
Head of Research and Chief Investigator

Dr Peter Downie
Head of Clinical Enterprise and Chief Investigator

Prof Bryan Williams
Program Director

Ms Naama Neeman
Head of Operations, Cancer Research Foundation

Research team

Dr Jason Cain
Chief Investigator

Dr Daniel Gough
Chief Investigator

A/Prof Sefi Rosenbluh
Chief Investigator

A/Prof Elizabeth Algar
Chief Investigator

A/Prof Helen Abud
Chief Investigator

A/Prof Paul Wood
Associate Investigator

Dr Dhanya Sooraj
Children’s Cancer Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Ms Hui Kheng Chua
Children’s Cancer Foundation Organoid Specialist

Ms Caroline Drinkwater
Children’s Cancer Foundation Biobank Specialist

Administrative support

Ms Steph Forman
Personal Assistant to A/Prof Ron Firestein

Affiliations and partners 

National partnerships

Monash University

Monash Health

Monash Children’s Hospital

The Royal Children’s Hospital

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

BioGrid Australia

Funding sources   

The Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program is made possible thanks to generous and exclusive funding from the Children’s Cancer Foundation:







Naama Neeman
Head of Operations
Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program, Children’s Cancer Foundation