Paediatric Cancer Research Program

Paediatric Cancer Research Program is a Research Program under the Centre for Cancer Research.

The Paediatric Cancer Research Program is a collaborative Melbourne-based initiative

bringing together researchers and clinicians across Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Monash Children’s Hospital, Monash Children’s Cancer Centre and Monash University
Together, our common objective is to improve outcomes in children diagnosed with cancer through innovative research into the development and progression of these diseases and identification of new and more effective therapeutic strategies.

In 2012 in Victoria alone, 174 children under the age of 14 years old and 236 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15-24 years old were diagnosed with cancer*. Despite a >80% survival rate, many patients will suffer permanent side effects of their disease and/or treatments. The predicted increase in new cancer diagnoses (53%) and deaths (25%) in Victoria over the next 10-15 years* highlights the urgent need for researchers and clinicians to join forces to improve understanding of paediatric cancers and translate these findings into the clinic.

*Cancer Council Victoria: Statistics & Trends 2012

The Paediatric Cancer Research Program aims to significantly contribute to the understanding of all childhood cancer. The expanding profile of research interests currently include:

‒ Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumour (AT/RT)
‒ Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)
‒ Ependymoma
‒ Leukaemia
‒ Malignant Rhabdoid Tumour (MRT)
‒ Medulloblastoma
‒ Neuroblastoma
‒ Osteosarcoma
‒ Wilm’s tumour

For more information on our research please click on the member links below.


A/Prof Elizabeth Algar (Research Group Head, Genetics and Molecular Pathology)
Prof David Ashley (Honorary Group Leader, Paediatric Oncologist, Barwon Health)
Dr Jason Cain (Research Group Co-Head, Developmental and Cancer Biology)
Dr Kirstyn Carey (Post-doc)
Catherine Cochrane (PhD student)
Dr Peter Downie (Head, Monash Children’s Cancer Centre)
A/Prof Ron Firestein (Centre Head, Centre for Cancer Research; Research Group Head, Cancer Genetics and Functional Genomics)
Dr Daniel Gough (Research Group Head, STAT Signalling Laboratory)Dr Samantha Jayasekara (Research Assistant)
Dr Sara Khan (Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation Fellow)
Dean Popovski (PhD student)
Beena Kumar (Principal investigator Monash Surgical Oncology Biobank/ Monash Children’s Cancer Biobank)
Zdenka Prodanovic (Principal Advisor, Monash Children’s Cancer Biobank)
Prof Justin St. John (Centre Head, Centre for Genetic Diseases; Research Group Head, Mitochondrial Genetics)
Dr Christine White (Post-doc)
Prof Bryan Williams (Research Group Head, Cancer and Innate Immunity; Emeritus Director and Distinguished Scientist, Hudson Institute; Professor, Department of Molecular and Translational Science, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University)
Dr Paul Wood (Group Leader, Paediatric Oncologist)

Affiliations & Partners:

Centre for Cancer Research, Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Monash Children’s Hospital
Monash Children’s Cancer Centre, Monash Health
Genetics and Molecular Pathology, Monash Health
Monash Children’s Cancer Biobank, Monash Health
Monash University

Funding Sources:

National Health & Medical Research Council
Monash Comprehensive Cancer Consortium
Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation
Australasian Sarcoma Study Group
Bailey’s Day
Children’s Cancer Foundation – generously supporting the Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program
The Robert Connor Dawes Foundation (RCD Foundation)
The Cure Starts Now: Australia
Isabella and Marcus Paediatric Brainstem Tumour Fund

In the news

Herald Sun: ‘A fight for the kids,’ 4 October 2014
Herald Sun: ‘Cancer battle can’t conquer little Zac,’ 18 October 2014

For further information on research projects or supporting the Paediatric Cancer Research Program please contact: